We started off at Takehara City Hall, where we had meetings with staff from the Mayor’s office, then started out for our march at around 10:30am.
Our group has been quite a bit smaller these past couple days, with about 20 or so marchers and fewer young people, but there’s still a lot of energy among us!
Today we had a number of breaks and van-rides between the actual marching, so the day was broken up quite differently. We walked around the downtown, and at one of the first rest places, I bought this delicious fried sweet, filled with red bean paste 🙂
We ate a bento box lunch inside of another city building, and had fun with an English <-> Japanese translator that the coordinator of the day’s march had brought with him. What an amazing piece of technology! He told me he’s in the process of reading Edward Snowden’s book; yet another indictment of U.S. actions, indeed!
At a community center/events hall, where there was a bunch of local and traditional artwork on display, we met a very friendly woman from Guam/the Philippines who commiserated over the heat. Honestly, I feel that walking every day in such heat is making it bother me less each day! And, of course, the reason I’m here in Japan, very far from home is to walk for peace! So, that’s all the motivation I need…that, and LOTS of water. Hopefully I’m not speaking too soon and jinxing my health! I also spoke with two women who have met Joseph Gerson – my boss/sensei – at the Bikini Day commemoration and the 2010 NPT. I feel really privileged to be affiliated with such well-known and -respected peace worker, and with the American Friends Service Committee as an organization!
At the end of the day, around 4pm, a woman named Chiomi-san drove us the forty or so minutes through very dramatic mountains to Higashihiroshima, where we’re staying the night.
Meanwhile, it feels that violence and resistance is bubbling up around the world. Another school in Gaza has just been bombed by Israel, as well as Gaza’s only electricity plant, apparently leaving the Strip in darkness, and a significant part of that land has been declared off-limits by Israel. Another land-grab? And Japanese friends from last year’s World Conference are posting about the horrible developments of the bases in Okinawa and the incredible bravery of the people resisting.
This March is so empowering, and one of the ways is through how I feel being occupied with this duty at such a time of upheaval and violence. I feel like I’m not tangibly helping the struggles I care so deeply about right now, but that feeling is driving in me probably as much determination and focus as I’ve ever had. I feel like both humility and power are being bestowed on me in abundance. What an incredible gift.