Marches for Peace and our Environment

Recently my friend Ed Fallon (Bold Iowa) wrote,

“Often when there’s a crisis, people respond by traveling great distances on foot. Marches often transform the participants, and have changed my life, too. (Stay tuned for the upcoming release of my first book, Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim.)

Most important, marches change history. Consider:

·        The Women’s Suffrage March

·        Gandhi’s Salt March

·        The 1965 March for Voting Rights

·        The 1986 Great Peace March, which mobilized support for a nuclear test ban and citizen diplomacy between Americans and Russians”

I have participated in several marches and agree they can transform the participants. I was a Senior at Scattergood Friends School in 1969 when the entire School walked in silence into Iowa City during the October 15 National Moratorium Against the Vietnam War. The School Committee was told about plans for the Peace March on October 11. From the school committee minutes:

A group of students attended Committee meeting and explained plans for their participation in the October 15 Moratorium. The Committee wholeheartedly endorses the plans. The following statement will be handed out in answer to any inquiries:

“These students and faculty of Scattergood School are undertaking the twelve mile walk from campus to Iowa City in observance of the October 15 Moratorium. In order not to detract from the purpose of the walk, we have decided to remain silent. You are welcome to join us in this expression of our sorrow and disapproval of the war and loss of life in Vietnam. Please follow the example of the group and accept any heckling or provocation in silence.”

I was keeping a Journal at that time, and the entry for October 15 was:

The photo below was one of the first I ever developed. There was a primitive darkroom at the School then.


Several years ago the Peace March was held again. The following is from a Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) newsletter:

Peace Scattergood then now

FCNL: Scattergood Peace Marches

In 2013 a Climate Conference was held at Scattergood School. On Saturday there were presentations by people working on environmental concerns. The next day
we had an Earth Walk that followed the same route of the earlier Peace Walks, this time with signs about the environment, and with us picking up trash along the way.  I really wanted to be part of this walk, mainly because of my participation in the 1969 Peace Walk, and came from Indianapolis (by bus) so I could.  Below is a video of photos I took during the walk, with interviews of participants.

The reason I included Ed’s message above is because it was the introduction to information about an upcoming walk, that I plan to participate in, The First Nation – Farmer Climate Unity March.  I hope you might consider joining the walk. More from Ed’s email message:

Bold Iowa is again partnering with Indigenous Iowa to organize this eight-day, 90-mile march. We’ll track the pipeline through Story, Boone, and Webster counties, traveling 10-14 miles each day.  We’ll set up our mobile encampment at farms and parks — a self-contained community of tents and teepees with a kitchen, eco-commodes, solar showers, and a solar collector.

If you’re a good walker, care deeply about justice and our Earth, and are ready for a unique personal growth experience, please consider being part of this important event.”

climate march poster

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