Category Archives: DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

Launch of the Second World March for Peace and Nonviolence

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

Excerpts from an article in Pressenza

At the launch of the 2nd World March for Peace and Nonviolence in Madrid, on October 2nd, International Nonviolence Day that commemorates Gandhi’s birth, Rafael de la Rubia said:

“It should be said that this is not just a peripheral journey through the surface of the planet, through the surface of the earth. To this walking along roads, places, countries… you can add an internal journey, going through the depths of our existence, trying to match what we think with what we feel and with what we do, in order to be more coherent, gain more meaning in our lives and eliminate internal violence.” . . .


In Chile, with Parliamentarian Tomas Hirsch: “Active Nonviolence is the Force that will transform the world”

The beginning of the March was celebrated in different points of the world

From Antonio Gancedo’s blog:

Chile: the beginning of the 2 World March was announced in the National Parliament By the humanist parliamentarian Tomás Hirsch. And Santiago de Chile stretched with a “Hug for Nonviolence” as a dissemination of the 2 World March for Peace and Nonviolence.

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Question for this article:

How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

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From Seville and the Port of Santa Maria, in Spain to embark on the ferry journey to Tangier, Morocco the entry point of the WM in Africa where A Humanist Forum took place. In the Spanish cities of Seville and A Coruña, where the March was launched during a session in the Town Hall, different activities expressed the commitment to Peace and Nonviolence.

The World March in the Italian Parliament: The World March has among its objectives the dissemination of the culture of Peace and Non-Violence, disarmament – especially nuclear disarmament -, the defence of the environment and the enhancement of diversity. During the event “The beginning of the end of nuclear weapons” was projected, a work produced by the international press agency Pressenza on the occasion of the second anniversary of the approval of the UN Nuclear Disarmament Treaty (ICAN campaign, Nobel Prize of the Peace 2017). The documentary aims to contribute to the goal of reaching the end of the World March with the ratification of the TPAN  by 50 countries to make it binding.

Brazil: From Pernambuco, Brazil, accompanying the launch of the 2ª World March the first “Live EAD”Live from Nonviolence in schools  with 474 enrolled, 10 tutors in 20 states of Brazil, which connect on the website of the UFRPE (Federal Rural University of Pernambuco). A talk by Gunther Aleksander, of the Pressenza Agency, and Vinicius Pereira, of the Nonviolence in Schools Project, about the launch of the 2 World March for Peace and Nonviolence, giving the appropriate explanations on the free course of distance education for the formation of non-violence Centres in schools. Londrina also in Brazil connected with Peace and Nonviolence symbols.

Argentina: the documentary “The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons” by director Alvaro Orus and producer Tony Robinson from Pressenza was shown in Cordoba. The film produced in the participants a very particular sensitivity that was expressed in the subsequent exchange. A campaign to collect signatures began to demand that the government of Argentina sign the treaty banning nuclear weapons and then ratify it.

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2019

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

Press release from The Nobel Peace Prize

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea. The prize is also meant to recognise all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.

When Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister in April 2018, he made it clear that he wished to resume peace talks with Eritrea. In close cooperation with Isaias Afwerki, the President of Eritrea, Abiy Ahmed quickly worked out the principles of a peace agreement to end the long “no peace, no war” stalemate between the two countries. These principles are set out in the declarations that Prime Minister Abiy and President Afwerki signed in Asmara and Jeddah last July and September. An important premise for the breakthrough was Abiy Ahmed’s unconditional willingness to accept the arbitration ruling of an international boundary commission in 2002.

Peace does not arise from the actions of one party alone. When Prime Minister Abiy reached out his hand, President Afwerki grasped it, and helped to formalise the peace process between the two countries. The Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes the peace agreement will help to bring about positive change for the entire populations of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

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Question for this article:

Can peace be achieved between Ethiopia and Eritrea?

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In Ethiopia, even if much work remains, Abiy Ahmed has initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life and a brighter future. He spent his first 100 days as Prime Minister lifting the country’s state of emergency, granting amnesty to thousands of political prisoners, discontinuing media censorship, legalising outlawed opposition groups, dismissing military and civilian leaders who were suspected of corruption, and significantly increasing the influence of women in Ethiopian political and community life. He has also pledged to strengthen democracy by holding free and fair elections.

In the wake of the peace process with Eritrea, Prime Minister Abiy has engaged in other peace and reconciliation processes in East and Northeast Africa. In September 2018 he and his government contributed actively to the normalisation of diplomatic relations between Eritrea and Djibouti after many years of political hostility. Additionally, Abiy Ahmed has sought to mediate between Kenya and Somalia in their protracted conflict over rights to a disputed marine area. There is now hope for a resolution to this conflict. In Sudan, the military regime and the opposition have returned to the negotiating table. On the 17th of August, they released a joint draft of a new constitution intended to secure a peaceful transition to civil rule in the country. Prime Minister Abiy played a key role in the process that led to the agreement.

