Making strides toward peace – Walkers hope to help elevate consciousness

Posted on July 17, 2009. Filed under: 0. Peace | Tags: , , , , |

Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Making strides toward peace
(Cited from El Defensor Chieftain at: http://www.dchieftain.com/news/90291-07-15-09.html )
Walkers hope to help elevate consciousness

Nat Holland El Defensor Chieftain Reporter

A desire for world peace instead of a world blown to pieces is the motivation for a diverse group of individuals participating in a peace walk that passed through Socorro on Monday, July 13.

The Trinity to Trident Interfaith Peace Walk is a multi-stage peace walk that started at Los Alamos on July 5, and will eventually end near the Bangor Naval Base in Washington State.

“It’s a trip to be out there on the road — one step after another,” said 70-year-old Arizona native Iris Wolfe.

The New Mexico stage of the walk culminates with a 26-hour prayer vigil for peace at the edge of the White Sands Missile Range, near the Trinity Site where the first atomic bomb was detonated.

“Every hour we will pray the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament,” said Telesflora Rios, a local volunteer who provided dinner for the walkers when they stopped in Socorro.

Father Charles McCarthy, of Boston, and Sister Patricia McCarthy, a sister of Notre Dame, will be two of the catholic clergy participating in the vigil.

Stop in Socorro

“One reason to stop here (in Socorro) is New Mexico Tech was one of the schools to experiment with enriched uranium in the 1970s,” said Marcus Page, part of the Catholic Worker Movement. “I don’t know what’s currently going on (at Tech), but this commemorates historical events.”

The group also planned to visit the Jumbo fragment on display in Socorro’s Historic Plaza.

The movement started in 1933, primarily to provide services to the poor and struggling in the Depression Era, Page said. The second World War, with its devastation and loss of life, pushed the organization into a different direction and it became more known for its pacifistic stance.

Prayer for Peace

“We walk and pray for world peace — this particular walk is to abolish nuclear weapons,” said Gilbert Perez, a Buddhist monk who was born in Cuba and raised in New York City. “We pray for the down-winders who were affected in this area and soldiers coming back from Iraq.”

“Life is most important. We can live together peacefully,” said Senji Kanaeda, a Japanese Buddhist Monk, who has lived in Seattle for about six years. “We wish that it (nuclear attacks) would never happen again — that is why we walk.”

Erica Freeman, who moved recently moved to Bainbridge Island, Wash., met Senji two weeks after her move, and was convinced to join him on the peace walk.

“This is my first peace walk, but by no means is this the first time in my life I have felt passionate about it,” said Freeman, who volunteers for two non-profits in the Seattle area.

Impact on Japan

“Before World War II, Japan was a very militaristic country. After the war we knew what could happen and wanted it to never happen again,” said Senji.

“The Japanese people should walk on the front line of any action or movement or prayer for abolition of any nuclear weapons or energy on the earth,” said Senji, attributing the comment to an American friend, who is now a director at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, in Japan.

Japanese people also seem to be more aware of the impact of nuclear weapons than other countries, said Senji, due to direct experience, photographs, TV shows and education programs.

“We are afraid of that happening again and we think about it — not just the atomic bomb,” said Hiro Takahashi, a 20-year-old from Japan.

Concern for Consequence

Dennis Duvall, an Arizona native associated with Prescott Peace Action, is just along for the New Mexico segment of the walk.

“I got involved because I was anti-nuclear. I was working against nuclear power back in the ’70s,” said Duvall. “We joined this walk because we are very mindful of the threat to the earth and all life from these vast nuclear arsenals. So we’re walking to abolish nuclear weapons and stop the nuclear fuel cycle from the building of another generation of power plants.”

“I’m a retired social worker and psychotherapist so my interest is more personal with what is for me a heartbreaking reality that we tend to be hell-bent for our own destruction and the destruction of those around us,” said Wolfe, who is also associated with Prescott Peace Action. “We would like to think that we can fix whatever we do and that may not be possible. This is a hard reality to face.”

For more information or to follow the peace walk visit the group’s blog site at http://pacificlifecommunitydesert.wordpress.com.

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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.  ……

Click here to read full article

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Gandhi Foundation’s 2008 Peace Award given to two contributors to the Success of Peace in Northern Ireland

Posted on January 2, 2009. Filed under: 0. Peace, 1. World Peace | Tags: , , , |

We have previously blogged about the inspiring Success of Peace in Northern Ireland on this  “Break Down the Walls & Build Bridges of Understanding, Love and Peace” blog.

 The Gandhi Foundation’s 2008 Peace Award was awarded to , the Reverend Harold Good and Father Alex Reid, two key participants to the Peace process in Northern Ireland.  We are glad that the Gandhi Foundation chose to give the 2008 Award to people who helped establish this historic reconciliation and Peace.

