Peace Table 2001

After the fourth presentation of the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award on September 16, 2005, another multi-cultural citizens' party had originally been planned. Discussion forums and a cultural programme featuring music from the Mexican homelands of awardee Bishop Samuel Ruíz García were part of the plans. International culinary delights were to persuade Nuremberg citizens as well as their guests to sit down and eat together and to talk together.

But things were different. Five days before, the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington had shocked the world. The Peace Table in honour of the year's awardee was cancelled, because nobody was in the mood for celebration. Instead the City of Nuremberg called people up to join a demonstration in front of the Opera House, and about 7,500 Nuremberg citizens took up this invitation. Argentinian human rights defender and Peace Nobel Prize laureate, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, who had spoken words in praise of Bishop Ruíz Garcia during the award ceremony, urged people to react in a measured and considered way: "Revenge, hatred and revanchism will not solve the problems of humanity." Bishop Ruíz, too, spoke words of warning about the danger of feelings of revenge winning over. He demanded that the main question should not be the search for the perpetrators, but rather the question why the attacks were made. After the manifestation, the people joined eac other for a memorial walk through the Way of Human Rights, laid down flowers, lit candles and signed condolence books.

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