Ethiopia is a country of many different languages and peoples. Lately, old ethnic rivalries have flared up. According to international observers, up to three million Ethiopians may be internally displaced. That is in addition to the million or so refugees and asylum seekers from neighbouring countries. As Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed has sought to promote reconciliation, solidarity and social justice. However, many challenges remain unresolved. Ethnic strife continues to escalate, and we have seen troubling examples of this in recent weeks and months. No doubt some people will think this year’s prize is being awarded too early. The Norwegian Nobel Committee believes it is now that Abiy Ahmed’s efforts deserve recognition and need encouragement.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes that the Nobel Peace Prize will strengthen Prime Minister Abiy in his important work for peace and reconciliation. Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country and has East Africa’s largest economy. A peaceful, stable and successful Ethiopia will have many positive side-effects, and will help to strengthen fraternity among nations and peoples in the region. With the provisions of Alfred Nobel’s will firmly in mind, the Norwegian Nobel Committee sees Abiy Ahmed as the person who in the preceding year has done the most to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019.

Campaign Nonviolence Action Week, September 14-22

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .

from Pace e Bene

NUMBER OF ACTIONS PLANNED AS OF SEPTEMBER 14: 3284

SEE THE FULL LIST OF PLANNED ACTIONS

ACTION ORGANIZERS – SEND US YOUR POST-ACTION PHOTOS AND REPORTS HERE

MARCHING, ORGANIZING AND SPEAKING OUT FOR A NEW CULTURE OF NONVIOLENCE, FOR AN END TO WAR, POVERTY, RACISM, AND ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION.


Every year, Campaign Nonviolence organizes a national week of action across the United States and around the world, built around the third week of September, near Sept. 21st, International Peace Day. For the last five years, we have organized an unprecedented national grassroots movements with actions in every state where people connect the dots between the issues of injustice and violence, including war, poverty, racism and environmental destruction, and hold public events, actions and marches demanding immediate positive social change.

In September, 2018, the Campaign Nonviolence National Week of Action held over 2,660 actions, events and marches across the USA and in 25 countries. This was an historic unprecedented new form of organizing in the US, and we invite you to help us build up this national week of action.

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Question for this article:

The peace movement in the United States, What are its strengths and weaknesses?

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The only way positive social change has happened in the US is from bottom up, people power, grassroots movements of nonviolence, so we invite everyone to join this Campaign Nonviolence National Week of Action Sept. 14-22, 2019, as an organizing tool, to help get the movement moving, to invite people of all walks of life to take to the streets against violence and injustice, and to carry on Dr. King’s vision of what we could become—a new culture of nonviolence. Join the growing Campaign Nonviolence national week of action movement by signing up for an action today, or join with others planning an event. See the full list of action organizers planning an event and reach out to them to join in!

To support these powerful forms of action, Campaign Nonviolence invites people everywhere to:

Take the Campaign Nonviolence Pledge

Host or attend a Nonviolence Training in preparation for your action

Start a Nonviolence Study Group

Spread the word on Facebook  and Twitter

Find tools and resources for Action Week. Get the CNV action toolkit, flyers, graphics, action ideas and more! See below.

Read the 10 Tips for Great Actions and read about some great actions ideas.

Join action organizers around the country as we come together for the next Campaign Nonviolence National Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico August 6-9, 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary or Hiroshima and Nagasaki featuring Martin Sheen, Dolores Huerta, Richard Rohr and more!

2nd Walk for the Culture of Peace in Cotia, Brazil, receives support from the World March for Peace and Nonviolence

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .

An article from Pressenza (available under a Creative Commons License 4.0.)

On Sunday 09/18/2019, people from the city of Cotia and neighboring municipalities attended the program of the 2nd edition of the Walk for a Culture of Peace, which took place on Sunday (18), in Cotia. The event had the participation of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence, several cultural, ethnic, religious and popular movements.


The Walk is carried out by the City of Cotia, through the Secretariat of Sports, Culture and Leisure, and by the Peace Commission, composed of the Department of Culture and representatives of civil society: Casa de Airá – Tradition and Culture; Instituto Gira-Sol; Casa Olê Orixá Obá Ayrá; Lazaro de Aruanda Flight Temple and The Message from Silo – Parque de Estudos e Reflexão Caucaia.

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(Click here for the Portuguese version.)

Question for this article:

How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

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The walk, the universal color of Peace, the white, was predominant and the atmosphere of fraternity hovered over the participants. “This event is the celebration of our Movement of the Culture of Peace, of resistance and defense of the rights of people, of cultural and religious diversity. Several fronts and ideologies join hands against prejudice, violence and intolerance.

