Virtual Movement Archive
This description from Sally Southwick (SSouthwi@acs.carleton.edu) is from the Minnesota Women's Press (Vol. 18, No. 24, Feb. 12-25, 2003, p. 14).
To the Editor of the Minnesota Women's Press:
Despite subzero temperatures one week and sloppy snow the next, friends and I have been keeping a weekly vigil for peace, Sundays at noon on the corner of Summit and Snelling Avenues in St. Paul. With a permit from the city we began our weekly activism because we love our country and want to encourage other Americans to support seeking peaceful solutions to world problems.
As we stand with our signs each week two things continue to surprise us about our fellow Minnesotans. The first is the overwhelmingly positive response we get in the form of honking, thumbs up, peace signs, people saying "thank you," and even the gift of chocolate muffins from a passer-by. Knowing that our public presence resonates with so many others keeps us out in the winter weather. The other observation each week is the vehemence and violence of people who oppose our views, with some driving by repeatedly to give us the finger and others shouting obscenities or things like "Bomb Iraq off the face of the earth." (When I mentioned this to a friend in her 70s, she replied, "No one in their right mind wants to go to war. But then I'm just an old woman who's lived through four of them.") It's disturbing to see such disregard for human life and such disrespect for Americans practicing their constitutional rights.
We're a visible presence on that corner every weekend because of the
Constitution and the founding principles that have sustained our country
for so long, including the right to loyal opposition to government policies.
In doing so we honor those from the past--the abolitionists, the suffragists,
the civil rights activists, Jeannette Rankin, and Paul Wellstone--who
stood up publicly on behalf of a better future for our country. All like-minded
people are welcome to join us.