Peace Activist Challenges Kiwis to Think of a World BEYOND War

By New Zealand for a World BEYOND War, February 7, 2024

World BEYOND War Treasurer John Reuwer, who is normally based in the United States, has embarked on a four-week tour of New Zealand to lead discussions on the utility of war versus its alternatives for achieving peace and security. He has been invited by World BEYOND War Vice President, New Zealand-based Liz Remmerswaal, and her extensive network of Quakers, peace scholars, and activists.

Dr. Reuwer is a retired emergency doctor and a veteran of Unarmed Civilian Protection teams in Palestine/Israel, Ukraine, South Sudan, Haiti, Colombia, and Central America, as well as U.S. cities. Drawing on his experience with conflict resolution, nonviolent communication, and nonviolent action, Reuwer will share WBW’s vision for alternative security. His goal is to learn what in the New Zealand record of peacemaking (such as New Zealand’s declaration of a nuclear-free zone) complements WBW’s vision, and how we can best focus our work for the abolition of war.

Dr. Reuwer serves on the board of directors of World BEYOND War and that of the Committee to Abolish Nuclear Weapons of Physicians for Social Responsibility. He is accompanied on this tour by his wife Laurie Gagne, an emeritus professor of Peace Studies. The tour is supported by the Religious Society of Friends of Aotearoa and by World BEYOND War Aotearoa.

John and Liz at Waitangi Treaty Day, celebrating the nation’s founding document that stands as a better-than average model for how colonizers and first peoples can live together.

In Auckland, John meets with Will Watson, director of Soldiers Without Guns, the story of how members of the New Zealand Defense Force traded their guns for guitars to accomplish one of the most successful peacekeeping operations in history. Will here proudly displays his 2022 WBW War Abolisher of the Year award.

With Quaker Friends in Paihia, helping create a culture of peace by practicing nonviolent communication.

The schedule of events for the month is as follows:

Auckland
8th Thurs 6pm Kinder House, 2 Ayr Street, Parnell.
NZIIA meeting on The Insanity of Modern Warfare
Contact Gary Russell kinder_house@xtra.co.nz

Hamilton
11th Sun 3pm Talk on early Pennsylvania “The Holy Experiment”
Student Union Building SUB G.20
Contact Gray Southon gray@southon.net

11th Sun 5pm – 6:30 University Chapel “ Empathy: Power for Healing”
PDF Flyer with details.
Contact Gray Southon gray@southon.net

New Plymouth
17th 6.30-8.30 St Mary’s Peace Lounge, 44 Vivian Street
“Is Peace Possible?”
Contact Rob Green rob.green@xtra.co.nz

Whanganui
20th 5.30 – Quaker settlement shared meal evening talk “Is Peace Possible?”
76 Virginia Rd. Whanganui 4500
Marion Sanson marionbsanson@gmail.com

Wellington
21st Wed 5.30-7pm St Andrews on the Terrace “Is Peace Possible?”
Panel: Maty Nikkhou-O’Brien – Diplosphere
Mike Smith – Fabian Society
Karim Dickie – United Nations Association of New Zealand

Nelson
24th Sat. 7pm Public talk, “A World BEYOND War: Is it Possible?”
Victory Community Centre, 2 Totara Street, Nelson South
A light supper will finish off the evening.
Contact John MICHAELIS john@michaelis.net

Christchurch
28th Wed 7 – 8.30pm Public Talk “A World Beyond War: Is it Possible?”
Aldersgate Centre, 309 Durham Street North, Christchurch Central City
Cup of tea + cake for all.
Contact Deborah Williams debwnz@gmail.com

Dunedin
29th Thur. 5.15pm University of Otago presentation; Details TBA
Contact Professor Richard Jackson: richard.jackson@otago.ac.nz

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