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Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Veteran peace campaigner Bruce Kent shared his experiences with students at a Newham school.
He met with members of St Bonaventure’s School Council and Year 8 students as well as those in the 6th Form studying politics.
His first meeting with School Council members was very intense with students asking him his views on what is happening in Ukraine, torture in Brazil and what happened in Biafra.
Bruce spoke about meeting Mother Theresa and explained to them the real horrors of war. He stressed the real human cost of war and how it affects people.
Bruce, who is 84, then went on to speak to a large audience of Year 8 and Sixth Formers about nuclear weapons, disarmament and his views on nuclear power. He answered questions on a variety of topics and spoke about the uncertain times in the 1980’s when the threat of nuclear war was a real likelihood.
Paul Halliwell, head teacher, said: “His message that non violence conflict resolution and peace is the way forward came across really strongly. He stressed the need for everyone to try and get along and that the only way to end war was by talking to each other. What was evident was that Bruce was opposed to injustice of any sort. His talks were very thought provoking and gave our students a lot to think about. We were honoured to welcome such an influential man into our classrooms.”
Bruce stressed the need for dialogue and diplomacy instead of confrontation and how violence is never the answer. He said: “We need to change the culture of war into a culture of peace.”
Matt Jeziorski, a Youth and Outreach Worker at Pax Christi, the International Catholic Movement for Peace accompanied him.
Bruce’s visit to St Bon’s is the first stop of his nationwide tour planned for this year. He plans to travel the country visiting various venues with the ‘Time To Scrap Trident’ theme.