A campaign to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid regime reaches Napier this evening with a meeting led by activist John Minto at McLean Park’s Pettigrew Lounge.
Timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Springbok rugby tour, the talk will feature speakers including kaumatua Toro Waaka (Ngaa Tamatoa) and Jamie Wall, author of ‘100 years of War – Sprinboks All Black.’
Minto was a leading figure in anti-apartheid protests that led to the end of South African apartheid in the 1990s. A former Napier Boy’s High student, he was brought up “over the road from the park”, Minto is touring the 16 cities who hosted games. The original tour sparked often violent protests involving rugby supporters and those against games with South Africa’s racially selected teams.
Minto will talk about evidence used by two reports released this year by respected Israeli human rights watch group B’Tselem (House of Peace) and the international Human Rights Watch (HRW).
“The issue of freedom to play rugby over freedom of powerless others to be equals in their own country is no different to the plight of Palestinians today,” says Minto.
“Then we had a direct connection because of mutual sport, but Palestinians have asked freedom-loving people worldwide to help them against an all-powerful state. The Palestinian Solidarity Network Aotearoa-NZ that I head has taken up that cause.”
Both the Fourth Geneva Convention and International Criminal Court rulings have declared systemic separate development or apartheid a crime because it prevents equal access to goods and services – and keeps minorities as second-class citizens.
The 213-page HRW report refers to the 65 laws discriminating against minorities within Israel-Palestine and evidences the effect of systematic exclusion of Palestinians under the long-standing occupation.
The National government was co-sponsor and signatory to the 14-0 vote 2016 Security Council Resolution 2334 demanding an end to the occupation and ongoing colonisation of Palestine. Israel has been in continuous defiance of more than UN rulings since 1948 – and international law since its occupation in 1967.
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40 Year Anniversary of the 1981 Sprinbok Tour/Anti-Apartheid Struggle
Monday 11 October 2021
7.00pm, Pettigrew Lounge
McLean Park (Latham St entrance)