The World March had a packed programme of events today in Los Angeles. In the morning the March was welcomed at the City Council where a resolution moved by Councillor Bill Rosendahl was unanimously passed calling on “organisations and individuals across our city to establish a day of non-violence in our communities”. Several city councillors stood up and spoke in support of the resolution referring to issues such as gang violence, the need to stop cutting budgets for services that give young people inspirational things to do and the need to convert the military industry into an industry capable of delivering high-speed rail projects and other infrastructure needed in California.
Attending the Los Angeles City Council event were a number of important people from the world of activism, culture and sport: Blase Bonpane, activist and author known for his work against human rights abuses, and against U.S. intervention in Central America, Anthony Chavez, grandson of Cesar Chavez, the famous non-violent union worker of the 60s, Flashdance actor, Michael Nouri, Q’Orianka Kilcher, who played Pocahontas in the 2006 movie “The New World”, and Ulis Williams Olympic gold medallist in the men’s 4x400m relay in the 1964 Olympics.
Following the resolution, the March moved onto a blessing ceremony held by the Tongva Nation where gifts were exchanged to send the Marchers safely on their way to the end of the March in Argentina.
Later in the evening a March of 500 people paraded down Wilshire Boulevard headed by Martin Sheen arriving in the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church where a colourful and multicultural programme entertained the Marchers. Speeches were given by Bonpane, Sheen, Tony Robinson on behalf of the World March base team, Kilcher, and many other activists including David Krieger from Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and Dolores Huerta who co-founded the United Farm Workers Union together with Cesar Chavez.
The World March for Peace and Nonviolence is on day 62 of its 93 day journey through the World, starting on October 2nd in Wellington, New Zealand and travelling onto Punta de Vacas, Argentina on the 2nd of January 2010. The March, an initiative of the Humanist organisation World without Wars, is calling for: the elimination of nuclear weapons, the immediate withdrawal of occupying troops on foreign territories, the proportional and progressive reduction of conventional weapons, the signing of non-aggression treaties between countries and the renunciation by governments of the use of war to resolve disputes.
The March is endorsed by thousands of people around the world including 11 national presidents, numerous governments, Nobel Prize Winners, religious leaders and personalities from the fields of science, culture and sport. In addition organisations such as Mayors for Peace, Abolition 2000 and the Nobel Laureates Summit have also given their support and backing to the project which aims to generate a consciousness of the need for peace through the path of nonviolence.