Christchurch

On Friday I spent the day with people who love me very much, people I love. I laughed and hugged and ate cake and watched my great-nephew grow with every action he made. I sat in the evening with friends, celebrating life and friendship.

Meanwhile, a right-wing extremist was committing mass murder in Christchurch. He made sure that people would not be able to hug their loved ones, watch their children grow, sit with friends and share laughter with family. Because of how they choose to celebrate their faith.

Also on Friday tens of thousands of young people left their schools with hand made signs, and gathered around the world to make us understand that there is no Planet B.

These  young people are showing us the way, not just on climate change. They want a better world for all of us, no matter where we live, the God we believe in, or don’t believe in, the colour of our skin, the language we speak. A world that is safe and healthy for everybody.

We cannot allow this extreme hatred a place in our world.

34 thoughts on “Christchurch

    1. It is such a tragedy. However, the conversations here in Australia, where the perpetrator is from, give me a glimmer of hope that hate speech will be called out. Maybe….

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  1. As you know, Anne, I’m traveling in the South Island of NZ but I too was in the other coast, in Hokitika with other travellers and had no notion of the diaster until an email from overseas, hoping I wasn’t in that neighborhood…on a map it possibly looks close but a long range of mountains and 250km away…

    I’m safe, moving on tomorrow further north but still in the South Island…

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    1. It is good to know that you are safe, Catherine. It has been a traumatic event for you country….but how fortunate you are to have the leadership of Jacinda Ardern. I have been so impressed by her.

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      1. In case, some commenters didn’t realise I reside normally in Auckland, NZ….and just happened to be in the South Island at the time … As I have traveled since last week, many small memeriols with signs and flowers in places.

        The terrorist is in maximum security prison in Auckland where main similar offenders are mostly Maori, he will have a target on his back, for sure…the prison world has its own justice…( This according to some local Maori I’ve met )

        Suddenly, from world view eyes, I’m not living in a safe country…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I didn’t think this is going to lead to a free-for-all of ‘revenge’ incidents. Once again, I’m grateful that I have no children who will have to live with the long term fallout from the madness of our times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Kate. I don’t have children either, my own choice…it is enough to worry about the future for the next generation in my family, and all families. But maybe it will be that generation who is able to turn things around.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We were on the South Island last year about this time and our hotel in Christchurch was just across the street from the Park where the Al Noor Mosque is located. We walked through Hagley Park nearly every day we were there. We loved New Zealand and were so sad about all of this. We were also walking through Martin Place a few years ago, not knowing the Lindt Cafe siege was underway. It all seems quite surreal to us, living where we do in Alice, and yet we see our own brand of anger and violence here as well. It is quite unsettling. Thank you Anne.

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    1. These places still resonate with tragedy, don’t they? I can understand why faiths have cleansing rituals.
      I have been listening to the conversations after the massacre, and see a glimmer of hope that maybe our public conversations will be different. Thank you for caring, Ardys.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What happened in Christchurch was utterly appalling and completely senseless. Social Media needs to be regulated (facebook in particularly in undermining democracy, spreading fake information and allowing violence to be broadcast live). Print media (Murdoch’s press in particular) have peddled fear and hate to make sales and popularist politicians have also peddled fear and hate, sowing discord but no real solutions. Look at the mess Brexit has made of the UK .

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    1. Social media certainly needs to take responsibility for what is posted. If they can remove photos of breast feeding mothers then surely they can stop live streaming of murder. i wonder if changes will really be made, or will Facebook, amongst others just go their merry, profit making way? You are right to mention print media too. Here, the most popular morning programme regularly has a commentator from a small, right-wing party. There are growing calls for her not to be given such a wide platform for her ideas.

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      1. I absolutely agree – the tech giants are undermining our democracy and governments need to legislate against them. The EU are attempting to do this. Studies have shown that when extreme views are aired on national media it encourages its spread. Many, many years ago I was in the audience for a “Question Time” TV programme for BBC Wales. I was sheduled to ask a question (it was about the Iraq War, it was that long ago) but before my question came up a member of a small racist party asked a question about immigrants in Wales (along the lines of what was the point of them). I was so outraged that I heckled him and a lot of the audienced joined in with me. The wierd thing is that before the programme started had I looked at this overweight guy in a bad suit covered in badges, and thought “he’s a bit of a loser”. How right I was. Yet the BBC aired his view in the name of “balance”.

