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Update: White poppies, visitors, Global Day of Action ...

Update: White poppies, Hawaiian & UN visitors, Global Day of Action on Military Spending, WWI anniversary and the 2014 National Peace Workshops

Peace Movement Aotearoa

21 March 2014

This update has information on:

1) the 2014 White Poppies for Peace Appeal;
2) the 2014 Global Day of Action on Military Spending;
3) the visit of Native Hawaiian filmmaker Anne Keala Kelly;
4) the visit of the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane; and
5) the consultation on alternatives to the government's WWI anniversary programme and the 2014 National Peace Workshops.

This information is available online at https://www.facebook.com/PeaceMovementAotearoa/notes and the formatted version is at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/update0314.pdf

1) 2014 White Poppies for Peace Appeal, order soon!

A reminder that the White Poppies for Peace appeal ( www.whitepoppies.org.nz ) - the main fundraiser for the White Poppy Peace Scholarships ( www.peacescholar.org.nz) - is held annually from 17 to 24 April. This section has information about how you can support the Appeal and how you can order poppies.

a) Helping with a street collection in Wellington or Dunedin: the street collections in Wellington and Dunedin this year are on Tuesday, 22 April. If you can help with the collection in either city, please email whitepoppies@ymail.com as soon as possible and let us know what time/s you are available. Please include your phone number in your message, thank you.

b) White poppies collection boxes: You could: i) have a white poppies collection box: at your work, school, church or other community place during the Appeal week (this will be delivered to you in the week before the Annual Appeal if you are within the Wellington area, or posted to you if you are elsewhere); or ii) organise a special or one-off collection: ask your church or other place of worship if they would consider having a white poppy collection during the Appeal week, or arrange a collection at any scheduled community group meeting around the time of the Appeal. If you would like to be sent a white poppies collection box, please email whitepoppies@ymail.com as soon as possible and let us know: how many collection boxes you require; the approximate number of white poppies you would like; and your name and postal address. Each collection box contains white poppies and white poppy information cards, as well as guidelines for collectors, a parcel post SAE to return the box, and a standard SAE to return the money collected (account details are included if you would prefer to do a bank transfer). Please note: the deadline for ordering a collection box is Friday, 4 April.

c) Ordering white poppies: white poppies are available for a donation to the White Poppy Peace Scholarships - if you would like to order white poppies for yourself or your group, please emailwhitepoppies@ymail.com for details or use the form available at www.converge.org.nz/pma/poppiesform.pdf

d) How you can support the White Poppy Peace Scholarships: You can support the Peace Scholarships by making a donation during the Annual Appeal or at any time during the year - your generosity will help to promote peace by directly supporting research into alternatives to militarism and war, and collective non-violent responses to state violence. To make a donation by cheque, please use the form available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/poppiesform.pdf - if you would prefer to make a donation by direct credit or internet banking, please email whitepoppies@ymail.comfor the details - a tax credit receipt is sent for all donations. Thank you.

2) 2014 Global Day of Action on Military Spending, 14 April

"Last year global military expenditure was $1.753 trillion (US$) - on average, more than $4.8 billion (US$) every day. By way of contrast, an average of more than 24,000 children under the age of five die every day from mainly preventable causes - lack of access to adequate food, clean water and basic medicines. This is one of the prices paid, the collateral damage that is seldom talked about, for maintaining armed forces in a state of combat readiness around the world."

This year’s Global Day of Action will take place on 14 April - the day the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) releases the 2013 figures on global military expenditure. Peace, social justice and human rights groups around the world are involved in the Global Day of Action and we will be joining together on 14 April to focus public, political, and media attention on the costs of military expenditure and the need for better spending priorities. Information about the Global Day of Action in Aotearoa New Zealand is available at www.converge.org.nz/pma/gdams.htm

There are many ways that can get involved in the Global Day of Action, and here are some:

a) Organise an event: it would be great if you could organise an event in your local community to mark the Global Day of Action - you don't need to plan for something massive, having a small group with a placard or banner or street theatre in a public place, perhaps outside a health, education, refuge or other social service that has had a recent funding cut, would be fine. A public meeting or discussion with speakers from social services that have recently been cut or that could put more funding to good use, or from organisations involved in overseas development assistance is another possibility.

