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Peace and non-violence now!

A historic three-month peace rally through more than 100 countries on four continents arrived to a jubilant welcome in Brooklyn where a convoy of New Yorkers representing more than 100 cultures and including hundreds of children, teachers, religious leaders, city officials and grassroots gladiators feted the international team of marchers with a two-day assembly.

The contingent behind the World March for Peace and Nonviolence traveled from Borough Hall to City Hall, trekking with banners along the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge to bring attention to the first worldwide march involving more then one million people and endorsed by Nobel Prize winners, presidents, world leaders, authors and celebrities.

A multimedia program of inspirational talks and cultural performances to the theme of “Beyond Violence” marked the official welcome at the Riverside Church in Manhattan, followed by a visit the next day to Ground Zero for a ceremony to honor 9/11 victims, sponsored by World Without Wars and Without Violence, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, and the Community for Human Development.

Later that day, a delegation of marchers met with United Nations’ General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon.

The world amble began in New Zealand on October 2, the International Day of Nonviolence, with five proposals on the agenda: abolition of nuclear weapons worldwide, immediate withdrawal of “invading” troops from “occupied” territories, “progressive and proportional” reduction of conventional weapons, signing of non-aggression treaties between countries, and reunciation by governments of the use of war as a means to resolve conflicts.

After departing New York City, the marchers will continue to Washington DC, Montreal, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Mexico before heading south through Central and South America, completing their monumental journey in the heights of the Andes at Punta de Vacas, Argentina on January 2, having traveled 99,000 miles to spread their message.

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