From 20 until 22 December, São Paulo will receive the first World March for Peace and Nonviolence, an international movement which reports on the dangerous global situation which is leading us to war with nuclear arms – a major human catastrophe in the history of civilisation. However, another nobler objective may be added to this: giving a voice to the majority of citizens in the world who are neither in favour of war nor the arms race.
The March will set off from New Zealand on 2 October – the anniversary of the birth of the pacifist leader Mahatma Gandhi and declared by the United Nations as “International Day of Non-Violence”. After passing through each Continent, it will end on 2 January 2010 in the Andean location of Punta de Vacas, Argentina.
As it passes through each Continent all kinds of forums, meetings, festivals, conferences and different events will take place. These will be organised so that initiatives materialise in each location. The March is an initiative of “World without Wars”, an international organisation with years of service in the field of pacifism and non-violence. However, the March is to be built by everyone and will be open to the participation of all people, collectives, groups, political parties and businesses that sympathise with the project’s objectives.
Ítalo Cardoso says “supporting an initiative like World March for Peace and Nonviolence constituted not only a civic duty but an obligation of the civilised world. We have to commit ourselves to working daily to build a world without violence in which the flags of justice, freedom, dialogue, equal opportunities and respect for human dignity are raised without restrictions. In my capacity as vice-president of the Human Rights Commission at the Municipal Chamber of São Paulo I was among the first to support the March, which I hope, wherever it passes through, finds people united from all nations striving for peace and freedom”.
*(Translated by Rhona Desmond)*