November 03, 2023
Gaza not Guy Fawkes says Parihaka elder
While the fireworks are already going off to mark a failed insurrection in Britain 400 years ago, many in Aotearoa plan to mark Sunday not as Guy Fawkes but as Parihaka day.
November 5, 1881 was the day 1600 colonial troops invaded the west Taranaki kainga to end the non-violent resistance to land confiscation led by prophets Te Whiti-o-Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi.
Spokesperson Tonga Karena says Parihaka had been a place where Maori sought refuges from the settler government’s scorched earth policy over much of Taranaki, which today’s elders see echoes of in Israel’s disproportionate use of violence against the people of Gaza.
“People are slow off the bat to condemn it and then trying to take sides when there is a disproportionate amount of violence happening and I think our prophets were clearly focused on the Crown’s activities when they came along and destroyed our villages and forced out people into a state of landlessness,” Mr Karena says.
The Parihaka legacy of peace will be celebrated around the country with events in Dunedin, Christchurch and Wellington.