We are different, we think different, we have different histories, we have different religions, but we are equal in rights. The Commission proposes this dialogue with society, a dialogue for peace through peace”, the Commission notes. For the Secretary of Sports, Culture and Leisure, Givaldo, “The Walk for a Culture of Peace is the biggest mobilization of an event that happens all year round, that holds several meetings and debates with the population”.

According to Gilmar de Almeida, Culture Manager of the city, the event is taking shape and, from now on, Cotia will act in the sense of regionalizing the Path for the Culture of Peace. “Such an important event as this cannot be limited to Cotia. We will seek to expand it, regionalize it, because the fight for peace can have no border,” he said.

In this context the 2nd World March for Peace and Nonviolence that will “march” from 02/10/2019 to 08/03/2019, traveling around the globe passing through Cotia around 12/12/19, considers very important to support and participate in local events like this held in the city of Cotia.

The Message of Silo, one of the promoters since the last edition of the journey, was also present on this journey. In addition to taking part in the organizational meetings, Silo also disseminated the values of peace and non-violence through its meetings and ceremonies that facilitate the approach to the theme. And the Park of Studies and Reflection Caucaia, through the different people applied in the investigation and promotion of Peace and Nonviolence was also present

Marianne Williamson: U.S. needs Department of Peace

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

A speech by Marianne Williamson, Democratic candidate for president

Another day, another mass shooting. We grieve for Odessa, Texas, and we grieve for America.

The aftermath of every mass shooting follows a now-routine pattern: Feverish coverage will be followed by politicians and pundits engaging in a predictable conversation about gun-safety legislation. All of which we know by now. Of course, we need universal background checks; we need to close all loopholes; we need to outlaw bump stocks; and we need to outlaw assault weapons and the bullets needed to shoot them. But politicians trotting out various forms of I-will-do-this-or-that neither gets to the heart of the matter nor breaks the logjam that has made this horrific and uniquely American problem so intractable.

It is not just our gun policy but our politics that fails to free us of this insanity. Until we override the nefarious influence of money on our politics, it will not be possible to break the National Rifle Association’s chokehold on our society. It is not the will nor safety of the people but the profits of gun manufacturers that is given primacy in our gun policies. Legislation that establishes public funding for federal campaigns should be the battle cry of our generation.

But even then, Americans will have to look deeper for the causal layers of our epidemic of violence. We will have to look beyond politics. We will have to look at ourselves.

As individuals, Americans are not a violent people, but it is undeniable that we’re a violent culture. Regular mass shootings are not societally normal. And until we face this, the situation will not fundamentally improve.

Most politicians stick to a discussion of symptoms only. Politics should be the conduit for our most expanded conversation about societal issues, not the most superficial one. Conventional politics does not lend itself to a discussion of the deeper issues that plague us. Yet go deeper we must.

America does not just have a gun crisis; it has a cultural crisis. America will not stop experiencing the effects of gun violence until we’re ready to face the many ways that our culture is riddled with violence.

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Question related to this article:

Is a U.S. Department of Peace a realistic political goal?

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Our environmental policies are violent toward the Earth. Our criminal justice system is violent toward people of color. Our economic system is violent toward the poor. Our entertainment media is violent toward women. Our video games are violent in their effect on the minds of children. Our military is violent in ways and places where it doesn’t have to be. Our media is violent in its knee-jerk shaming and blaming for the sake of a better click rate. Our hearts are violent as we abandon each other constantly, breeding desperation and insanity. And our government is indirectly and directly violent in the countless ways it uses its power to help those who do not need help and to withhold support from those who do.

The darker truth that Americans must face now is this: Our society is not just steeped in violence; we are hooked on violence. And in area after area, there are those who make billions of dollars on deepening the hook. Until we see that, we will just have more violence. Our minds must awaken so we can see all this. Our hearts must awaken so we can change all this. And our politics must change so we can discuss all this.

Though gun-safety legislation should be fervently pursued, a political establishment so steeped in the ways of brute force is hardly equipped to be the purveyor of a solution to the problem of violence in this country. With a nearly $740 billion military budget but only $40 billion proposed for the State Department budget, our outsize commitment to brute force and ever-withering commitment to soul force is obvious. With the Air Force seeking 100 stealth B-21 Raiders, each with a price tag of $550 million and each equipped to carry both nuclear and conventional weapons, while 12.5 million children in the United States live in food-insecure homes – the idea of politicians who allow this to happen being the ones who are going to save us from the epidemic of violence in America is almost laughable.

We will not break free of dysfunctional realities until we are willing to embrace more functional ones. I propose a U.S. Department of Peace to coordinate and harness the powers of conflict resolution; restorative justice; violence prevention; trauma-informed education; mindfulness in the schools; child and family wrap-around services; social and emotional learning; and a world-class peace academy to train and to deploy thousands of peace-builders, plus national conferences and a presidential task force for peace creation. We will make every effort to promote a culture of peace both at home and abroad. We will address the root causes, not just the symptoms of violence in America. And in time, we will transform our culture from one of conflict to one of peace.

