Third Annual Woodstock International Walk for World Peace—photos

August 11, 2011

Thanks to all who came to our Third Annual Woodstock International Walk for World Peace!

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Two days!

August 4, 2011

The weather forecast is good for Woodstock, NY this Saturday, August 6, 2011, and we are looking forward to our third annual Woodstock International Walk for World Peace! We gather between at 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. in the parking lot (no parking here, though; use one of Woodstock’s Municipal lots, please) at the intersection of routes 212 and 375, where water will be available (thanks to Hurley Ridge Market, and Michele Elyse Flanders). The World Peace Prayer Society is once again bringing the flags of 193 countries, to be distributed before the walk. The walk begins at 11:00 a.m.; we will proceed through town to Comeau Field, where we will hold the Flag Ceremony, a peace paint-out, talks, and performances by Denise Jordan Finley & Daniel Pagdon, James Cannings, and others. The Parrots for Peace™ will once again be on hand, too; as will Terry Leroy of the Haitian People’s Support Project.

This year’s walk falls on the 66th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, an horrific event that we commemorate each year by holding our walk for peace on the weekend closest to the anniversary. We once again affirm that we never again wish to see such horror, and state that we all will do what each of us can to bring about a more peaceful world. The date of August 6th is known as Universal Peace Day, though the event is often observed in the United States on August 5th, due to the International Date Line.

We can all do more to bring about peace; we can show kindness whenever possible, and work with others to produce a more sustainable world. A sustainable world is a peaceful world, as sustainability would mean providing water, food, housing, safety, education for every human being—no one left behind. In the United States, this might mean strengthening and increasing enforcement of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, moving away from fossil fuels, and writing our local and federal representatives, urging less investment in the machinery of war, more investment in jobs, education, and infrastructure; less political posturing, and more substantive action. It might encompass reducing one’s energy use (we have one of the world’s highest rates of energy consumption) and eschewing some rainforest products (palm oil = bad), while using others (brazil nuts = good).

One thing is certain, every society that has not embraced the ideas of peace and sustainability has eventually failed; this is attested to in Jared Diamond’s books Guns, Germs, and Steel, and Collapse; and more recently in Brian Fagan’s Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind.

When we contrast those collapsed societies with the Aboriginal communities of Australia, the oldest continually operational society on earth, we find that the aboriginies have a deep reverence for nature that has enabled them to live for 40,000 years in one of the harshest environments on earth, and that peace and the environment can’t be separated.

Join us this Saturday, August 6, 2011, as we walk and pray for peace!


About Peace…

July 14, 2011

John Lennon and Yoko Ono had it right, “War Is Over (If You Want It)”. Peace can only be achieved through peace; wars cannot bring peace. We enjoyed this Grammy Award performance of Imagine, with Herbie Hancock, Jeff Beck, India.Arie, Seal, Pink, and others.

Join us at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 6, 2011, at the intersection of Routes 212 and 375 in Woodstock, NY, for our third annual Woodstock International Walk for World Peace. We will be joined by The World Peace Prayer Society once again, for the procession of flags through town to Comeau Field, where we will hold the Flag Ceremony, followed by musical and other entertainments. Denise Jordan Finley and Daniel Pagdon have agreed to perform, as has James Cannings; other speakers and performers are to be announced. We look forward to seeing you come together to affirm our profound wishes for peace throughout the world.

We need a new approach if we are to achieve lasting peace throughout the world, an approach that focuses on human security—everyone needs access to clean water, adequate food, safety from violence, education, housing, and freedom of religion, if we are to build a more peaceful world. That is the basic concept behind Shannon D. Beebe’s and Mary Kaldor’s book, The Ultimate Weapon is No Weapon, which outlines a framework for this to happen. They propose that our military be re-purposed to assist in bringing about a more peaceful world. Lieutenant Colonel Shannon D. Beebe is a West Point graduate, and Senior Africa Analyst, Office of United States Army Deputy Chief of Staff, Intelligence; and Mary Kaldor is a professor of political science and director of the Centre for Global Governance at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Their words have weight and merit, and I urge you all to read this most worthwhile book.

Thomas Barnett makes many of the same points in this interesting TED talk. While I object to his insistence upon the initial use of overwhelming force, many of his other ideas are worth serious thought. His book, The Pentagon’s New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century, contains many of the same ideas as Beebe’s and Kaldor’s book. While I cannot completely disagree with his basic concept of the “functioning core” of nations, it is worth noting that there is much about this “functioning core” that is dysfunctional at best, as attested to by the millions of currently unemployed in the so-called “developed world”. We can do better here, too.

Join us, to show your most profound hopes are for peace.

The above views are my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of The Woodstock Council for World Peace.


Third annual Woodstock Walk

July 8, 2011

This year’s Woodstock International Walk for World Peace is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 6, 2011. We will meet at the parking lot at the intersection of routes 375 and 212 in Woodstock, NY, where the flags of every country will be handed out for our procession through town to Comeau Field, where the World Peace Prayer Society will once again hold the Flag Ceremony.

We hold this walk each year to reaffirm our commitment to peace. The walk is always held on the weekend closest to the anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, to recognize that we never again wish to see nuclear weapons used. We hold that all life is sacred, and that there is no such thing as a “just” war. The only way to peace is through peace, and we support the peaceful resolution of all disputes. This year’s walk happens to fall on the actual date of the bombing, and we will say a prayer for the casualties of this horrific event.

