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Walk for peace passes through Poulsbo
POULSBO — They started in Olympia, taking the journey 15 miles at a time. For peace.
Marchers from the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple on Bainbridge Island, and others associated with the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action in Poulsbo, completed a walk for peace on Jan. 17. The walk is a demonstration in the lead up to Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 20. Participants from multiple faiths have taken part.
"(It's) to end militarism and to have peace," said Gilberto Perez, a monk with the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple.
Demonstrators gathered on Jan. 12 in Tacoma and began the walk in Olympia on Jan. 13. Seven started the walk in Olympia; two were able to complete the journey passing through Poulsbo, Perez said.
Perez drove a support vehicle following the walkers — Senji Kanaeda, also a monk with the Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist Temple, and Seth Martin of Centralia.
"Anyone can walk for peace and it feels really good to do so," Martin said. "It feels good to celebrate peace with people of multiple faiths. It's great to walk in the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr. too."
The walk ended at the Ground Zero Center, just south of Poulsbo.
"The meaning is that for Jesus, for Buddha and Martin Luther King Jr., killing is not part of the Scriptures — 'Though shalt not kill,’” Perez said. "We follow the same theme."
Ground Zero members will follow up the demonstration walk with another at the gate of Naval Base Kitsap on Jan. 18. Anti-nuclear and pro-peace demonstrations are a common occurrence at the base's gate. The group held a multifaith demonstration, with a Catholic Eucharist, on Jan. 15 at the gate.
"It's almost a non-event because everybody is so pleasant," Perez said. "The police are pleasant. We wave and they give us a fine."