Non-violent protests heading for Norwich
Following the spate of violence across British cities, Norwich is gearing up to welcome a non-violent protest. In October marchers will be passing through Norwich as part of a non-violent campaign for justice.
They will be supporting some 400 million Dalits (untouchables) in India who are demanding the right to own land, so as to escape from poverty.
Christian Aid will be organising the marches on Saturday 1 October, with the support of Norwich Cathedral.
In 2007 some 25,000 Dalits walked the 350 km from Gwalior to Delhi in a non-violent protest for land rights. Although the government committed itself to land reform, it has not followed through on its promises. In October the Dalit leader P.V. Rajagopal is therefore beginning a 6000 km walk around India to galvanise support for a massive march in October 2012. This time he hopes to lead 100,000 peaceful marchers along the same 350 km route to Delhi.
"Like Gandhi's march to the sea in protest against the salt tax," said local co-ordinator Eldred Willey, "this march is likely to set off major political change. The right to own land belongs to all people, and it is good that we show solidarity with the Indian campaigners."
Money raised in sponsorship from the Norwich march will be used to help landless Dalits take time out to march. They themselves will be putting aside two handfuls of rice a week to save up provisions for the protest.
There will be two alternative routes for the march in Norwich. One will begin at Rockland and follow the Wherryman's Way along the River Yare into the City. The other will be a shorter circular walk from the Cathedral around Whitlingham Broad. Both marches will aim to reach Norwich Cathedral by 3.30pm in time for a special Evening Prayer, which will include petitions for India.
For sign-up forms please contact Eldred Willey at the Kings Centre, Norwich, on 01603 620051, firstname.lastname@example.org