Auckland students march against inter-school violence and racism

By Jessica Tyson

Auckland students have stood up against inter-school violence during a march yesterday in Ōtāhuhu.

The hikoi came after news of a stabbing incident reported between Tāmaki College in Glen Innes and De La Salle College in Māngere East on June 12.

Manukau East youth MP Shaneel Lal says the “protest has been a long time in the making”.

“The gathered yesterday to show solidarity between schools, to show unity between schools, to stand up and say we do not want any more violence. We know that everyone deserves to have a safe school.”

Auckland Student March/ Source: Josh Talakai

But Lal says the protest wasn’t limited to interschool violence.

“It’s addressing a bigger issue of racism. It’s challenging white people.”

He says the issue of racism is rooted back to colonisation.

“With the loss of land, with the loss of culture, with the traumatisation of Pacific people and Māori in New Zealand. So we’ve stripped away their resources and we’ve said do what you want with your time and these young people do not have the resources to deal with the trauma, these young people do not have the opportunities to engage when they have free time.”

Shaneel Lal talks about the march on Tapatahi / Source: Credit

Student march organiser Theresa Viane says the hikoi was to show that young people’s voices can be their most powerful tool to use in standing up for what they believe in.

“It represents a sense of purpose for our students to know that what we’re fighting for is for the benefit of all students past, present and future.”

Student march supporter Toma Laumalili says the march set a platform for current generations future generations to invoke peace rather than violence.

“This act against school violence not only serves as a symbol, but as a new beginning emphasising peace and unity. As one Auckland family, we are never above or below one another but we shall march beside each other into the new and bright tomorrow,” says the 18-year-old.

Auckland Student March/ Source: Josh Talakai

This hikoi was organised in partnership with local council and the police.