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Will You Join Us To Stand With Refugees Tonight?

Will You Join Us To Stand With Refugees Tonight?

At 6pm tonight thousands of New Zealanders, all across the country, will observe a minute of silence.

60 seconds. One second for every million people across the globe right now who were forced to flee their homes by armed conflict, terror, persecution, war and violence.

Tonight we stand in solidarity with those millions of men, women and children. We honour the innocent lives lost, both in war and conflict and in the desperate and dangerous journey to find a safe new home for themselves and their loved ones. And tonight we take a stand together to say - as so many people have come together around the world to say -Refugees Welcome in NZ!

Will you join us?

Find and RSVP to an existing event:

Click to RSVP for Wellington event - Parliament Grounds
Click to RSVP for Auckland event - War Memorial, Domain
Click to RSVP for Thames event - War Memorial Civic Centre
Click to RSVP for Palmerston North event - George Street
Click to RSVP for Nelson event - Cathedral Steps
Click to RSVP for Whanganui event - Majestic Square
Click to RSVP for Timaru event - The Salvation Army
Click to RSVP for Christchurch event - The Villas
Click to RSVP for Dunedin event - The Octagon (NB: this event is on Friday at 5.15pm)

New events may be added here throughout the day, so click here to add your event or check to see if a new event in your town has been listed.

No events in your town? You can gather your family, friends or neighbours at 6pm tonight for your own event. Light some candles, maybe read a poem, and then take a photo of yourselves with a sign reading "Refugees Welcome" and share that photo on social media with the hashtag #refugeeswelcomeNZ

Why is sharing your photo important? Because part of the impact of moments like this, when New Zealanders gather to stand for the values we hold dear, is that we are telling an important story about who we are and what we stand for. As we all saw last week, a picture really does tell that story in a way that no amount of words can.

Not convinced a candlelit vigil can make a difference? After Australians gathered in their thousands at #LightTheDark vigils on Monday night, the Abbott government announced it will give 12,000 refugees permanent protection, on top of their current intake.

This is an historic moment. Our world is facing a humanitarian crisis on a scale unseen since World War II. Tonight we have the chance to stand on the right side of history. Tonight we stand on the side of people living a hell I hope we'll never have to face here in New Zealand. But if we ever do, I hope the world will show us open hearts, just as we will show the world tonight.

I hope you'll join us.


PS: If you are coming to the Auckland or Wellington events, please note that we are not allowed real candles at these venues, so please bring an electric candle, a torch or lantern, or maybe even a candle app on your smart phone. We'll have a few hundred electric candles on hand but they will probably go fast. Please also feel free to make and bring signs or banners reading 'Refugees Welcome'.

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