Nothing is going to fundamentally change until enough of us are willing to take a stand for fundamental change. And no change could be more fundamental than for the United States to transform from a culture of violence to a culture of peace. From the frequency of attack to the frequency of forgiveness. From a land of fear to a land of love.

Full text of Nagasaki Peace Declaration on the 74th A-bomb anniversary

DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY .

An article from The Mainichi

The following is the full text of the Peace Declaration read on Aug. 9 by Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue at a ceremony to mark the 74th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city.


A man bows at the hypocenter cenotaph in Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 2019, the 74th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the southwestern Japan city. (Kyodo)

Close Your Eyes and Listen
While thousands of arms and legs were torn off
Intestines drooping out
Maggots swarming in bodies,
Those still breathing searched for loved ones
And cremated the dead they found.
The smoke of burning corpses rose into the sky
And innocent blood stained the water of Urakami River.

Leaving only keloid scars, the war finally came to an end.

But
My mother and father are gone.
My brothers and sisters will never return.

People are weak and quick to forget;
They repeat the same mistakes again and again.

But
This one thing must never be forgotten.
This one thing must never be repeated
Under any circumstances whatsoever…

This poem was written by a woman exposed to the Nagasaki atomic bombing at 11:02 a.m., August 9, 1945. Seventeen years old, she lost her family and suffered serious injuries. The poem expresses her fervent belief that no one else in the world should ever have to experience the same tragedy.

The atomic bombs were built by human hands and exploded over human heads. It follows that nuclear weapons can be eliminated by an act of human will and that the source of that will is, without question, the mind of each human being.

The present world situation involving nuclear weapons is extremely dangerous. The opinion that nuclear weapons are useful is once again gaining traction. The United States is developing smaller, more manageable nuclear weapons, and Russia has announced the development and deployment of new nuclear weaponry. Moreover, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that ended the cold war arms race is facing dissolution, just as the continuation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is imperiled. The achievements of humankind and the results of our longstanding efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons are collapsing one after another, and the danger of a nuclear calamity is mounting.

Have the desperate appeals of the atomic bomb survivors, endeavoring to ensure that the living hell caused by nuclear weapons is “never repeated,” failed to reach the ears of the world?

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Question related to this article:

Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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The answer is no. There are many people in the United Nations, in governments and municipalities, and especially in civil society groups including the atomic bomb survivors who share the same opinion and are speaking out.

As a collection of small voices, civil society groups have shown the power time and again to change the world. The testing of hydrogen bombs in the Bikini Atoll in 1954 stirred up a wave of protests that swept across the globe and resulted in the conclusion of test ban treaties. Similarly, the power of citizens movements played an important role in the conclusion of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017. The power of a single individual is small but by no means weak.

I call out to civil society throughout the world.

Let us continue to discuss our experiences of war and the atomic bombings and pass the information on to future generations. Knowledge of the horror of war is an important first step to peace.

Let us continue to promote trust between people across country borders. The bridges of trust built by individuals will help to prevent the outbreak of war due to national conflicts.

Let us inform our children about the importance of understanding the pain of others. That will sow the seeds of peace in children’s hearts.

There are many things that we can do in the cause of peace. Let us avoid despair and indifference and continue to cultivate a culture of peace. Let us raise our voices and insist that nuclear weapons are unnecessary.

This is the big role that all of us can play, however small we may seem.

Leaders of the world. Visit the atomic-bombed cities and see, hear and feel what happened under the mushroom cloud. Imprint in your minds the inhumanity of nuclear weapons.

Leaders of the nuclear states. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will reach its fifty-year milestone next year. All the nuclear states should recall the meaning of the treaty, which promises to eliminate nuclear weapons and compels each country to fulfill that duty. I appeal to the United States and Russia, in particular, to assume responsibility as nuclear superpowers by demonstrating to the world concrete ways to drastically reduce nuclear stockpiles.

I also appeal to the Japanese government. Japan has turned its back on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. As the only country in the world to have experienced the devastation caused by nuclear weapons, Japan must sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as soon as possible. As a means to that end, I ask Japan to seize the trend toward denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and to initiate efforts to make northeast Asia a nuclear-free zone where all countries coexist under, not a “nuclear umbrella,” but a “non-nuclear umbrella.” And above all, I ask the Japanese government to uphold the spirit of “never resort to war” enshrined in the Japanese Constitution and to take the lead in disseminating that spirit around the world.

The average age of the atomic bomb survivors has exceeded 82. I ask the Japanese government to adopt further measures to support the aging survivors and take steps to assist the people who were exposed to the atomic bombings but are yet to be recognized as survivors.

As a city exposed to nuclear devastation, Nagasaki will continue to support the people of Fukushima, who are still struggling with radioactive contamination eight years after the nuclear power plant disaster.

