SALEM JOINS THE MILLIONS FOR PEACE
In what was described by many as the largest Peace demonstration in Salem history, over 1400 marchers took to the streets on a rainy Oregon afternoon, chanting the now familiar "Drop Bush not Bombs" and "Wadaya want? PEACE! When do you want it? NOW!" The un-permitted march began at the State Capitol, wound through the Salem business district for over an hour, and then gathered under the clock tower on the beautiful Willamette University campus to hear messages of peace and opposition to the preemptive war doctrine of the Bush administration. Police presence was light, and there were no incidents. The marchers obeyed all traffic laws and were well received by motorists and bystanders. Despite the wet weather there was a festive mood. The plaza was filled with dancing, chanting, colorful banners and music. People from all walks of life from families with small children, to elderly pensioners, students, educators, construction workers, labor activists; people walking dogs, pushing strollers,
people in wheelchairs, and carrying signs and flags.
Once the crowed filled the plaza outside the Hatfield Library, they clapped and cheered as speakers including, event organizer, Michelle Darr, Mala Spotted Eagle -- of the Western Shoshone Nation, Charlie Wallace -- Chaplin at Willamette University, Congressman Peter DeFazio -- who recently introduced legislation to take away Bush's authority to go to war, community activist -- Johnny Lake, MP Green Party co-Chair -- Mary Paladino, Salem Councilwoman -- Anna Braun, Salem Peace Lecture Committee member Fariborz Pakserecht, --, Green Party activist and former Salem City Councilor -- Bill Smaldone, Willamette Students for Peace and Justice organizers Annie Bither-Terry and Allison de la Torre; spoke of Peace and a Just society
There were several moving moments including the powerful prayer and song of Mala Spotted Eagle, the reading of the names of cities throughout the world joining in the days actions by the Reverend Wallace, Johnny lakes invocation of the memory of Dr. martin Luther King, and when the people joined in as Allison de la Torre sang and played Cat Stevens "Peace Train".
Sponsors of the event included Willamette Students for Peace and Justice, OPW and the MP Green Party. For more pictures please go to www.greenvoice.org.
Daniel F. Bonham
Green Voice Newspaper