Thousands of people, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, people of all ages from all walks of life and from all corners of Cyprus, marched on Sunday 10th June 2018 in the Pancyprian Peace March to the British Base of Akrotiri organized by the Cyprus Peace Council. This sea of people sent out a powerful message for Peace in Cyprus, Peace in the World. It was a truly popular mobilization with unity in action embracing broad masses strata and various movements that came together around common goals, a traditional feature and fundamental principle of the peace movement of Cyprus.
The hot sun, strong wind, as well as the sound of two British fighter jets which flew above were not enough to break the will and dampen the passion of the marchers for peace. Thousands of people marched 4.5 kilometers, demonstrating against the atrocities of the criminal wars and ongoing NATO imperialist interventions against the peoples. They denounced the use of Cyprus through the British Bases as an aggressive launching pad against our neighboring peoples. They demanded the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Cyprus, the withdrawal of the occupying army of Turkey which continues to occupy almost 40% of Cyprus' territory, the abolition of the British bases and the dissolution of NATO. They demanded peace in Cyprus and the world.
An event was held before the march begun with a cultural program which was addressed by the President of the Cyprus Peace Council Stelios Sofokli, the General Secretary of the World Peace Council Thanassis Pafilis, the General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers Trade Union KTOS, the representative of the Syrian National Council of Peace Samir Masad, the Palestinian Committee for Peace and Solidarity Hassan Mahareeq, the Peace and Solidarity Committee of Israel Aida Touma-Sliman, the British Council of Peace Steve Johnson, the former President of the Confederal Group of the European United Left (GUE/NGL) Francis Wurtz, the former Yugoslav Foreign Minister Zivadin Yovanovic and finally the General Secretary of the Central Committee of AKEL Andros Kyprianou. Representatives from the fraternal movement of the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation and the peace movement in Spain also took part in the event and March, while the peace movements of Turkey and the Czech Republic sent messages of support and solidarity. It should also be noted that over 160 people of the arts and letters, of culture in general, including cultural movements and agencies, signed a declaration supporting the aims and goals of the Peace March.
Just before the beginning of the March, the renowned actor Stelios Kafkarides, read out excerpts from the lyrics of the “Peace March” written by communist Cypriot poet Theodosis Pierides: "And the great army of the people is now as big as our great land and deeper than our great sea, stronger than a thunderbolt… Peace is not awarded – it is won. Peace is a battle and a victory."
The Peace March arrived at the gates of the Akrotiri British air base, from where the British fighter jets were taking off to bomb the neighboring people of Syria. Life jackets were symbolically scattered, as well as an inflatable boat, a moving artistic intervention aimed at sending a message against the death of thousands of people who have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in their efforts to avoid the horrors of war and imperialist interventions. A delegation, headed by the President of the Cyprus Peace Council delivered a resolution to the representative of the Akrotiri British Base (attached)e.
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Attached some of the relevant documents (speeches/resolutions), a few characteristic photographs and a short video of the Peace March.