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Walk Blog: Dan Pearson, July 21

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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.”

Later that evening a crowd of a hundred or so gathered for music and a cookout at the Friends Meeting House followed by an evening Witness Against War presentation. We effectively included all of the main walkers with their various talents and even some others we knew from the audience to be part of an improvised role-play seeking to provoke a better understanding of what motivates different people in Iraq and illustrating how difficult the choices can be in a time of war.

Members of Voces de la Frontera joined us this morning in a pre-walk from Casa Romero across the historic 6th street bridge and into Zeidler Park where we held a joint press conference and began the day’s walk to Brookfield. Today’s guest walkers included local members of Peace Action, Casa Maria Catholic Worker, the Candlelight Coalition, Vietnam Veterans Against the War and others no doubt. Paul Melling and Heléne Hedberg were the featured speakers at tonight’s event at the Unitarian Universalist Church West in Brookfield; both were well received.

On most days our most immediate support vehicle comes in the form of a bicycle and small trailer provided by our resourceful friend, Tim Herlihy. This addition has proved to be most useful as it allows us to have plenty of water, informational leaflets and a first-aid kit close at hand. It proved useful even after the walk yesterday when I was making my way along the Oak Leaf bike path toward the Friends Meeting House where our event that evening was to be held; I happened upon a father and his young son who’d just taken a spill on his bike, suffering a skinned-up knee in the process. The first-aid kit in the trailer was immediately put to use treating the wound, the tears turned to smiles and as we parted ways the father offered words of support and encouragement for this undertaking of walking and challenging the occupation of Iraq.