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5th November a day to celebrate peace

Let’s Make 5th November a day to celebrate peace says Turia
Hon Tariana Turia, Member of Parliament for Te Tai Hauauru
Thursday 5 November 2009

Co-leader of the Maori Party, Tariana Turia, is recommending the 5th November become a day to commemorate the unique legacy of passive resistance associated with Parihaka.

“It has always been rather bizarre, the way we celebrate the historic association of this day with the attempt by Guy Fawkes in 1605, to blow up England’s Parliament” said Mrs Turia.

“And yet little attention is ever given to the unique response of the people of Parihaka in Taranaki; a peaceful protest against a military invasion of some 1,600 volunteer troops led by Native Minister John Bryce”

“On 5th November 1881, Parihaka Pa was invaded by troops of infantry and cavalry while more than 2000 Maori sat quietly on the marae and children sung and played stick games.

Leaders, Te Whiti O Rongomai (Taranaki/Te Atiawa) and Tohu Kakahi (Taranaki/ Ngati Ruanui).were arrested; the pa was demolished; women and girls were raped; crops were destroyed; thousands of cattle, pigs and horses were slaughtered.and yet still the people practiced passive resistance”.

“Forty years before Mahatma Ghandi initiated non-violent protest against British domination, the people of Parihaka were resisting attack by a series of non-violent actions.

“The story of the people’s passive resistance at Parihaka Pa is one we should all be proud of” said Mrs Turia.

“We should celebrate the peace-loving leadership of Parihaka; the practise of peaceful protest; and the courage of the people in confronting injustice while also maintaining the full strength of their culture”.

ENDS

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