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Santa Rosa, CA holds vigil and poetry night for peace

Posted by Ryan Hall

On September 26, the Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa, CA held a “Bombs Are Not the Answer” vigil. Due to rain, thunder, lightening and a double rainbow their numbers were reduced to nine, however that same evening they also held an event called “100 Thousand Poets for Change – Celebrating Art as a Catalyst for Change”

That event was an evening of poetry and music that left many in tears. It opened with music by Heather and Sean of the Heather Van Cleve Band. They then had poetry by seven powerful poets covering domestic violence, climate change, Indigenous rights and the killing of 13-year-old Andy Lopez by a sheriff’s deputy. Thank you to Gaia’s Garden Restaurant for providing them with a place to gather for the past three years! This was the third of five activities involving the Peace & Justice Center this past week! Something for everyone!

On Saturday , Sept. 27, we had a very festive and celebratory march through downtown, followed by performances – music, poetry and dance (no speeches!) – in Courthouse Square. About 150 people joined in. One woman we passed was in tears and thanked us for being in the street. All people with all issues were welcome and the crowd was diverse. Participating groups included the Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County, Veterans for Peace Sonoma County, the Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez, Sonoma County Roller Derby Girls, Mothers in White, Green Party Sonoma County, and many more.

On Sunday Sept. 28, The 17th Annual Progressive Festival was held in Petaluma where progressive groups and performers gathered together to share energy and information. The Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County was a sponsor. This year’s featured speaker was Jim Hightower (shown in one photo reading our newsletter, the “Peace Press”) and the featured performer was Maria Muldaur. There were speakers from Move To Amend and Veterans for Peace, and on subjects ranging from Israel/Palestine to fracking to the killing of Andy Lopez. It is a wonderful opportunity for networking.

Photo Credit: Susan Lamont

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