Free All-Day event on the Library Field
World Peace Day was marked in Wrexham once again this year with a completely free event on the Library Field, featuring live music and poetry all afternoon, a whole range of free activities and perfect weather. The day began with a meditation session, after which everyone came together on the field in a large circle.
After a minute’s silence for world peace, marked at midday on 21 September all around the world, those present were invited to cast out feelings of anger, hatred and violence, return them to the earth and suggest what might be put in their place.
This was followed by a service for peace for those of all faiths and none.
Wrexham’s Mayor Alan Edwards read a poem he had written himself for the occasion.
To Gain Peace
Conflicts are mostly caused by greedy, power crazy people who
Wish to gain territory or sometimes also by a certain egotistic few
That try to brainwash and control the people’s mind
To use to the detriment of all mankind.
To have a lasting peace, first you have to have forgiveness to your former foes
And with compromise and understanding in time hopefully a friendship grows.
In my opinion the greatest man to live in my lifetime when from his prison cell he finally gained his release
Never sought revenge but embraced his former enemies so his country could have a chance of peace.
Now and again I let my mind wander and think of those who died in a past war.
Are they now looking down on us and thinking what was their sacrifice for?
We must put all religious and national grievance to one side, and then perhaps we can advance
To a better world for everyone and in the words of John Lennon just give peace a chance.
Songs from members of Wrexham Community Choir kicked off a full afternoon’s programme of live music with Michelle Murphy and Esme Davies (pictured above), Heal the Last Stand (pictured below), Jessica Ball, Andy and Mel Hickie, Tiny Wooden Angels, Ellie Larke and Y Gogs.
This was complemented by poetry readings from Sophie McKeand including Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish’s A State of Siege.
Around the field were:
- a very extensive Free Stall incorporating free popcorn, Incredible Edibles and the Little Free Library;
- a campaigns stall covering issues including anti-fracking, anti-war, anti-nuclear, the arms trade, Gaza and Chelsea Manning solidarity and with a wide selection of banners and peace flags on display
- art and craft materials including badge making
- face painting and glitter
- a stall providing free bike powered fruit smoothies
- A ‘sit and knit’ stall offering knitting lessons for children and adults and information on yarn bombing and other knitting-related projects
- a free food share
- free massage
- a space used for yoga, meditation and laughter workshops
Five ‘pass the parcels’ full of free gifts were also circulating around the field as people of all ages relaxed in the warm sunshine. Live music continued until about 5.30pm and commenced again at 8pm in Saith Seren where there was a free Peace Day gig.
Genny Bove, of Wrexham Peace & Justice Forum and Wrexham Peace Day Group said afterwards:
I am proud to have been involved once again in such a positive and hopeful event organised by the community for the community. I think we should question though why Wrexham County Borough Council, which dedicated most of its £30k events budget to Armed Forces Day this year, refused to print any posters or flyers that would have cost pennies to help promote an international day for World Peace that we have marked here in Wrexham for years and which brings many sectors of the community together.
The controversial £135k a year Mayor’s post has yet to be axed and in the meantime the new Mayor Alan Edwards joined us and was made welcome, like everybody else. He participated in the circle ceremony at the beginning of the day, read out his own poem for peace before the service and stayed to chat with people afterwards.
This year as always, the event was put together with purely voluntary effort and goodwill by ordinary people seeking to build a better world from the ground up. Looking outwards from Wrexham, peace is in short supply. As the situation across the Middle East continues to deteriorate and western military intervention for which there is no legal basis serves only to spread the wars, more ordinary people will be killed, maimed, displaced, traumatised and more hatred and extremism will ensue. Action for peace is needed now more than ever. As Mahatma Gandhi said: ‘There is no way to peace; peace is the way’.
To contact the Peace Day group, email firstname.lastname@example.org.