Report

THE ART OF LIVING FOUNDATION

“ARMS DOWN! PEACE OUT! ”

Peace and Disarmament Festival

1. Where did the activity take place and when : L’Esplanade de Trocadéro, Paris, France on the 22nd of September, 2010, from 2pm to 7 pm.

2. How many participants took part in the event: Over 4,500 people

Activity description

ARMS DOWN! PEACE OUT!  SEPTEMBER 22, 2010, PARIS, FRANCE

On September 19th, 2010, in the blazing sunshine, the YES!+ Youth Group of the Art of Living Foundation teamed up with Religions for Peace, in front of the Eiffel Tower, to inspire the public to action towards a disarmed and peaceful world. Instead of hoping and working for peace, we celebrated peace, and inspired thousands of people to learn more about the ARMS DOWN! Campaign.

During the 5 hour celebration, hosted by Spencer Delisle of the Art of Living Foundation and Lama Azab of Religions for Peace, over 4500 strong sang, danced, listened, and learned about our campaign for shared security. Place Trocadéro was alive with the sights and sounds of the dynamism of our vision for peace and disarmament. The event included song, dance, yoga, and performances from a variety of artistic, cultural and religious traditions, all in celebration of peace and disarmament. Many thanks to all the artists, participants, volunteers, and sponsors that helped make this event a success!

Personal evaluation

How did the activity meet the goals of the campaign? What was achieved?

This activity met the goals of the campaign in the following ways:

1) Through promoting the event through out the Art of Living community and at our National Annual General Meeting over 300 people became aware of the ARMS DOWN! Campaign and were encouraged to sign the online petition.

2) Through promoting the event in our daily introductory courses at the Paris center over 250 people came to know about the ARMS DOWN! Campaign and were invited to sign the online petition and attend our event.

3) L’Esplanade Trocadéro is a tourist destination and as such there is an average passage of about 10-15 thousand people per day. As this was the site of our event over 4,500 people became aware of the campaign and were encouraged to sign the petition and learn more at our ARMS DOWN! Tent.

4) The event was a mixture of Music, Yoga, Dance, Poetry, Song, and Discourse. The positive and festive environment that was created, attracted many people that would not ordinarily be interested in being involved in disarmament. Many people I spoke to liked the positivity that we expressed. They liked the idea of focusing on what we could do rather than the more depressing aspects of the issue. This lead to more people visiting our ARMS DOWN! Tent to learn more.

5) Pictures were taken of the event, and a video was produced that was posted on facebook in order to increase awareness of the ARMS DOWN! campaign and increase the number of online signatures of the petition.

6) The event was a multi-religious, multi-cultural event. Experts from a variety of holy texts were cited and discussed in terms of their relevance to disarmament and peace. The event showed that although we may have different beliefs we can all come together to achieve disarmament and peace. Many people remarked at the harmony they saw and heard in the diversity of speeches, poetry, and song. It was truly evident that the core spirituality and human values of love, peace, compassion, friendliness of all the faiths represented is what connects us and is what is guiding us in the same direction.

Report prepared by: Spencer Delisle, Date: 03.10.2010

Project leader(s) and contact information:Spencer Delisle – Project Coordinator – 0033(0)6 65 51 69 41, spencer.delisle@artofliving.ca


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