BG Peace Marchers make statement with their feet

Annual Peace March moves from downtown BG to BGSU campus on Friday.

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN

BG Independent News

 

Nearly 125 people bundled up to join the annual Peace March on Friday from downtown Bowling Green to Bowling Green State University.

Among them was Holli Gray-Luring, who was pushing her 3-year-old son, Ian, in a stroller.

“It just feels good to be a part of something so positive,” said Gray-Luring, who also participated in the Peace March last year. “The people who stand here are aligned with our thoughts and beliefs in the world.”

The second annual Peace March was again organized by Not In Our Town Bowling Green – a group dedicated to accepting diversity and speaking out against hatred.

“It is an opportunity to be very visible on the streets of Bowling Green,” said Julie Broadwell, the community co-chair of Not In Our Town. The march makes a statement that all people are “welcome and included in Bowling Green life.”

Walkers gather on BGSU campus at end of Peace March.

The walk started downtown in the free speech area off East Wooster Street. Led by a group holding the Not In Our Town banner, the walkers stayed on the sidewalks as they headed east to the BGSU campus. Most walked, some used wheelchairs. Joining in were BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey, several university officials and students. On the city side, were Mayor Dick Edwards, several City Council members and city residents.

The walk ended in front of the student union, in the free speech zone on campus.

“I think the peace march is something so special,” said Alex Solis, the campus co-chair of Not In Our Town. “There are no remarks. You just know why you’re here.”

At the conclusion of the march, a Not In Our Town banner was stretched out on a table so walkers could add their signatures to the cause.

Supporters sign Not In Our Town banner.

Gaynelle Predmore, of Bowling Green, was one of those signing the banner.

“It’s the right thing to do,” she said of participating in the Peace March. “We don’t want hate in our town,” Predmore said.

BGSU student Tanner Gray-Duvall also didn’t want to miss the march. “I feel like it’s necessary. There are some really bad things going on in our country right now,” he said. “It’s a really great thing to see this here.”

He was joined by fellow BGSU student Eli Smith. “This is like my home now and it’s good to see the diversity. Bowling Green is very welcoming and loving.”

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