By Alice Gerard
Alice Gerard, a freelance journalist from Grand Island, will participate in the Let it Shine Peace Walk, sponsored by Voices for Creative Nonviolence, of Chicago. Voice for Creative Violence members have taken peace walks and have visited war zones in other countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel/Palestine since the organization’s founding in 2005.
The organization’s predecessor, Voices in the Wilderness, took medicine, toys, and other aid to Iraq in the 1990s, during the time of sanctions against Iraq.
The walk began yesterday at the Dane County Jail in Madison, Wisconsin, and it ends on August 25 at Volk Field in Camp Douglas, Wisconsin. The distance that the group will walk is approximately 90 miles. According to Buddy Bell, who organized the walk, Volk Field is the home of the Wisconsin Air National Guard.
This base trains pilots to remotely operate the “Shadow” drone by computer linkup. Drones of this type are used in conjunction with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps for reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting, and assessment.
We start from the Dane County Jail and end at Volk Field to underline the connection between the violence perpetrated by the drones indiscriminately killing people of color overseas and the militarization of our police forces at home, where people of color are being killed through the use of police violence.
We will be walking through the beautiful, hilly Wisconsin countryside. The daily walks will range from 12 to 16 miles. We will take advantage of opportunities to share with communities we are passing through. The walk ends on Tuesday August 25 with a vigil against drones at the gates of Volk Field.
The Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars has been holding monthly vigils at the gates of Volk Field for three and a half years.
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to participate in this walk,” Gerard said. “I am walking on behalf of victims of government-sponsored violence, both here and abroad. All human beings, regardless of religion or skin color, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. This violence must end.”