- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Bronwyn Mauldin
Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2002 at 6:47 AM
“I’m an American. I have a job. I pay taxes. I vote. And I don’t want to be dropping bombs on Baghdad and killing people. It’s wrong.”
--Venice resident Peggy Lee Kennedy
Suzanne Thompson is angry. The Venice publicist walks down the Venice Beach boardwalk carrying a sign that lists the names of Southern California Congressional representatives Jane Harman, Henry Waxman and Howard Berman under the words “Bush Lap Dogs.” All of them voted last week for the resolution that authorizes war on Iraq.
Yesterday was Thompson’s second Venice Peace March. She joined the march on this gray, blustery October day because of “my rage against what my government is doing. I think the best thing to do is get out in the streets.”
She’s not alone. Like many others who are dismayed, saddened, furious and frustrated by recent events, she found a place to voice her discontent at the neighborhood’s weekly Peace March, which turned one year old on Sunday.
Every Sunday since last October 14, a week after the U.S. began dropping bombs on Afghanistan, a group of marchers has made its way down the boardwalk from Rose Ave. through throngs of tourists and those who make their living from them. Buskers pause their performances to wave or nod to the marchers. The dancing model at Titanic, however, doesn’t miss a beat of his techno-tune tabletop routine. Tourists join the march briefly, waving peace signs while their better halves snap photos of them.
“We’re marching with you,” says Scott Johnstone of Portsmouth, N.H., while his wife, Beth Shafer, takes his picture.
At Windward Ave., as they do every week, the marchers set up an open mic hour under their “Venice Peace Movement” banner for anyone from the community to speak their mind about war and peace.
The size of the marches has waxed and waned over the year from a high of fifty to a low of three on one particularly dismal rainy Sunday. Yesterday’s crowd started at about 15 as they left Rose Ave., growing to more than 25 by the time they reached Market St. But the small event has found a wide audience. Marchers report being interviewed and filmed by news teams from as far away as Norway and Japan.
The peace marchers are a disparate group of people. Former war resister now homeless advocate Calvin Moss of Venice fled to Canada in the 1960s to avoid the Vietnam War draft, while his friend “Fast Eddie,” an attorney, served in the Air Force. Eddie says the war equation is easy to understand. “It’s about money. Big money.”
Cameron Rath, 13, of Culver City, sells political t-shirts from a table on the Venice Boardwalk. He used to watch the Venice Peace marchers go by, but now joins with them every week. “Basically, I think we need more peace,” he said, carrying a sign reading, “Bush is not even a good puppet.”
Walking with Rath was a friend from Santa Monica at her very first march. “I’m not a big political person,” Hali, 14, said. She decided to come to the peace march because she realized that since she’s young, what happens now will affect her future.
For many of the Venice peace marchers, the highlight of the event is the open mic hour. Bill Mitchell took his turn to argue against the idea that a war on Iraq might be acceptable if the U.N. or a coalition of countries supports the U.S. “It don’t matter how many people agree on committing a crime. It’s still a crime.” Jennie Katz of Venice urged her fellow Angelenos to boycott gas and oil products by taking her example – she doesn’t own a car and travels everywhere by bus.
One benefit of the open mic is that it gives community members an opportunity to get much better at public speaking, says producer Ed Pearl of Echo Park. It will help them “grow from the grassroots level.”
Painter and sculptor Jeffrey Hirsch of Venice feels that the free speech he exercises nearly every Sunday at the Venice Peace Marches is not enough. “In my delusions, I thought that me speaking up publicly would change things.” Because they don’t appear on television and radio, he has realized, the voices of peace advocates are marginalized. “Free speech is a hollow promise if we don’t have access to electronic media.”
Still, many find the Venice Peace March an inspiration to keep up their activism in difficult times. Therese Dietlin of Atwater Village has a booth on the boardwalk urging impeachment of George W. Bush and the five Supreme Court justices whose votes secured his presidency. “Just when I think I’m going to give up,” she says, a stranger on the boardwalk stops to thank the marchers for what they’re doing. In 52 weeks, Dietlin says, she has only missed one march.
The Venice Peace March started out as a one-time event, a brainchild of the local Peace and Freedom Party. Turnout and public expressions of support were so positive that organizers decided at that first march to turn it into a weekly event. They not only want to build their own grassroots peace movement in Venice, but “we would like to inspire other people to start their own marches until there are marches all across America against the war,” said Suzy Williams, secretary of the Peace and Freedom Party.
The Peace March begins each Sunday at 2 p.m. at Rose Ave. on the boardwalk. For more information, call 310-399-2215 or e-mail email@example.com. Info can also be found online at www.freevenice.org.
Report this post as:
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 4 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
||Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2002 at 7:24 AM
||Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2002 at 2:40 PM
|Oh No Bob-Bomb
||One Peace Marcher
||Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2002 at 3:37 PM
|Venice Peace March
||Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2002 at 3:44 PM
More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke
Change Links 2018 July posted
More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena
"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena
Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles
Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California
Change Links June 2018 posted
The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years
Unity Archive Project
Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi
CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police
Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies
California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings)
Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico
Change Links May 2018
Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
More Local News...
Fbi attempts on my life
Paraphysique du non-dit
Paraphysique de l'autocensure
Darkness Rises Hack MOD Generator
“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen, Saturday, October 6th
Illegal Russians Invited to West Bank at Invitation of Israeli Government Outside jewish
Nous sommes le système
Prosecuted: Have you had an experience that changed your opinion of the justice system?
Big Brother chez vous, Big Brother partout
Change Links August 2018
Vietnam Labor Watch Tackles Outside and Inside Exploitation of Nation's workforce
What it means to be an artist
Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land
Video: Lawrence Tribe: To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment," 59 min
Génétique de l'environnement
Video: Thomas Frank: Rendezvous with Oblivion, 58 min
Philippines – Duterte 2 Years on: Destructive, Divisive, and Despotic
Anarchie et anarchisme
July 2018 Honduras Coup update
The iranian Backed Militia Hezbollah Bombs Communty Center in Argentina July 1995 85 Dead
The Shortwave Report 08/10/136/18 Listen Globally!
Paraphysique du taulard
Pantarchy: Voluntary State and a New Catholic Church: Stephen Pearl Andrews
Against Market Radicalism
Négoce du vol organisé
Paraphysique de la litote
More Breaking News...