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  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
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  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
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Letter from Cathy Breen

Amman, Jordan
July 30, 2008

Dear Friends,

Yesterday I received the following message from friends in Baghdad.

“Our Prime Minister visited the pope a few days ago and invited him to visit Iraq and persuade Christian Iraqis to return back to Iraq…. though Iraq is still a hotbed of crime and conspiracy. Many Iraqis in Syria and Jordan have returned either because their savings were depleted or they were not lucky enough to be picked by the UNHCR. Until now I cannot understand the criteria they are using to select the refugees. The conditions here are still bad, with no services at all. We even boil the drinking water to make sure it is safe while we heard that in the Green zone they import distilled water from Kuwait to use for washing and showers.”

Walk Blog: Josh Brollier, from Baraboo to Reedsburg

By Josh Brollier
August 2, 2008

Today we traversed a 16 mile trek from Baraboo to Reedsburg. Much of the time I was thinking of Hiroshi, the organizer for last night’s event at the Garden Party Cafe, and his description of just how difficult it can be to get large crowds of people to come out for peace events in Baraboo. The event was not a failure by any means. There were probably twenty to thirty folks there, and I was very excited by the enthusiasm and the response of the crowd. However, many activists and concerned citizens share Hiroshi’s concerns, questions, and confusion as to why there is not a more organized and visible peace movement at present in the United States.

Walk Blog: Visit to Governor Doyle's office (Madison, WI)

July 30, 2008

In Madison, WI, we delivered a letter to Governor Doyle, urging him to support State assemblyman Spenser Black in his efforts to prevent the National Guard from going to Iraq. Mr.Farland, an aide to the governor, met with about two dozen of us who crowded into the reception area of the governor’s office. The letter reads:

Governor Jim Doyle
Office of the Governor 115 East State Capitol Madison, Wisconsin 53702 Governor Doyle,

The Red Arrow 32nd Brigade Combat Team of the Wisconsin National Guard is currently scheduled to deploy to Iraq in 2009.

We urge you to take all necessary steps to prevent this deployment from happening. This includes, but is not limited to, taking legal action in the form of a lawsuit to prevent future deployments to Iraq.

Pictures From Summer Camp

July 27, 2008

At 6:45 a.m. this morning, our friend, Joel Gulledge, called from At-Tuwani, a village in the West Bank where he and another Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) member were escorting Palestinian children to a local summer daycamp, protecting them from hostile Israeli settlers. A masked settler, carrying a slingshot, was threatening the children. While Jan Benvie, the other CPT team member, raced the children to safety, Joel paused to film what was happening. The masked settler caught up with Joel and attacked him. “He smashed my head again and again,” said Joel, “with my video camera, and punched me in the face, repeatedly, with his other hand.” Joel managed to remain standing. He didn’t fight back, but he screamed for help. The attacker broke Joel’s glasses, and Joel was bleeding from a gash over his eyes. When he called, he was waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

Letter from Cathy Breen

July 27,2008
Amman, Jordan

Dear Friends,

“Think about it for a second. What would you do if your child was kidnapped? If you were in a war-torn country where the police couldn’t help you? To many, if not most parents, the answer of course would be—anything, anything. Including paying ransom to those who were holding their child even if the kidnappers were terrorists. Over the past five years for many Iraqis, that choice has been a very grim reality.” (Dan Rather Reports on ‘The High Price of Ransom,” HDNet TV, July 1, 2008)

Last week in a meeting at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Amman, I was asked if I had seen the above program. I had not, but was later able to get a printout of the text. I have it before me as I write you. Why is it that I am not surprised to read that one in every four Iraqis seeking help from the UNHCR has had a family member kidnapped? And yet seeing this number in print creates a knot in my stomach, and a feeling of nausea. One in four, imagine. One in four.

