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Youths organizing walk for peace
Demonstrators will stride from Central Market to Winslow Green on July 17.
Fahrenheit 9/11 has sparked more than controversy.
Michael Moores film knocking the Bush administration has inspired local teens to organize a peace walk from Poulsbo to Winslow on July 17, on the theme of No more lies.
We got the idea after seeing Michael Moores 9/11 movie, said Corbin Lester, a Bainbridge resident and sophomore at West Sound Academy. We decided we wanted to do something instead of just being mad about what the Bush administrations doing...
This peace walk is about inviting people to think, and take a more active role in changing our country.
Participants, who will stride from Poulsbos Central Market to Winslow Green with a stop at Chief Sealths grave in Suquamish, are invited to carry a sign with their favorite Bush administration fib. The event is billed by co-organizers Kate Briggs, Lesters West Sound classmate, and homeschooled 10th-grader Sam Weinstock as a quiet, non-confrontational march for all ages.
While the walk marks Lesters shift to activism, Weinstock walked across Washington State with the Hiroshima Flame peace walk in 2002 and is no stranger to political action.
Its really how Ive been brought up, said Weinstock, who lives in Indianola.
He says reactions to peace walkers range from rude hand gestures to honks of approbation. But, whether its a bad reaction or a good reaction, youve got people reacting, and thats what were out there to do, he said.
Weinstock is bemused by what he views as public acquiescence to Bush administration policies.
Its scary how easily people have gone along with them, he said. I think a lot of it comes down to misinformation.
Weinstock stays current by listening to alternative news sources like Democracy Now, broadcast locally on Bainbridge Island Broadcastings Channel 12. The high school sophomore also reads Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn.
The youths have made signs with slogans like Precision bombing, 13,000 civilian deaths.
The young people think about the U.S. troops being lost as well.
And they are aware that they are close to the age of the troops serving in Iraq. If the draft were reinstated, it wouldnt be many years before they would be called on to serve.
Im 15 so its, like, perfect timing, Weinstock said. But its not just selfish. (War is) something I dont want anyone to experience.
Organizers say talking to neighbors is important, and they believe in the possibility of transformation.
A scene that Lester points to from Fahrenheit 9/11 in which a mother whose son is killed in Iraq is changed by the death from Bush supporter to a critic of the war impressed him most.
She went from being a strong supporter of (Bush) to being really upset by all the things that hes done, Lester said. You cant argue with that. People can dismiss the liberal people who are always against the war, but when someone changes, that really spoke to me.
The No More Lies! Peace Walk on July 17 meets at Central Market in Poulsbo at 9:30 a.m. An informal talking circle will be held at Chief Sealths grave before lunch at the Suquamish Church. The walk ends on Bainbridge Island at Winslow Green. Bring sign, banners and snacks. Walkers are encouraged to bring a placard exposing a favorite fib from the Bush administration. Volunteers can prepare lunch for walkers; call 780-5346, (360) 297-2437 or (360) 297-8144 for more information.