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The Maori Party are right about Parihaka Day

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The Maori Party are right about Parihaka Day
MARTYN BRADBURY

 

One of the concerning elements of this ANZAC Day was the celebration of militarism. The 100th year of the ANZAC myth misses out the NZ land wars and ignores the repressive Government of the day and their cruel treatment of conscientious objectors.

In my opinion, we owe the dead a solemn promise to never waste the lives of the next generation with the needlessness of those buried. If all we have learned from a century of war is to wave and cheer, we have missed the lesson.

That's why I think the Maori Party's suggestion to make the 5th of November Parihaka Peace Day is so important. To commemorate the nonviolent activism of Maori at Parihaka, we would acknowledge that the values of peace and social justice are ones that we take seriously in Aotearoa.

This is what Tariana Turia had to say on the issue in 2013...

On November 5th here in Aotearoa we should remember the 2000 people of Parihaka who sat in peaceful resistance, when in 1881 the Crown launched a violent invasion of their community.

While the actions of the constabulary on that day are vile, what we remember today is the courage of our tupuna who stood against them. The courage to show resistance through peaceful protest. The children of Aotearoa should grow up knowing this history. All New Zealanders should know this history.”

We have called many times for Parihaka Day to be officially observed in New Zealand. We received a petition from the community in 2012 and presented it to parliament. We negotiated that a private members bill on establishing Parihaka Day be supported to first reading in our Relationship Accord with the National Party.”

Making 5th of November a public holiday would cement a stain on our collective honour as a moment to learn and grow from. As a Society we need to be promoting peace between countries, between communities, between ourselves and with ourselves. That promotion can't come, won't come if we are not active about promoting it.

Peace isn't the absence of war, it is the absence of violence from all parts of lives.

Celebrating peace would finally bring rest to those who died fighting for it.

Martyn Bradbury

Editor - TheDailyBlog.co.nz

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twitter.com/CitizenBomber

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