FIERCE LIGHT JOURNEY
Protest FOR PEACE
On Saturday, January 27, 2007, millions of people from all over the country descended on Washington, D.C. to engage in nonviolent protests, marches and rallies sponsored by United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) as well as over 1000 other organizations including Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives-NSP. The convergence of the American people's mandate to end the war, the swell of public opinion against the Administration's policies, the mainstream media's shift in coverage (they are finally expressing outrage and asking hard questions), as well as the total failure of the Democratic process has brought us to an entirely new moment in history, pregnant with the possibility for change. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his famous speech about the Vietnam War, "We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative means of protest possible." Fierce Light Researcher and Coordinator Garfield Lindsey Miller made the journey to Washington to be there.
The day before the march CodePink presented an installation of "Walk in Their Shoes," commemorating Iraqi civilians whose lives have been taken in the war. The shoes, each one tagged with the name and age of an Iraqi victim, were in a Plexiglas cube about 1.5 meters square and 2.5 tall. The shoes spilled out on to the grass. There were 6500 pairs, one for every 100 Iraqis killed in the war. The installation was placed on the mall right in front of the Capitol, as well as the stage for the rally the next day.
A pre-rally organized by the Network of Spiritual Progressives was led by Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist leaders, including Rev. Graylan Haglin, Bhante Suhita Dharma, David Loy, and Rabbi Michael Lerner. After the rally, Garfield marched with the spiritual progressives.
The Network of Spiritual Progressives hosted interfaith services and gatherings throughout the January 27-29 events to bring a spiritual vision to the anti-war movement. It is a sign of great progress that spiritual and religious voices are finally being welcomed and integrated into the movement and it will open up a place for people working for peace through their various faiths to work in solidarity with one another.
It was a moment when action replaced solitary frustration-and anything that is done can have rippling effects that change the larger political climate.