The French Embassy will be targeted for its ongoing role in the nuclear poisoning of the Pacific by activists and artists following a day of kōrero and art-making at the Newtown Community Centre starting at 1pm on Saturday, 7th August.
“As we commemorate the horror of the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, it is important to acknowledge that the impact of nuclear weapons and the ongoing effects of militarism and colonial oppression in Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa have not stopped. Neither has the resistance by Pacific peoples,” says Peace Action member Valerie Morse.
Speakers at the event will include scholar and writer Dr. Emalani Case whose book Everything Ancient Was Once New: Indigenous Persistence from Hawaiʻi to Kahiki was published by UH Press in 2021. Emalani is active in the movement to demilitarise Hawai’i and stop RIMPAC, the biennial war games held in Hawai’i, as well as standing up for a free and independent Pacific
Indigenous Pacific Uprising (IPU) members Sina Brown-Davis and Tāwhana Chadwick will speak about the situation in Tahiti. IPU works to connect, amplify and uplift resistance and alternatives to colonial oppression in the Pacific.
The free event will also involve making activist art together including a banner expressing solidarity with the Ma’ohi Nui people and the recent day of action in Tahiti when thousands took to the streets under the slogan: Mai te Paura Ātōmī i te Tiāmara’a / From Bomb contamination to self determination.
The Ma’ohi Nui people were contaminated by French nuclear testing in 1974 and are still demanding reparations more than 40 years later.
Sina Brown Davis says, “the IPU stands with our Te Ao Maohi cousins and their fight for self-determination. Tahitian independence would have ensured that France would not have poisoned lands, waters and peoples with their nuclear testing. There can be no Pacific liberation without self determination. We must decolonise now.”
“We are continuing our commitment to ethical remembering and active opposition of structures which colonise, extract, displace, and destroy for profit, “ says Ms Morse. “While as a nation we have been firm in our rejection of nuclear arms in our waters, we must look further ashore and listen to the voices of self-determination in the Pacific and reject militarism.”
The event will end at the French Embassy.