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World March Around the World: Hightlights..

The World March Team arrives in New York City on Monday, November 30, 30 countries, 5 continents and 60 days after setting out from New Zealand. Now’s it’s your turn. Come! Bring friends! Let’s show them what New Yorkers can do!

Brooklyn Bridge
1 PM: Gather at Borough Hall in Brooklyn with World March supporters from 100 participating countries. Together, we’ll escort the World March team over the bridge to City Hall and bring the universal call for peace and nonviolence to New York City.

City Hall
3 PM: Join the World March team on the steps of City Hall. We’ll talk to the press about the march’s goals and achievements and receive a proclamation from the New York City Council.

Riverside Church
7 PM: Celebrate the arrival of the World March team in the US and the global movement to achieve peace and nonviolence with “Beyond Violence,” an uplifting evening of presentations and cultural performances as diverse as New York City itself.
-For the full Flyer of the World March - New York November 30th 2009 Program>

Source and photographes: Pressenza New Agency

The World March group in Korea
Image by: Micky Hirsch
Yongsan, demonstrators surrounded by local police

During a demonstration over the deaths of five people, following a clash with the police, over which the shadow of property speculation looms, marchers intervened in support of the relatives of the victims, who had been surrounded by police. The solidarity the group showed towards them and the words of a Zen monk to the police resolved the situation.

[Pressenza - Yongsan, 2009-10-23] The World March group in Korea is continuing with its agenda. Between the lines of the blogs, the distant, centuries-old culture of the country comes through, along with the Peace that reigns in the Buddhist temple where they are staying, but also the enormous contradictions and violence that have marked recent decades in the history of the country.

After a visit to the Demilitarized Zone, some marchers went on to Yongsan to take part in a protest demonstration over the deaths of five people in a clash with the police, during an operation to clear the area in which the brutality of property speculation may have played a part.

During a gathering of dance and meditation in the park of City Hall, the police formed a human barrier surrounding three Korean citizens, on the pretext of the theft of a mobile phone. Those involved were some of the relatives of the victims. The decision to intervene was not taken lightly – conflicts with local authorities are absolutely to be avoided – but without further ado the female members of the group, writes Luis Silva on the March blog, got through the police cordon to embrace the surrounded demonstrators. The other marchers followed them. More police officers arrived and the tension was palpable.

Fortunately, probably due also to the intervention of a Zen monk who spoke to one of those in charge, the order to withdraw was given. Amid the thanks and the relief, all present said they were convinced that the outcome would have been different were it not for the intervention of the marchers.

A small victory perhaps, but certainly one of the many elements that together make up the mosaic of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence.

"Peacemakers" Program provides training to volunteers and professionals

by Daniela Silva

The project is the result of a partnership among several internationally known organizations working in Brazil, including institutions such as the International University for Peace (UNIPAZ), Afro Reggae, and UNESCO, among others. The program aims to train people who are engaged in areas such as education for peace, citizenship campaigns, conflict mediation, and human rights.

[Pressenza, Rio de Janeiro, 2009-10-20] The "Peacemakers" Program was created with the aim of providing training to those interested in social, educational and environmental projects for the engagement in and promotion of a culture of peace. During the workshops, developed by partnered organizations, a varied array of themes are developed towards the cultivation of a Culture of Peace.

The methodology consists of teaching the next generations through "agents" of peace and a Peace Kit (available on the program website) that includes developments on ways to live in peace, inner peace, and in peace with society and nature, as well as cultivating a culture of nonviolence in daily life, whether on the streets of our cities or at home.

This material was produced for all people to foment participation in a peace building process. It is an interactive initiative with the objective of sharing knowledge and promoting a new concept of pacifism in the world.

In order to learn more about the project and how to become a Peace agent please refer to the website link: (Translation provided by Miren Maialen Samper)

World March encounter at the mouth of the Bosphorus:
East meets West: two branches of the World March meet at the Bosphorus Bridge
by Tony Robinson - Image by: Tony Robinson

Today in Istanbul, the fifth largest city in the World and the only city to span two continents, an encounter full of meaning took place at the Bosphorus Bridge: the point where Asia meets Europe. In the Historic city and centre of Turkish culture, the World March for Peace and Nonviolence Middle East Team met the South East Europe team to hand over the metaphorical baton.

