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Mandela Belfast The Vision.

. The loss of Nelson Mandela, the global champion of peace and reconciliation, came during a time of renewed turmoil and uncertainty in Northern Ireland. Once again we are perceived internationally as a society of unrest, extremism and violence. This regressive step toward our troubled past has brought into sharp focus the need for the majority of the people to have their voice heard and to rebuke and marginalise those who seek to destabilize our society. We are concerned citizens from different walks of life, different political and religious backgrounds who have a shared commitment to forging a peaceful, shared and tolerant society. We also share the conviction that Northern Ireland is slipping into the abyss and only by strong civic action can the people make their voices heard to arrest the slide towards more victims and grief stricken families. This is an event which will not only raise both awareness and money for charity but will create an emotive focal point for the people to renew their commitment to the Peace Process and to reconciliation. We believe, as did Nelson Mandela, in the establishment of a shared and equal society. We believe that the Peace Process can no longer be taken for granted. We propose an event which would seek to respectfully mark the passing of Nelson Mandela, celebrate the principles he stood for and strengthen our commitment to the Peace Process. This event is Mandela Belfast. The deep well of frustration felt by the people here at the current situation cannot be understated. We feel a responsibility to do what we can to give the people a voice and to renew, loud and proud, our hope and desire to see a peaceful and successful future for us all. Our event will provide a reflection of the real Northern Ireland and a counterpoint to extremism and the sickness of sectarianism. Mandela Belfast will be a significant and successful event and we humbly request your assistance in making it happen. You, the good people. Spread the word. We believe that Mandela Belfast has the potential to be an annual event and to be the prototype event for other such events all over the region. We recognise the ambition of our vision but we passionately believe that this event can be a catalyst for reconciliation and a renewal of the peoples commitment to the Peace Process. There is a deep need, here and now to stand up and be counted, to make sure that everyone here in Northern Ireland is fully aware that the people will not tolerate extremists dictating our political and social agenda. We will not tolerate the reputation of our society being dragged through the mud. We will not tolerate the creation of more victims.