The World March for Peace and Nonviolence which concludes today began in this same place a little more than one year ago, on November 15, 2008. Here it began and here it ends. During this year thousands of activities have been organized throughout the planet.
This March is a beacon, a signal for Peace and Nonviolence in a violent world living through tempestuous times. It is true that during this march, no weapons factories have been closed in its wake. Bombs continue to threaten life throughout the world and this cruel and inhuman system remains. Let’s be clear: the situation today horrifies us, but it was never expected that the March would change the status quo, much less organize anything….but something has changed. The signal has been launched, the march is creating consciousness. Time will tell if this beacon was a weak or powerful signal, but what we do know without doubt is that it has been the correct signal — necessary, urgent, and valiant.
And in honor of historical accuracy, during this journey in reality what has emerged is what has been said from the beginning of the Humanist Movement: Peace and Nonviolence have always been central concerns for us.
I had the opportunity to march and to see the contrast of the world of today: I saw with pain, with horror, a violent wall that separates the United States from Latin America, passing through the border in Tijuana carrying the reminders of the 5,000 people who have died in their desperate attempts to cross it.
But I saw also the Mayan and Quichuan people awaken early in the morning to receive the marchers with their blessings. I saw in Esquipulas how a monument to Peace and Nonviolence was erected at midnight, with the 22 pairs of legs of the children, men, and women’s, crushing and dissolving pistols and rifles in their desire for peace. I saw many good people who dream of a better world. It’s the march of the best human aspirations that will be the construction of the world of the future.
Here in this very same place 40 years ago, this landscape of inspiration, Silo delivered to us his teaching for overcoming the pain and suffering within ourselves and within our people. Guided by his words we have developed the Humanist Movement.
But the Humanist Movement also has experienced the crisis of the present moment and needs to renew itself in order to be a tool that is useful for the great transformations we are living.
This we will do starting tomorrow.
We have given the signal. Now is the moment for giving this signal continuity and growth. And this requires organization. A distasteful little word that we don’t like very much, but if we want continuity, we need to grow, and if we want to grow we need to organize ourselves. We organize ourselves, because without organization everything gets diluted and nothing remains. We need flexible structures that can rapidly adapt to an ever-changing world.
Starting tomorrow we will hold meetings and interchange among all those who are here, along with our friends who are following these discussions in the different Parks of Study and Reflection, to dynamize the 5 organisms of the Humanist Movement.
The Community (for human development) studies, develops, and diffuses the installation of a new culture based on nonviolence, which will be the correlate of a configuration of an advanced consciousness in which all forms of violence is repugnant.
The Humanist Party is dedicated to modifying the political structures in order to reach a true democracy; emphasizing economic violence, especially the concentration of speculative financial capital causing people great suffering, and aims instead to establish a fair relationship between Capital and Labor.
The Convergence of Cultures seeks dialogue between the diversity of cultures finding in each of them their best moments, when we discover respect for the human being above every other truth.
The World Center of Humanist Studies promotes the development of relational thought and a structural method in the field of the sciences, seeking good knowledge so that science will be for the benefit of the human being and never for destruction.
World Without Wars and Without Violence is the organization that coordinated the World March and has brought us here, and will continue its action toward the elimination of wars and violence across the face of the Earth.
These 5 organisms are the means and the mode that we have to carry to the world our humanizing project. And it will be those that put them in march and who act in each organism who will decide how to move forward.
Let us take advantage of this opportunity, to benefit from these days of meeting with friends from various latitudes to ask which kind of organism we want, and how will the spirit be which gives life to them, what we will launch in the world, and what is the best way to encourage their existence wherever we are.
Friends, this afternoon is done and this place that is so inspiring welcomes us, giving us the gift of its beauty. Let´s go. We will meet with every one who wants to help in this marvellous task of Humanizing the Earth. And afterwards, in a few days we will return to our homes with our foreheads and hands luminous.
I share with each one of you a desire for Peace, Force, and Joy. *
* Speech given by Tomás Hirsch in the closing event of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence celebrated on January 2 in the Park of Study and Reflection Punta de Vacas, Mendoza, Argentina.