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National Peace Workshops in Christchurch

National Peace Workshops in Christchurch/Otautahi 9th-11th May.

Peace Action Network and Peace Movement Aotearoa

This weekend anti-war and peace activists from throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand will be converging on Otautahi/Christchurch for the National Peace Workshops. Hosted by Peace Action Network Otautahi, Peace Movement Aotearoa, and Peace and Development Studies Canterbury, the National Peace Workshops this year will be held at the Coppertop conference facilities at the University of Canterbury from Friday May the 9th till Sunday May the 11th.

The conference will bring together established social justice and peace groups with the new peace and anti-war coalitions formed since September 11th 2001.

"The primary purposes of this year's National Peace Workshops are to facilitate discussion among the diverse groups and individuals involved in peace and anti-war work, to share information and viewpoints, and to come up with points of unity and ways to work together as effectively as possible into the future," said Dan Rae, on behalf of the local organising committee.

Another key theme of the conference will be making the links between war, power and economic globalisation.

"We are part of a board-based movement for social change. This is critical to not only ending war, but also to dismantling the institutions that give rise to war as a means of increasing political and economic control over the world's resources and people," said Mr Rae.

Speakers at the conference include long term campaigners such as Nicky Hager, Keith Locke, Kate Dewes, Commander Rob Green and Moana Cole. Topics that will be discussed include the role of labour in the anti-war movement, the situation in the Middle East, the links between globalisation and militarisation, and New Zealand's involvement in the US military and intelligence alliance. The full programme is available on-line at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/npw03.htm

The Conference is co-sponsored by Anti-Bases Campaign, Association of University Stall (Lincoln Branch), Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa, Caritas, Christchurch South Methodist Parish, Christchurch Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Christian World Service, Disarmament and Security Centre, Peace Action Network, Peace Movement Aotearoa and Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (Aotearoa). Endorsing organisations include the National Distribution Union, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and the Seafarers Union.

Also in conjunction with the National Peace Workshops a peace concert is to be held on Saturday 10th May entitled 'Arts as Action'. It is from 7.30pm onwards at the Music Centre of Christchurch, 140 Barbadoes Street. All are welcome to come to this concert "that aims to support, encourage and teach peace through using the power of music and voice."

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