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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA

Shaping Peace Together 2020 – The New Normal

Rochdale has a proud tradition of marking the UN International Day of Peace on 21 September.

In recent years individuals and organisations from the whole spectrum of our richly diverse communities have come together to demonstrate a common desire to create a more peaceful world.

Last year, pre Covid-19, a special flag raising and bell ringing to mark the United Nations International Day of Peace took place at Rochdale Town Hall.

The UK's first official observance of the UN Peace Day was held in Rochdale in 2006, organised by the late John Katsoulieri (formerly Farrington) and me leading to an annual Peace Parade, which ran until 2010.

Two years ago, John sadly died after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

As John showed, we can all be leaders, creating a more peaceful world and recognising that we are all human first.

We all can be part of the solution by taking small steps, such as: acting on climate change in our homes, schools and communities through promoting sustainable lifestyles, conserving nature, supporting renewable energy and adopting environmentally friendly practices, preventing an injustice at school, in the workplace or in our communities, encouraging people to stop hurting each other by calling a truce, adopting a non-violent approach to problem solving, reporting potential crimes, including online bullying and hate-related abuse, showing leadership through the way in which we conduct ourselves in all our human interactions.

A peaceful society is one where there is justice and equality for everyone.

The 2020 theme for the International Day of Peace is Shaping Peace Together.

We are invited to:

• Celebrate the day by spreading compassion, kindness, and hope in the face of the pandemic.

• Stand together against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred, including those based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.

There is currently much dialogue and individual thought being devoted to the ‘new normal’ not just in terms of coping with current changes but identifying what the future should look like - ‘shaping peace together’.

We are:

• Sharing our thoughts about ‘shaping peace together – the new normal’ through such as poems, stories, statements, videos, visual art etc.

• Celebrating our richly diverse cultural heritage by sharing words and images that raise our collective awareness and promote greater understanding and tolerance in the wider community.

Steve Bewick, Jazz Broadcaster, October 2020


Productivity and recovery continues as the economy grows were told, yet

the UK continues to have a high level of income inEquality compared to other developed countries.

And alternatives from Labours new leader are more in sorrow than in anger.

And so Capitalism prevails, flexible, adaptive, the Trojan horse of war.

Equal social status for all humans with equal access to the wealth produced ever seems a goal beyond our dreams.

Steve has also shared Sent to him from a jazz friend in Vietnam.

Robin Parker

United Nations International Day of Peace (2020)

Shaping Peace Together.

Fine words carved meaningfully by

UN scribes as

Theme for this year’s day.

Yet how can be achieved

Such lofty aspirations when

Criminals make money by

Jamming refugees in boats,

Not caring should they

Live or die or be

Washed up on foreign shores?

We stand in

Office, church or mosque,

Powerless to stop the trafficking.

Too easily may we

Stand and spout

Hand-wringing platitudes.

But, today,

We can and must

Utter one word of

Action and solidarity, to

Shape Peace Together.

One little word;


© Robin Parker, September 2020

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