My heartfelt thoughts go out to the people who perished in the atomic bombing, and I declare Nagasaki’s determination, along with Hiroshima and people everywhere committed to peace, to strive relentlessly for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the realization of lasting world peace.

U.S. students walk out again to protest gun violence

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article by Keith Coffman in Reuters (reprinted by permission)

Demanding an end to gun violence and tougher restrictions on firearm sales, thousands of students again walked out of classes across the United States on Friday in hopes of putting pressure on politicians ahead of November’s midterm elections.

Timed to coincide with the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, students left classes at midmorning, many waving placards with slogans including “I should be worried about grades, not guns,” and “Enough is enough.”


Students gather for a rally in Washington Square Park, as part of a nationwide walk-out of classes to mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School mass shooting, in New York City, U.S., April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Organizers said students from more than 2,600 schools and institutions were scheduled to take part, but that was fewer than participated in a similar walkout last month. In some places, demonstrators even met with resistance from school administrators.

“Today is about being proactive and being empowered and really funneling all that energy and anger we have as young people into some productive change,” one of the student organizers, Lane Murdock of Connecticut, told Reuters.

Olivia Pfeil, a 16-year-old sophomore from a high school in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, held a sign bearing the names of mass shooting victims. “We’re expecting change or come next election cycle we will support politicians who are listening to the voices of the youth,” she said.

It was the second student walkout since the Feb. 14 massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and the emergence of a national student movement to end gun violence and toughen restrictions on firearms sales.

Many of the demonstrators wore orange, a color that has come to represent the movement against gun violence. A 13-second silence was observed in honor of the 13 killed at Columbine.

At the Texas statehouse in Austin, about 1,000 students, many waving signs and chanting anti-NRA slogans, demanded stricter gun control measures.

“Because we can’t vote, this is the only way we can make our voices heard,” said Graeclyn Garza, a second-year student at McCallum High School in Austin, who waved a sign reading “Enough.”

Outside the White House, protesters sat in silence while they listened to the names of gun violence victims read aloud.

“It happened like 20 years ago,” said Ayanna Rhodes, 14, a student at Washington International School, referring to Columbine, “And we are still getting mass shootings in schools.”

Two gunman went on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999, leaving 12 students and a teacher dead before killing themselves in a massacre that stunned the nation. But since then, school shootings have become commonplace.

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Question related to this article:

Do you think handguns should be banned?, Why or why not?

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Even as students prepared for their protest on Friday morning, news broke that a 17-year-old student had been wounded in a shooting at a high school near Ocala, Florida. A suspect was arrested soon afterward, police said.

The latest gun violence unfolded about 225 miles (360 km)northwest of the Parkland high school, where two months ago a former student killed 17 people in the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history.

Despite widespread revulsion over the school shootings, the issue of gun control remains sensitive in Colorado and across the country, where the Second Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms.

‘OPPOSE THEM AT EVERY STEP’

Dudley Brown, president of the Colorado-based National Association for Gun Rights, said the gun-control movement seeks to have the government take away constitutional rights.
“The main objective of these students is to ban firearms completely, and confiscate the firearms of law-abiding Americans,” Brown said. “We will oppose them at every step.”

In some conservative school districts, administrators told students they could face disciplinary steps if they walked out.

In suburban Dallas, a dozen students dressed in orange chanted “End gun violence!” as they huddled in a parking lot across the street from North Garland High School.

Freshman Victoria Fierro, 14, said school administrators blocked the doors when about 50 students tried to leave, so a small group exited through a side door.

“They told us we would get in trouble if we walk out, and we told them it was a peaceful protest, we’re not causing any damage,” Fierro said. “This is over a serious topic that people are pushing aside.”

The principal declined to answer questions from Reuters.

It was not immediately clear whether Friday’s turnout matched those of earlier protests. More than a month ago, tens of thousands of students from some 3,000 schools participated in the #ENOUGH National School Walkout to demand tighter gun control regulations.

On March 24, “March For Our Lives” rallies in cities across the United States were some of the biggest U.S. youth demonstrations in decades, with hundreds of thousands of young Americans and their supporters taking to the streets.

On the evening before the walk-outs, Colorado gun control activists rallied near Columbine High School.

Carlos Rodriguez, a 17-year-old junior from Marjory Stoneman, traveled to Columbine for the anniversary and said he found a sense of solidarity in the outpouring of support.

“That’s the only thing that’s keeping us Douglas students alive right now: the distraction of fighting for our rights and advocating for our lives,” Rodriguez told Reuters.

There was no walkout on Friday at Columbine, which has not held classes on April 20 since the massacre. Students were encouraged to take part in community service instead.

Additional reporting by Lacey Johnson and Ian Simpson in Washington, Zach Fagenson in Miami, Lisa Maria Garza in Garland, Texas, Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas, and Edgar Mendez in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Dan Grebler

The Americas are preparing for the second World March for Peace and Nonviolence

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. .

