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[GRRN] Peace walkers in Fresno
forwarded without comment:
> The Dharma peace walk came through Fresno February 10 as part of their
> tour of California prisons. They took part in an all day forum at CSU
> Fresno, ěJoining Forces: Environmental Justice and the Fight Against
> Prison Expansion.î WILPF was one of the sponsors of what turned out to
> be a very successful effort. Gloria Hernandez took part in the
> conference. Here is her response to the peace walkers:
> I met her at the protest that I hadn't planned on going to. I was
> checking out the P.A. system hook up when this Buddhist nun approached
> me asking for shelter for a walk. Some kind of peace walk. I said o.k.
> so we exchanged phone numbers and names and left it that.  Later that
> night she called my house asking for Gloria-san confirming my offer for
> help. Now, I couldn't say no!  I agreed to seek housing in
> Madera/Corcoran and Delano.  Then I begin calling my friends. Yes, they
> owed me favors, yeah they will help me house and feed 16 strangers in
> their homes.
> I flashed back to the time I walked from Fresno to Modesto on the UFW
> "Marcha encontra el Gallo" (Anti-Gallo wines march) in 1975. I remember
> the faces, blisters, aches and pains and all the new friends I met then.
> I remember how people took us in to sleep in their houses, the good food
> they shared with us and also the many tomatoes others threw at us. I got
> curious just what is this walk for peace?  Why California prisons?
> I began to learn about the walk. I learned that several of the men
> marching with (sister) Jun Yasuda were Native-American brothers. One of
> whom is Fred Short, a pipe carrier from the Anishminabee, Chippewa,
> Ojibwa tribe, who had been on a hunger fast for 100 days.  I was told
> another first person (Native Canadian) will be arriving in Madera by
> Amtrack from Canada and that Dennis Banks had at one time walked with
> them. These peace walkers have walked for peace all over the world
> chanting and praying for peace. (and here we thought the hippies had
> gone into extinction)  I get goose pimples, reading the words of
> Nichidatsu Fujii, the founder of these peace walkers who said: ěWhen a
> government takes policies that emphasize violence, that is military
> build-up and war, children will come to approve violence. Violence would
> be seen in
> parent and child relations, and home becomes a place in which they try
> to kill each other".  Are we seeing this yet? Does anyone disagree?
> The walk has a website and its linked to the priest
> who used to hang out with Gandhi and began walking for peace. It blew my
> mind, you know, like our Peace Pilgrim who walked for peace here in the
> US in the old days. Then I learned that this walk is just part of the
> long walk that this "walking for peace tribe" (my word) has been doing
> for years.  Walking for peace.  They even have a web site on the origins
> of the walk. ( Gave me much to think
> about.
> And as I get ready for bed tonight, I will count my blessings and ask
> the gods for peace.  I will pray for the peace walkers and I will pray
> especially for Jun-san for asking me to help her.  Because in doing so,
> I am once again, following the teachings of Cesar Chavez who once
> said:   "We can choose to use our lives for others to bring about a
> better and more just world for our
> children. People who make that choice will know hardship and sacrifice.
> But if you give yourself totally to the non-violence struggle for peace
> and justice you also find that people give you their hearts and you will
> never go hungry and never be alone. And in giving of yourself you will
> discover a whole new life full of meaning and love."  Yes, Cesar, I am
> discovering a whole new life in this latest adventure of mine.
> M. Gloria Hernandez
> (559) 268-2261

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