Peace and Disarmament
In Response to Riots, SGI-UK Members Dialogue for Peace
Amidst the violence and turmoil of the recent riots that began on August 6, 2011, in Tottenham in the London Borough of Haringey, SGI-UK members deepened their determination to work towards the creation of a peaceful society through holding dialogues with people in their local communities.
Riots in London and around the country saw widespread looting and buildings set alight after a peaceful demonstration over the death of a man shot by the police turned violent.
Jenny Warne, SGI-UK women's leader for East Haringey, commented: "The members in East Haringey have been holding daimoku [chanting] meetings for the peace, prosperity and happiness of the people living in Tottenham and Wood Green." She recounted at least one incident of an SGI member speaking directly with young men involved with the rioting and convincing them not to commit arson. Ms. Warne commented, "We are having great dialogues with people on the street, in the libraries and the parks."
SGI-UK members also invited police officers on duty in Brixton to the SGI-UK South London National Centre for discussion and refreshments as an expression of appreciation for their efforts within the community. They also explained SGI's wish to contribute to building a peaceful society.
SGI-UK General Director Robert Samuels and SGI-UK Women's Leader Suzanne Pritchard sent a message to SGI-UK leaders on August 10 encouraging them to fight against fear and to "confidently support and give courage to others." They also quoted from SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's essay about the courage of the people of Tohoku, Japan, following the March 11, 2011, earthquake, as encouragement to those in the UK. Mr. Ikeda states, "What is needed now more than ever is a robust principle of the sanctity of life, a vibrant philosophy of hope, and a humanistic alliance dedicated to working for the welfare of others."
[Adapted from an article in the August 17, 2011, issue of the SGI-UK Online News Bulletin; photo courtesy of SGI-UK]