I know it’s not the 13th but the 15th will have to do because today the sky fell in. I’ve been temporarily occupying a desk in one of Christchurch’s new glass towers and around early afternoon the street below was full of cop cars, all sirens and lights, dashing in different directions, a scene fit for the Keystone Cops. It took a while for the news to filter through, and soon after our building was locked down, no one in or out. All of this is just context.
Today at around 1.30pm, two mosques were attacked. At one, 41 men, women and children were killed, at the other 7, and one of the 48 wounded has now died in hospital. 4 people are in custody and one has been charged.
Right now instinct tells me to keep my head down, but to do nothing is in a sense to be complicit to this outrage, instead I’ll tell you that I’m shocked, deeply saddened and angry at the perpetrators. In the morning I’ll be looking into what I can do in a more concrete way for this sector of our community.
Walking across town through streets that are normally buzzing on a Friday evening, but now emptied out by the lock down, even the gulls seemed subdued.
But it gave me time to think about how I feel about the days events. I’m not just angry at the perpetrators, I’m angry too at that extremely minor, minority of outspoken neo-nazi, white supremacist, bootboy, skinhead scumbags, of which Christchurch seems to have more than its fair share, who are complicit because of their views and openly expressed hatred for anyone not like them. This is not the NZ I’m used to, it’s not our way, even for bigots, to express hatred with such an act of violence. As the PM said we have “no place here” for the perpetrators of this act of terrorism.
It’s been a dark day, and there will be more to follow as the details come out. I won’t like it, but I’m prepared to give up my ‘right’ to shoot pests and hunt for game if tougher gun laws can help prevent a repeat of this day, and I aim to support the victims in whatever ways are practical for me to do so.
Kia kaha, kia manawanui.
‘Be brave, be strong of heart’