News clip 1 "the masses were absent"
March for Peace website
News clip 1
... on July 25 the International Herald Tribune ran a
piece titled; "Teens march across America in lonely
opposition to war." The article talked about 19-year-old
Ashley Casale and eighteen year old Michael Israel who started
their 3,000-mile walk from San Francisco to Washington opposing
the war in Iraq and hoping that others would join them. The pair
did pick up a third marcher, Tom Garrett, 19, but the masses were
absent; What happened to them? What happened to all those
Americans opposing the war?
This is a copy from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/teens-vow-to-march-across-country-for-peace.html
By Buzzle Staff and Agencies
Two teens from opposite coasts have been marching across the country to protest the war; they hope to reach Washington, D.C. by September 11.
By Anastacia Mott Austin
Wesleyan freshman Ashley Casale opposed the war in Iraq, but didnt know what to do that would feel like it had an impact.
She decided to initiate a "March for Peace," inviting anyone else who wanted to spread the message of peace and opposition to war to come along with her.
So far, shes only had one serious taker. Michael Israel from Jackson, California, has joined her every step of the way.
The two set off from San Francisco on May 21st, after a rally held in their honor attended by political groups Code Pink and Not in Our Name, among others. The activist groups and various others marched with them through the first day, though they were almost immediately stopped on the Golden Gate Bridge for carrying banners.
Undaunted, they journeyed on. Initially joined by a third marcher, she dropped out after the first week, and now its just Casale and Israel.
But dont feel too sorry for them. Currently somewhere in Iowa, the two have been joined many times for a day or more by various people they have met along the way.
Why march across the country? "It seems like the country is asleep," said Michael Israel to The Chicago Tribune. "A lot of people we meet are against the war. But it doesnt seem like many people are doing anything about it."
The two are hoping to motivate other Americans who oppose the war to become more active. "I hope it inspires people to be more vocal and politically active and become more aware of whats going on around them," said Israel to reporters.
Theyve encountered a lot of support, and some criticism as well. Many people have offered to put them up for the night, fed them, and one even gave Casale a new pair of shoes after hers wore out. Supporters have bombarded Casales cell phone with positive messages and encouragement.
Bobbi Benson of Colorado told reporters that she helped transport the pairs heavy backpacks through the state. "I read about them in the paper yesterday and thought, Oh my God, we have to help them," said Benson. "They just have such courage."
Not in Our Name representative Max Diorio issued a statement which read, "Having crossed almost six full states, its now clear that this March for Peace is the real deal. These young people have demonstrated courage, and an unwavering commitment to their ideals that is truly rare and special. Not in Our Name and countless other supporters uphold this march and its ability to foster dialogue about a better future and to create positive change."
It hasnt been all smooth marching, however. The two were almost prevented from traveling through the Rocky Mountain National Park because of their "March for Peace" signs, and were only allowed to enter after they put away the signs though they wrote their message across their t-shirts instead.
They also received their share of negative feedback from folks, along with the positive. Drivers yelled out obscenities, along with one who hollered, "Bomb Iraq!" A farmer who had let the two camp out on his property made them leave after he discovered their mission. An army recruiter they met along the way told them that American soldiers fighting in Iraq were making the real "march for peace."
But Casale and Israel refuse to be discouraged by the negatives, or the fact that its been just the two of them for the bulk of their journey. "Although its always nice to have as many people as possible, its more about the message, and we havent been disappointed there arent tons of people walking," said Casale to reporters.
Added Israel, "Our message is about ending the war in Iraq, but its more than that. Its about cultivating peace in our daily lives and responding to things in a peaceful, non-violent way."