Monday, August 26, 2013

"All Aboard!" the Peace Train, 2013

I love engaging the public on the issue of gun violence and peace.  This is because the vast majority of citizens, including gun owners, support the main arguments of the gun violence prevention movement (hundreds of national polls show it, HERE).

One of my great joys each year is the annual Eugene Celebration parade, which makes its way through the heart of downtown Eugene, Oregon, and features nearly every aspect of our community and diversity.

One of the yearly entrants to the parade is the Peace Train: a brightly-colored, human-powered train engine followed by train cars, each of which bears the name of a local organization dedicated to peace and nonviolence.  This is the third year that I and Ceasefire Oregon have had a train car in the Peace Train (here is a link to information on last year).  Other organizations included in the Peace Train this year were Million Mom March, the Democratic Party of Lane County Peace Caucus, The Peace Center of Eugene, CALC, Veterans for Peace, and Beyond War.

The route, as always, was lined the entire way by throngs of area people.  This year the applause and cheering was deafening for the Peace Train, including shouts of encouragement for Ceasefire Oregon.  

See below for videos, posted on YouTube, taken by people along the route...

Here (at timestamp 19:08):

and here (at timestamp 3:09):

It warmed my heart to see and hear the response, but we need more than cheering.  Pro-gun activists work nonstop to make our communities less safe and undermine our attempts to reduce gun violence, in pursuit of their love of guns.  We have to work together to create a new trajectory for our nation away from gun violence.