Tuesday, April 01, 2003

I love Oakland. People are scared of it though. It's true, there are parts of it that have seen more than its fair share of violence. Thus, the following announcement for Hands around Lake Merritt as part of the culmination of the Season for NonViolence in Oakland, this Friday April 4 noon-1pm.

HANDS AROUND LAKE MERRITT is the concluding event for this year’s Season
for Nonviolence-Oakland.

It will take place this year on Friday, April 4th, from noon to 1 :00 pm

The anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is to be a gathering of people to encircle Lake Merritt while holding
hands. In this way it will be a commemoration and celebration of the
principles of non-violence set forth by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King, whose
teachings and exemplary lives need to find a renewal in our city and our
world today.

Its objective is to provide a powerful experience of community, of a
community that shares the vision of a world free of violence, hate and
intolerance. In the city of Oakland, where the sky-rocketing homicide
rate is producing a climate of fear and disgust, we believe there is
fertile ground for this community, and these principles, to take root
and grow.

In Lake Merritt we have the perfect place for it to express itself.
We especially want to bring our youth into this community to the largest
extent possible. For they are the future. We are hoping to encourage a
march of young people who will arrive at the lake to take part in the
celebration and join in the circle.

There will be locations for the distribution and dissemination of
information about Gandhi and MLK, Jr. and their roles in organizing
for non-violence. We would also like to establish a framework for
individuals and families to pledge themselves to support and pursue
principles of non-violence in their own lives throughout the year.

Hands Around Lake Merritt: A PEACE VIGIL

As the war in Iraq has already begun, we are altering our vision of
how the event will unfold. We are now planning on holding what we
would call a "Peace Vigil" or "Silent Demonstration". In this form
there will be no speeches, no arguments, no politicizing.

Singing, however, is recommended.

We are a group who prefer to affirm FOR peace rather than
protest AGAINST the war. Gandhi and King strongly believed in
the power of affirmation. They believed that positive change
comes from within, and from the bottom up, the grassroots.....

We further recognize that Lake Merritt is a place where people
come for peace and quiet reflection.

In light of this, we now propose an event in which we come together
simply in the spirit of Gandhi and King, to express our common humanity,
and to affirm for peace in the world at large and here in Oakland as well.



(510) 464-1288


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