Our founder, John Nelson, is in Hiroshima, setting up events there for Live Peace International, a worldwide event where concerts for peace will be streamed live from venues throughout the world. More info is available on YouTube, and I’m awaiting more details from John; as soon as they are made available I will post them here.

The same goes for events at the third annual Woodstock International Walk for World Peace; as performers and speakers are confirmed, we will post them here. The Parrots for Peace will once again be on hand, too. We look forward to seeing you all there! Peace and Love!


Thanks!

August 13, 2010

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I hope you enjoy the slide show above (all photos © 2010 Cameron Williams or © 2010 Doug Potoksky, all rights reserved); this is the first opportunity I’ve had since Sunday’s second annual Woodstock International Walk for World Peace to say thank you to all of you who helped make our event a success.

First, thanks to the legendary Pete Seeger, to whom the Woodstock Council awarded the first “Noble Peace Prize”.

Pete Seeger’s "Noble Peace Prize”

Thanks also to Joyce Beymer, and all the wonderful folks at the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and the Arts, Woodstock Town Supervisor Jeff Moran, Woodstock Police Chief Clayton Keefe and the Woodstock Police Department, Terrie Rosenblum, Cathy Magarelli, Bill McKenna, Jay Wenk, Angela Sweet, Jacquelyn A. Earley, Michael Reynolds, Paul Andreassen, Ray Brundage, who was so helpful in setting up Comeau Field, Adam Slagsvol and all the other folks at American Printing, Michael and Ziedel Epstein at Hurley Ridge Market, Nick Altomare, Mark McDunna, Fumi Stewart and The World Peace Prayer Society, Gloria Waslyn and The Parrots for Peace, Victorio Roland Mousaa, Princess WOW!, founder of The Smile Revolution, Mary Poppiins, Caitlin O’Heaney, Hank Woji, Luke Hunzberger, Norman (who played and sang, and whose last name I don’t know), Mighty Xee, Christina Valentine and Monica, Tinya Seeger, Phil Sauers, Sonia Malkine, who repeated her moving rendition of Pete’s song “Where Have All The Flowers Gone”; Greg Reitman and Britta Peterson of Blue Water Entertainment, who are filming Rooted in Peace, Russell Richardson of the INDIE project, and Marie Uridia, also of INDIE, who filmed our walk; Carol Johnson, Catskill Mountain Plumbing & Heating, Vivo Gallery, and Cucina restaurant; David and Fiona Saxman of The White Gryphon, Catskill Mountain Pizza, Reverend Josh Bode of the Dutch Reformed Church (congratulations!), Bill McKnight and Melinda Terpening McKnight, Doug Potoksky; the inimitable Father Jack Nelson, without whom this would not be possible; Elaine Maggiore, B. Vos, Michele Elyse Flanders, Bob Place, Tony Angel, Pierre and Terry LeRoy of the Haitian People’s Support Project, and anyone else whose name I may have omitted. Special thanks also to Ronnye Jai and Alan Shapiro, who serve as inspiration to us all. Peace! —CW


Countdown!

August 7, 2010

A photo from last year's walk. ©2009 Doug Potoksky

We have less than 24 hours left until the Second Annual Woodstock International Walk for World Peace, and much to do!

Went to the Beacon Sloop Club potluck last night to make final preparations with Victorio Roland Mousaa and Pete Seeger, and we’re going to see them at the Peace Corner in Wappingers Falls today; also sound check, meeting Jack Nelson, and lots more to do. Thanks to everyone at the sloop club for their generosity toward Tony Angel’s Spirit Journey; we raised $120.20 for Tony last night, which we will deposit in his account this morning.

What is clear is the need for a more peaceful world. The best thing we can do is to be the change that we wish to see in others; we state again that if each of us is dedicated to a more peaceful world, we will have one. Please come support us in our mission by walking with us through town with the flags of all nations in Woodstock, and show the world the pro-peace spirit that is the true legacy of the Woodstock Nation lives.

Peace and love!


Universal Peace Day and The Woodstock International Walk for World Peace

August 6, 2010

Today, August 6th, 2010, is the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.  “Little Boy” was the name of the fission bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The 30 year old pilot, Colonel Paul Tibbets, named his B-29 Superfortress the “Enola Gay” after his mother. The immediate death toll was approximately 70,000 men, women & children, who were instantly vaporized. Many others perished in the months and years that followed. August 6 has been internationally recognized as Universal Peace Day, though due to the International Date Line, it is often observed in the U.S. on August 5th.

Yesterday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, and Nobel Prize-winning author and Hiroshima survivor Kenzaburo Oe wrote a moving article in The New York Times.

A photo from last year's walk. ©2009 Doug Potoksky

We ask all of you to join us this Sunday, August 8, 2010, for the Second Annual Woodstock International Walk for World Peace. We walk on the weekend closest to Universal Peace Day each year as a reminder to all that we wish to never again witness nuclear devastation, and to express our profound wishes for an end to all wars. If each of us is dedicated to a more peaceful world, we will have one.

We thank The Woodstock Chamber of Commerce & Arts, The Town of Woodstock, The World Peace Prayer Society, Pete Seeger, Victorio Roland Mousaa, Princess WOW!, Tony Angel, and all the other individuals who have given so generously their time and efforts to support our goals.

Now come on out Sunday morning for a great time!