LOUISVILLE, Ky.: Honor 9/11 victims with peace

On Sept. 11, 1906, Mahatma Gandhi launched his first nonviolent protest in South Africa before returning to his native India to use nonviolence in the successful campaign which freed the Indian people from British colonialism in 1947. Interfaith Paths to Peace, a local religious-based antiwar coalition, celebrated Gandhi’s achievement by walking 53 miles through four counties over four days to call for an end to the Iraq war.

“We think it’s a perfect way to honor the memory of the people who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001 — to work for nonviolence,” said organizer Terry Taylor.

The walk, limited to 50 participants, reached that mark weeks before stepping off in Nelson County. More than 70 businesses and religious groups sponsored the pilgrimage, which ended with a Sept. 11 rally of hundreds in Louisville’s Central Park.

“A walk is a good time to focus on nonviolence,” Chris Harmer told reporters as he marched. “The timing to me is really important, about taking back 9/11 from the memorial of fear.”

Mark Isaacs, an activist in the Louisville Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue, said marchers reflected concern for social justice in the U.S. and overseas, and included participants dedicated to the peace movement generally as well as those focused on Israeli-Palestinian peace, with two states living side by side, on eradicating poverty and on stopping environmental degradation.

CHICAGO: Daley vetoes living wage law

In defiance of a massive, labor-based grassroots movement, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley vetoed a law passed by the City Council, 35-14, in July to require mega-retailers like Wal-Mart to pay workers at least $10 an hour. The Sept. 11 veto was the first in Daley’s 17 years as mayor.

Thirty-four votes are needed to override a mayoral veto. As the World went to press, the City Council was debating the issue. In the weeks preceding the override vote, Daley and big business interests put enormous pressure on several aldermen to switch sides and oppose the ordinance, and there were reports that several had done so.

Look for a more complete story in next week’s edition of the World.

WASHINGTON: Bolton nomination hits snag

When Bush appointed John R. Bolton Ambassador to the United Nations, he was forced to make the temporary appointment in the dead of night. Then as now, a storm of controversy swirled around Bolton, forcing Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich to withhold support. Over the summer, Voinovich switched to supporting Bolton, but now, Republican Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee, facing a tough primary, is withholding endorsement, stalling the confirmation in committee.

In light of the wars in Iraq and Lebanon, Chafee said, “It is no secret that I have serious questions about this administration’s policies in the Middle East.”

BISMARCK, N.D.: Priest, veterans face trial for missile protest

Father Carl Kabat, 72, who spent more than 15 years in prison for anti-nuclear protests, former military officer Greg Boertje, 51, and Vietnam veteran Michael Walli, 57, faced a federal jury Sept. 13 for dressing in clown costumes, then hammering and pouring blood on a Minuteman III nuclear missile silo. The government alleges the three men damaged the 40-ton nuclear weapon. If convicted, each is looking at 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

In a statement released through their attorney, the three jailed activists wrote, “U.S. leaders speak about the dangers of other nations acquiring nuclear weapons while our nation has thousands of horrific weapons of mass destruction. Our nation fails to act in accordance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which commits the U.S. to take steps to disarm its weapons of mass destruction. We act in order to bring attention to people’s responsibility for disarming weapons of state terrorism.”

National Clips are compiled by Denise Winebrenner Edwards (dwinebr696@aol.com).