Fifteen hundred people across 24 States joined in the 3,500 mile Steps for Peace Walk as it crossed America, from Maine to California.
Peace walker, Jonathan Meier with Congressman Dennis Kucinich
En route walkers visited the United Nations in New York and passed by the John Lennon Strawberry Fields Memorial in Central Park. The four and a half month walk was the idea of 21 year old Jonathan Meier who asks every-one to help fulfil the mandate of the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non- Violence for the Children of the World. The walkers issued a statement:
‘We, as a nation, as a world, have started to forget that peace is a choice. This walk is a reminder to us and to the world that we can choose a better path for ourselves, a grander and higher potential. We can choose peace over violence, love over fear, sustainability over destruction. Most importantly, we can choose a political system that is representative of these, our basic wants and needs.’
Calling for a Department of Peace and a ban of nuclear weapons, they quoted the Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed El Baradei, who wrote recently: ‘We must abandon the unworkable notion that it is morally reprehensible for some countries to pursue weapons of mass destruction yet morally acceptable for others to rely on them and indeed to continue to refine their capacities and postulate plans for their use.’
The walk was inspired by Dennis Kucinich, the Ohio Congressman who recently received the prestigious Gandhi Peace Prize. Dennis Kucinich is using his campaign for the Democratic nomination for US President to promote his politics of peace.
Accepting the Award he said: ‘The light of peace can be brought into this world through compassion, acceptance, tolerance that’s shared. We realise that we’re all connected, that we’re all one! My politics arise from a holistic world view. What affects me, affects you. It goes to the heart of Gandhi’s philosophy that we are all one.’
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