An article from Pressenza (translation by CPNN)

North America

United States

A tribute to ML King was given in Helen Park. The core team will go through New York and San Francisco. A visit to the United Nations is planned for a possible reception by the Secretary General. The presentation of the documentary “The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons”. Through the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, a line of work for collaboration and convergence was opened under the program 2030 of the United Nations. Contacts with the United Nations Secretary-General on the theme of the refoundation of the United Nations and possible macro-consultations on the subject at the March.

Canada

Canada participated in the march for Earth Day with the message “Non-violence is ecological: without war, there are no dirty weapons”. A press release is being prepared to request spaces for the invitation to organize activities for the passage of the march. On Saturday, 27/4 we attended the Spring of the Alternatives event to find contacts.

Mexico

The World March is invited to participate in the Nobel Peace Summit to be held in Merida on 17 and 23 September 2019. During the visit of the core team, there will be an event at the border with the United States and a tribute to the Treaty of Tlatelolco.

Central America

Guatemala

Alliances have been formed between individuals and organizations to strengthen the group of promoters. Among these, different sectors are represented: Civil society organizations, DiverArte, Organizations related to community communication, Student organizations, National University: students of the University of San Carlos de Guatemala, Municipalities: Municipality of Mixco

Honduras

Formation of the school 60 which will lead to the construction of the symbol of peace. It will be realized by the children of the schools located in the border zones of Honduras and Guatemala, at the reception of the March. The association of medical students of the National University UNAH and two private universities organizes the accompaniment of the March during its tour in Central America. The municipalities of Omoa and San Pedro Sula, decide to participate in the March with a massive mobilization of the population. Conducting three simultaneous conferences at San Pedro Sula Universities on topics related to world peace.

Cuba

Contacts are ongoing with some Cuban organizations.

El Salvador

Activities will be launched from Andrés Bello University. Probably in several cities of the country: San Salvador, San Miguel, Chalatenango, etc.

Costa Rica

We presented the campaign of the global plan of action for non-violence at educational centers 11 – 22, July. The teacher training plan begins the third week of July. Meetings with government authorities, the municipality of San José and organizations to propose activities on the theme of non-violence. Meetings every two weeks on Wednesdays at CAP from 5p.m. Celebration with artistic activities, human symbols of the International Day of Peace 21 / 9. Celebration of the day of non-violence 2/10 and departure of the March. Participation in the labor day march, distribution of flyers and transport of the March cover. Declaration of Cultural Interest of the March by the Government of Costa Rica. During the March, 27 and 28 in November are expected to participate in the International Forum on “The Role of the Armies in the 21st Century”. Activities with 1000 children on the esplanade of the Children’s Museum. Concert for peace in the park of democracy. Realization of human symbols at the passage of the March and some cultural reception events.

Panama

Last year, a forum was held at the Inter-American University. Between the end of September and the beginning of October 2019, we will organize a forum at a local university (location, date and time to be confirmed). As part of the second Global March for Peace and Non-Violence, we invite stakeholders to participate in the forum “Culture of Peace, Non-Violence, Respect for Children and Nature for a Better Panama” . They can, in this environment, share information they deem relevant on actions, contributions and projects in this regard.

South America

Colombia

In Bogotá: Work with the 40 schools that supported us during the South American march. We will hold workshops on active nonviolence, murals, drawings, flag raising, stories and writings, symbols of peace in the area and parades. The symbol of peace will be held in the Plaza de Bolívar, inviting 5000 people. Realization of a great concert for peace and non-violence. In Barrancabermeja: There will be a conference in Unipaz and SENA. A walk through the city to gather 2000 people. Contacts will be established with the human rights entities we worked with during March. We will close with a great symbol of peace at Kolibri Park. In Medellin: Carnival of culture, conferences in a university on peace and non-violence. Contact government entities responsible for human rights and related organizations. In other cities of Colombia: (Cali-Popayan-Pasto-Cartagena-Tunia-Cucuta-Bucaramanga-Ipiales-Armenia-Neiva). Peace marches and symbols will take place. Contact with schools. Discussions on non-violence in universities and institutes.

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(Click here for a French version of this article or here for a Spanish version.)

Question for this article:

How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

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Ecuador

In Guayaquil, letters were sent to universities for forums. National schools that verbally communicated their interest were contacted. Contacts have also been established in other cities such as Manta, Ámbato and Quitó. In Guayaquil: Activities are planned at the University of Guayaquil and Casa Grande University. Inter youth sports club championship. Some colleges and the municipality of Guayaquil. On the cover: Activities are planned for the passage of the 2ª March in coordination with the Pan-American Round Table and the University of Manta.

Venezuela

Appointments every Sunday with personal development work and organization of the March. A diptych has been developed, institutions contacted. We were interviewed on the radio. And,the March was advertised in the Sao Paulo Forum through the women’s sector. We continue to contact people and institutions that support the March There will be forums with videos to advertise it.

