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Small gathering, big voices

Visions of peace and an end to war were among the topics at the second annual Estacada Peace Rally
by: Barbara Adams, House District 51 representative candidate Ryan Olds spoke at the peace rally Saturday, saying, “Peace starts at the local level.”

The second annual Progressive Action Community Team sponsored peace rally was held Saturday, Sept. 23, on the front lawn of Estacada City Hall. It was held on the anniversary of last year's rally, and was one of many peace events held throughout the world during International Peace Week, which begins Sept. 21 every year.

Approximately 40 people came to listen to guest speaker Cara Shufelt, a coordinator with the Rural Organizing Project, speak about the cost of war. 'If we are funding the war in Iraq, what are we not funding in Estacada?' Shufelt said. She said, that as of that morning, it was estimated that the war in Iraq had a price tag of $316 billion nationwide-$321 million of that coming from Clackamas County, and $1.7 million from Estacada. That does not include the loss of human life and the environmental impacts, which are additional costs of war, she added.

House District 51 candidate for state representative Ryan Olds also addressed the crowd. He is running against incumbent Linda Flores-R. 'We can get involved by supporting pro-peace candidates,' Olds said. 'My opponent does not share my values of peace.'

Event organizer Peter Hamer said that the best way to support the troops is to bring them home, 'and never send them to war for no good reason. In your handouts is a flyer with some actions you can take to lend real support for our military men and women,' he said.

Those actions included contacting state representatives, writing letters to the editor, voting for candidates who support immediate withdrawl of troops, and joining an organization or becoming involved in a program designed to support the troops while they are overseas and when they return.

The Progressive Action Community Team will hold its next meeting Sunday, Oct. 22, at 4 p.m. in the Flora Community Room at the Estacada Library. The upcoming election will be discussed, as well as the official Voter's Pamphlet, and other voter guides. Candidates will be invited to attend. The meeting is open to the general public.