New book has focus on Pacific activists against militarism, for climate justice

Peace Action cover detail
Peace Action ... a collection of stories about activists, their organising and their causes. Image: Left of the Equator

Pacific Media Watch newsdesk

A new Aotearoa New Zealand book focusing on activists and their causes against militarism and for social struggles and climate justice across the Asia-Pacific is being launched in Wellington today.

Peace Action: Struggles for a decolonised and demilitarised Oceania and East Asia, edited by Wellington-based activist Valerie Morse, is the first book published by Left of the Equator Press.

“This book highlights the role of militarism as an ongoing colonial force,” says Morse.

“It is a collection of stories about activists, their organising and their causes, and the interconnections between social struggles separated by the vast expanse of Te Moana-Nui-A-Kiwa.”

It includes chapters on the Doctrine of Discovery (Tina Ngata), on protecting Ihumātao (Pania Newton, Qiane Matata-Sipu mā), on anti-militarist organising in South Korea, on campaigning against US military training in Hawai’i and Japan, on French colonialism in Mā’ohi Nui and Kanaky, about Korean peace movements in Aotearoa and Australia, about Indonesia’s occupation of West Papua, on feminist resistance to war in so-called Australia, on NZ’s history of Chinese-Māori solidarity, and on peace gardening at Parihaka.

“The increasing military build up across the Pacific has come into sharp focus this year,” said Morse.

“Having any influence over issues of war and international affairs can feel impossible, but grassroots movements for decolonisation and peace are the heart of countering this spiralling militarism and addressing the region’s most pressing issues, including climate justice.”

She says she was inspired to do the book from learning about the kinds of organising across the Pacific rim.

“I wanted to share that learning in order to inspire and inform others.”

Peace Action tall
Peace Action … the new book. Image: Left of the Equator

The book launch was an “awesome way to celebrate solidarity and connection with each other” and to build a collective knowledge for change.

It is being hosted at Trades Hall on Vivian Street in Wellington at 5.30pm today.

Trade Unions based at the hall were deeply involved in the Nuclear-Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP) movement.

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