Palm Sunday Rally for Peace

     A Peace Rally is a hopeful but sometimes fragile event. People who, like everyone in the world, want peace in their lives, gather in a square or a plaza or park and proclaim to anyone who will listen that peace is far more important and desirable than war.
    We tend to bring along our pieces of non-peacefullness to such a gathering however. Like unwanted ants at a picnic they irritate and fragment our sense of peace and cooperation. The Palm Sunday Rally for Peace at King George Square in Brisbane was a bit like that. Well organised, there was lots of cooperation and understanding being displayed all around but it could never be held in isolation from the world around us. The war currently being waged in Europe around Yugoslavia invaded our Rally in a number of subtle and obvious ways.
    Speakers denounced armed military responses. Somewhere else in the city old soldiers remembered the role of soldiers in previous wars while airforce planes flew overhead. Members of a particular national group wanted to use the forum to denounce members of another national group. In the middle of a performance of an old traditional peace story they returned to the square angry and determined to make their presence felt. A scuffle broke out on the side. Police intervened. Tempers flared. Young men bristled ready to fight. Others helped keep the peace.
    It's not surprising then that the group improvisation story that we created brought in, consciously or unconsciously, many of the elements of violence occurring around us. Somehow or other however, peace did triumph both in our story and at the Rally.
    Most of the contributions to the improvisation were provided by children but some adults were brave enough to add to the story as well. My role as story facilitator was to encourage contributions, say 'Yes' to anything and add it to the story with enough energy and drama to encourage more contributions as dispute raged at the other side of the square. As with all improvisations you never quite know what is going to happen next. It was all lots of fun however and a tribute to our peacefullness and creativity. Here's the story complete with illustrations provided by participants, young and old, at the rally.

       Daryll Bellingham, Storyteller. 

 
 

 

 

 
 

Story no.1   -   'Pieces of Peace'

"Once upon a time a group of people had gathered in a square to celebrate and rally for peace. They made and listened to speeches and enjoyed music and meeting friends. They bought and sold wholesome and nourishing food.  

Marchers and banners at rally.  
  

  
They created colourful banners and, led by an energetic group of drummers, singers and dancers, they paraded through the streets of the city.  

On their return to the square they were hot and sweaty but pleased with themselves for having told everyone how important peace was. They bought some more drinks and settled down on seats and the grass to listen to the speakers.  

 

As they waited they heard a sound. It was a mighty roar. Some screamed - "Ahhhhhh! What's that?" Others jumped up, standing on seats and looking around. Over the clock tower of the City Hall roared a war plane. You could see bombs and rockets hanging off the underneath of the wings. A bright orange flame flared out of the afterburner as it roared overhead. Everything shook and shuddered as it flew past.  

The people watched in horror as that war plane banked and turned back towards the square. Someone shouted, "Run for cover! Run for cover!" They could hardly believe their eyes. As they watched a long cylindrical object detached from the wing and start to tumble down, down, down towards the square.  

Everybody thought, "No! No!"  

Just before it hit the square, the people came together and put up a forcefield. It formed a dome of protection over the square. The bomb bounced off the force field and slid down the side. The people thought, "Oh no. It's still going to land. We've saved ourselves but what about the people of the city? We have to do something."  Bomb exploding over City Hall 

A child stood up and pointed and a giant meteorite scorched across the sky, collided with the bomb and pushed it high up in the sky. There it exploded harmlessly looking like a disappointing firework. Children and adults together heaved a sigh of relief and congratulated themselves for having worked so quickly to save lives and keep out war.  

Someone said, "Look. There must have been something packed inside that bomb. It's fluttering down like a brown shower of rain."  
 

 

 

Purple and brown drops flutter down. 
 

 

 
Strong hands flew up again. The force field spread out over the square just in case it was something harmful. They watched, puzzled, as the fluttering drops got bigger and browner and flutterier.  
 

Cockroaches landing on people standing in square. 
 

 
Soon they realised that what was fluttering down was a swarm of cockroaches - icky, sticky, smelly, stinky, yucky cockroaches.  

They landed around the square and soon spread throughout the city. 
 

And, if you go to that city, even today, you'll still find those cockroaches running around being a nuisance, disturbing peoples peace.  

Palm Sunday Rally for Peace  
  
The only purpose they serve is to remind the people of the city that, working together, they can stop a bomb. They can create peace." 

 
 

Like our story? Want to add a peace story of your own? Swap links of peace stories? I'd love to hear from you and hear about your peace experiences. mail@storytell.com.au  Daryll Bellingham

All contents copyright (C) 1999, Daryll Bellingham on behalf of participants at the 1999 Brisbane Palm Sunday Rally for Peace. All rights reserved. However if you would like to use the story for peaceful purposes don't hesitate to ask for permission we would love to see it used if appropriate.

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