Citizens Opposed to War with Iraq walk for peace, plan Forum
HANCOCK -- Undaunted by rain and drizzle on Saturday, Oct. 12, about 30 local
community members, including several families with children, walked from
Houghton to Hancock and back to demonstrate their opposition to the recent
Congressional vote giving President George W. Bush authority to wage war on
|Carrying the United States flag and a sign
quoting Gandhi, Norman Kurz of Calumet and Elizabeth Flynn of
Hancock lead a group of about 30 local residents across the
Portage Lift Bridge in a Walk for Peace from Houghton to Hancock
and back on Saturday, Oct. 12. The walk was sponsored by the
Copper Country Citizens Opposed to War with Iraq (COWI).
Carrying peace signs protected from the rain with plastic, these Upper Peninsula residents
echoed the views of the many citizens who communicated their opposition to the
Bush resolution on Iraq to Michigan's United States Senators Carl Levin and
Debbie Stabenow and to U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak -- all of whom voted against the
Bush resolution, which passed in both the Senate and the House of
Representatives earlier this week.*
Sarah Green, Michigan Tech professor of chemistry, distributed leaflets
announcing the walk and denouncing the Bush resolution authorizing the use of
military action against Iraq. Green has also organized a Campus Forum on Iraq,
to be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, in Fisher 139 on the MTU campus.
|Sarah Green, Michigan Tech University professor
of chemistry and organizer of the Walk for Peace and the
coming Oct. 15 Campus Forum on Iraq, chats with Arlyss Waters of
Ewen, Mich., in the Motherlode Café
in Houghton during a sign-making session preceding the walk on
Saturday, Oct. 12. In the background, Waters' daughter Linnea
Waters works on a sign. Not pictured is Charles Waters, who also
made the trip from Ewen with his wife and daughter.
"In five years when somebody asks, 'How did we get into this war?' I
want to be able to say that I tried to prevent it," Green said.
Putting the finishing touches on a sign, Green chatted with Ewen resident
Arlyss Waters, who joined the walkers in the Motherlode Café
in Houghton, where the group had a sign-making session on Saturday morning,
preceding the walk. Accompanying Waters were her husband, Charles Waters, and
her daughter, Linnea Waters, a student at Gogebic Community College.
In an email to Keweenaw Now earlier this week, Arlyss Waters said she
and her family were driving through Wisconsin after a long trip and listening to
the radio wondering about the outcome of the congressional vote.
"Fortunately our Rep.Stupak had the support from his district to stand up against this bad mistake,"
|During the sign-making session in the
Motherlode before the Oct. 12 Walk for Peace, Scott Rutherford of
Hancock prepares to cover a sign with plastic to protect it from
Saturday's rain. The sign refers to the recent Nobel Prize for
Peace awarded this week to former President Jimmy Carter.**
During the walk, Houghton resident Andrea Baldridge said she recently
returned from China after visiting her daughter, Ashley Baldridge, an MTU
graduate, who teaches English at the Chanchun Institute of Technology in
"While I was there I took every opportunity to talk about peace rather
than war," Andrea said.
She added she distributed some "Imagine Peace" bumper stickers of
the Copper Country Peace Alliance, which were well received by the Chinese
people she met, whom she described as "beautiful people -- very
"I told them that in the United States the people and the government are
not necessarily the same," Andrea said.
Outside the Motherlode after the walk, Candy Peterson of Houghton said,
"We have to make our democracy work."
|Participants in the Oct. 12 Walk for Peace stop
for traffic in Hancock after crossing the Portage Lift Bridge.
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Lynne Kraskouskas (Gabon) and Susan Joyce
(Morocco), said this was the first time they had walked for peace in the Copper
Country. Noting that passers-by had both positive and negative reactions to the
walk, both Kraskouskas and Joyce said it was good to know the walk was inspiring
people to think.
"It gets the wheels turning," said Kraskouskas. "I just feel
that doing something like that is one of the only ways you can have a voice that
Joyce said she joined the walk "because I was frustrated at the lack of
opportunity for presenting opposing opinions."
Joyce and Kraskouskas are graduate students at Michigan Tech. Joyce is a
student in the Peace Corps Fellows Masters program, and Kraskouskas is enrolled
in the Peace Corps
Masters International program.
|Umbrellas mingle with flags carried by
participants in the Oct. 12 Walk for Peace from Houghton to
Hancock. Several walkers brought their small children, who helped
carry signs and flags.
Nancy Arthur of Hancock said she noticed the walkers going by while she was
working Saturday as a gallery assistant in the Community Arts Center in Hancock.
"I don't think we should attack (Iraq)," Arthur said. "I think
we should negotiate. Too many innocent lives would be taken. What for? Just to
change their country?"
On the subject of the recent vote by legislators in support of the Bush
resolution, Arthur noted, "It doesn't matter what I think. They'll do what
they want to do."
She added, however, that she still votes in all elections. Arthur explained
that her part-time position at the Arts Center is funded by Experience Works,
which funds jobs for experienced people in non-profit organizations.
Sponsors of the walk, Copper Country Citizens Opposed to War with Iraq (COWI),
a local group joining in solidarity with a COWI peace group in Marquette, will
also sponsor the Oct. 15 Campus Forum on Iraq.***
The Forum will include discussion of several topics, including these:
- Basic facts on Iraq and history of the Middle East Region
- Arguments for and against war with Iraq
- Issues related to the United Nations role and international law
- What can students do? Strategies for campus organizing
For more information about the Campus Forum on Iraq, contact Sarah Green at
(906) 487-3419 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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