Where is our current society heading: as events escalate, as violence becomes more and more globalized each day? Is there a way out?
In the last few years, we have seen new conflicts and new forms of corruption emerge, we have seen ecological and financial disasters. Theses events are entertwined and cause rapid changes.
These changes generate instability in poor as well as in rich countries thoughout the world. When one war comes to an end (Iraq), another is started (Lybia). The poor treatment and poverty of the African population has turned into famine in East Africa. Oil spills and nuclear power break downs, natural disasters: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; the attacks on the young people in Norway; the attack on the activists in Syria; the mass riots in London; the increasing costs of food everywhere; the increases in military expenditure and armament; the endemic unemployment of millions of people in Europe, in the Arab countries and in the United States and the new threat of terrorist attack 10 years after the world trade Center attack are all signs that the crisis which took place years ago is increasing, is becoming globalized and is out of control.
Despite despair taking over the world news, nonviolent and non-partisan social movements are emerging. They gather millions of people from all parts of society. Their central claims: “human dignity, real democracy and the end of corruption”. The Arab spring (Tunisia, Egypt), the May 15th movement (Spain), the movement in Wisconsin (US), the movement for free education (Chile, Iran), and the Israelies movement against the raising prices of food are some examples. These movements are based on a nonviolent and non partisan social current. They do not have leaders or a singular plea, since they are mass movements in which each individual is demanding better conditions for the whole of society, not only for a minority in power.
To support the emergence of nonviolent social movements, and to celebrate the International Day of Peace on September 21st and the International Day of Nonviolence on October 2nd, the Canadian Runthisway organizers are launching a race for peace and nonviolence. The Runthisway project in launch in partnership with World without wars and without violence and sponsored by Pressenza and Montreal canadian 94,7 HITS FM. The Runthisway organizers are inviting schools,students and young people to participate. More than 15,000 students have already registered: they come from 40 elementary and high schools from differents countries. The Runthisway organizers invite schools throughout the world that took part in the World March for Peace and Non-Violence in 2009 to take the race challenge for nonviolence.
The kilometers ran by the young people and students will be compiled and given to the Global Coalition to protect Education from Attack (GCPEA). The coalition gathers several international organizations and works to highlight the impact of attacks on education. It encourages states to adhere to the existing international law protecting education and the strengthening of international norms and standards.
For Montreal Pressenza English, the proof-reading of this article was done by Brittaney Caron.
By Anne Farrell
Anne Farrell has received an award from YMCA-Canadá for her contribution to non-violence