[Pressenza, Istanbul, 2009-10-27] During a journey of 24 days the Middle East Team passed through; Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Syria culminating in a 10 day tour of Turkey. During the tour the team heard about the conflicts across the entire region and promoted the establishment of a culture of peace through a path of nonviolence. Meetings with pacifist, environmentalist, and religious groups, together with various politicians of various levels convinced the team that; “the roots of violence are the same everywhere. People are suffering the same, regardless of the labels people have like their religion; underneath we are dealing with human beings who suffer the same. In speaking with people in these parts it was important to discuss the roots of the violence which are to be found in fear: the fear of loneliness, of insecurity, of illness, of death. This causes people to behave in violent ways. If you can resolve these problems, faith in the future grows and violence recedes,” in the words of Eduardo Gozalo, member of the Middle East Team and driving force behind the events in Turkey.

When asked to comment on the situation in Turkey with ongoing tensions between the Turkish and Kurdish communities, Gozalo said, “There is a proposal for peace that has to be supported. This doesn’t mean to support one side or the other, but to support the goal of peace itself regardless of where this proposal comes from. If we don’t see ourselves in a bigger picture our differences will continue to be sources of violence.”

The World March South East Europe team will pass through the Balkans: the part of Europe that has most recently suffered the upheaval of war, ethnic cleansing and unimaginable violence. The March leaves Istanbul tomorrow to cross the border with Greece, before winding its way through the Republic of Macedonia (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy before arriving on the 9th of November in Geneva, Switzerland which will be the meeting point for 4 different legs of the World March including the Base Team which started its journey in Wellington, New Zealand on the 2nd of October.

During the encounter today, when asked about his hopes for the next leg of the World March, Giorgio Schultze, European Spokesperson for the World March, said: “My hope is that we find some ambassadors of the future Universal Human Nation; if we would find one person in each place who could see where the roots of violence lay; If we can find people who can see that there is something sacred within each human being then we have a starting point for a way out of the violence.”

World March Izmir (Turkey)
2000+ march 2k for Peace and Nonviolence in Esmirna
Image by: Photo Pressenza
A first but not last historical event of Izmir where over 2000 strong, marched 2 kilometers with participants from over 30 organizations; including Human Rights, Greens, Communists, and Kurdish groups. The march concluded in speeches by members of the World March team and human rights representatives in Turkey.

[Pressenza - Izmir, 2009-10-27] Friday October 23, over 30 different organizations and political parties marched together united by the World March proposal of building a world based on Peace and Nonviolence, launching a new moment in the history of Izmir.

The promoters and main actors devoted to bring the message of the march to public consciousness, met the morning of Friday 23 to launch the project they had been together working in solidarity for. They had been working together for more than a month promoting teamwork and mutual support for the diverse actions of each group among the 30+ representatives from Human Rights, Greens, Communists, and Kurdish organizations.

At 17:30 the march began with more than 2000 people joining their strength and joy together on the 2 kilometer trek filled with song and slogans chanted for peace and nonviolence throughout the world.

The march culminated with speeches delivered by representatives from a human rights organization with members of the World March team in Turkey, followed by artistic performances of live music and theater.
(Translation provided by Meghan Storey)

wm_josc_prize wm_new_zealand_gandhi
The World March wins the 2009 JOSC Achievement Prize

On October 19th, 20th, and 21st, humanist workers from the COHUB association (Cercle des Ouvriers Humanistes) in Benin participated in the 2009 Civil Society Days (JOSC), where they won the Achievement Prize for their presentation and campaign implemented within the framework of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence.[Pressenza IPA]

[Pressenza, Cotonou, 2009-10-26] On October 19th, 20th, and 21st, humanist workers from the COHUB association in Benin participated in the 2009 Civil Society Days (JOSC), where they won the Achievement Prize for their campaign within the framework of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence.

At the close of the Civil Society Days, the panel of judges awarded the 2nd national Civil Society Prize (the 2009 prize) to the COHUB association and the humanist workers promoting the World March in Benin. This 2nd prize is entitled the “Achievement Prize”.

Appearing before the Minister in charge of organizing the Civil Society Days, the COHUB president and World March coordinator for Benin made the following statement:

“We, the humanist workers of Benin, in perfect harmony with the official delegation traversing the globe from Wellington, New Zealand to Punta de Vacas, Argentina, and within the framework of the World March for Peace and Non-Violence, dedicate this Prize to the thousands of people hurt by wars and other violence, to the World without War organization, and to other defenders of human rights around the world, as well as to the Nobel Prize Committee who devote their efforts to the cause of World Peace. Forward march! And may we achieve our goals!”

