Today the World March for Peace and Non-Violence Base Team arrived in Madrid where they were greeted by Pau Segado, the march’s spokesperson in Spain, and a group of humanists that were waiting at the Atocha high speed terminal.
The train was coming from Barcelona, where the Base Team took part in numerous activities yesterday. Following a meeting with the press, they conducted a commemorative tribute at the Monument for the 11th of March victims. The Musicalia Foundation Orchestra opened the ceremony with Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 followed by speeches by representatives of the March and Jesus Abril, a member of the 11th of March Association for People Affected by Terrorism, who said “that the victory of our pain be peace”, which also appears on the statues.
Once in the Paseo del Prado, where almost five thousand people were gathered, Rafael de la Rubia, the international spokesperson for the March, was presented with the ‘pilgrims bagpipes’ that have accompanied the March for the Galician-Portuguese stretch and that will be played in Punta de Vacas, where the March will end on January 2, 2010.
Step by step, with the participation of music and dance groups from different countries, political parties, neighborhood associations, university students, cyclists, and up to a hundred associations, the group reached their destination next to the Puerta del Sol, where there were various presentations in an event that was very emotional and full of meaning.
Following an introduction by Pepe Viyuela, the Popular Party’s city councilor, Jose Manuel Berzal, welcomed the Base Team to the city of Madrid. Greetings were also given by the actor Alberto Ammann, Teo and Maria from the group Complices and Antonio Elegido, among others. Carmen Almendras, the ambassador of Bolivia, recalled that the new constitution of her country renounces war as a way of resolving conflicts. Pilar Manjon, for her part, highlighted that it is preferable to use the path of forgiveness and reconciliation over that of resentment and revenge.
Later, the spokesperson for the March in Spain, Pau Segado, requested that President Zapatero withdraw Spanish troops from Afghanistan; he denounced the government as two-faced for both propagating peace and selling weapons, and demanded the repeal of the present Immigration Law. Rafael de la Rubia brought the event to a close by highlighting that the World March is the first step towards building a Universal Human Nation.
Video in high resolution:
*(Translation provided by Jaimie Boyd Guevara)*