Peaceful means leads to peaceful ends - Tucson News Now

Peaceful means leads to peaceful ends

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About 500 protestors marched up 6th Ave. from South Tucson to Armory Park in downtown.

They represented a variety of groups and organizations, each with a reason to use May Day to bring attention to their cause.

Occupy Tucson which has a grievance against Wall Street and big money.

AFSME which feels the battles which have pitted unions against big business and public entities.

Derechos Humanos which is battling against the repercussions felt by the passage of SB 1070.

Border Action Network which is trying to bring attention to border issues.

All with the potential to raise their voices and spark a violent reaction.

But whether by chance, or luck, on this May Day, none of it happened.

For two miles and a full hour they walked in the hot, early afternoon sun to the entrance of the park where they were met by the bullhorn.

The bullhorn was manned by Roy Warden, an activist who was arrested a few years ago in connection with burning a Mexican flag in the park. He has nothing nice to say about the Mexican groups.

But as he shouted and attempted to enter the park where he is prohibited, a group of angels blocked his path.

"Occupy Tucson asked us to be here," says Jerry Diaz, one of the angels. "We wore angel garb and surrounded the front area of the park."

The Angel Project was formed after Matthew Shepard was murdered in Wyoming in 1998. It's mission is peaceful.

In this case, it worked.

"The police were there for us and did their part," says Diaz. "Everybody did what they needed to do."

But it was not just the angels.

In the front of the park on May Day, the Peace Ribbon also fluttered in the warm, afternoon breeze.

It's not really a ribbon but hundreds of hand sewn, 2 foot by 3 foot, cloth flags. On each, is the name and a bit of information about a man or woman who has died in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Mary DeCamp watches over it, cleans it and takes care of it.

"It's an international touring exhibit," she says. "It's such an honor to serve this way."

When someone else wants to display it, she carefully packages it and sends it on its way.

But Tucson is more or less its permanent home.

"We got such great weather here," she says. "We've got a great peace and social justice community."

With angels circling the park and with peace symbols greeting those who enter, violence was just not going to mar the message.



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