The Reverend Peter Jackson, of Ōtaki, who experienced the freedom struggle in his native South Africa, says he’s appalled by our Government’s reaction to the priotest in Wellington.
He says: “I write this as a passive observer of the protests at Parliament in Wellington.
There seems to be no concise unified approach by the protestors , and through it all , I have one question: where is the intelligence?
Sure there is a lot of emotion , and personally I am appalled at legislation that causes and inspires discrimination of any sort ,irrespective of the issues.
It is also understandable that such legislation engenders emotions of all stakeholders irrespective of one`s choice .But where is the intelligence?” Ārdern resign~? Then what ? What`s the plan? Who`s plan (if there is one)?
My experience of South Africa has shown that protestors invest their all in the struggle ,but seldom have a cohesive plan once the struggle is over.
‘Freedom from what?”
On SH1 I saw posters etc claiming “freedom fighters”,freedom from what? With freedom comes increased responsibility. What responsibility will be observed, and by whom?
I hear the emotion loud and clear ,but my question remains:”Where is the intelligence? I am not for one moment suggesting that the protestors are not intelligent persons, but to be sound it needs to be carefully worked out , and a full plan presented. I find this absent.
Govt’s childish response
On the other hand the response of the government has so far demonstrated childish punitive responses unbecoming of the leaders of a nation.
Skilled conflict resolution is marked by its absence and is disappointing to say the least.
‘Heads up to Seymour’
Heads up to Seymour, who shames the rest. Why the absence of negotiation and constructive dialogue? I doubt that the conflict will be resolved with a water pistol fight.
The damage caused by mandated discrimination will have far reaching consequences , and the damage caused will not be easily healed , or just go away.
Lives are being scarred though rejection and negative classification , which even reclassification will not cure.
What is happening to our nation? Surely at a time such as we are experiencing ,we should be standing together, not creating”`right~and “wrong ~people, the Afrikaans word being apartheid.
I have heard the argument that people do not choose their race. True, but how we as individuals respond to each other is our choice, and legislation is a poor excuse to validate self- justification.
In the grip of fear all persons are likely to unpredictable.
Is the media whipping up fear that is unreasonable ? Are we responding to fear of the virus that has now led us to fear each other and divide us?
At the initial outbreak of the virus the call was to stand together. That has become stand together or else ! Into the future what stigmas will remain? What is the Government`s solution ,if any?
Today , each day we are creating history. Looking back , what will historians say of us and the history we are creating? A wise man once said to me during the struggle in South Africa that those who do not build credibility in the current struggle will have no credibility in the new reality.
I believe that we are capable of more than we are achieving. Again I ask :Where is the intelligence?’
Rev Peter Laurence Jackson
Minister – ParishOtaki Waikanae Presbyterian Parish