Crowd calls for troops to come home
A group of 25 picked up momentum as they marched through Grand Forks calling for peace on Saturday then rallied with speeches, and music. Calling on the federal government to withdraw from international wars, the Boundary Peace Initiative (BPI) group attracted a crowd of about 50 people in front of the Source and Retro Betty’s to add their voice to action taken across the West Kootenay / Boundary. After opening remarks from BPI member Laura Savinkoff, a series of speakers gave their insights into how we can achieve peace. Grand Forks Mayor Brian Taylor was the first of the speakers expressing how important it is to involve the younger generation in action and that one of the key solutions to changing the current environment is to create unity. Rev. Simon Shenstone quoted both Mohammed, of Islamic faith, and Jesus of the Christian faiths, to bring his words of peace. “Peace begins within our own hearts,” said Shenstone. “Jesus said, Peace I give to you, peace I left to you.” With a message of passion for the way the war in the Middle East has started, J.J. Verigin, leader of the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ, said that after giving the weapons to the eastern countries first, everything else played out in turn. “There is no chivalry, no honour, and no dignity left in war,” said Verigin. Evan Podovinikoff, age 22, shared his expression of support by dancing while Ellen Tolsen shared fiddle music and some poems. The final guest for the event was New Democratic Party Federal Candidate Alex Atamanenko. After inviting everyone to join him at his open house, Atamanenko shared his views on war. His opinion can be summed up in this one phrase: “We support our troops by bringing them home.”
The march for peace was held concurrently in Slocan, Castlegar, Midway and Rock Creek along with Grand Forks. There were many petitions available for people to sign supporting different bills and beliefs.