Grey, overcast skies and chilly temperatures couldn't keep a determined group of about 200 Central Oregonians from attending a Peace March & Rally in Solidarity with the United For Peace event in Washington, D.C. Saturday. Warm spirits overcame cold feet as we marched to the beat of our Stop-the-Damned-War Drum Corps. The march started out with organizers energizing the crowd with lively, albeit brief tunes and an announcement that our well-attended event was but one of over 275 such protest events occurring across America and in at least six international locations. Negril, Jamaica? We were a bit jealous of their weather...
After a brief attempt to levitate City Hall to a higher plane on our march, we gathered at the Old Stone Church in downtown Bend where we enjoyed presentations by Thiel Larson and Meg Brookover of the Central Oregon CodePINK chapter. A fine local musician, Katie Cavanaugh from Sisters playing some soulful peace tunes. Reverend David Nagler, pastor of the Trinity Lutheran Church gave a poignant talk about war and its effects on present and future generations. The crowd was moved to cheer a video presentation of two of the speakers at the Washington event. 12 year old Moriah Arnold from Harvard, MA expressed what we all feel about the morass in Iraq, "enough is enough". Rep. Dennis Cucinich (D. OH), Presidential aspirant, stressed that Congress has the power to control the purse strings for the war, and in fact this is the only way that America will be forced to give up on the folly of the Iraq quagmire.
Speakers stressed that Monday, January 29 is a day designated to lobby Congress to end the funding for the war. Brief mention was made of the fact that Saturday, March 17 marks the fourth anniversary of the illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq and that large events are being scheduled for Washington, D.C. and across the nation, including, once again, Bend, OR. Join us if you can.