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Tina wants freedom - she wouldnt know what it means to lose it

A Christchurch woman has had the word “freedom” tattooed across her forehead to show her support for those protesting against the Covid-19 vaccination mandate. This is Tina and she thinks she knows what freedom is all about. Tina wouldn’t have the first clue. As Russia begins its invasion of Ukraine it’s important to understand just how detached these people at the Wellington protest are. The second photo is of the war memorial wall of photos of those in the current Ukraine conflict with Russia – yes that’s right; the invasion of Ukraine overnight is not the start of things, that began a few years again in the East and with annexation of the Crimea. Since then more than 15,000 people have been killed.

Today, the Ukranian people, more than 44 million in number, are having their freedoms taken from them. In doing so a lot of men, women and children will lose their lives. In 2020 there were more than 82.4 million people forcibly displaced according to the UNHCR, of that there are now more than 26 million refugees – many of them as a result of war and conflict. Across the Middle East, Africa and Central America tens of millions of human beings are on the move. Then there are the child traffic networks in Asia, the forced marriage of young girls in Africa and the devastation of the drugs trade. Globally it's estimated that there were around 166,000 direct deaths from drug use disorders in 2017.

World War II was the deadliest military conflict in history. An estimated total of 70–85 million people perished. The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I, was around 40 million. There were 20 million deaths and 21 million wounded. The total number of deaths includes 9.7 million military personnel and about 10 million civilians. Meanwhile here in New Zealand those protesting down in Wellington are oblivious and arrogant to the freedoms they say they are losing – they run the lines they are losing their jobs because they choose not to get vaccinated against a deadly pandemic. Oh the shame of it – imagine that a vaccination versus a bullet through the head from a foreign invader.

Then comes the push back when people like me make these points. Push back including worry about what happens in your back yard or on comment on my FB page “Who cares about Ukraine its nothing to do with us” – well actually it has everything to do with us. Of the line that “we are fighting for our children’s future” – well see the thing about pandemics as in war whole whakapapa lines can be broken and there is proof of that in the Pandemic that hit New Zealand in 1918/1919. But coming back to Tina, as well as all of those people down at the Parliamentary Paddock – you have no idea what loss of Freedom is and quite frankly you are arrogant. #endtheprotest and #gohome.

Author: Matthew Tukaki, Chair of the National Maori Authority


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