This fall take part in the World without Wars and Violence race challenge!
Thousands of students and pupils in education establishments around the world are preparing themselves for the “runthisway” project, a project getting people running to promote peace and nonviolence. Social movements around the world have sprung up this year and many have chosen non-violent means to achieve their aims. This initiative aims to support this trend.
In which direction is society going as events accelerate, as violence becomes more and more globalized every day? Is there a way out?
In recent years, we have seen new conflicts and the corruption of several leaders emerge; we have seen ecological and financial disasters. Theses events cause rapid changes and generate instability in poor countries as much as in rich countries throughout the world. As soon as one war finishes (Iraq) another starts (Libya). The bad treatment and poverty of the African population turns into a famine in East Africa; oil spills and nuclear power breakdowns, natural disasters: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; attacks on young people in Norway; attacks on activists in Syria; massive riots in London; increasing costs of food everywhere in the world; the increase in military expenditure and armament; endemic unemployment of millions of people in Europe, in Arab countries and in the United States are signs that the crisis which started years ago is increasing and generalized, becoming globalized and out of control.
Despite this darkness crossing the world new non-violent and non-partisan social movements are emerging. They are gathering 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 15 movement (Spain), the movement of Wisconsin (US), the movement for free education (Chile, Iran) and the Israeli movement against the rising cost of housing are some examples. These movements are based on a non-violent and non-partisan social current. They don’t have leaders or opinion makers since they are mass movements in which each individual is demanding better conditions for the whole of society and not only for a minority in power or a group struggling for power.
To support the emergence of non-violent social movements and to celebrate the international day of peace, on September 21 and the international day of nonviolence, on October 2, Canadian runthisway organizers are launching a race for peace and nonviolence. Organizers are inviting students and young people to participate. More than 15,000 students have already registered from 40 elementary and high schools from different countries. Schools throughout the world that took part in the World March for Peace and Nonviolence in 2009 are being invited to take up the challenge of racing for nonviolence.
Schools will receive the “runthisway” activities booklet which proposes practical exercises based on two fundamental principles: 1 – to learn to treat others in the way one would like to be treated, and, 2 – to learn to resist the violence that is within you and outside of you. These exercises and practices are drawn from the works and teaching of Mario Rodriguez Cobos, Silo and the new humanism he formulated. Races will be organized in different schools around the world from September 21 to October 8. To take part in the race, schools and associations must register before September 15 on the site: [www.runthisway.ca]( www.runthisway.ca). The runthisway project began in Rome, Italy in 2010.
The kilometers run by the young people and students will be calculated and given to the Global Coalition to protect Education from Attack [GCPEA](http://protectingeducation.org/index.html). The coalition gathers several international organizations and works to highlight the impact of attacks on education and encourage states to adhere to existing international law protecting education and strengthening of international norms and standards.