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  5. Problem is there are too many psycho’s running free and no one know what they’ll do and when, it is a world problem. I live in Belgium and we had our fair share of people getting killed by bombs (at our biggest airport), gunfire or knife attacks, one time a young man killed nurses and several babies in a day care center, babies !!!! His parents begged to have their son taken into special care before it happened but our laws only do that once they commited a serious crime.

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    1. That is heart- breaking. It didn’t make it onto the news here. Are we so overwhelmed by tragic news that the murder of babies doesn’t rate? We are hurting in so many ways.

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      1. I live in Belgium, it is a tiny country with 12 million people, it seems we are a paradise for criminels. At the moment we have a war on drugs in Antwerp, the Albanian maffia is trying to take over from the Moroccan maffia and every night cars explode in the streets….

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  6. I hate to think that some of the ugliness in my country may be fueling flames in other countries, too. I grieve for Christchurch and all the other victims of white supremacy.

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    1. Unfortunately this ugliness is very common. We have our own politicians that have been normalising anti-migrant sentiment for years. Look at our refugee ‘policy’ of detention in off-shore camps. We look to our leaders to make a stand. Jacinda Ardern is showing how it can be done, with resolve, compassion and inclusion. Can we clone her?!

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  7. Totally unbelievable why people are intent on committing these atrocities – like the above comment and from what I hear on TV I do think this was a social media led crime – it seems to fuel people along knowing others can watch their actions live as if we were watching some action film…but the victims in this will not get up afterwards and walk away.
    I do believe though that out of bad situations comes good – there is always a chink of light in the darkness and we have to hold on to that.

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    1. I think there are two streams of influence. One is social media and the notoriety that comes with that (that’s why I refuse to write/speak his name). The other is the normalisation of bigotry that we have seen over the years, especially from our leaders.
      You are so right about that chink of light. there have been so many touching moments of solidarity over the last few days. Like the man in Britain who stood outside his local mosque with a sign that said something like “I am your friend. I will stand watch while you pray”. The good is there.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Another senseless incident, involving innocents. I can only hope that the young people protesting about climate change and the stupidity of world leaders have the opportunity to take the world in a better direction. Sadly, as far as climate change goes, I fear it is too late and there will be more unrest and violence as a result. If people worry about migrants and those they perceive as “others” now, just imagine what climate change will do to the movement of people around the world.

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    1. As resources become more scarce we will see more extreme behaviours. The students’ strikes seemed to be very well attended, but their message got swamped by the massacre in NZ. I imagine that Brexit is sucking up all the oxygen in the UK too. Where is the leadership, both locally and on in the world?

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      1. Yes, Brexit is continuing to was time, energy and resources here in the UK… I am so frustrate that at a time when we should all be coming together to address the environmental issues in the world there are still people who want to cause division. I can only hope the voices of the young come to the fore… I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that all our elected representatives should be under 40 because at least then they would be more focused on the future.

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        1. Under 40 and 50% female! Yes, here in Australia we have wasted 10 years bickering about a climate policy. It has caused the removal of at least 2 Prime Ministers, and still no decent policy.

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  9. Beautifully said. I am so sad about the Christchurch shootings and the debate on climate change… really we should be making the best choices for Mother Earth regardless of our beliefs around climate change. I cannot, will not hate, will fight the hopelessness I sometimes feel encroaching by being the best person and living the best life I can. Hate and blaming is dark energy and what the world needs is light, hope, kindness… positivity our best will prevail.

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    1. Very wise words, Dale, and especially wise because they are so true. Thank you. I think that we need to look at the good that is coming out of this, and there have been heart warming moments. As Mr. Rogers said “Wherever there is a tragedy, look for the people doing good things”.

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  10. Such a wonderful reminder to us all of how we can’t take anything for granted. Each time a tragedy like this happens I am shocked, angry, sad, bewildered, and many more emotions going with them. The good thing is it has shown what a strong PM can do for bringing together not just a country, but a world too.

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    1. Hasn’t Jacinda Ardern shown us what leadership can do? I am sure that if she had not been so compassionate and inclusive right from the start the response in NZ would have been different. Decency and inclusion was given the right to shine.

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