Human Rights group runs Exhibition to raise awareness

Concerned citizens logo

Concerned citizens presents

Concerned Citizens and Active Stills Presents

UNRECOGNISED

Photographic Exhibition to Raise Awareness About Upcoming UN Decision on Palestinian
Statehood

Opening Date: Friday 19th August, 2011

Concerned Citizens is a diverse community of more than 60 artists and musicians from
around New Zealand that unite regularly to put on public events exhibitions and
concerts. These events provide an eclectic showcase of local and international art,
music, film, and seminars, while raising funds and awareness in support of a range
of positive social and political causes. Our primary focus is to generate discourse
about issues of social justice and causes we feel are not getting the attention they
deserve.

In September, every country in the UN General Assembly (including New Zealand) will
make a decision about whether or not they recognize Palestine as a state. In the
case of New Zealand, Foreign Minister Murray McCully will make this decision on our
behalf. Despite international opinion being overwhelmingly in favour of recognising
Palestinian statehood, Mr McCully’s track record suggests that his decision may be
influenced more by NZ-US trade relations than upholding basic human rights.

Since there is likely to be very little media coverage of this issue until after the
decision is made, we would like to bring it to the attention of the New Zealand
public. A sufficiently widespread expression of public opinion is likely to be
effective in swaying McCully’s decision in favour of humanitarian concern.

To achieve this goal, we are currently organising a series of large collaborative
photography exhibitions in cities around the country, opening in Wellington on
Friday August 19th.

The central exhibit in each city will be a collection of works provided by Active
Stills, a collective of Israeli and Palestinian photographers using photography as a
creative means of non-violent resistance to the illegal Israeli occupation of
Palestine.

To support the central exhibit and extend the exhibition to the broader community,
we’re inviting professional and amateur photographers in each city to contribute
work. We’re expecting the content to be diverse, involving both political and
non-political photography.

The event will be combined with film screenings, public seminars and live music,
coordinated through the Concerned Citizens website (www.concernedcitizens.co.nz).
Like previous Concerned Citizens activities, these exhibitions will be
community-oriented events that showcase local talent while raising awareness about
an important social issue.

Supporting Event
Saturday 13 August at 3:00pm – 14 August at 01:00
Location: Above People’s Coffee, Garrett St

Concerned Citizens, in association with Vic Students for Palestine, are putting on another gig at Garrett St, this time to raise funds for nationwide photography exhibitions to raise awareness about New Zealand’s role in the upcoming UN decision on the recognition/non-recognition of Palestine as a state.
This will be another early-starting, super-diverse, mega-goodtime party with ELEVEN excellent bands!
Seth Frightening, Numbskull,… Cosby Pills and Hash, Uncle Thundermaker, Big Rik, The Shadow Blasters, Tommy and the Fallen Horses, Albert Williams, The All-Seeing Hand, Nervous System, Mongo Skato

Early start! Bands at 3pm

The gig will be helping to fund a nationwide series of photography exhibitions in August!

Update
The Exhibition opened fine, and the clever crew at Concerned Citizens even filmed some of the opening. The auction continues until the end of the 1st of September, online at Unrecognised

Palestine: the world’s next nation

In four days the UN Security Council will meet, and the world has an opportunity to embrace a new proposal that could turn the tide on decades of failed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks: UN recognition of the state of Palestine.

Over 120 nations from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America have already endorsed this initiative, but Israel’s right-wing government and the US vehemently oppose it. Europe is still undecided, but a massive public push now could tip key countries to vote for this momentous opportunity to end the occupation.

US-led peace initiatives have failed for decades, while Israel has confined the
Palestinian people, confiscated their lands and blocked Palestine from becoming a
sovereign political entity. Let’s build a massive global call for key World leaders to endorse this statehood bid now, and make clear that citizens across the world support this legitimate, non-violent, diplomatic proposal.

Sign the petition and send this to everyone: to sign the global call for a Palestinian state at Aavaz click here.

