No longer the country I woke up in this morning

A whole new kind of evil has raised its ugly, violent head in Aotearoa New Zealand today.

The details are unclear, but one or more gunmen stormed two mosques in Christchurch and fired on worshippers. Many people — we don’t yet know how many — are dead or wounded. Security forces are defusing IEDs and the city is in lockdown.

I woke up today feeling angry that yesterday one of the leaders of the Green Party, James Shaw — a Cabinet Minister — was beaten up while walking to work in central Wellington. It wasn’t a random attack; he was deliberately targeted. Shit like that isn’t meant to happen in NZ where our politicians are routinely to be found hanging out like normal people and are generally incredibly accessible.

By lunchtime I was cheered by the energy of the climate change strike events — at which James Shaw, black eye and all — spoke passionately to huge applause.

Then it all came crashing down.

I suppose it was naive to think that these little islands at the bottom of the world could be immune to the insane hatred and violence blighting so many other countries. Our time had to come. And it has.

Tonight we are a nation in mourning. For the senseless loss of precious lives, and for our country’s loss of innocence today.

112 thoughts on “No longer the country I woke up in this morning

  1. I thought Christchurch could never shock me again after the earthquakes. I was wrong. I feel totally betrayed. And angry. And sad for this awful tragedy perpetrated against good, and godly, members of our city. And, as you say, this is not just our tragedy, it’s New Zealand’s.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m so angry and upset that Christchurch has once again suffered so much trauma. Not that I would wish this on any place, but you have suffered more than enough and I am so afraid for the health and well-being of you all. So much worse that it has been brought about by human evil. Kia Kaha.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. We have certainly lost our innocence. Too much emphasis was focused on the other on Islamic Terrorism and post 9/11 less focus on the extreme right. That will now change due to this horrendous act of terrorism. My heart goes out to all of those who were affected. As you previously wrote Su, Kia Kaha NZ

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  3. Unable to even think. We are on short hols, but ‚homestruck‘ as I‘m down with the worst lumbago possible and HH who keeps track of the world‘s happenings just told me. Thought immediately of you…. It makes for desperate souls worldwide and deep sadness. Praying for those people.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I woke up to this news across the globe from you, my friend, and felt that same sickness and immediately thought of you, the only person I know in NZ. I recognize that sense of shock, anger, bewilderment, heartbreak. Sadly I have experienced it too many times here in the US. But somehow I also thought NZ was immune from gun violence and hatred. It’s devastating to know otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Amy. I so appreciate your thoughts and words. We thought we were immune too. It has already raised questions about access to firearms, and I hope that some good may come from a closer look our laws and the illicit channels for guns. But mainly I hope that the anger and revulsion I’m seeing and experiencing can be channeled into positive support for all our communities.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. We woke up to the shocking news this morning – although I hadn’t heard about the IEDs. I too immediately thought of you and how deeply this was going to affect you and the entire country.

    Sadly, it appears the madness is spreading 😥 I have no words …

    Liked by 1 person

        • The existence of a manifesto (and the video) suggests that the terrorist wanted people to understand and support his views. This was ideological and ideologies need people to support them. To ignore that is to normalise it — something that’s already happened in many parts of the world. These people don’t care what people like me think — they’ve already written us off as “trendy lefties” or whatever. But I think they believe they represent some sort of silent majority, and if enough of those people (like the quite conservative kiwi blokes I know who are outraged right now) reject them, it helps to hold the centre. That’s what we stand up for.

          Liked by 1 person

          • There is no doubt that what these people believe and how the world works are totally different things. I agree we need to openly reject these views. Ii’s like you said though, they write off the views of those who don’t agree with them. Human beings are very good at ignoring information they don’t want to accept.

            Liked by 1 person

          • That’s true. We probably can’t stop radicals from the ends of any spectrum. The fight is for the middle ground and what is considered normal and acceptable.
            Nazism may have started as an extreme belief system, but the ideology became normalised and people who would have otherwise been revolted by it accepted and indeed embraced it.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. We here in Canada had our fair share of violence and disgusting display of hatred and bigotry. One has to guard against getting desensitized with the daily bombardment of bad news. I can see how shocking the news of so many innocent people murdered must have been. It is still early morning here and I have turned on the radio yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There are no words this morning to convey the horror and grief. We live in a small community is SW Ontario, and events like these feel far removed, but as you say, even the ‘sane’ pockets of the world are feeling the repercussions of hatred. Currently staying in southern U.S. where hate rhetoric is open and common. There are no ‘isolated’ occurrences – acts of terrorism such as this affects all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Very sad indeed! As one who lived through 911, I can sympathasize with how you are feeling. The world is a scary place these days. People have no morals or regard for human life, in my opinion. Life takes on a new “normal” and sadly, you learn to live with how these events continue to take place. I am praying for you and all of your fellow citizens. You are all in my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve just heard about the attack on the news, Su. I’m so, so sorry! 😯 I can only imagine how shocked you and everyone living in NZ must feel that this horror has now reached your part of the world too. Sending you lots of hugs and love! Kia kaha ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much my dear friend. I feel that we have joined a club no-one should have to belong to. I am heartened to see this morning on social media many messages of support for the victims, and our Muslim community, so I hope we will be galvanised to stand together against hatred. xxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. There is something so terribly wrong going on around the world. There’s a very 1930s sense of hatred and ugliness and it’s found its way to just about every continent. Whatever awfulness we inflict on third-world countries, we inflict the same horrors on ourselves.

    We need to rid the world of a lot of testosterone. Seriously. Too many men. Far too many men.


  11. Ugh, so many senseless acts of violence happening in our world. No place seems impervious to it these days. And the shock, pain, grief are just too much for words sometimes.. Condolences, peace & Love to you and the people of New Zealand. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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