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Letter to Helen Clark
17 September 2001
The Rt Hon Helen Clark
Dear Prime Minister,
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Aotearoa/New Zealand Section is very concerned about the possible escalation of violence as a result of the tragic terrorist attacks on the United States last week. The statements you and the Minister of Foreign Affairs were quoted in the Sunday Star Times, as saying, that we have to avoid killing other innocent people and that it creates more grievances are to be commended.
Unfortunately the statements you are quoted to have said in the New Zealand Herald today give us more cause for concern, especially if there is any thought of committing New Zealand forces to support retaliatory action.
We believe it is a time for restraint and for all the states of the United Nations to have the courage to find non-violent ways of breaking the escalating cycle of violence and to look more closely at the reasons why this violence is occurring. There is a huge amount of resentment around the world at the way the powerful countries, especially the United States, have exerted control by not only violent means such as bombing, and supporting violent regimes, but also their economic control, which is another form of violence, exerted on the many by the few.
Many of the people in the world who have been affected, and also many people living in countries which are the exerting power have been asking for a change in the way the globalised world works. It is time their voices were heard.
Joan Macdonald, President, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Aotearoa/ New Zealand Section