CHILDREN of all ages sent out a message loud and clear: We want peace.
The occasion was the School Day of Non-violence and Peace, which was launched by a Majorcan teacher and poet, Llorenç Vidal, in 1964, and which is now celebrated world wide. It coincides with the anniversary of the death of Gandhi. In Palma, the slogan was “A different world for children is possible” and more than 1'100 children took to the streets, marching from the Plaza España to Ses Voltes. There, tribute was paid to the Nazaret home, Ses Minyones and El Temple for their work on behalf of deprived children and education. The event has been organised by the Human Rights association for the past 20 years, and its chairman Bernat Vicenç made a speech opposing war with Iraq. The children had different definitions of peace depending on their ages. For some it was ‘love thy neighbour' and for others it was ‘a symbol of not making war.' But they all agreed on their definition of President Bush as “a bad, cruel man.” A manifesto was read and doves were released as a symbol of peace. This year 22 schools from Palma, Campos, Pont d'Inca, Marratxi and Santanyi took part in the event, which was attended by government representative Catalina Cirer and Bishop of Majorca Mgr Teodor Ubeda. In Manacor, 850 children aged between three and five, each carrying a symbol of peace, filled the Plaza Ramon Llull with messages of peace and laughter as they enjoyed the entertainment laid on for them by the town council. The square was decorated with panels filled with banners and posters made by schoolchildren of all ages, all saying the same: Give peace a chance. The older children were presented with copies of the declaration of human rights and encouraged to study it and use it as a basis for school projects.