From Finger Lakes Times, August 17, 2008
From Memorial Walk organizer, Jessica Max Stein
Please join me on Saturday, August 16, 2008 in Seneca Falls, NY to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Women's Peace Encampment and reenact the walk of July 30, 1983, when nearly 200 women set out from Seneca Falls to the encampment in Romulus, 15 miles south. In Waterloo, about 300 angry locals blocked their path across a footbridge, where a three-hour standoff ended with 54 of the women being arrested for "inciting a riot."
11 am: Meetup at Zuzu's Café, 107 Fall Street, Seneca Falls.
Noon: The walk begins. 12-5 pm (or thereabouts): We trace the women's route, stopping at the site of the 1848 women's rights convention and the homes of some of its organizers. We end the walk in our own collective triumph, by walking all the way over the bridge.
This is not a tour or lecture but a collaborative project — this day will be whatever we make it. Bring songs, stories, thoughts, pictures, and memories, along with snacks, sunscreen, water bottle and comfortable shoes.
About me: I grew up 200 miles east of Seneca Falls, in Schenectady, NY. I am a peacewalker; this commemoration is part of a longer 50+ mile walk along the Erie Canal. My first trek spanned 50 miles along the Hudson, chronicled in my zine The Long Walk Back to Myself (Microcosm Publishing, 2006). I make my home in Brooklyn, NY.
Walking for peace is all the more relevant today as we wage a war to hang onto our country's gasoline habit. Walking itself is peaceful, a kind of meditation. As Deming writes, "Yes, this is the way to walk — with the concentrated attention which is prayer."
All are welcome. See you in Seneca Falls,
Jessica Max Stein
Estelle, Carmen, Lucille and Twilight finishing up breakfast at Carman's and raring to get walking!
Christine and Carman sneak in a photo op at Zuzu's Cafe, our pre-walk gathering point in downtown Seneca Falls.
Our fearless leader Max being interviewed at Zuzu's by Amanda Folts of the Finger Lakes Times.
Anita gets an earful from Hershe about the herstory project while she and Doreen wait patiently for others to arrive.
Carman and Patty discuss strategy... or was it latte flavors?
Let the wild rumpus begin! Estelle, Sera and the beautiful banner made by Eugene and friends lead the way.
First stop: The National Women's Hall of Fame. Patty, Sita, Kim, Twilight and Doreen listen to Max tell us about Bessie Coleman (1892-1926), the first licensed black woman aviator who learned to fly in France after being denied the opportunity in the U.S.
Max and Hershe get ready to join in as Estelle begins singing, "Walk, women, walk and we'll catch a glimpse of freedom, women walk, and we'll catch a glimpse of peace."
Second stop: The Wesleyan Chapel, site of the first Women's Rights Convention, July 19-20, 1848. Renee-Noelle breaks it down for us while Sera and Susie look on.
Patty and Lucille taking it all in.
Sita concentrating. Maybe meditating? Maybe sleeping?
Estelle with two young feminists in town for a wedding who came over to see what we were doing. They had never heard of the Waterloo 54 or the peace encampment.
Sita and Estelle on the road between Seneca Falls and Waterloo.
Snack time mid-route. Sera, Max, Susie, Louise, Chris and Twilight.
Doreen and Estelle at stop number three, the Hunt House. Jane Hunt hosted a gathering here in honor of Lucretia Mott and those assembled decided to organize the first Women's Rights Convention.
Leaders of the pack, Doreen (photographed under duress - something about loyalty to the Seneca Falls' football team?) and Dee entering Waterloo.
The next contingent to pass by, led by Sera and Estelle, employs the fine art of sign enhancement...
...while the paparazzi Twilight, Susie and Christine, capture the moment in film.
Lucille and Renee-Noelle, first on the scene at our final rendezvous point before the bridge, the McClintock House. It was here that Mary Ann McClintock, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and perhaps others drafted the Declaration of Sentiments.
The McClintok House ranger joins Dee and Doreen as they listen to Renee-Noelle share information about our founding mothers.
Middle contingent, Sera, Christine, Susie and Max arrive at the McClintock House...
...followed by our vehicle support contingent, Louise, Estelle and Chris.
Christine and Sera chilling on the steps of the McClintock House.
Christine, Hershe, Sera and Patty and the fine art of bomb enhancement at the American Legion.
Patty seizing the day (and the banner).
With all walkers collected, Doreen, Patty, Max, Dee, Lucile, Christine, Twilight, Louise and Sita are ready for the final three blocks of the walk.
Approaching the first bridge.
Taking the street!
Long live the Waterloo 4!
Talking the street (again), this time on the bridge. Long live the Waterloo 10!
Good job, team!
Renee-Noelle singing the incredible song, "I will not raise my sons to kill your sons."
What a day!
Sure, there's enough room for everyone!
Mmmm, cramped quarters make me hungry!
The original outhouse.
Pavillion pose. Back row: Twilight, Hershe, Sita, Max, Sera, Doreen, Louise and Chris. Middle: Susie, Estelle, Renee-Noelle, Patty, Lucille. Kneeling: Christine. Taking the picture: Dee.
On to the former Seneca Army Depot.
Those women did whaaatt in 1983?!?! And it was dark?!? And it was raining?!? And they were carrying paint cans, rollers and roller extensions?!? And the soldiers were milling about and talking nearby?!?
Still life #1 - Striations
Still life #2 - Three and Half Hours
Basking in the afterglow of a walk well-taken. Estelle, Louise and Chris with Carman on her back porch.
In Carman's front room, Sita, Patrice, Patty and Doreen watch archive footage of the original 1983 walk.
During the next video, this one of the Waterloo 54 trial, Estelle explains to Sera how hundreds of women disrupted the makeshift courtroom.
The next day at Carman's, Estelle reads Amanda Folts' article from the Finger Lakes Times to Twilight.
Template for the front of the t-shirts designed and produced for us by Becky at WomanMade in Seneca Falls.
Becky showing us how it's done.
Hot off the press!