John Lennon’s plea for world peace “Imagine” chimes across Liverpool

Posted on May 16, 2009. Filed under: 0. Peace | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

John Lennon’s song “Imagine” the  unofficial anthem for World Peace, will be heard in Liverpool this Saturday May 16th, 2009, as chimes from the Liverpool Cathedral  are played to that tune.

In this post we want to celebrate this event for Peace, in Liverpool where John Lennon and the Beatles first started on their road to world-wide fame.

In a world full  news of events and forces arrayed against Peace, it is refreshing to hear about some of the events and activities that people organize for Peace. This event is an example of  people for Peace extending the call for World Peace using different creative ways.

“John Lennon’s plea for world peace “Imagine” chimes across Liverpool” Liverpool Daily Post – May 14 2009

BELL-RINGERS were put through their paces last night in a secret rehearsal ahead of the unique performance of John Lennon’s Imagine this weekend.

They will chime out the iconic Lennon song, which includes the lines “imagine there’s no heaven”, at lunchtime on Saturday.

Organisers of the event, which is part of the North-west’s Futuresonic festival, have also been sent a message of support from Yoko Ono.

The 76-year-old said: “The sound of your bells will travel around the world and remind people of John Lennon and his belief there is an urgent need for world peace . . . like the church bell in the town which used to ring as the warning to people about impending disasters like flood and fire.

“Thank you for thinking of a very important way of bringing change to the consciousness of the world.
“I will hear your bells, too, in New York where I will be working that day.”

Artist Cleo Evans, who had the original idea, said: “I wanted to have a debate about world peace. It’s a simple song, but very powerful, and the bell ringers have done a brilliant job.

“It shows the cathedral is really forward thinking, but that doesn’t surprise me for Liverpool.”

Imagine will be played three times on Saturday – at noon, 12.30pm and 1pm.

Liverpool Cathedral is also organising a number of activities around the event.  ……

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Issues of Social Justice, Change and Non-violence/Peaceful Struggles

Posted on August 5, 2008. Filed under: 0. Peace, 1. World Peace | Tags: , , , , , |

Issues of Social Justice, Change and Non-violence: “Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.”  Mahatma Gandhi

When we call for, and take a stand for World Peace, we are inevitably faced with questions of social justice without which conflicts within nations and between different nations flare up and intensify.

In turn, when looking at issues of Social Justice, one of the most important areas of focus is that of democratic involvement of citizens in choosing leaders, and influencing and directing decisions on how they are governed.

In the last few years the struggles for democracy and democratic governments have created flash points and conflicts over different parts of the globe, such as in Myanmar (Burma), Tibet and Pakistan in Asia, different countries in Latin America, and in countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, and Zimbabwe in Africa.

These struggles for democracy have many times resulted in violence and brutal repression of opposition forces and the deaths of many people sometimes on both sides of the conflicts. The end-results have been – intensified conflicts and deeper chasms between Governments and oppositions groups.

How should issues of social justice, for democratic rights and governance be handled? How should opposition parties fight for democracy, and how should governments respond? How can each side impact the resolution of these issues so that conflicts are not intensified and positions hardened? These are some of the questions that need to be looked at when attempting to peacefully resolve issues of Social Justice and democracy.

The answers to these questions are by their nature complex and multi-faceted. There is no simple answer or remedy that addresses them all. However, a guiding principle that needs to be adhered to is that articulated by the great leader Mahatma Gandhi that “Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.”

Governments that use violence to suppress opposition movements for democracy and change will only radicalize and make the opposition movements more extreme, and invite more violence on themselves and their supporters.

On the other hand opposition movements that use violence to achieve what they feel is legitimately theirs will also push the governments in power to harden their positions and intensify their violent suppression on them and their supporters.

Violence will only result in a cycle of hurt and vengeance that creates needless suffering, wastes human lives and the meager resources the county has. A victory achieved by using violence will bear the seeds of more conflict as the ‘losers’ now have new scores to settle and perceived or real hurts to avenge.

Lessons of the non-violent methods of working for change used by Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian independence movement, and by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States, need to be studied and adapted as models for opposition movements. They hold the best promises for a change that will result in positive movement and change. They stand in strong contrast to the results from the use of violence to achieve change. The results from the use of violence to achieve chage include the creation of new wounds and hatreds and the intensifying of old ones, laying the ground for the new governments using violence to suppress the new opposition movements and groups.

The path of non-violence to achieve change is a difficult one, that is not glamorous, it requires a lot of sacrifice but in the end offers the best prospects for meaningful and lasting change. It offers the best prospects for minimizing the creation of new conflicts, and resolving the ones that already exist.

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The challenge of peaceful transition from dictatorship to an elected government

Posted on May 15, 2008. Filed under: 0. Peace, 1. World Peace, 4. Peace in East Africa | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

There is a growing and strong tendency to wards government elected by and answerable to the people. Because such governments tend to meet peoples’ aspirations for freedom and justice, such governments tend to work to promote the interest of the people. Since there are less conflicts and conflicts are peacefully and legally resolved, less energy and resource is wasted on ‘law’ and ‘order’ maintenance.

 

All form of dictatorial governments i.e. military, one party rule or personal dictatorship what ever their path to power tend to be alienated from the people and as the time progress they relay more and more on the coercive power of the state to stay in power. This breeds civil and violent resistance. The realities of many of these states in Latin America, Asia and Africa manifest extreme economic hardship and social injustice.

 

What are the forces of change?

  • The inability of the ruling elite to meet the people need for economic welfare and demand for justice
  • The increasing disaffection of the population and their determination to express their opposition in peaceful and none peaceful ways
  • Growing dissent and rivalry within the ruling elite
  • International pressure and condemnation by international community against atrocities of such dictatorial regimes

 

What are the obstacles for peaceful change?

  • Die hard mentality of the few to hang on power by violent means.
  • Leaders’ unwillingness to guide people to deal with ethnic differences, and letting problems grow and exploiting them to stay in power.
  • Lack of strong opposition party who can articulate on political agenda; organize and lead people in peaceful civil obedience and be able to negotiate change(s).
  • The opposition resorting to destructive and violent ways
  • Focusing in differences instead of working together in many areas that unites citizens
  • Inability to accept defeat
  • Internal and external forces which includes countries who have interest  in the instability of other nation(s) in order to exploit resources and countries who have benefits in the conflict in order to sell arms

 

How can the peaceful change be facilitated?

  • Renounce violence as means of holding or ascending to power.
  • Assure those in power that they will not be subject to retribution for their act while in power (unless extreme act against humanity) they can peacefully pursue their life and occupation like any other citizen. They can even organize political party and compete peacefully.
  • The opposition should refrain from demonizing those in power but honestly express their difference. Assure the population they will subject themselves to democratic rule of governance.
  • Wherever possible form a transitional national unity government made up of all the political parties. This creates confidence and ground for fair election and strengthens democratic transition.
  • Work together in all possible means to the best interest of the country and its citizens
  • Learn from leaders who relinquished their power as did Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Julius Nerere of Tanzania and Léopold Sédar Senghor of Ivory Coast (Cote D’Ivoire)

 

Please join us in discussing this pertinent topic by posting your opinion on all or any part of the above thesis.

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