Last Saturday was a landmark day in Columbia. Thousands of people came out to express their solidarity; their support for mutual acceptance and diversity. In the face of the ugliness of racist, anti-immigrant, homophobic, red-baiting Nazis, our community rallied and showed its best face.
This coming Sunday, March 18, we have the opportunity to do something similar. We won't get even a tiny fraction of the advanced publicity from the media, but, through the Internet and word of mouth--through each of us making a point to be present ourselves and to bring along a friend or two--we can pull together a massive outpouring for peace. The time is now and each of us has a role to play. Please read on and we'll tell you more.
PEACE IS GROWING! PAINT YOURSELF IN THE PICTURE: On the fourth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the time has come for our nation to say "NO!" to war. The time has arrived to tell our government to end the Iraq adventure, and to not even think about attacking Iran. The time has come for us to be out in the streets marching together for peace, for justice, for a future that works for all of us. We need to grow strong together and this Sunday, March 18, is a real opportunity to come together and share this positive, hopeful vision.
JOIN THE 482 PEOPLE WHO'VE ALREADY SIGNED UP: This Rally, March and Tree Dedication will be really BIG! Our original goal was to turn out at least 500 people. As of Friday, 482 people have signed up and committed to attend. Our hope is that hundreds more will join in. If you haven't yet signed up please do so now by clicking here telling us how many of you will be attending.
WHY SIGN UP? You don't have to sign up in advance, but it really helps us to demonstrate momentum and we can hopefully get better coverage by letting the media know that this will be a really big event. Please tell your friends. Encourage them to attend, and urge them to sign up too.
WHAT'S THE PLAN? We will gather between 1:30 and 2 p.m. at Courthouse Sq. by 8th & Walnut in Downtown Columbia. Universal Drum Appeal will perform while the crowd gathers. We hope for excellent weather, as is currently forecast, but in the event of rain, we will gather indoors in the Fellowship Hall of First Christian Church, just one block east of the square.
At 2:00 p.m. we will kick off a short rally. We have two excellent speaker, Rev. Maureen Dickmann, pastor of Rock Bridge Christian Church and John Betz, a decorated Vietnam War combat veteran and a Veteran for Peace. By 2:30 we will commence a march through downtown Columbia.
MAKE YOURSELF HEARD--We encourage you to be ready to chant, to sing, to drum, to clang and bang. Please bring tambourines, bells, drums, pots and pans. We will aim for a cacophony of joyous sound for peace.
PEACE IS GROWING AND SINKING ITS ROOTS: When we get to Douglass Park we will gather for a tree dedication at the Peace Tree that the Peace Coalition has had planted. This tree symbolizes life and also our movement, growing stronger by the day, rooting itself in place, filling out with life force. It represents our hopes for a greener, more peaceful future. Larry Brown, Chair of the Interfaith Peace Alliance, will share his thoughts as we dedicate the Peace Tree. So will John McClure, an educator and resident of the Douglass Park neighborhood. We will also have a little music shared by Larry Brown and Steve Jacobs.
STAY FOR A PICNIC, IF YOU CAN: For those who have time to stay to visit, following the tree dedication there will be an optional potluck picnic at Douglass Park. If you plan to bring food for this, you can bring your dish to Courthouse Sq. We have arranged a shuttle to get the food over to the park so folks don't have to walk with it. Just bring your food to the rally and ask for the food shuttle. We also ask that you bring your own table service, if possible.