Christchurch-based political organisation the Canterbury Socialist Society will be hosting a public lecture on the eve of ANZAC day to acknowledge and commemorate the efforts of workers who actively resisted the First World War both at home and abroad.
The purpose of the event, says acting chair of the society Tom Roud, is to present another side of the history of the First World War, one that is often left out of official histories and dominated by ANZAC day commemorations and discussions here in New Zealand.
“The history of the First World War can’t be told accurately without a history of those who resisted conscription, refused to fight, fraternised on the front lines, and lead industrial actions to agitate for an end to the war. We aim to celebrate this history both in New Zealand and internationally,” says Mr. Roud.
Speaking at the event scheduled for next Tuesday is Wellington-based historian Dan Bartlett, whose research on the role of the Workers’ Movement in Canterbury during the First World War has been published as a part of Voices Against War, an online research repository co-ordinated by Disarmament and Security Centre in Christchurch.
“The mainstream commemorations and representations of Aotearoa New Zealand and the First World War have been at best conservative, and at worst jingoistic,” says Mr. Bartlett. “Christchurch was a hotbed of socialism in the early part of the 20th century, and I hope to provide an alternative historical narrative of the city leading up to and during the First World War, one that highlights the response of socialists and others to militarism and conscription.”
The Canterbury Socialist Society would like to welcome any and all interested in attending this event to join us for an evening of discussion over a tea, coffee, or beer as we mark ANZAC Day by drawing attention to a proud tradition of resistance and opposition to war, says Mr. Roud.
WHAT: Public Lecture on Peace activists and ANZAC Day
WHEN: Tuesday 24th