Tom Herriman used the apples from his yard to hold a cider press for peace;
he wanted to give his neighbors in Ballard a venue to discuss their opposition
to a war with Iraq.
Residents in Lake Forest erected an anti-war table at their farmers market.
At Green Lake, citizens have held an anti-war vigil every Sunday for 15 weeks.
Richard Clairmont, right, and a friend he calls "W" hold a sign during
a rally and protest against going to war in Iraq. Clairmont came from Port Townsend
to attend the rally in the Garfield High School gym in Seattle. (Photo/Jimi Lott)
And yesterday, roughly 2,000 people packed the Garfield High School gym in
Seattle to discuss tangible ways to make their opposition to war felt in their
communities whether the idea be big or small.
The event, "Stop the War on Iraq! A Day to Commit to Action," was sponsored
by Sound Nonviolent Opponents of War, or SNOW.
"This is not just a big demonstration where you hold a sign and go home,"
said organizer Jean Buskin. "This is about making a commitment."
As the Bush administration continues its push for military action against
Iraq, it's difficult to know just how much dissent there is. Polls have shown
a majority of Americans would support going to war to stop Saddam Hussein from
amassing weapons of mass destruction. But peace activists here are trying to increase
their presence in the community.
In Port Townsend, some residents posed for a "Peace Portrait" to display their
solidarity for peace. Organizers expected 200 participants; 800 came. Those in
the group, which now sells the photo on postcards and greeting cards, said they
borrowed the idea from another small town and hope others will copy it from them.
About 200 people gathered midday Thursday at Seattle Central Community College
in protest of war; on Friday several hundred college and high-school students
walked out of classes around Seattle; and yesterday more than 350 people held
an anti-war rally near the Tacoma Mall.
Today, the Hate Free Zone will host a talk "What will war with Iraq mean for
Iraquis here?" at 6:30 p.m. at Delridge Community Center, 4502 Delridge Way S.W.
The panel discussion will include U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Seattle, and some
leaders of the Iraqi community in Seattle.
On Saturday, the University of Washington student group Lion's Voice sponsored
a lecture by Dr. David Krieger, founder of the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Nuclear
Age Peace Foundation.
Krieger, who recently co-authored a book, "Choose Hope: Your Role in Waging
Peace in the Nuclear Age," called it promising that some citizens are speaking
out before a possible war.
"It wasn't until the body bags started coming home that people started to
see the light and speak out" about Vietnam, Krieger said at his Saturday lecture.
"It's marvelous. It's a sign of hope that the American people are not asleep."
Yesterday at the Garfield rally, participants gathered in the bleachers in
community clusters Vashon, Bellevue/Issaquah, Queen Anne, Columbia City/Rainier,
University and Mercer Island.
High-school spirit signs were replaced with banners that carried anti-war
slogans. In lieu of a marching band, the participants were entertained by the
Seattle Labor Chorus.
Bridget Jones, 19, a student at Seattle Central Community College, said she
came to yesterday's event looking for ways to participate in the anti-war effort.
"This war is going to represent America," she said. "And I don't know anyone
who's for this war."
While organizers focused on ways to coordinate neighborhood movements, they
plan to organize larger events. SNOW and other groups plan to hold 1,000 potluck
suppers in Seattle Jan. 18 to discuss, ask questions and share ideas about their
anti-war effort. They plan to keep track of the locations using thumbtacks on
a large wall map.
"I feel not that my voice isn't being heard, but it's being ignored," said
Sue Lucas, 21, who lives on Capitol Hill. "I don't know what we can do to have
some impact. It's pretty scary."
Copyright © 2002 The Seattle Times Company