Activists defy cold, make statement
Form dove outline on frozen lake
By RICK OLIVO
The Daily Press (Ashland, Wisconsin)
TOWN OF BAYVIEW
- Despite temperatures of four degrees below zero and a penetrating
northeast wind, over 100 peace activists gathered on the
frozen shores of Bayview Beach Sunday to make a symbolic statement
demonstrators, bundled against the bone-chilling cold came to the beach
to form the outline of a dove, complete with an olive branch (actually
a bough clipped from a balsam fir) in its bill. To form the
picture, visible only from the air, organizers walked out a short
distance onto the frozen lake and stamped out a pattern in the
snow. Then on a signal, the participants trooped out and lay down in
the snow to form the outline of the symbol of peace. Meanwhile, a
prearranged flyover by a small plane with a photographer on board
captured the scene.
organizer Brenda Goetz of Ashland, the point of the exercise was to
gather together a community of people who oppose a possible war with
something in common, we are not for this proposed war," she said. "I
was inspired by people all around the world who are doing the same
protests was one that occurred in Australia, where 750 women formed a
heart and the words "NO WAR" with their bodies.
"That's a bit
much for northern Wisconsin, especially on the second of March when
it's below zero," said one participant. "It's summer in Australia."
Goetz said for
people who don't believe in the war, trying to figure out what they
could do to prevent it could become overwhelming.
"This was just
something I thought would be light and fun," she said.
lay-down demonstration, people gathered around a pair of bonfires. One
fire held a 20-gallon cauldron of steaming chili, a reward for
demonstrators following the event.
demonstration went off as planned at 1 p.m. but the event drew a pair
of counter demonstrators riding snowmobiles. One snowmobiler carried a
small American flag and yelled out "Support our troops" while
repeatedly circling the prone anti-war demonstrators. Finally, the pair
took off across the lake, leading one protester to say, "It's a
shame they left, they could have had some chili."
Wendy Stein of
Washburn said she came to the event to show support for community peace
efforts. She said she wasn't troubled by the cold.
appropriately," she said.
"We are here to
try to stop this stupid war," said Stein's partner, Phil Freeman. "It's
important, not only because of the lives that are at stake, and the tax
dollars that we are wasting, but there are are principles involved
too; the principle that our country doesn't go to war preemptively, to
attack people that we think might be a threat to us."
part in the event ranged from infants carefully bundled in multiple
layers of blankets to 79-year-old Susan Dexter of Madeline Island who
attended the event wearing a peace-symbol sweat shirt she got at a
Vietnam war protest.
"I can't talk,
my lip is frozen," she said after the event.
said lying down on the ice was not too bad.
"My hands were
cold, otherwise I was OK," she said.
"Oh, sure," she
said with a big grin.