Photograph: Aleksandr Gusev/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock
Kiwis, we need to stand strongly against war. It's a matter of justice. Humanity has progressed through many philosophies of justice throughout the millennia, from Bentham's Utilitarianism (the greatest good for the greatest number), to the moralism of Kant, to John Rawl's widely-adopted theory of Universal Human Rights.
Rawls proposes that we should apply a 'veil of ignorance' when considering human rights. In other words, imagine if you could be born as any child, anywhere in the world: what are the minimum rights that you would want to have a happy life. Fresh water, warm housing, enough food, freedom from abuse and, perhaps most importantly, no war.
Anyone who has gone through major disasters: earthquakes, terrorism, fires, mine collapses... will instantly empathise with
a people who are threatened with war, because - like a major disaster - it is a situation that damages the rights of our individuality.
However, war is voluntary. Disasters are not. So should't we take any opportunity to avoid inflicting misery on people when we have that choice?
No matter what the politics are, the use of military force is extreme and terrifying. From our peaceful little enclave in the South it's hard to comprehend the helplessness people facing war must be feeling right now. We take a stand for peace simply because as Kiwis we don't want to live in a world wracked with war. And remember to be kind to everyone - members of our Russian communities in New Zealand are not responsible for the actions of their State.