Weeky event starts with small group of

by BARRY W. DUGAN – Managing Editor
When Windsor residents see a group of people waving placards at
the corner of Lakewood Drive and Old Redwood Highway, it’s usually
election day when candidates and their supporters appear with
oversized signs urging support for their cause.
There was no election last week, or the week before — but there
is an impending war.
Two weeks ago, a group of friends decided to start a peace vigil
in response to the Bush administration’s plans to go to war with
It started with about eight people, and last Friday their
numbers had grown to more than a dozen people who stood quietly at
the busy corner holding signs, some holding candles, as rush hour
traffic filled the intersection.
“A war against Iraq is not going to make the world safe,” said
Nancy Richard, a Windsor resident who was among those who initiated
the vigil. “This started as a response among the Windsor faith
community to the actions of our government … I’m a Quaker, so I
have 350 years of history of non-violence behind me, of seeking
non-violent resolutions to conflict. Killing other people in order
to protect our sourc of oil is not a moral course of action.”
The response from passing motorists has been mixed, said
“We get qute a few positive honks,” she said. “And we get a few
unprintable responses.”
Richard said there is a core group of individuals involved in
the vigil and “we are in it for the long haul.”
She welcomes anyone to participate. The group will be there
every Friday night from 5 to 6 p.m. “Anybody who is feeling
overwhelmed and they want to make a statement is welcome … it’s a
form of witness,” she said.
Michael Welch, a teacher at Windsor High School, questioned the
logic of the U.S. demands that Iraq surrender its weapons. “Weapons
of mass destruction are weapons of mass destruction. Are our
weapons any more morally justified than theirs?”
The composition of the group was decidedly mature,
conservatively dressed, a majority were women, and included a dog
— not exactly the radical anti- Vietnam war protesters of the
Judy Hull is a Windsor resident and a pastor with the First
United Methodist Church in Santa Rosa. She stood quietly at the
busy intersection with a sign that read “A Methodist Pastor for
Peace.” In the other hand she held a candle.
“The Bush Administration needs to know that citizens believe
there is a better way,” she said. “I’m not a ’60s hippie. I’m a
mother and a grandmother. I’m going to San Francisco tomorrow with
my daughter to the peace march.”
The loosely organized vigil arose out of a need to do something
about the immpending war, said Charles Richard, another Windsor
resident. “Several of us who see each other regularly said, ‘it’s
time.’ There is no organization, this just happened.”
Richard, who volunteered to serve in the military during the
Korean War, said “I don’t believe this war with Iraq is justified.
I am not a pacifist. I believe in self defense. I don’t believe in
a pre-emptive strike without justification.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Windsor Peace
Vigil, can contact Charles and Nancy Richard at 838-2526.

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