It would be really helpful if you could let us know if you would like to organise something so we can put you in touch with others in your area who are also interested in being part of the Global Day of Action. If you would like to discuss your ideas, publicity, or any other support, we are happy to help - please email pma@xtra.co.nz with ‘Global Day of Action' in the subject line. Planning for events in Wellington, including street leafleting and a public forum on government spending priorities, are already underway. Details of Global Day of Action events will be available athttps://www.facebook.com/PeaceMovementAotearoa/events and www.converge.org.nz/pma/gdams.htm as soon as they are confirmed.

b) Add your organisation to the list of supporters: if you would like your organisation listed as a supporter of the Global Day of Action and of the urgent need to change spending priorities away from funding armed forces towards meeting human needs, please send your details to email pma@xtra.co.nz with 'Global Day of Action' in the subject line and we will add you to the list of supporting organisations at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/gdams12s.htm

c) Resources: the A4 ‘Time for action on military spending’ poster and the ‘Time for action on military spending’ leaflet - which includes global and national military spending figures, some information about militarism and militarisation, and some questions about why NZ has armed forces - are available at www.converge.org.nz/pma/gdams.htm

3) Advance notice: Visit of Native Hawaiian filmmaker Anne Keala Kelly, 29 April / 1 May

We are very pleased to advise that Peace Movement Aotearoa is bringing Native Hawaiian filmmaker, Anne Keala Kelly, to Aotearoa in late April. Ms Kelly will introduce and discuss her documentary ‘Noho Hewa’ - a powerful portrayal of the multiple links between militarisation and the historical and ongoing processes of colonisation - at two public screenings: in Auckland on Friday, 25 April and in Wellington on Thursday, 1 May. Author, poet, scholar and painter Albert Wendt described ‘Noho Hewa’ as “a brilliant, incisive, and complex expose of colonialism (American and other) and its devastating effects on Kanaka Maoli, the indigenous people of Hawaii, and their land”.

The details of both events are currently being confirmed, and will be circulated through our national networks and available at www.facebook.com/PeaceMovementAotearoa/events next week.

The ‘Noho Hewa’ screening in Auckland is on the opening night of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Aotearoa regional meeting on militarisation in the Pacific, information about the WILPF meeting is available at www.wilpf.org.nz

4) Advance notice: Visit of the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, 3 to 10 April

The UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane, is visiting here at the invitation of the government in early April, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade are currently arranging public meetings in four cities as follows: Auckland, 3 April; Wellington, 7 and 8 April; Christchurch, 9 April; and Dunedin, 10 April. As of today, it has been confirmed that Ms Kane will give a public lecture in Wellington at 5.40pm on Monday, 7 April - full details of that and the other public events will be circulated through our national networks when they are available.

Information about the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and her work is available at www.un.org/disarmament/HomePage/about_us/odahighr.shtml

5) Consultation on alternatives to the government's WWI anniversary programme, and the 2014 National Peace Workshops

There has been increasing concern among peace people as the government's World War One (WWI) centenary programme has been unveiled, especially around the topics that are unlikely to be covered in the official programme, which begins on 4 August 2014 and ends in July 2019. These concerns include general issues around militarism, nationalism and national identity, and the privileging of military 'heroism' and 'sacrifice'; as well as specific issues such as how Maori, conscientious objectors, women, and returning soldiers were treated during and after WWI.

In October 2013, Peace Movement Aotearoa began a series of discussion meetings with peace groups and communities around the country to share common concerns about the government's centenary programme and to develop a range of alternatives to it (details are available at www.ww1.org.nz ), and consultation with our members, supporters, and a range of interested groups is continuing. A report summarising the outcomes of the discussion meetings will be available next month - if you or your organisation has already confirmed plans for alternative events, or are producing specific resources for the anniversary, please forward the details to Peace Movement Aotearoa email pma@xtra.co.nz with 'WWI anniversary discussion report’ in the subject line of your message so that information can be included the report.

The theme of this year’s National Peace Workshops - which will be held in July or August -is ‘Remembering war / Ending war’, and alternatives to the government's centenary programme will be a focus of the programme. If you would like to do a workshop or presentation, please send an outline of what topic or topics you’d like to cover to Peace Movement Aotearoa email pma@xtra.co.nz with ‘2014 National Peace Workshops’ in the subject line of your message. Thank you.


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