Peaceful dissent

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    As a participant in the Malibu Citizens for Peace Caravan on Sunday, March 30, it warmed my heart to see so many people still standing up for peace! It may be difficult for some people to express their wishes for peace since we are already at war. However, there were all ages, sexes, and political parties – the Green, along with Republicans and Democrats, who rallied down Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Monica and back to the Malibu Civic Center.

    This demonstration wasn’t about taking sides, it was about life. Yes, life. Why? Because, as the saying goes, “War is bad for humans, animals and other living things”.

    As many enjoyed the beautiful day, I wondered how we could bask in the sun without thinking about bombs exploding, destroying the environment and killing life. Since life is cause and effect, I wondered about the effects of this. Besides the destruction we can see-death, buildings destroyed, etc.-what about the psychological damage? War rips apart human relations and creates racism. War takes our youth and even our animals (dolphins, sea lions, pigeons, for example) and uses them in acts of violence. I’ve been told that I’m a “kook” and since I’m a Buddhist, an artist and have my doctorate in psychology, I over-react about these things. I’m just a concerned human being and I hope that everyone would react when it comes to war.

    The Malibu Citizens for Peace motto is “Imagine Peace.” As we drove down to Santa Monica, a man stood outside his home to voice his opinion against the peace caravan. The memory of this man stands out in my mind because he was so angry. Although I appreciated his enthusiasm in what he believed in, once more, what remained in my mind was his red and distorted face. He was holding up a sign in one hand that said “God Bless America” and giving us “the finger” with the other hand.

    I hope we left a better impression as we drove down PCH-smiling, holding our peace flags, cars decorated with peace slogans, giving only one hand sign, the peace sign. This is why I feel that dialogue is so important. If we can listen to each other’s views and discuss, with open minds, solutions, then maybe we can live in a world one day that is free from violent war. And yes, peace does begin at home. Peace is patriotic and I do support our troops. That’s why I want them home with their families. I have a dream. Peace and happiness for all.

    Alessandra Declario