Global walk for nonviolence to start in NZ

Published: Sun 1 Feb 2009 05:45 PM
Global walk for nonviolence to start in New Zealand
For immediate release
New Zealand has been chosen as the start for a global walk for peace and non-violence which will include all seven continents including Antarctica. The walk which will start in October on the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, hopes to inspire people of all walks of life to promote the abolition of nuclear weapons, end war, and reject violence in their homes, communities, nations and around the world.
“New Zealand is one of the first countries to see the light of the new day,” said Montserrat Prieto, a coordinator of the Global March for Peace and Nonviolence. “And maybe this light has helped inspire New Zealand to lead the world on many issues including granting women the vote, banning nuclear weapons, making peace studies part of the school curriculum, mediating peace in Bougainville and the Solomon Islands, and establishing the position of Minister for Disarmament – so far the only one in the world.”
“New Zealand also has some inspiring examples of non-violence, including those of the Moriori Peace Covenant, the Parihaka non-violent resistance to land acquisition which Gandhi learned from, and the peace flotillas that sailed to Moruroa to stop the nuclear testing. The march will highlight examples like these around the world to demonstrate that non-violence can succeed and that peace is possible.”
A number of well-known figures overseas have endorsed the march or will be joining for parts of it including Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, Gandhi’s grandson Arun Gandhi, Vice-President of the European Parliament Luisa Morgantini, actor Viggo Mortensen, political analyst Noam Chomsky, author Eduardo Galeano, composer Philip Glass, musical director Zubin Mehta, former Director-General of UNESCO Federico Mayor Zargazo, the Inter Milan football team, and Nobel laureates Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and Jose Saramago.
Alyn Ware, local contact for the march says that “Too often we read about violence and conflicts. Peace does not make it into the headlines nearly as much. This march is a wonderful initiative to celebrate the many successful examples in our communities and around the world of violence prevention, conflict resolution, cross-cultural understanding, reconciliation and disarmament. It is a march to give us hope in a more peaceful society and the inspiration to make this happen.”

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