Walk Blog: Josh Brollier, July 25

By Josh Brollier
July 25 2008

We woke this morning to less than sunny skies, but it was a near perfect day to be on your feet and exploring the countryside of Wisconsin. The weather was cool and the group seemed to be re-energized and ready to tackle the stretch of highway set before us.

We arrived at Commons Park in Lake Mills before noon, enjoyed the welcoming atmosphere of the large trees, and shared a leisurely lunch while the town of Lake Mills was preparing for their Race for the Cure. Though our messages were not one in the same, there was definitely a common thread linking the groups and it felt good to be among people who were actively pursuing a cure and life for themselves, their loved ones, and humanity.

What a wonderful WAW-walk (Waukesha to Sullivan)

by Heléne Hedberg

Once upon a time of wars, outside a little place called Waukesha
A group of peace walkers gathered at 7 am, filled with excitement and awe
Of the miles to walk and the countryside scene
Of trees and fields and leaves of green

And while we walked on highway 32’s pavement ground
We looked and saw that love was all around
Not really, not quite but we’d lovingly discuss
The depth of that symbolic finger that seemed to wanna greet us

We’re walking and talking as best as we can
While missing the support from our Tahoe-Steve and his van
Then after a break, in the shade by the tree
The beautiful bikepath was where we got to be

Handing out flyers to folks passing by
Talking about how’s and when’s and why
Thinking of Iraqi friends and what’s worth fighting for
Marching with Paul as a witness against war

We hooked up with Tim and Bob after a f e w miles of pain
Grateful and glad that we at least didn’t have rain
Blisters were growing with our hunger for lunch
Happiest was Josh when he got his Mexican tortilla crunch

After that we were fit for fight in our own non-violent kinda way
Waiting for Dan to make sure we wouldn’t go astray
We walked pretty fast then we walked pretty slooow
Knowing that our feet didn’t have that much of a say so

While sweating like crazy and laughing with Alice
going through nicknames like Alas and Malice
The mosquitoes were many and they tried to get us down
But Mary let her anti-mosquito fluid pass around

At the end of the tunnel, in Sullivan, behold the bus
The wheels of justice had arrived to biodiesel-drive us
To Deb & Paul where dinner was served with smalltalk
And I think to myself what a wonderful WAW-walk

Walk Blog: Dan Pearson, July 21

By Dan Pearson
July 21, 2008

VIEW PHOTOS

More than twenty locals from the Milwaukee area joined us yesterday to walk from Oak Creek to Milwaukee, galvanizing the eight of us who’ve been walking since Chicago. Among them were members of Peace Action, Voces de la Frontera, Vets for Peace, Casa Maria Catholic Worker, students from Marquette University and a member of the Oak Creek chapter of Iraq Vets Against War. The Vets for Peace Chapter of Sheboygan, WI greeted us with a generous lunch in Humboldt Park on the south side of Milwaukee. We were then welcomed with an enthusiastic rally by another 20 or so people at our stopping point in downtown Milwaukee at the well known and somewhat contentious sunburst sculpture, jokingly described by some locals as the “big, orange asterisk.”

Walk Blog: Alice Gerard, July 20

July 20, 2008

Yesterday (July 19), for the first time on our walk from Chicago to St. Paul, it rained. Although the dampness covered us, it did not get inside our spirits. We were ready to continue on the journey, to share our message of hope and peace with those whom we might encounter on our path.

In the morning, the Racine Dominican sisters sang a blessing with their gentle voices. Then they sent us on our way.

Walk Blog: Kathy Kelly, July 14

July 14, 2008

On July 12th, supporters of the “Witness Against War” walk from Chicago to St. Paul, MN launched the walk in Chicago’s Federal Building plaza with a program rich in good will and diversity.

Brad Lyttle recalled the courage and determination of peace activists protesting the Viet Nam war during the Democratic National Convention held, in 1968, in Chicago. And, holding aloft a sturdy placard written in Russian, he helped link the walk to the “San Francisco to Moscow Walk,” which crossed the globe campaigning for nuclear disarmament in 1958.