On a mission, Global Peace Walk '95
Parade for Peace with a Message of Love

The University Daily Kansan

The Student Newspaper of the University of Kansas

Tuesday, April 4, 1995

On a mission, Global Peace Walk '95 walked to KU and continued its...

Parade for Peace with a Message of Love

[photo, not shown here, captioned:]

David Williams, coordinator of Global Peace Walk '95, (left) and the Rev. Yusen Yamato chant while playing their ceremonial drums. The group of more than 20 members gathered in front of Wescoe Hall yesterday afternoon. They have traveled from New York City and plan to arrive in San Francisco by June. photo by - Jerel Harris/Kansan

On a mission, Global Peace Walk '95 walked to KU and continued its...

Parade for Peace with a Message of Love

By Brian Vandervliet
Kansan staff writer

A repetitious drum beat and the smell of burning sage filled the air as about two dozen members of Global Peace Walk '95 brought their message to Wescoe Beach yesterday at noon.

"We want people around the world to order the United Nations for global peace now," said David Williams, a coordinator for the group. "There are wars going on in 40 countries. People all over the world are fighting for land and life right now. We want to stop people from getting killed."

The group began its walk on Jan. 15 in New York City and plans to arrive in San Francisco by June 20 for the 50th anniversary celebration of the United Nations, where they will present a collection of letters of support.

Williams said the group traveled about 30 miles each day. Members take turns walking the pavement and carrying the banner that says, "Global Peace Now!" Those not walking, ride in one of the group's six vehicles. The arrived in Lawrence on Saturday night and planned to leave this morning.

AS the Rev. Yusen Yamato, a Buddhist monk from San Francisco, led the group in prayer, Peace Walk members held hands or beat ceremonial drums while standing in a circle. Yamato, dressed in an orange robe, rang a hand bell to get the attention of the spirits.

"All over the world there is fighting," Yamato said. "That's why many people are suffering."

Williams said the group came to Kansas to hold a three-day fast for Leonard Peltier, a Native American imprisoned at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. Peace Walk members believe he was wrongly accused of the murders of two FBI agents in 1975. They camped near the penitentiary for six days and prayed for Peltier.

While sage was being burnt during their prayer for peace yesterday, Samantha Graham, Lawrence junior, explained the significance of the herb.

"It clears the ethereal realms of people so that we can relate in harmony with each other," she said.

Ghraham had helped bring Peace Walk to Lawrence but is not traveling with the group.

"I think it's righteous," Graham said about their journey. "We need to protect the children. They need to be taught benevolence."

After the ceremony in front of Wescoe, which lasted about 30 minutes, the group walked to city hall for a meeting with Mayor Jo Andersen. Peace Walk members had requested a letter of support from Andersen.

Although Andersen joined the group in a brief prayer for peace and talked with them about Lawrence history, she stopped short of providing a letter. She gave them a pin instead. But Peace Walk members were not disappointed.

"I was very pleased she came out and showed her support," Williams said.

After the meeting with Andersen, the group marched to its white Chevy school bus. This time they marched not for peace but for lunch.