(Translation provided by Patrick C. Yancey)

Moscow: the World March received by the Gorbachev Foundation

by Isabelle Alexandrine Bourgeois

Twenty members of the World March Base Team were received by the Director of the Gorbachev Foundation in Moscow to whom Rafael de la Rubia handed the Manifesto for Peace and Nonviolence. The march spokesperson talked about the importance of the Base Team’s presence in Moscow, where he himself founded the association “World without Wars” in 1994.

Olga Mikhailovna, director of the Gorbatchev foundation
PressenzaMoscow, 2009-10-22During a highly symbolic stop for the Peace Marchers in Moscow the Marchers were welcomed to the Gorbachev Foundation of which the former Head of State and Nobel Peace Laureate is President and founder. This Non-Governmental Foundation for political and socio-economic studies has existed since 1992. Since 1993, Gorbachev has in addition been president of Green Cross International – an Independent Environmental and International organisation with national branches in thirty countries and which has endorsed the World March. Ms. Olga Mikhailovna was happy to receive the visit of the international team of peace spokespersons on Russian soil.

In the afternoon, the Base Team was equally welcomed to the Russian Academy of Sciences by Boris Koval, researcher at the Latin American Institute and Member of the Humanist Movement for many years. Rafael de la Rubia, March spokesperson talked about the importance of the Base Team’s presence in Moscow, where he himself founded the association “World without Wars” in 1994. He then went on to praise the efforts of the Russian Government in making progress on nuclear disarmament negotiations.

Paradoxically, later on the band of Marchers where intercepted in the street by the Muscovite police who ordered them to hide the World March logos on their jackets. The members of the base team could find no other solution but to turn their jackets inside out… hopefully without doing the same thing to their principles.

English translation: Tony Robinson

The World March for Peace now ambassador throughout the world for Nobel Peace Laureates
by Isabelle Alexandrine Bourgeois
Image by: Gérard Hourdin - At the airport of Chatham Islands

The World March for Peace and Nonviolence has just accepted ambassadorship of the “Charter for a World without Violence” drafted by 19 Nobel Peace Prize winners. The Moriori people, the original inhabitants of the Chatham Islands and pioneers in peace building, are the first members of the World March to sign on to the charter.

[Pressenza, Wellington, 2009-10-01] Even before its official kickoff, the march campaign has already held numerous gatherings and achieved several objectives:

First, the Nobel Committee bestowed upon it the mission of spreading the “Charter for a World without Violence” around the world. The charter was drafted by 19 Nobel Peace Laureates including Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa, Frederik Willem De Klerk, Desmond Mpilo Tutu, the International Peace Bureau, Muhammad Yunus, and Wangari Maathai. This indigenous group, who are the first members of the World March for Peace to ratify this charter, are themselves descended from a pacifist society, the Moriori, who met the Base Team on the island of Rekohu. “Our support comes in the spirit of our ancestors, who gave their lives in order to choose peace”, remarked Maui Solomon, co-spokesperson for the Hokotehi Moriori foundation.

Second, the March is inspiring an array of sister marches around the world, the first of which arrived in Wellington two days ago. Six marchers, ranging in age from 19 to 59, traversed the 207 km on foot from Whanganui to the capital over a 9-day journey. “We’ve endured the cold, the wind, and the rain in order to be here with you. Many of the people whose paths we crossed took us for crazy, but at the same time they were touched by our commitment. We told them that each of us can make a difference doing a little bit at a time…” explained Carla Donson, whose open and sincere words struck a chord with those gathered.

Third, the marchers and a number of peace activists were officially welcomed at Wellington City Hall by the advisor to Mayor Celia Wade-Brown. “After accompanying the participants in this March for a few days, I have seen how much the support for peace transcends languages and borders. As our marchers turn their attention to solutions rather than differences, this will mark an extraordinary step towards a non-violent society.” Rafael de la Rubia notes that it was “the first time in history that so many good causes could meet and come together around a global project.”

At the end of the day, several representatives from the World March for Peace participated in a roundtable discussion on the issue of disarmament attended by Robert Green, a veteran pilot in the RAF turned peace activist, Don McKay- ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Alyn Ware- New Zealand coordinator of the World March for Peace, and World March spokesperson Rafael de la Rubia.

Participants also visited a temporary exhibition on Gandhi organized by the New Zealand Foundation for Peace. Encouraged by the initial success of this global initiative, the participants received their ID armbands and a variety of banners which they will display over the next three months.

-For the full Flyer of the World March - New York November 30th 2009 Program>

Source: Pressenza - -

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