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100 years on from Passchendaele

Media Release: Passion for Peace

100 years on from Passchendaele

As commemorations are held in Wellington to mark 100 years since the Battle of Passchendaele a reminder is being made of how little progress has been made towards the fight for worldwide peace.

A series of coincidental events have been held in the Capital this week triggered by the misleading belief of the NZ Defence Industry Association that they are not 'marketing war' - including a blockade of the DIA event that was held at Westpac Stadium.

Speaking at one of the peace activist vigils at Wellington Railway Station, Quaker Quentin Abraham queried the tragic lack of progress made in weapon-free conflict resolution as a true expression of the kind of values and principled beliefs that may have been more in evidence in 1917 than 2017.

DIA events that are merely wolves cloaked in sheep's clothing and motivated, at root, by the motivation to make money, and fall into nothing other than an indirect form of warmongering, were also held up to the light this week by protesters who mounted a blockade at Westpac Stadium that showed where the violence really lies and, again, how little society has moved to bring lasting alternatives to bear in the last 100 years.

A point made by protesters that echoed Jacinda Ardern's linking of New Zealand's nuclear-free moment (moment!!?) to climate change was that war has been regressively destroying our planet ever since the slaughterhouse of WW1 with its dire side-effects of climactic and environmental pollution.

Quentin Abraham: "The correlation between war and climate change is too obvious and compelling to ignore".

Another point made by protesters was that if the DIA was serious about their description of their sales event as a 'forum' then they would be looking to morph it towards being about something that New Zealand - for all of the passing attention received by its nuclear-free standing status - sorely lacks: A Peace Industry.

It was suggested that topics for a parallel stream to a meaningful forum that really re-examined the purpose of maintaining expenditure on 'defence' could include:
• Proposals for a 'polluter-pays' equivalent to any form of damage to the environment caused by war and the defence industry
• A push for a global measure for how the ongoing hatred embodied by war damages the environmental and humanitarian future of the planet (in the same way that emissions are measured)
• A debate on what constitutes necessary good for worldwide peace and what constitutes necessary evil so that moral lines in the sand are more clearly drawn and understood

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