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Peace advocates rally in Geneva, IL.

Marion Riedle of Hampshire received honks, handshakes and scoffs as she marched for peace Saturday in downtown Geneva. But her presence seemed to spur few actual discussions.
One exception was a Croatian man, who walked up to her on Third Street and asked, "Why do you think peace is a solution?" "Because war isn't," she said.

Renato Ledic of Chicago, a 29-year-old who has lived in the United States since he was 9, wondered how else we would stop terrorism. He also wondered how else we can protect our country. Although they disagreed at times, they remained respectful.

Riedle was one of about 25 people who advocated non-violent solutions for our nation during the demonstration, organized by Fox Valley Citizens for Peace. People sang, passed literature and raised signs.

Peter Engstrom of Geneva, who organized a 24-hour peace vigil this past summer, thought that kind of dialogue was the reason he was demonstrating.

"I don't necessarily think I'm right, but let's discuss it," he said.

Engstrom said when he talks about possible solutions with other people, it sharpens his own perspective. He said demonstrators in front of the Old Kane County Courthouse, where hundreds of Christmas shoppers walked by, were a visible presence for the community. It was a good opportunity to really talk about it, he said.

John Jerrard of Geneva, a World War II veteran, thinks peace was not a solution for Hitler, but is for Saddam Hussein. "He may be a real tyrant, but that's not a reason to go to war," he said.

Peace groups scheduled numerous rallies, marches, discussions, religious services and benefits this weekend throughout the Chicago area. Chicagoans Against War in Iraq and American Friends Services Committee, or affiliates of the groups, organized most of the events. Kevin Lindemann of Winfield, a member of DuPage Peace Through Justice, said about 25 people signed the peace pledge Saturday. Today, the Fox Valley Citizens for Peace group will have another demonstration from 1 to 3 p.m. on Route 31 just north of Route 72 opposite Springhill Mall in West Dundee. For information, call Mary Shesgreen at (847) 742-6606 or Sally Brown at (847) 742-2206.



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