Give Peace A Chance; The Greens Are Right, NZ should stay away from IS

It is a sad day for New Zealand when someone standing up for peace and freedom is lambasted as sounding as if she had just dropped in from San Francisco circa 1967. The throwaway comment from one journalist was “doesn’t everyone?” Well, no!

The arms trade was worth at least $395 billion dollars in 2012 (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) with 86% of the trade coming from United States based companies. A similar amount is spent most years. Clearly some people and organizations do quite nicely out of armed conflicts and are no doubt very happy for them to continue ad infinitum. Continue reading

Give Peace a Chance

Our ANZAC commemorations quite clearly demonstrated yet again that in war there are no winners. Some just lose more than others. Therefore news that a recent study has found during the past century non-violent methods have been twice as successful as violence in overthrowing totalitarian governments, changing politics, and winning new freedoms for people is surely welcome.

That the Department of Peace and Conflict studies at Otago University is reputedly becoming one of the leading lights in this research, including what drives people to terrorism, is something New Zealanders can be proud of. It would be even better if our government was prepared to implement some of the findings. Continue reading

New Zealand must condemn attack on Gaza relief flotilla

The Israeli attack on the humanitarian flotilla carrying aid to Gaza deserves international condemnation.

Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says the New Zealand government must immediately denounce the attack in the strongest possible terms.

The attack took place in international waters when boats in the flotilla were boarded by Israeli naval commandos. At least 10 people are reported dead and another 30 injured.

Israel has refused to allow ships bearing humanitarian aid into Gaza waters since early 2009 despite condemnation from aid agencies and even the United Nations for doing so.

This has devastated the local economy and left Gazans without essential supplies including building materials to repair homes damaged in Israeli attacks.

The Alliance Party says that there is no excuse for Israel’s actions in either denying vessels carrying aid entry to Gaza waters or the outrageous attack on an unarmed flotilla.

Cluster Munitions Prohibitions Bill just the start

The Alliance Party is delighted that the Cluster Munitions Prohibitions Bill was passed unanimously last week, says co-leader Kay Murray.

“We are proud of the role New Zealand has played in the international campaign to ban this indiscriminate vicious weapon that remains a threat to civilian lives even years after conflicts have ceased.”

The Alliance fully supports the Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition’s call for the Government to ratify the International Convention on Cluster Munitions without delay so that the required 30 signatory countries are obtained and it becomes international law. Continue reading