INDEPENDENT NEWS

Die In for Palestine Marks ANZAC day

Published: Thu 25 Apr 2024 01:43 PM
Pōneke based peace activists staged a silent protest at the ANZAC day service to highlight New Zealand’s complicity in war and genocide, and urge the government to take concrete steps to stop the genocide in Palestine.
People dressed in white with visible Palestinian keffiyeh scarves laid silently on the ground - evoking images of the rows of body bags in scenes from Gaza. They were accompanied by a banner which read ‘No NZ Complicity in war and genocide. Free Palestine’.
Almost 40,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza by the Israeli military since October 2023. Rather than taking concrete action to stop the genocide - such as boycott of Israeli goods and services, or sanctions on the Israeli government - the New Zealand Government has refused to grant visas to Palestinians desperately trying to leave Gaza, made empty statements about a ceasefire and deployed troops to the Red Sea, where supporters of Palestine are stopping Israeli ships from passing while the genocide continues.
Valerie Morse, one of the participants, said: “From the New Zealand ANZAC Mounted Division’s massacre of Palestinian civilians in the village of Surafend in 1918 to the Red Sea deployment in 2024, Aotearoa New Zealand has a lot to answer for in Palestine. Our action today was about solidarity with Palestinians, and about calling our government to account - we must do everything we can to stop this genocide. This day should be about honouring the dead - whether soldiers or civilians - by putting a stop to war and genocide.”
Peace activists also drew attention to the NZ government's intention to join Pillar Two of the US-led nuclear military coalition AUKUS, with ministers meeting with Bonnie Jenkins, the US representative overseeing the alliance earlier this year. Jenkins’ public talk was interrupted by pro-Palestine and anti-war protesters. The deployment of NZ troops to the Red Sea as part of Operation Prosperity Guardian also signalled the government’s intention to draw closer military ties with the US.
“We are nuclear free because of the peace activists before us, let’s keep it that way - we support the Stop AUKUS campaign. We don’t want to be part of any US or Israeli imperial wars. Free Palestine!”

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