Saturday, October 26, 2002

Not Standing Still

Perhaps as a way to honor Paul Wellstone's memory, or perhaps as a way to continue to show my opposition to this "Next War", I joined in a prayer march sponsored by The Church Of The Brethren. The Church Of The Brethren is a religious community similar to the Quakers and Mennonites, with a strong conviction to peace and justice.

We began with a small ceremony in a parking lot that was our staging area, there were about 40 or 50 of us gathered to pray and march. We marched in (relative)silence stopping at the plaza of a hotel, and two points in the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex to pray, sing and hear the words of God.

There were a few surprises, one was the support we received. During the march, which lasted about two hours, I only heard two negative comments; I did, however, hear many passers-by honking thier horns, or giving us the "Thumbs Up". I wonder if there are more people who oppose Bush's policies than let on, but fear keeps them silent. A second was the number of people there, I was hoping that there would have been more people participating, I have seen lots of letters criticizing our current Iraq policy in the local paper. Perhaps these people feel safer expressing their ideas in print, as opposed to acting on them. A final, and perhaps the most positive surprise, was the amount of younger people there. I continue to be impressed by the fact that younger people seem to be getting involved in anti-war activity. Perhaps they are trying to experience something their parents, or perhaps grandparents, experienced, or maybe the 'net has opened these youths to the ideas that in the past the government was able to marginalize.

I was simply glad to see that even in a part of Pennsylvania that would definitely be "Flyover Country" for the warmongers of the GOP, that a few people are willing to put a principle that my old karate instructor taught me: "A right clenched fist means war. A left open hand means peace; we always put peace over war."