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Peace walkers rest their feet in New London

By Colin A. Young

Publication: theday.com

Published March 10. 2014 2:00PM   Updated March 11. 2014 6:36PM
Sean D. Elliot/The Day
Josh Johnson struggles to control his "peace" flag as a group of activists stop at Saint Francis House on Broad Street after marching up State Street in New London on Monday as part of a Walk for a New Spring from Leverett, Mass., to Washington, D.C. The group, which started walking Feb. 21, expects to arrive in Washington by April 8. The marchers stopped at City Hall and spoke with Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio before continuing up to St. Francis House where they were to stay the night.

New London — About a dozen people walking from western Massachusetts to Washington, D.C., made a stop Monday morning in New London, where Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio greeted them.

The walkers, part of the 13th annual Walk for a New Spring, began their trek Feb. 21 at the New England Peace Pagoda in Leverett, Mass., and anticipate arriving in the nation's capital in early April.

The roughly 47-day walk is meant to promote peace building, demilitarization, a respect for Earth and an end to racism.

"We walk from mid-winter to early spring with the energy of the thawing earth," Tim Bullock, one of the walkers, said. "We hope this energy will thaw the hearts and minds of our communities and plant in them the seeds of peace."

Finizio welcomed the walkers on the steps of City Hall and spoke with them about the moral and economic importance of emerging technologies, like solar power and geothermal energy.

"We are a military community, as many American communities are, and many in our community celebrate the fact that for the next few years the defense industry contracts will be keeping our economy afloat," the mayor said. "But I firmly believe that during this time period we should be using this opportunity to look at alternative means of supporting our local economy."

c.young@theday.com

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