More bells for peace | Financial Times comment

John Woodhouse ringing at 8.12am on 27 July

Not everyone managed to get to the Millennium Bridge last Friday at 8.12am (just as well), but word is reaching the London Peace Network that a few brave souls rang their door and other bells in solidarity.

Here is musician John Woodhouse, who convenes Westminster Cathedral Inter Faith Group and who is a regular at London Borough Faiths Network meetings.  Go John!

A couple of pieces by Peter Aspden in the Financial Times have mentioned the Olympic Truce:  Missing: that elusive truce (which mentions the glorious Peace Camp) and Childish fun and games (which mentions All The Bells).

The Olympic Truce has undoubtedly suffered from a rock-bottom profile (it doesn’t even get a mention in the London 2012 Official Book).  Most of the peace-building activities we include here at the London Peace Network involve local community groups and are below the radar, but many of them wouldn’t be happening at all were it not for the Olympic Truce.

The International Olympic Truce Centre actively supports peace-making efforts world wide.  We are hoping to meet the team while they are in London.

What do you think?

Is there a role for local communities in peace-building?  Both here in the UK and overseas, they tend to be at the sharp end when it comes to violence.  If so, what?

Or should we leave it to national and world leaders?  Ban Ki-moon said at the Friday Olympic Truce event organised by the Foreign Office that, having visited Srebrenica (which he said was one of the most painful places for a UN Secretary General to visit), he didn’t want a future UN SG to have to visit Syria in 10 years’ time to apologise.

Are there ways to harness the experience and expertise of both?  If so, how?


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