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Peace activists march against nuclear threat

Peace demonstrators head up the highway en route to Bangor, on the final leg of an anti-nuclear demonstration marking the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Japan. - John Becerra, Jr./Staff Photo
Peace demonstrators head up the highway en route to Bangor, on the final leg of an anti-nuclear demonstration marking the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Japan.
— image credit: John Becerra, Jr./Staff Photo

Monks, others will wrap up a three-week demonstration with

a trek to Bangor.

Two Buddhist monks from Bainbridge are on a pilgrimage.

Senji Kaneada and Gilberto Perez from the Nipponzan Myohoji temple on Bainbridge Island were joined by others on an Interfaith Peace Walk that crossed the island Friday.

The event commemorated the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to voice their opposition to nuclear weapons.

They and other island residents were joined by marchers from states including California, South Dakota and Maine, and a Buddhist nun from upstate New York.

Perez said the group – also made up of marchers from the Buddhist, Quaker and Catholic faiths – marched not only for the abolition of nuclear weapons and waste, but to also raise awareness of topics ranging from slavery and poverty to racism and Native American issues, such as the waste from Hanford affecting the Yakima tribe.

He said the group has encountered very little resistance from others since they started their walk July 16 at the Hanford nuclear site.

“It’s been very affirming,” Perez said of the support they’ve received. “There have been some curse words from people, but we don’t pay them any mind.

“One person told us to get a job and join the Army,” he said.

Bob Beveridge, a retired Air Force chaplain who used to preach against the H-bomb from the pulpit, said he hopes the march will bring attention to how nuclear waste is handled.

“I think it’s worse (than what it used to be),” Beveridge said. “I want to do this so future generations won’t have to deal with this.”

On Saturday, they will make their way to Chief Sealth’s gravesite, then to Poulsbo and the Ground Zero Center For Nonviolent Action.

They will end their peace walk at the main gate to the Bangor sub base.

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