Will You End the Silence on Violence? Good Will Walk against Violence on Oct 25th 2014 in Vancouver
I am inviting you to the Good Will Walk against Violence, organized by UNITED SIKHS (www.unitedsikhs.org), a UN affiliated, international NGO, which is on Saturday 25th Oct 2104, from the Totem Poles (Stanley Park) along the Seawall to the Komagata Maru Memorial, Coal Harbour,Vancouver,Canada.
On behalf of the Sikh community of British Columbia,Canada, who are hosting the Walk, UNITED SIKHS would like you to bring and share your message against violence during the 4 km walk whose slogan is 'End the Silence on Violence.
We have invited the First Nations Chiefs, Honourable Chief Wayne Sparrow of the Musqueam Nation, the Honourable Chief Ian Campbell of the Squamish Nation and Honourable Chief Maureen Thomas of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, as is customary, to inaugurate and bless the start of the walk at the Totem Poles, which is their traditional territory.
Why should you attend? If, like me, you have found that there is a deafening silence on violence, then we have a duty to say something by walking together.
Below are details about the walk, for which diverse faith and community groups, NGOs and elected representatives have been invited. The slogan of the walk is: End the Silence on Violence.
The Good Will Walk (GWW) Details Date: October 25th, 2014 from 11am – 3pm Starting Point: The Totem Poles, Brockton Point, Stanley Park, Vancouver Ending Point: The Komagata Maru Memorial Site, Coal Harbour, Vancouver
Background on the Good Will Walk against Violence
In November 1984, men, women and children of the Sikh faith were the victims of deliberate, systematic and politically supported violence in Delhi and throughout India. The scale of tyranny and abuse draws parallels to the Kristallnacht of 1938, the Holocaust in Nazi Germany and Austria. People who survived the 1984 carnage say it was a genocide inspired by a desire to destroy the Sikh people. Over five days thousands of Sikh men and boys were mercilessly murdered; Sikh women raped and their property looted and burnt by mobs. The Nanavati Commission of Inquiry, set up the Indian Government, received evidence that there was involvement of leaders and workers of the ruling party (Congress (I)) in the killings. The Commission’s inquiry also revealed that the police was indifferent or negligent in performance of its duties while those incidents were taking place and at times it also connived at or participated in them. However, to date none of these politicians or police has been convicted for any of the killings or crimes.
The world watched the blockbuster film Gandhi and his story of non-violence win 8 academy awards in 1983, and only one year later innocent men women and children in India were the targets of a killing machine. It is estimated that 5000 innocent Sikhs were slaughtered in the streets, homes and businesses in Nov 1984 in Delhi alone. This story was covered up and Indian leaders were never held accountable. It is an open wound still and the story must be told for the sake of the people of India and for healing to occur. India must face its past if it wants to move into a positive future.
At the end of the walk, UNITED SIKHS will screen a trailer of our film: 'Where Are Our Dead' which features the shocking realization, as we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Nov 84 Sikh Genocide, that no dead bodies were returned to the families and to date no final rites have been performed for the thousands who were killed by the mobs. You may watch the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/user/UnitedSikhsTV
Learning from these acts of atrocity, the Sikhs as a community stand with all victims of violence: of hate crime, domestic violence, bullying, drugs, suicide, human trafficking, disappearances, war or genocide. Today we are witnessing the continuing violence against innocent victims in Gaza, Syria, Iraq and Ukraine; continued violence against women; and against children traded for slavery and sex. In the response to this we cannot remain silent and so we stand up and say NO. We stand together, not because we can change the perpetrators, but so that the violence will not change us; that we remain a bulwark against forgetting, against silence and against violence.
Previous UNITED SIKHS Projects The first Good Will Walk (GWW) organized by UNITED SIKHS, took place in Malaysia in May 2014 and was dedicated to the families of the passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which disappeared mid-flight on 8th March 2014. During the Malaysia walk participants walked for ten hours a day and covered 300 kilometers in eight days. Further information about that walk can be found at http://unitedsikhs.org/Good_Will_Walk_2014/.
UNITED SIKHS organized Langar 2012, when 25,000 roti rolls prepared by more than 20 Gurdwaras were served along a 30 kilometer route, on the day the then 101 year old Bhai Fauja Singh ran with the Olympic torch in London, UK. Further details of this event can be found at http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-20-07-2012-00.html