Yesterday we saw the best, and the worst.

Thousands of young people came together to demand a brighter future, and a small group of far-right white nationalists carried out a cowardly act of terror at two Christchurch mosques.

Our hearts go out to the Muslim community, and to the people of Christchurch. We join all New Zealanders in grieving for those who were murdered and injured, and for their loved ones.

It’s a sad day for Aotearoa, and a sad day for people everywhere who harbour a love of all humankind living together on Earth in all our wonderful diversity.

It was a jarring contrast of hope and hate to have the dark events in Christchurch so closely follow the bright light of the school climate strike.

What should have been a day remembered for the peaceful calls of our striking rangatahi marching in the streets for climate justice, will now go down as one of the darkest in our country’s history.

To the young people who organised and participated in the School Strikes for Climate, you gave us hope on a dark day.

You stood for hope and for the future, united across cultures, across religions and united around the world.

Together we must keep that hope alive and stand for peace and cooperation.

As a nation we must grieve, but let’s also make sure that love and hope beats hate and ignorance.

In peace,

Russel Norman
Executive Director
Greenpeace Aotearoa New Zealand