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Walk for a New Spring: Sanctuary City, Sanctuary World
March 12, 2017 - April 1, 2017
New England Peace Pagoda is initiating a 28-day walk, open to all interested people, starting in Massachusetts on March 12, 2017 and ending in Washington, DC on April 8. This is the 16th annual “Walk for a New Spring”, first undertaken after September 11, 2001. This year the call of the walk will be for “Sanctuary Cities, Sanctuary World”.
For 3 weeks we will walk in Massachusetts and for 1 week in Washington DC to show active solidarity with immigrants, to honor the many people, faith communities and other communities and political leaders who are coming together across all lines to commit to sanctuary for our immigrant brothers and sisters.
We call also for a world free of the terrifying oppression of war and weaponry, domestically and internationally. Let the US begin our destined and true path of demilitarization and the building of a peaceful country.
We are asking communities and their legislators along our route, to support the “Safe Communities Act of Massachusetts (Senate #1596, House#3052), a bill that would:
- Ensure no State Support for a Muslim registry
- Ensures Basic Due Process Rights for People detained in State Local Facilities for Civil Immigration Violations
- Use Police Resources to fight Crime, not Separate Families
- Prohibit agreements with DHS that Deputize Local Officers as Immigrations Officers
The walk will collect signatures on a Safe Communities Act Petition that will be brought to the Massachusetts State House on March 31, in support of the legislation
The last day of the walking, April 5th in Washington, DC will culminate with a final procession to Capitol Hill, where our Western Massachusetts Congressman, Jim McGovern has reserved a room for the presentation on “Sanctuary and Demilitarization. All senators, congresspersons will be invited along with their staff. We ask all people, both along our route and throughout the country to strongly invite their legislators to come to the presentation. We also invite all people who can, to please join us for the final day of walking, April 5th.
The New England Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist community of Nipponzan Myohoji Japanese Buddhist Order. The temple and pagoda is located in Leverett, MA.
The Walk for “Sanctuary Cities – Sanctuary World” holds unwavering belief that every human is sacred and should be secure from attack, and that this entire beautiful natural world is sacred and inviolable. We walk for the safety of all immigrants and for us all. We walk for a demilitarized country and demilitarized world.
“The word ‘sacred’ is non-existent in the vocabulary of materialism, not to mention the jargon of the military, whose profession specializes in murder and destruction … Words like ‘sanctity’ describe the quintessence of spirituality, particularly in a religious and moral society. It is what imbues life to such a society. No religion or ethics is devoid of the concept of sanctity. (let us) aspire to sanctify the entire globe, to realize the transformation of this world full of violence and suffering that is in itself already the Pure Land, Heaven on Earth…”
– Most Ven. Nichidatsu Fujii, Founder and Teacher of Nipponzan Myohoji, Delivered in a talk entitled “Sanctuary” in 1981
“The Church has been involved in nonviolent peace-building strategies in many countries, engaging even the most violent parties in efforts to build a just and lasting peace…Jesus himself offers a ‘manual’ for this strategy of peacemaking in the Sermon on the Mount…Let us never tire of repeating: ‘The name of God cannot be used to justify violence. Peace alone is holy….”
-Excerpts from “Nonviolence – A Style of Politics for Peace” by Pope Francis, January 1, 2017
“We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented’ society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr