If you are here on our page to learn about climate justice and what we can do in Aotearoa, in this moment we can call for a free Palestine.
Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua
‘I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past’
Parihaka in 1881 was witness to a stand of peaceful resistance by Tohu, Te Whiti and their followers against a colonial invasion where Pākehā troops entered, separated families, burned homes, trampled māra kai (gardens) and then settled down for a long occupation that has never ended.
We look back to remember the Pāhua (invasion) of Parihaka, and the collective Māori resistance to settler invasion that sent ripples of strength to liberation movements across history. We can clearly see the patterns of oppression that displaced, divided and attempted to erase indigenous existence in Aotearoa and which still have impacts on Māori communities today. We also look back at colonial struggles around the world and the interconnectedness of their struggles.
We will not be free until we are all free.
It is with immense grief and horror that we are bearing witness to the genocide that the Israeli government is enacting on Palestinian people with heightened violent tactics of oppression. The Israeli government is dehumanising Palestinians, stealing their land, targeting civilian homes, and destroying food sources, hospitals, and schools. The government has killed many Palestinian children, and the numerous international war crimes that have erased whole bloodlines is considered a “genocide with intent”.
With wide and broken hearts we grieve with the Palestinian people, and we demand an end to this violence. These patterns of oppression have continued to inflict harm throughout history and are embedded in our systems. We must unite and use our collective power to continue calling upon Christopher Luxon for a real ceasefire, an end to the Israeli occupation and for unlimited humanitarian access to Gaza. We also call for an end to the increasing Israeli settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, and the rise in islamophobia and anti-semitism across the world. We must recognise the humanity that unites us.
This is not a religious war, it is oppression by a colonising force.
Our governments and corporations are invested in supporting racist and violent systems of settler colonialism and capitalism that uphold profit over people to the most extreme ends. The systems of oppression are inherently linked to the systems of resource control and exploitation. We stand to recognise the connection of fossil fuels, pollution, and environmental degradation to the dehumanisation of Indigenous peoples in Palestine and around the world.
On the anniversary of Te Tau O Te Pāhuatanga at Parihaka, Generation Zero joined other climate justice activists in Taranaki to protest fossil fuel extraction and exploration, the pollution of big dairy industry and to call for the return of land to indigenous peoples. Days before this action, the Israeli government had signed contracts with big oil and gas companies to explore oil reserves on the Mediterranean coast of Gaza, in the middle of an escalating genocide.
Colonial exploitation is hand in hand with indigenous death.
If you are here on our page to learn about climate justice and what we can do in Aotearoa, in this moment we can call for a free Palestine. We can open our hearts and choose not to look away or remain silent. We must all recognise the patterns of colonial harm that keep repeating and repeating, but that governments try so hard to hide. Let your grief, sadness and anger fuel your engagement in the grassroots movements that are reimagining and building a better, fairer, greener world.
1. Tétrault-Farber, G., & Farge, E. (2023, November 3). UN experts say ceasefire needed as Palestinians at "grave risk of genocide." Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/un-experts-say-ceasefire-needed-palestinians-grave-risk-genocide-2023-11-02/
2. Israeli forces kill three Palestinians as West Bank violence soars. (n.d.). Al Jazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/11/2/israeli-forces-kill-three-palestinians-as-west-bank-violence-soars
3. Rabinovitch, A., & Scheer, S. (2023, October 30). Israel awards gas exploration licences to Eni, BP and four others. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/israel-awards-gas-exploration-licences-eni-bp-four-others-2023-10-29/