Locals spring into march | PostIndependent.com

Locals spring into march

Carrie Click
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – About 800 people carrying signs promoting peace walked from Sayre Park to the Hotel Colorado Saturday, joining tens of thousands worldwide who participated in peace rallies this weekend in Washington, D.C., Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

“I’m here because any kind of warlike behavior is not the way to solve disputes,” said Lou Cunningham, 65, a nurse from the Aspen area. “War is primitive, juvenile and irresponsible in terms of what we might set off. I support our soldiers, but not the administration. I came here because I want to be counted.”

The Roaring Fork Peace Coalition organized Saturday’s peace rally and march. The event brought people of all ages and backgrounds – from young women wearing long, flowing skirts to ball-cap-wearing middle aged men. They listened to speakers like Glenwood City Councilwoman Jean Martensen, coalition organizer Calvin Lee, peace activist Tricia MacKenzie and Re-1 school board member Sue Hakanson at Sayre Park before taking to the sidewalks of Grand Avenue, over the pedestrian bridge spanning the Colorado River and to U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis’ office at the Hotel Colorado.

About a dozen people stood along Grand Avenue before the march began holding handmade signs with phrases such as “Why War?” and “Violence Breeds Violence.” Some motorists passing by honked their horns, giving the sign-bearers a thumbs-up or two-fingered peace signs.

A smaller percentage of motorists showed disagreement with the marchers, with thumbs-down signs. Cavallero Hart, 51, was standing along Grand Avenue with his “No War” sign when a young man leaned out the window of his truck yelling, “Bomb ’em! Bomb ’em! Yeah!”

Hart, who’s a Vietnam veteran and recently helped start a Grand Junction-based peace organization called Voice of Reason, remained unfazed.

“It happens,” he said with a shrug. “I have to forgive. I can’t be in favor of peace and then yell, `F— you.'”

Hart said he’s opposed to this war because the media and the administration has skewed the reasons for it.

“This isn’t about 9/11,” he said. “Not one of those terrorists from the attacks was from Iraq. They were from Saudi Arabia. And there’s still no proof that there’s any connection between al-Qaida and Iraq.”

Marion Stewart, 66, is from Paonia and came to the rally because she couldn’t stay home.

“This is my way to say I’m opposed to this war,” she said. “I can’t stay home and say, `Oh, look what they’re doing.'”

Dan Spradlin, a 40-year-old farrier from Rifle, came to the rally because he believes war is outdated.

“Haven’t we evolved? Isn’t this why the U.N. was started?” he said. “We need to put our trust in the U.N.”

Eric Rechel, 51, agreed with Spradlin that war is obsolete. He thinks an option to this war is to keep U.N. inspectors in Iraq “forever.” He said it would be much better to support weapons inspectors in Iraq permanently than to stage the war.

Ed Jerin, a paramedic, and his wife Sharmen, an LPN, are both 49 and recently moved to Silt from Indiana. Ed said he’s against this war because “it’s against international law.” Sharmen said “it’s the wrong thing to do, because the reasons given for the war are not the real reasons. It’s about power and money,” she said.

As the group walked along Grand Avenue holding signs and talking quietly among themselves, the supportive honking of horns could be heard along with the occasional yell in support of the war.

Once the group got to the Hotel Colorado, they gathered under Rep. McInnis’ office window. The representative was nowhere to be found, nor was anyone from his office on hand to meet and talk with the marchers.

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518


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