Marchers stop, pray for peace at Cesar Chavez grave
Marchers stop, pray for peace at the grave site
of former UFW leader Cesar Chavez
The Bakersfield Californian
Wednesday, June 7, 1995
Local, page B3
Marchers stop, pray for peace
[photo, not shown here, captioned:]
Yusen Yamato, a Buddhist monk, prays at the grave site
of former UFW leader Cesar Chavez in Keene. Yamato is
leading a group of 24 in a peace walk across the United States.
-- Henry Barrios / The Californian
Marchers stop, pray for peace
By Chris Harrison
Keene - A chanting, drumbeating procession of global peace
proponents marching across America made a prayer stop at
the gravesite of labor activist Cesar Chavez Tuesday, as they
walked from Tehachapi to Bakersfield.
Yusen Yamato, a non-sectarian Buddhist monk, is leading
the multi-national group of 24 peace walkers on a six-month
"Global Peace Walk '95" from New York to the United Nation's
50th Anniversary in San Francisco on June 26.
Wrapped in a saffron-yellow monk's robe over a polyfleece
sweatshirt, the goateed Yamato prayed at the resting place
of Chavez to honor his work as a non-violent defender of
"I pray for the spirit of Cesar Chavez, I pray for the United
Nations and I prayer for those all over the world fighting
for land and life," Yamato said in a prayer ceremony.
He was surrounded by Cesar Chavez Foundation workers
and Global Peace walkers from four countries who had
either started the walk last January in New York or
joined the group along their journey over 3,000 through
11 states. More walkers are expected to fall in step with
the pilgrimage to San Francisco after a four-day rally in
San Jose on June 14.
Peace walkers have loaded their clothes, bedding and
supplies aboard three school buses converted into mobile
support vehicles. They are walking the highways and
speaking to citizens about the need for "Global Peace Now,"
as a world-wide, United Nations mandate, said Yamato, 48,
a Zen Buddhist from Japan.
The visit to Chavez' gravesite is just one of the trek's
high points, which ranged from a nuclear awareness
rally at Three Mile Island, Pa., to a three-day fast
supporting Leonard Peltier, an American Indian activist
incarcerated at Leavenworth Prison in Kansas.
Along the way, the walkers use Yamato's spiritual practices
of chanting and drumming to help deliver their prayer for
global peace, said walk coordinator David Williams, a
chemical physicist from Santa Barbara.
"We're trying to foster global consciousness of peace
in connection with the anniversary of the UN," Williams said.
Using the "Global Peace Now" slogan as a mantra, the walkers
hope their message goes out on a spiritual level with their
prayers. On the material plane, they spread their message
to the local citizenry and ask for written support from public officials.
The group plans to walk to Bakersfield today stopping by
City Hall at about 11 a.m. to ask Mayor Bob Price for a
letter of support before heading to San Jose.
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For more information about the Global Peace Walk Project,
list of proclamations and letters of support, etc, see: