Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Veterans for Peace March in Baltimore on Martin Luther King Jr. Day by Janice Sevre Duszynska, ARCWP

Everyone was bundled up on MLK Day here in Baltimore where the temperature plunged into the single digits in cahoots with a blustering wind. We took along a friend’s dog, Reese, a mature Lab who seemed to lap up the attention given her by the African-American children who petted her along the route. Their mothers smiled and waved and chatted with us. About 65 per cent of Baltimore is African-American. Over the past several months since Freddie Gray’s death we have participated in marches and vigils in support of Black Lives Matter and an end to police terror.
Left: Janice Sevre Duzynska, ARCWP, Max and Justice Activists from Baltimore, MD. 

We marched with the Veterans for Peace, Phillip Berrigan chapter, carrying our signs. As the Capitol police took my banner (Stop the War Machine: Export Peace) on January 12th as evidence until we go to trial, I held up the simple "Give Peace a Chance" and Max, “Support the Troops, Bring Them Home.”

Ahead of us with yellow and red signs were members of the Healthcare for All, contingent, in support of single-payer health insurance which means Medicare for all. The Baltimore Ethical Society and Women in Black comprised the four justice groups. We saw Dr. Margaret Flowers campaigning for the Senate and fellow Green Party members who have worked tirelessly against the TPP. Here and there we moved in sync with the beat of the African drums and the school-age dancers dressed in shimmering royal blue tights and white tops.

As we walked, I reflected on Martin Luther King’s stand against racism, militarism and capitalism. Max reminded me how right wing Republicans opposed this holiday, including Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan and John McCain. In 1986 MLK day was finally voted in as a national holiday.

Reese the Lab enjoys her time with us at various protests, but she was exhausted from this three-mile trek and could barely make it up the hill to our van.

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