As members of the base team gathered in Wellington, New Zealand, Pressenza researched the origins of the World March, its objectives, and, among other things, the reasons why the launching point is from New Zealand. The World March begins this Friday, October 2 at 9:30 in front of the Gandhi statue in Wellington, New Zealand.

The March came about as an initiative of “World Without Wars” that got underway in 2008, when the aspiration of carrying out a march of this kind became a realizable. The intention was to end wars throughout the world. In actuality, Rafa de La Rubia, coordinator of “World Without Wars” had begun putting forth this proposal to participants in distinct forums over the past 15 years.

In a [conversation June 12, 2008]( the initiative received unconditional support of Silo. In this meeting, Silo visualized this initiative as priority because, as he clarified, “The greatest problem are the nuclear weapons that impose conditions of dialogue and forces in play in which those who don’t have nuclear arms have to “accept” the models: economic, judicial, cultural, etc. of those who do have nuclear weapons. Without doubt the theme of nuclear weapons is the root of the problem which sustains this system, beyond just the economy. If a country has a strong economy but does not have nuclear weapons, in the moment of crisis they either cave in or a bomb is thrown and the economy has no value. That’s how the brutes are leaving things in today’s world.”

The objective of the March is to develop an active and nonviolent consciousness about this urgent need, in the way that the people can pressure governments and those who make the decisions.

Already in September 2006 Silo had made a 30 second television spot about the urgent need for nuclear disarmament, as well as call for immediate retreat of invading troops of all the occupied territories.

On November 15 of 2008, [The official launching of the World March]( in the Park of Study and Reflection of Punta de Vacas, Argentina, also the place of the closing of the World March, Rafael de la Rubia announced the establishing of the objective of the march in order to “create consciousness, the sole path to Peace” and that at last “we will leave human prehistory”.

Another important point regarding the objective is the open and global world character of all of the organizations and people participating, because the World March is much more than the 160,000 kilometers course that the base team is traveling; it is the World simultaneous initiative of a multitude of activities for Peace and Nonviolence that are carried out by people everywhere. In Rafael’s words, “they are initiatives that have arisen mainly from the social base at the grass roots, many of which have the profile of something new, innovative; outside of the ordinary, very impromptu, imaginative, and with a joyful and festive tone…These are ideas of all kinds being developed since the initiation of the March and throughout. This includes organizations and associations and networks of educators, sports teams, cities, nations, Nobel Prize Laureates, astronauts, intellectuals, scientists, government officials and politicians, legal professionals, singers, actors, artists, designers and a great etcetera of people; nearly 2000 public figures and organizations have embraced this world aspiration.”

De La Rubia further notes, “We highlight the importance of three mega-concerts (Prague, Dakar and Santiago Chile) and the Project of concerts in all cities where the march passes through as well as simultaneous concerts in conflict zones, such as the India-Pakistan border, the two Koreas, and Mexico and the United States.” De La Rubia also explains, “The World March can help ameliorate the closed and troubled borders.”

The chosen point of departure is New Zealand, the first country to declare a nuclear free zone in 1987. Already in 1985, New Zealand opposed the French nuclear testing off the Atoll of Muroroa, and in June of 1987, the country was declared a nuclear free zone with the [New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act](,_Disarmament,_and_Arms_Control_Act_1987).

The day of October 2, 2007, Gandhi’s birthday, commemorates the beginning of the Salt March; the day of the Inauguration of the [Life-size Statue of Mahatma Gandhi](, unveiled in Wellington , and is also declared the International Day of Nonviolence by the United Nations.

[The Salt March](, is an antecedent to the World March for Peace and Nonviolence. Initiated in 1930 by Gandhi, The Salt March extended over 390 kilometers between Ahmedabad and Dandi. This marked the beginning of civil disobedience to the imposed English rule on salt and changed world public opinion as well as that of England about the need for Indian Independence.

Pressenza Correspondent, Mickey Hirsch, can be seen in the photo from Wellington extending his hand to the Gandhi statue, which has at its base [the famous words of Gandhi]( “Be the change you want to see in the world.” It is from the dawn of this place, that the first World March begins this journey throughout the world.