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Vista On-Line

January 22, 2003 edition

Vol.2, Issue 1

Saturday the 18th of January presented George Bush with a dilemma of sorts as millions of anti-war protesters rallied in cities big and small internationally, calling for a halt to George's polices and a return to sanity. Meanwhile, I sat in the Radio for Peace studios listening to a four-hour long live broadcast feed from Pacifica Radio of coverage from the massive anti-war protest in Washington DC, of which RFPI was relaying on shortwave. I was caught up with the passion and enthusiasm of the movement and the up swell of people to end war on the planet. A new realization has presented itself, a realization that regardless of the media being owned by corporate interest and lead around by top government officials cheerleading into war, people are becoming aware worldwide and are speaking out against such archaic mechanisms as war. During my school years I witnessed first hand the build up of the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War (funny we always call it the Vietnam war not United States/Vietnam War). The peace movement was slow in building momentum and only when a massive loss of life on both sides had been inflicted did it achieve an order of strength to turn the war machine aside. Today's anti-war movement has started with considerably more energy and is more widespread than in the past -- a sign of a good start.

RFPI's staff had our own peace rally to attend; after the Pacifica broadcast was finished we all loaded into the RFPI minibus and headed off to San Jose, lending support to our Costa Rican brothers and sisters who had gathered in the city center at the Plaza del Cultura. About five hundred people were in attendance carrying signs and giving speeches, while a group of musicians playing Andean music entertained a crowd of cheering, passionate people standing in a large circle. As I edged up to peer into the circle I was nudged and greeted by a "Hi Daddy" by my 14-year-old daughter Joanna, her Costa Rican boyfriend in tow. Surprised, I asked, "How did you get here?!" She replied, "By bus of course." And with a smile replacing my expression of surprise, we both reached out and gave each other a huge hug amidst the glow of the event. My thoughts drifted back to an earlier anti-war protest and a young 15-year-old boy who had ridden his bicycle, listening wide-eyed to the hopes and dreams of his generation to end war. It was an experience that would change his life, later providing him the courage to propose the creation of a radio station dedicated to peace.

In Peace, 
James Latham 


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