Brasil

In Sao Paulo – SP: Meetings for the dissemination of the March and the formation of a group of volunteers to participate in the organization and dissemination of the March in Sao Paulo. Production of explanatory material on how to organize the symbols of peace and other global activities in schools and universities. In Cubatão – SP: Meeting with the director of education to create human symbols in schools in the region. In July, 22 met the directors of 75 to make human symbols in various schools in the towns of the Santos coast. Presentation of the March on July 23, this time to the directors and coordinators of the first years (1º to 5º degree). There was a very good positive energy, we encourage schools to achieve the symbol of peace at the launch of the World March, during the week of non-violence from 2 to October 4. Participation in the March for culture of peace to be held in August In Caucaia – SP: Presentation of the March to representatives of different religious groups of the city.  Participation in the March for the Culture of Peace, to be held in August by the Ministry of Sport and Culture of Cotia in collaboration with an interfaith commission. In Paraisópolis – MG: In August 29, we will have a meeting with all the schools of Paraisópolis to inform of the world March and propose activities. During the visit of the base team, an activity is planned with the children in the message room of the silo south of Minas Gerais. Em Salvador – BA: Trip to Bahia to broadcast the March, contact with Bom Fim Brothers in Salvador, Bahia, with the proposal to create a community of nonviolent resistance in the city. In Recife – PE: The meeting with the Ministry of Education of Jaboatão dos Guararapes took place in July 17. The 12th of August will be held as part of the training of the project on non-violence in schools with schools 30 of the metropolitan area of ​​Recife. In Curitiba – PR: We are planning a visit to the Lula Libre camp. We are trying to organize a base team visit to Lula to deliver the book of the South American March for Peace and Nonviolence.

Peru

Prevention and anti-violence workshops with prospective teachers and mothers in schools in Comas District, Lima. Prevention and fight against violence among school teachers in the district of Cañete. We have promoters in every city. We are coordinating to promote the activities at each point. We have a central location in Lima, provided by the University Ricardo Palma.

Bolivia

In La Paz: Activities focused on the printing and delivery of invitation letters to secondary and primary schools in the Sopocachi region of La Paz. Since July, workshops for teachers and students from the same region have started. In Cochabamba: Activities carried out at the University Mayor of San Simón during the peace march in South America to 2018. In Santa Cruz: The Silo Study Center began with the dissemination of World March activities . Beginning of dissemination activities in July.

Chile

We are starting organizational meetings with new people to fit into the activities. We are planning a tour of all regions of Chile to promote the formation of grassroots groups. They will rely on the production of materials of all kinds to cover the actions. The idea is to integrate people to continue the March in future editions. Also in Chile, we will strengthen support for the NPT (Nuclear Weapons Treaty). Progress has already been made with parliamentarians, we will now expand our action to municipalities. Contact in Chile with the Mexican environment Alicia Bárcenas (ECLAC) who has access to the UN and the governments of the region. The organizer of WOMAD offered to collaborate with the March in Chile for the realization of a mega symbol of peace. At the Latin American Humanist Forum of 11, 12 and 13 in May, the March for America was discussed at the Teatro del Puente. We will have a discussion of the network of teams for the March at the Americas level in July 27.

Argentina

There are promoters in the 8 provinces : Salta, Jujuy, Tucumán, Cordoba, Mendoza, Rio Negro (El Bolsón), Bueno Aires (Tigre and Mar del Plata) and recently in the CABA (autonomous city of Bs. will be two main events in the country: Recognition of the mothers and grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo as heroes of the nonviolent struggle. Tribute to Silo [Mario Luis Rodríguez Cobos] . In the process of organization In Buenos Aires: Dissemination activities in Parque Lezama, Buenos Aires Province and CABA. The rest is under development. In Cordoba: The team of promoters of the city was formed and organizational meetings were organized. The March has already been declared of educational interest by the province of Córdoba. The application for membership of other institutions to the municipality and the chamber of legislators was presented. The following have been programmed: Work in Schools, The Making of a Wall Campaign, The Screening of the Documentary “The End of Nuclear Weapons”, A musical musical festival among other actions. In Jujuy: A small action is planned for the delivery of the book of the South American March, to Miracle House. Draft to declare week 1 of October the week of non-violence of 2019. In Salta: The Community for the human development and members of the General Direction of the community organization of the municipality presented to the Human Rights Commission and the constitutional guarantees of the Council of deliberation the plan to declare the week 1 of October the week of the nonviolence of 2019 and the Place of the Peace and Non Violence is inaugurated. Make a calendar with activities (1 per month) of diffusion: Cinema debate on the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons, Marathon or bike ride, Human symbols, Closure with a cultural festival. In Mendoza: In July 19, there was a workshop meeting with social organizations adhering to the 2MM. At the 02 of October, there will be marches of Las Heras in Centro de Mendoza. Symbols of peace of the students of the school of Mendoza. In Punta de Vacas: Celebration of the 10th anniversary of the First March on 02/01/2020.