There is also a Palestinian Solidarity Fortnight of events on Victoria University of Wellington Kelburn Campus:

Palestine Solidarity 27th July – 13th August

THURSDAY 28th:
Screening: OCCUPATION 101. A documentary film depicting life in Occupied Palestine under Israeli military rule which dispels many of the long-perceived myths and misconceptions surrounding the Occupation.
http://www.occupation101.com/

5:00pm, SU218, Student Union Building, VUW Kelburn Campus

FRIDAY 29th:
Student Rep Council, with guest speaker JOHN MINTO (Global Peace and Justice Auckland):
motion to affiliate with Birzeit University’s Right to Education campaign as a public show of solidarity and support to all Palestinian students and teachers struggling to live, work and study under Israeli occupation.
(http://right2edu.birzeit.e​du/)
We need 50 people present for quorum so come along and invite invite invite!

2:00-3:00pm, Memorial Theatre Foyer, Student Union Building, VUW Kelburn Campus.

(Separate FB event here: http://www.facebook.com/ev​ent.php?eid=23104275358574​6)

WEDNESDAY 3rd:
Speaker Panel with Dr Nigel Parsons, Senior Lecturer, Massey University
‘Occupation and Resistance’; Spokesperson from Kia Ora Gaza on the latest attempt to break the siege on Gaza; Testimonies from the Occupied Territories.

6:00-8:00pm, Memorial Theatre Foyer, Student Union Building, VUW Kelburn Campus.

SATURDAY 13th:
Palestine Solidarity Gig, featuring a variety of local music and poetry acts including Tommy and the Fallen Horses and the Shadow Blasters.
Hosted in conjunction with Concerned Citizens collective.

13 Garrett St, Te Aro.

Link to Facebook event.

Wild donkeys

Donkeys dyed to look like zebras

Donkeys dyed to look like zebras

Marah Land Zoo in Gaza City can’t afford a zebra. It’s all because of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip. Apparently it would cost $40,000 to smuggle a zebra in through the tunnels under the Egyptian border.

So the zoo dyed black stripes on two white donkeys to make them look (a bit) like zebras. The Arabic word for donkey is حمار, while zebra is حمار وحشي (i.e. “wild donkey”). So I suppose it is not a complete fraud.

I do have some concerns about the animal welfare implications of dyeing a donkey though. Actually, I have some animal welfare concerns about having a zoo at all in a location that is effectively a war zone subject to frequent Israeli air strikes.

All very sad.

At least the Palestinian children, most of whom live in abject poverty because of the Israeli blockade, got a rare treat from it I suppose.

Photo: Reuters/Mohammed Salem

Protest against the Israeli bombardment of Gaza

In response to the actions of the Israeli Defense Forces in bombarding the Gaza strip, there was a protest this afternoon which gathered outside MFAT in Lambton Quay at midday.
A letter was presented to a representative of the Ministry, to be given to Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully, demanding that NZ expressed a position on the actions of the Israeli Government.

Presenting WPG's letter to MFAT officials.

Presenting WPG's letter to MFAT officials.


[full text of the letter can be read here WPG’s blog ]
After presenting the letter, the assembled protesters marched along Lambton Quay, Willis Street and Mercer St to Civic Square, converging on the plaque in Harris St adjacent to the Public Library commemorating Yitzhak Rabin, former Prime Minister of Israel.
Lead banner of protest

Lead banner of protest


There Don Carson spoke about the effects of separatist policy on the Palestinian peoples in Israel, and red paint was symbolically sprinkled on the memorial in lieu of blood.
Rabin memorial being daubed with red paint.

Rabin memorial being daubed with red paint.


Approximately 500 people attended this march.
Speakers included members of the Wellington Palestine Group, Green MP Keith Locke, and entertainer Te Kupu, aka Dean Hapeta, one half of the Upper Hutt Posse.

Update
The Herald notes that Hon Mr McCully has developed a position here.
And here’s Guy Body’s contribution to the discussion.