Finnish President Tarja Halonen received a World March for Peace delegation that had recently arrived from Estonia in the official presidential residence in Helsinki. It was the first time that a president had received members of the World March. With the stop in Finland, the march has now crossed more than 17 countries.
Mrs. Halonen expressed her public support for the World March stating, “next year we face the difficult but important task of revising the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The government of Finland supports the total elimination of nuclear arms.”
Rafael de la Rubia, spokesperson for the World March, presented President Halonen copies of the Manifesto of the World March, the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol and the “Charter for a World without Violence” prepared for the 10th Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates to take place in Berlin November 9-11.
Hours later, despite of sleety weather, there was a street manifestation in the center of Helsinki organized by the Humanist organization World Without Wars and the Amma Center and supported by numerous local and national organizations. The day’s activities concluded in the Savoy Theater where Juha Uski, Scandinavian representative for World Without Wars and organizer of the event, introduced Sintya, Juanita and Liliana, three members of the base team who spoke about their experiences and shared videos. Micky Hirsch made a presentation of the underlying principles behind the March. With a great sense of humor and backed up by videos provided by Isabelle Bourgeois and Alvaro Orus, he explained to the crowd that talking about peace was not at all boring.
Music, poetry, prayers and a ritual benediction of the marchers given by a shaman added a colorful note to the cultural festival that lasted until 10 o’ clock in the evening.
*(Translation provided by Jenni Lukac)*