The Americas prepare for the world march

Despite economic, social and political difficulties, each in his own way should try to participate in the project. If this is the case, you can do this by facilitating contacts of individuals, personalities or NGOs in the above-mentioned countries or in other countries through this e-mail address. .

Officials Urge Disarmament ‘Stepping Stones’

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

An article by Shervin Taheran for the Arms Control Association

Warning of a possible resumed nuclear arms race, senior officials from 16 nations urged nuclear-armed nations last month to advance their disarmament efforts as required by the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). The June 11 meeting of foreign ministers and other high-level officials was hosted by Sweden as part of an initiative announced by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström at the NPT preparatory committee meeting in May. (See ACT, June 2019.)


German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (left) and Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström speak at a June 11 meeting in Stockholm on nuclear disarmament. (Photo: Claudio Bresciani/AFP/Getty Images)

The gradual downward trend of the global nuclear arsenal from its peak in 1986, should not be reversed,” the officials proclaimed in a joint declaration. “A potential nuclear arms race—which would serve no one’s interest—must be avoided.”

The participants represented non-nuclear, nonaligned countries, including Argentina, Ethiopia, Finland, Indonesia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Sweden, and Switzerland, and nations that receive the cover of the U.S. nuclear umbrella, including Canada, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, and Spain.

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Question related to this article:

Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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Their statement emphasized the importance of reaffirming the role of the NPT as “the cornerstone of the global disarmament and nonproliferation regime” and stressed the necessity of increased progress on the disarmament pillar of the treaty.

Toward that end, the ministers declared that they will seek an outcome at the 2020 NPT Review Conference that will identify “stepping stones” for the implementation of the NPT disarmament obligations, which commit the treaty’s five nuclear-weapon states to “pursue negotiations in good faith” to end the nuclear arms race and to achieve nuclear disarmament.

The officials highlighted concrete measures that could be taken to advance disarmament, as previously presented in a Swedish working paper, including more transparent declaratory policies, measures to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in doctrines, strengthening negative security assurance, working on nuclear disarmament verification, and addressing the production of fissile material.

Sweden first submitted the working paper to the NPT preparatory committee meeting in April. The United States also has pursued an initiative ahead of the review conference, titled “Creating an Environment for Nuclear Disarmament”.

Citing the need to identify common ground on disarmament, Wallström told the May NPT meeting that “the NPT community cannot come empty-handed next year” for the review conference. The process laid out in the working paper could help to build trust and confidence and “unlock current diplomatic blockages,” she said.

Dr. Garbis Der-Yeghiayan Elected Chair of Rotary Middle East Initiative Council

. .DISARMAMENT & SECURITY. ,

An article from the Massis Post

The Executive Committee of Rotarian Action Group For Peace recently elected Dr. Garbis Der-Yeghiayan as Chair of the newly-established Middle East Initiative Council. In the month of March, 2019, a high-ranking Rotary delegation headed by Dr. Der-Yeghiayan visited Israel and Palestine meeting with numerous government officials,leaders of peace-promoting organizations, university presidents and students. as well as Rotarians. The idea of establishing a peace council was conceived during the delegation’s visit to the Holy Land.


Dr. Garbis Der-Yeghiayan

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Question related to this article:

How can a culture of peace be established in the Middle East?

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Upon his election, Dr. Der-Yeghiayan said: “This is a fresh approach led by Rotarians and youth groups to create a culture of peace. It is based on shared values and desired outcomes of all concerned to include: 1. Safety and Security; 2. Prosperity; 3. Quality of Life. We are committed to full participation in a process to equitably meeting the needs of current and future generations”.

The proposed projects of the Council include: Organizing peace conferences and workshops to address the root causes of conflict among parties with the participation of Rotarians and international thinkers with global experience. Offering a summer program for teens to help them learn about the history, culture and politics of the Middle East. Publishing position papers authored by Council Members and other scholars on events in the Middle East. Working collaboratively with like-minded peace organizations in the region to affect change. Organizing annual peace missions to the region to learn and to better understand the status quo.

The Council will be composed of prominent Rotarians, scholars,statesmen, peace-builders, former ambassadors, former members of parliaments and youth representatives.
Dr. Der-Yeghiayan is a seasoned Rotary leader. He is the first Armenian American elected to serve as a District Governor (California-Nevada, USA) in the history of Rotary International. He has held all senior positions in Rotary, including the chairmanship of Rotarian Action Group For Peace. He is the recipient of Rotary’s highest honors.

Dr. Der-Yeghiayan expressed his gratitude for the honor bestowed upon him and concluded: “Every conflict is an opportunity for better understanding. We encourage openness from people in disputes because direct communication is the best way to find solutions.”