Friday 20 May 2011

Pathways to Peace in the Middle East

On the day of a further 30 deaths in Syria, and with the last month notching up over 2000 NATO bombing raids over Libya, our church decided to it was time show some solidarity with those caught up in the slaughter. From repressive regimes fighting to retain power, to the aftermath of peaceful movements in both Tunisia and Egypt, we must show our support for all those struggling against the odds for peace.

It was a simple idea, making footprints on which people could write down poems or prayers. We then lined them up to make a pathway into the 'peace garden'. Emma, Erfin, Amy and Andrew helped make the footprints, and we made signs calling for peace in Palestine, Yemen, Jordan, Syria, Libya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa.

It was heartening to see people eager to write their thoughts and prayers, and members of the student union resolved to make this a weekly event, timed on Fridays to coincide with some of the bravest of protests after prayer time in the mosques.

We did it to show solidarity with the hundreds of students connected to these countries, and because we refuse to be silent when violence is used to decide the fate of millions of people. We must stop arming repressive regimes, we must strive to endorse peaceful solutions to violent confrontations. There is no way to peace - peace is the way.

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