OROVILLE – The 34th annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace will begin at noon Sunday, May 14, at the library, 1276 Main St.
People from Washington state and British Columbia will meet at the international border for a 2 p.m. program.
“In this year 2017, and at this Mother’s Day, it is more important than ever to affirm friendship between people worldwide, despite political boundaries,” organizer Dave Cursons said.
The event began in 1983 when Canadians constructed a paper mache cruise missile and delivered it to American friends at the border. It was a protest against the first-strike weapon being tested at Cold Lake, Alberta. The Americans delivered it to Boeing in Seattle.
“This non-violent affirmation of peace, friendship and unity between the people the world follows the tradition established by Julia Ward Howe and other strong women in here in the U.S. in 1877,” said Joseph Enzensperger, another organizer. “Those women organized to call for the end of all war and the senseless loss of life that war brings to all people. It has never been a real solution to the problems of people on this earth and never will be.”
This year, as with every year since 1983, the neighbors meet on Mother’s Day to celebrate with presentations, music, dance and the renewal of acquaintances and friendships.
“Everyone is welcome to attend,” Cursons said.
“We are taught to love our neighbor and live in peace among others,” Enzensperger said “We were taught by our parents as young children to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Sadly, today instead we hear fear, hatred, division and intolerance used as an excuse to wage war.”
The U.S. contingent will walk up Highway 97 from Oroville to the border. Signs, placards and banners are encouraged, organizers said. Peace doves and rainbow streamers will be flown.
Those who cannot walk to the border can park at the Super Duper Texaco or in limited spaces on the U.S. side of the Port of Entry.
Canadian peacemakers, including a large contingent from the Doukhobor communities of western Canada, will walk from Haynes Point Provincial Park, 1.5 miles north of the border, or arrive by bus at the border.
“We have broken Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Libya and destabilized their neighbors to create a sea of chaos in the Middle East,” Enzensperger said. “The arguments for war used by elected officials to justify war have for the most part been lies. The motivation for all of it has been profit by the military/industrial corporations that now control our politics and our fate.
“Our planet faces so many challenges and perils,” Enzensperger said. “We must build new movements that solve problems and find solutions that end suffering and bring healing. War is not the answer.”
The Mother’s Day Walk for Peace is one of the oldest ongoing annual peace events in the country.