Peace Parade founder to hold peace vigil at Town Hall

Date published: 09 September 2009

The founder of Rochdale's annual Peace Parade is to hold a one-man peace vigil for 24 hours outside Rochdale Town Hall.

John Farrington, founder of Peace Parade UK and organiser of the UK’s only official and public observation of United Nations International Day of Peace and Non-Violence, is hoping to raise awareness and gain support for the Peace Day.

From 12noon on Monday (14 September), Mr Farrington will stand outside the Town Hall holding a specially made giant peace dove. The vigil will start a seven day countdown to the Peace Parade in Rochdale Town Centre on Monday 21 September.

The vigil coincides with a council cabinet meeting at the Town Hall that evening and Mr Farrington hopes that the 15ft dove will grab the attention of councillors as they arrive for the meeting.

Mr Farrington said: "This is not a protest; it is a positive vigil to remind people that the peace parade is being held the following week.

"Although the people of Rochdale and its council have supported this event admirably in the last three years, we now feel that the time is right for the surrounding councils of Greater Manchester, and then the UK, to follow their example."

Peace Parade UK established the primary public and official observation of UN Peace Day in 2006 in Rochdale. Each year the parade has been led by a celebrity vehicle – from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to the DeLorean from ‘Back to the Future’ in 2008. This year the parade will be led by Mike Newman – the blind land speed world record holder.
Also attending will be Nancy Dell’Olio, whose organisation Truce International has been working alongside Peace Parade UK since 2007. The Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe and Mayoral representatives from each town in Greater Manchester will also be in attendance.

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