This Peace March on Tuesdays started just a little over a week ago. A few of us were talking in the Black Cat Coffeehouse about the world situation, namely, the War in Iraq. I said I needed to do more as an individual to help try to end it. Some sort of protest over and above writing letters to Senators and Congresspeople.
I made a pledge to start having a march for the end of the war once per week as I've seen in other places. I thought Ashland needed to have peace marches more often that the rate at which they were taking place. I said I would be on the corner once per week and I would start next Tuesday at 4:00 PM and stay out there for one hour each week.
My idea was received by a few others that said that if I did that, they would join me. I said I was going to do it. My plan was to make the issue only one issue, the WAR. I wasn't interested in blaming or trying to turn people away from other issues pertinent in America and/or abroad. I wanted to focus on one issue. I wanted an end to the war, I wanted our country to be at peace.
We have marched two times now. I carry a sign that asks onlookers to do something to help stop the war. A couple of the others that heard about the march and wanted to partake in it brought signs that were political and against the war, but also raised other issues. One passerby thought we needed to stop abortion and we shouldn't be protesting war, go figure.
The problem is this: Do we march to end the war and that is our only issue? Or do we march for any issue anyone wants to carry a sign for?
I believe that the common ground of 'end the war and return to peace' can bring many people together. I also believe that raising many issues in a march such as this distracts from the ending the war issue and doesn't do a lot to bring people together. I feel some who are against the war, but not against all republican policies, might join in if the issue was one thing, ending the war.
Another says that if they didn't cause trouble and there wasn't bloodshed and fighting, the Vietnam war would never have ended. He says that he would fight if confronted. When someone yells at him, he yells back. When someone flips him off, he flips them back.
Maybe we need to become a company or corporation and organize and lay down guidelines. Maybe our experiment needs a leader that will, with the help of interested parties, write these guidelines.
As it is now, we are unorganized and anything goes. One guy had a sign that said "Get rid of the King". Another said "Impeach Bush". Others were, "End the war" and "Really Support the troops. Bring them Home". Many of us are peaceful and want to peacefully demonstrate. We would lie still on the ground and wait to be carried away if we were arrested. Completely non-violent.
I ask you to give me your opinions. What should we do? What kind of protest march for peace should this be? Should we call a meeting and elect or pronounce a leader? Should we keep the protest at one issue, peace? Or should all the issues be
Please help me out with your opinions. Please do not use this comment section on this post to mount your own protest, but rather use it to help guide us towards a decision on how to proceed with this peace march. If you need more information in order to help us, please ask in comments or e-mail me. The address is on my profile.
Thank you for your consideration. I will be back Friday as I am going out of town until then. Thank you for coming to this sight. Thank you for helping us.