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UCSB Shootings Prompt Peace March in Venice

Student Ally Chu and 10 other volunteers drove two hours from Santa Barbara to participate in the rally.

About 500 people marched in Venice Saturday for world peace in light of the Isla Vista shootings. Photo courtesy Heavenly Culture, World Peace.
About 500 people marched in Venice Saturday for world peace in light of the Isla Vista shootings. Photo courtesy Heavenly Culture, World Peace.
From Heavenly Culture, World Peace:

In the wake of the tragic Santa Barbara shooting on May 23, more than 500 students and local community nonprofits marched the streets of Venice Beach to rally against violence and war on Saturday.  

Hosting the event is Heavenly Culture, World Peace, an international nonprofit with a branch in Los Angeles that promotes peace initiatives through culture, arts, policy, and religion for the cessation of war. 

“We're immersed in news of violence and war daily. That’s why today we're representing one urgent issue: The need to unite and start a generation and culture that believes that peace is possible,” said HWPL volunteer and UC Santa Barbara student Ally Chu.

Chu and 10 other volunteers drove two hours from Santa Barbara to participate in the rally.  

The march is a part of a global movement of peace rallies held around the world Sunday by more than 200 youth organizations to also commemorate the one-year anniversary of the first International Youth Peace Walk in 2013, which gathered 27,000 youth in Seoul, South Korea to witness the inaugural presentation of the Declaration of World Peace.  

The Chairman of HWPL and author of the declaration is 84-year-old Korean War veteran and peace advocate M.H. Lee. An excerpt of the document reads:  

“We call on all youth to unite in an effort to stop wars and pursue the restoration of peace by agreeing not to fight one another. For World Peace to become a reality, this is the duty of all youth everywhere. The only way to stop the fighting and pointless tragic deaths is to stop fighting. Nobody can ask for anything greater than this, and know that your efforts - the efforts of the young people of the world today in pursuit of peace - will remain as a never fading light of life for all future generations.”  

Lee has traveled to over 73 countries in the last two years and is currently on his 10th World Tour, having visited Washington D.C., New York, Mexico and Los Angeles this month to speak with leaders and to have them sign the HWPL Peace Agreement.

The agreement, which has been signed by 300-plus dignitaries worldwide, is a pledge to work together for peace across nationalities and religions. In September, Lee and HWPL will host the World Alliance of Religions for Peace Summit in South Korea, a G20 format global forum of influential leaders from the religious, political and non-profit spheres working for peace. 

“With shootings like this in the news, it may be hard to believe in ‘peace,’ but Mr. Lee’s passionand sincerity to end violence and war is gathering leaders and youth together. And that is evidence that peace is possible,” said Chu. 
Laurel May 30, 2014 at 02:57 AM
Finally...this is something that the world needs..people who have passion, hard work, and genuine love for others. Can't wait to see what else HWPL will do in the future!
Weming Hsiao May 30, 2014 at 04:52 AM
It seems like in this day and age where the media is covering more things that go wrong rather than healthy news, I am glad to see something that brings about peace. Blessings, Wei.
Candice Johnson May 30, 2014 at 05:33 AM
Here's what happened. I had been invited to this Peace Walk by a pair of bright students who approached me at the local Starbucks. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend because of prior engagements; however the students still shared with me information about HWPL. From what I understand, this organization is doing a huge work bringing about peace and stopping all wars and I am all for it. Peace is something that human race has been hoping to achieve. We all desire it - as it is embedded inside us but it seems impossible. First of all, looking at the smiles of these students after having a not so good morning and then being invited to a peace walk made me see that good is still out there. The very reason for the organization itself is simply for a good cause. HWPL is working together with people - human beings- who have a heart and a desire to live and furthermore to live at peace. The only thing I regret after talking with these students was not being able to take part in this walk. I have their contacts and they will send me more information about how to participate and also volunteer for future events.
Cody Ramiro May 30, 2014 at 08:01 PM
I was here!!! My girlfriend and I were marching with them!! I can attest to how exciting they were to be marching for peace. Quite a rare scene to see these days.
Melissa Young May 31, 2014 at 03:12 AM
We really should focus on what's really important. That is peace. I mean who wouldn't want to live in a world of peace. To be in harmony and love with one another. We should really look to what HWPL is doing and really take part in it!

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