Happy Birthday Martin Luther King Jr.

“Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time…”

“- the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.” A path of peace as the only path leading into our future lies in these words by Martin Luther King Jr.  Back in 1964, when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, these words were as true as they are today. Being awarded for his nonviolent resistance to racial prejudice and his fight for civil rights, his blazing acceptance speech promoted not just peace and the believe in a non-violent change but depicted his strong conviction that mankind will wake up from its “starless midnight of racism and war”. Besides battling racism and injustice with words and love he campaigned for a world free from weapons of all kind. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, King grew up to continue his grandfather’s tenure as a pastor. While attending segregated public schools he experienced social injustice and civil right violations in his early years.  As a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, in December 1955, he accepted to take the lead in the 382 days bus boycott that led to the Supreme Court declaration declaring laws requiring segregation on buses unconstitutional. In the years between 1957 and 1968 he supported protests and marches and held various speeches, with his most famous one being “l Have a Dream” which was held in Washington, B.C., in 1968 (see IPB statement to the 50th anniversary of this speech). In all his work and travels he derived his ideas from Christianity and fought with the operational techniques from Gandhi. And while his struggle for justice earned him five honorary degrees and the title Man of the year in 1963, he nevertheless was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times, with himself and his home being targeted by opponents.

When he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, he was only thirty-five years old and therefore the youngest man to have received the prize. Its prize money of $54,123 was announced to be turned over to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.

King was fighting to end to racial injustice but also became a world figure for civil rights and the peaceful fight for a world without violence. Underlined by the Nobel Committee he was the first in the western world to prove how a peaceful change for a better and more just society can be made.

Today, 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in Tennessee, his acceptance speech still flourishes from images of hope and encourages us to believe in change and work for a peaceful world, because “peace is more precious than diamonds or silver or gold.”

Towards a peaceful and nonviolent process of dialogue and understanding in the Catalan conflict

The IPB has a close relationship with Catalonia. Four Catalan entities are IPB’s partners (Unipau, the Delàs Centre for Peace Studies, Justícia i Pau, Fundipau) and representatives of those entities are (and have been) in our Board of Directors and our International Council. We have traditionally maintained close collaborations with Catalan institutions such as the ACCD and the Barcelona City Council. In addition, we have decided last year to establish one of the three IPB’s decentralized offices in the city of Barcelona. Continue reading “Towards a peaceful and nonviolent process of dialogue and understanding in the Catalan conflict”

IPB calls for an end to the epic catastrophe in Yemen

With weapons, training, technological and diplomatic support from the United States and European nations, Saudi Arabia has inflicted massive destruction, famine and a deadly cholera epidemic on the people of Yemen, We call on Saudi Arabia stop its bombing, for an end to all foreign interventions and support to the warring parties, for a return to diplomacy, and for international support to end the famine and to respond to the cholera epidemic. The latest developments of the Yemeni civil war underline the need of an immediately ceasefire in the country. Continue reading “IPB calls for an end to the epic catastrophe in Yemen”

IPB’s Council Statement on the recent terrorist massacre in Egypt

The International Peace Bureau’s Council is shocked by the massacre of at least 300 people and those who are injured as a result of a new terrorist attack against a Mosque congregation in northern Sinai.

We condemn this crime and express our indignation. We also convey our deepest condolences to the victims’ families, the wounded and the Egyptian people as a whole.

Barcelona, November 26th, 2017.