New Humanist


The World March for Peace and Nonviolence comes to USA November 30

(NEW YORK, November 20, 2009) — The World March for Peace and Nonviolence arrives in New York City on November 30. It is the first worldwide march and involves more than one million people. The marchers have taken their message of peace and nonviolence to some of the past and present zones of conflict: Hiroshima, the Korean Demilitarized zone, the border of Pakistan and India, Israel and Palestine, and the Balkan countries.

To mark the arrival, at 1 p.m. the international team of marchers will be welcomed at Brooklyn Borough Hall by New Yorkers representing more than 100 cultures, and including children and teachers, religious leaders, organizations, Consuls and city officials. They will march across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall where a press conference will be held at 3 p.m.

At 7 p.m. the official welcome of the international team of 25 marchers will be celebrated with a multimedia program of inspirational talks and cultural performances under the theme of “Beyond Violence” at Riverside Church (91 Claremont Street, NYC). The event is open to the public and free of charge.

At 12 noon, on December 1, at Ground Zero, the marchers will participate in a special ceremony to honor the 9/11 victims, decry the violence of the attacks and address the theme of reconciliation as it pertains to achieving peace and nonviolence. The event will be co-sponsored by World without Wars and without Violence, The Community for Human Development, and September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.
Setting out from New Zealand on October 2nd – the International Day of Nonviolence – this historic 93-day march has already traveled for sixty days through fifty countries on four continents. They have met with presidents of Finland, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and have been blessed by Pope Benedict XVI. An international delegation of the World March participated at the 10th Nobel Peace Laureates Summit in Berlin, and the March was entrusted with disseminating their “Charter for a World Without Violence.”

Simultaneously, an unprecedented social mobilization has been taking place in support of the March, with forums, festivals, exhibits, concerts, sport events, and conferences held in more than 350 cities. The youth have been inspired, creating the largest peace sign in the Philippines with 12,000 children, a mile-long “Peace Wall” in Chile and the largest peace flag in Italy.

The March calls for the end of wars and the abolition of nuclear weapons. According to Chris Wells, the US spokesperson, “It aims to create a global consciousness, similar to what has already happened with climate change, that universally condemns all forms of violence.”

There is no shortage of prominent people and newsmakers who have endorsed the March including Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and other Nobel Peace Prize winners, Noam Chomsky, eleven presidents, hundreds of world leaders, celebrities such as Yoko Ono, Penelope Cruz, Cate Blanchett, Martin Sheen and Viggo Mortensen. For a complete list of endorsers.

From New York, the marchers move on to Washington, DC, Montreal, Los Angeles and San Francisco. It continues to Mexico, with events planned on both sides of the US-Mexico border, as it heads south through Central and South America. The World March will complete its monumental journey in the heights of the Andes on January 2, at Punta de Vacas, Argentina after traveling 99,000 miles.

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