The Success of Peace in Northern Ireland is one that should inspire people all over the world about the possibilities of overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles to end conflicts, and establish Peace in their region of the world.  Here after some four hundred years of conflict, the two camps in the conflict were able to build bridges to Peace!!

[We have included an excerpt  from the announcement of this award from the Gandhi Foundation’s webpage.]

2008 Peace Award & Annual Lecture – Harold Good & Alec Reid
Posted on Oct 30, 2008 by gandhifriends

Father Alec Reid,  and Rev Harold Good given the Gandhi Peace Award 2008 – Citation
by Dr. Omar Hayat

Something extraordinary has taken place and is taking place in Northern Ireland. Something very powerful indeed. After decades of troubles the wholly unexpected coalition of the two extremes in the province, the Sinn Fein and the DUP has taken place (originally with the Reverend Paisley as First Minister (now replaced by Peter Robinson) and Martin McGuinness as Deputy First Minister).
However, it would always have been all too easy to despair of any resolution of the tribal politics of the province and Northern Ireland also has of course many similarities to the communal divide of India and the peacemakers of Northern Ireland all along faced in the Protestant/Catholic divide just the same sort of challenge as Mohandas Gandhi did in his prolonged struggle against the force of Hindu/Muslim communalism; which periodically grips India. Northern Ireland was always a Gandhian challenge and sometimes we forget how much of Gandhi’s struggle was one against terrorism. It was a struggle that did cost him his life. Clearly the Gandhi Foundation wanted to celebrate, indeed rejoice, in the triumph of non-violence over violence.

 

Omar Hayat and Bhikhu Parekh
Of course, key to the recent political truce was the decommissioning process. Here there was a critical barrier to be overcome. No member of the IRA could afford to be photographed handing in their weapons – this according to their military code is a treasonable offence and so another solution had to be found. That was through the witness statements to the handing in of weapons to trusted representatives of the two communities. The men asked to take on this role were the Reverend Harold Good and Father Alex Reid who acted as clerical witnesses during General John de Chastelain’s disarmament process. This act of being representatives of the two communities and overseeing the disarmament requires a great deal of Trust, a very uncommon trust in today’s world which strives towards transparency, which in some circumstances is a very good thing but also implies a lack of trust. So literally these two men have been trusted by the rest of the world and especially the sectarian parties of Northern Ireland, just on their say so, to have told the truth. Otherwise the whole process would not have progressed. A heavy responsibility indeed.

Congratulations to Reverend Harold Good and Father Alex Reid for receiving the Gandhi Foundation’s 2008 Peace Award for their key contributions to the disarmament process, a process that helped to ‘cement’ the Peace process in Northern Ireland.

[You can read the rest of the article on the link above, or Click Here]

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What does Senator Barack Obama’s election mean for Peace in the World?

Posted on December 22, 2008. Filed under: 0. Peace, 1. World Peace | Tags: , , , , , , |

The election of Senator Barack Obama as the President Elect of the United States of America has generated great excitement, and joy. It has raised hopes around the world. People have rejoiced, danced in the streets and spoken openly of a new day of hope.

This hope and joy expressed in the different corners of this planet that we inhabit, is in and of itself a good thing. It draws people in the different parts, who would typically belong in different camps divided by virtual and real walls that keep them apart. It is good because it brings people closer and even if it is fleeting and temporary, to some extent lowers the walls that keep them divided.

The big question however, is what will be the long term impact on World Peace, of Senator Barack Obama being elected to be the next President of the United States?

Share your thoughts, ideas and comments on this issue, and help generate a discussion on this question that relates to peace.

Peace to the World
Let’s Imagine What Will Open Up to All of Us, to Our Children and Grandchildren When We Have PEACE!!

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The Jewish-Arab Peace Song (w/ English subtitles)

Posted on November 3, 2008. Filed under: 0. Peace, 1. World Peace, 3. Peace in Middle East | Tags: , , , |

The Jewish-Arab Peace Song (w/ English subtitles)

Great song and video of people from two warring camps reaching out for Peace from a point of Love for all human beings.

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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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On this “Mother’s Day” – Peace to the World

Posted on May 12, 2008. Filed under: 0. Peace, 1. World Peace | Tags: , , |

On this Mother’s Day let’s dream about the day when there will be World Peace and mothers will be able to celebrate the end of deaths and sufferings of their sons, daughters and their husbands from senseless wars.

Let’s also go beyond dreaming for World Peace to taking a stand for it. Let’s envision what it would bring to all of us, what it would mean to each of us, our families, our friends, our children, and grandchildren.

Let me quote some leaders of peace:

Mother Teresa: If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.

George Bernard Shaw: Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous.

…..

Happy Mother’s day to all the mothers of the world and Peace to the World!!

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