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Grassroots Citizens for Peace
Must the United States be continually at war? How can the U.S. become an international force for peace and human rights?
- bearing witness in support of peace and justice
- sponsoring educational programs promoting cultural understanding and nonviolence alternatives
- organizing intergenerational peace events
- offering inspiration from the global peace visions of people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Eleanor Roosevelt
Current Action Alerts from Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice
Past Annual Event
Sat., August 4, 6:30 p.m. to dusk (Governor Dodge State Park at Twin Valley Lake) “LANTERNS FOR PEACE” EVENT. (Dodgeville) Would your family like to participate in a festival of hope – one that envisions a compassionate, sustainable and peaceful world? If so, you are invited to Twin Valley Lake in Governor Dodge Park at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 4 for the “Lanterns for Peace.” Professional singer, composer and guitarist, Rich Baumann, will share his songs of hope for both children and adults. Together families will create paper lanterns and share in activities and conversations. Later the lanterns will be floated in a stunningly beautiful procession of lights across the darkening waters of Twin Valley Lake.
“Lanterns for Peace,” began in Japan as a commemoration of the loss of innocent lives in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. “Lanterns for Peace” was a way of saying “Never again!” to nuclear weapons specifically and to war in general. In was brought to the United States in the mid 80’s by James and Peggy Baumgaertner of LaCrosse. The idea spread rapidly across the country as part of the people-to-people, anti-nuclear peace movement with the people of USSR and Japan. In the late 80’s Joel Gaalswyck, a Vietnam Veteran for Peace, and Chloe Weil initiated “Lanterns for Peace” on the Wisconsin River near Spring Green. Cathy Palzkill shared that “one of my most vivid memories is that of Joel planting his American flag in the sand at Peck’s Landing on the Wisconsin River and explaining that we all should be proud of our patriotism to confront the threat of nuclear weapons.”
About 15 years ago, when Joel’s health began to fail, Grassroots Citizens for Peace and Justice, brought the event to Governor Dodge Park on Twin Valley Lake. Jane Kavaloski remembers how everyone worked together to expand Joel’s dream. Fanou and Bryan Walton perfected the art of lantern assembling; Marie Baker set up “green” system for food sharing; JorJan Borlin provided art displays; Mary Ann and Michael Wolkomir provided music; Judy James organized name tags and petitions; Jane became the MC and Vince provided the documentation about the arms race and nuclear weapons.
Over time this anti-nuclear event broadened to include a vision of the Earth in harmony with nature and life itself. Chuck Tennessen, from Sustain Iowa County, joined the planning team and created children’s activities. “Lanterns for Peace” has become a paean of hope to our shared future as a human family all across this planet. For Chuck Tennessen the “Lanterns for Peace” is “a time for folks to gather to remind ourselves of the continued threat of war and nuclear weapons and to celebrate peace in the serenity of our beautiful valley.”
Then, at dusk, a long chain of glowing paper lanterns, decorated with hopeful messages and images will slowly drift out over Twin Valley Lake. Marie Baker remembers one year, when the event was threatened by a pending tornado. “But a group gathered nevertheless and as they slowly descended to the lake, the clouds miraculously parted and the skies cleared.” This resplendent vision of harmony, beauty and light ignites within our hearts a deep hope for a world beyond war, greed and destruction.
We hope to see you at Governor Dodge Park on Saturday, August 4. Please bring a kind-heartedness, a hopeful spirit, and finger-food to share. Water will be provided. A day pass or park sticker will be required.
This year’s gathering is co-sponsored by the Iowa County Citizens for Peace and Justice and Sustain Iowa County. However, we are looking for a new generation of local visionaries to carry-on (and re-design, if desired) this local, yet international, festival of hope. As ancient prophets said: “Without a vision, the people will perish.” For more information contact Jane Hammatt Kavaloski: [email protected]
Wondering what the event is like, check out this video on YouTube from last year's event. Thanks go out to Benjamin Wolkomir who produced this video!
Read the messages floated on the waters in 2012 to inspire hope for the world by clicking here.
We encourage you to Take Action! Remember the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that happened on Aug. 6th and 9th in 1945. Contact your members of Congress to urge them to work for a world free of nuclear weapons. Visit http://nuclearweaponsfree.org/act/hiroshima-and-nagasaki-days/ or http://1more4zero.org/ to learn more! The Congressional Switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. A recent report released by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) highlights how important this work is and what it means to the future of the planet (take a look at a video by Dadie Loh on the report at www.youtube.com/psrnational).
Throughout the year “Grassroots Citizens for Peace” organizes forums and cultural events that promote dialogue about issues of peace and justice. Some examples are these from the past are:
- Children and adults throughout Iowa County were busy folding 1,000 origami paper cranes, which are now in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The crane folding is part of a national effort to send 70,000 cranes for peace to Los Alamos for the National Campaign on Nonviolence Conference, sponsored by the Pace e Bene Organization. The conference marks 70 years since atomic bombs were dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bombs were developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Read more in the Dodgeville Chronicle. To learn more about Nuclear Weapons, check out the WMD Awareness website at http://www.wmdawareness.org.uk/the-facts/nuclear-weapons/
- "Windows into Gaza" a display at the Dodgeville Public Library which gave a view into everyday life in Gaza through photographs by Skip Schiel. Also, speakers Dr. Joseph Elder presented "Spotlight on Gaza" and Dr. James L. Bailey presented "Conflicting Religious Perspectives on Israel/Palestine". Click here for the event flyer.
- Sponsored Los Vientos de Marzo (The Winds of March) at Mineral Point's wonderful outdoor Alley Stage, award-winning poet Lynn Werner performs an original solo theater piece with music, dance, poetry and prose based on her eight years documenting human rights abuses in Colombia until she fled in the early 90's.
- Community book discussions of War is the Force that Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges and Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
- Film discussions of “If Turtles Could Fly,” “Paradise Now”, “Iraq for Sale” and “Kite Runner”
- Art exhibits and discussions by David Giffey of his experience in Vietnam and his work with Cesar Chavez and the Migrant Movement in Wisconsin
- Commemoration of the dead as a result of the Iraq War through the “Eyes Wide Open” exhibit from the American Friends Service Committee
- Vigil and protests again the war in Iraq and Afghanistan
- Educational series on “The History and Philosophy of Nonviolence,” “Islam through History and Art,” “The History and Cultures of Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan
- Jointly sponsors “Great Decisions” series at the Dodgeville Public Library
- Annual “Lanterns for Peace” intergenerational event to commemorate the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
- Writing letters to the editor in local newspapers about issues of peace and justice
Letters to the Editor
- Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice
- Friends Committee on National Legislation
- Nonviolent Communication
- Peace Action Blog
Our History and MembershipThere has been a peace group in the Dodgeville area for over 25 years. Originally called “The Iowa County Citizens for World Peace” it changed its name to “Grassroots Citizens for Peace” when it became affiliated with “Grassroots Citizens of Wisconsin.” Members come from Dodgeville, Mineral Point, Spring Green and Barneveld and other rural communities – mainly within Iowa County.
Please consider becoming involved in this grassroots movement to create a more just, compassionate and peaceful society.
“Grassroots Citizens for Peace” meets the first Friday of each month from 4:00-5:30 p.m. (However this time could be changed if it is not convenient for prospective members.) For more information about the location of the meeting each month or about specific events or activities please contact:
Jane H. Kavaloski, 3817 Evans Quarry Road, Dodgeville, WI 53533
[email protected] - (608) 935-3007
Next Meetong: Friday, July 6th, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the County Kitchen in Dodgeville.