Under this slogan, people with torches formed a peace sign on Heroes’ Square in Budapest yesterday.
After the Humanist Movement first called for such an event in March 2004, which was imitated in many countries, Greenpeace invited Hungary to this event:
“What seemed unimaginable for many of us has now happened: war has once again broken out on our doorstep. We are shocked by senseless violence that only fuels fear and hatred and certainly does not bring a solution. Let us work together for peace! Let us show that we, the majority, speak the language of love and unity, not the language of hatred and violence.
Let us show the millions of people whose lives have been shattered in just a few days that their pain is our pain. Let them know: WE STAND WITH YOU! Let us say together that we condemn the war initiated by the Russian government. PEACE IN UKRAINE NOW!
LET’S MAKE A HUGE PEACE SIGN IN THE HEROES’ SQUARE IN BUDAPEST as we did several times in the early 2000s to protest the war in Iraq. World leaders must finally understand that the crises of the 21st century cannot be solved by military means. Let us send a clear message that there is no longer any place in the world for senseless violence and human sacrifice. The history of the 20th century was written in blood. Let us unite now for a future of cooperation, not bloody conflict. A future where there are no wars over resources and energy, but where we solve our crises together and in peace, and where we do not have to live in fear of nuclear weapons”.
After the lighting of the torches, representatives of various organisations spoke out on the situation. Most impressive were the words of a 13-year-old girl, as well as the message from a Russian community in Budapest (text to follow).
The conclusion was a short meditation led by members of Silo’s Message in Hungary:
“We are here today to confront all forms of violence and send a signal to the world, as we did on the first anniversary of the Iraq War in 2004 and all subsequent symbols of peace.
Let us send a signal so that, in addition to the voices of power, violence, threats and weapons, the voices of those who know and feel by the hundreds of thousands, by the millions, are also heard: wars and rearmament must stop NOW! Not tomorrow, not sometime, not when the international situation allows it. There is NO reason, NO more important interest than this.
We do not want to hear any more declarations, no more blackmail, no more intimidation, no more promises of security from peoples and powers that do nothing for peoples and peace between peoples. We do not believe in violence, which has never brought solutions, only more suffering and destruction. We want to work for non-violence and peace in our personal lives, in our relations with our loved ones and our neighbours, and in international relations between peoples and countries.
We must explain that our leaders have failed and that we ourselves have failed to bring peace to this planet. But here and now we declare our belief that there is another way for humanity. It is not true that there is no other way.
There is an intention, a force that drives humanity in the direction of overcoming pain and suffering, despite the many mistakes and tragedies of its history. There is a power that manifests itself in the goodness of people. In the care with which they turn to others, even now, in times of war. In the courage with which they resist violence and do not turn against their brother. In the compassion for all living beings and in the wisdom of those who care for others every day.
We invite you now to reaffirm this profound aspiration in the midst of so much fear and uncertainty, confusion and increasing violence. Together, in silent reflection, let us get in touch with our best intentions and send this sign, this hope, this request to those who need it most at this time.
Reflection: We invite you now to be silent for a few minutes and try to become aware that we are here… to feel the presence of those around us… to try to feel what they may be feeling… their frustration, their hopes, their desire to do something, their longing for peace and a better future….
Now let us include in this feeling those who are not here with us but are present in our thoughts and feelings… those who are important to us… and also those whose needs touch us particularly in these days: those who today are living in war or on the run… Let us try to empathise with their situation… their despair, their hopes, their will to live, their longing for peace and a better future… Let us try to feel their presence…
Now let us ask ourselves: What do these people really need? What do they really need? Let us imagine, or rather, let us feel that what they long for is being fulfilled. We approach them with our best feelings… We wish them well… Let us not think about whether or not what we ask for can be achieved… It is about feeling that we wish them well… It is as if kindness, caring and a gentle power grow within us, reaching out to those around us, our loved ones and those who need our help most…”.
Photos By Tamás Csefkó