NORTH NEWTON, KAN. - Students from Bethel, Hesston and Tabor colleges tote signs during a peace march Nov. 2 to protest U.S. military action in Iraq. The two-mile march, planned by peace club members from the three Mennonite colleges in Kansas, drew more than 150 protesters, including college students and others from Wichita, Salina and area communities. Marchers walked in near freezing temperatures and light rain from Bethel College in North Newton to the Newton Post Office to mail letters to President Bush and congressional representatives. While the media focused on three counter-protestors, the anti-war demonstrators sang the ‘60s protest song "We shall overcome" as well as several hymns and observed a time of silence. "We are grateful to live in a country where we can express our opinions openly and without fear of persecution," said Bethel College junior Joel Goering after the march. Goering is a global peace and justice studies major from Silver Spring, Md. "This is the true strength of the United States: its people and their determination to stand up for what they believe is right. The problem of evil is very real; we should not kid ourselves or slip into naive idealism. Saddam Hussein’s government has the potential to cause us harm. Then the question is, ‘How do we confront evil, without doing or becoming evil ourselves?’ I believe, following the example of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we confront evil through firm, conscious, nonviolent action. There are peaceful and just alternatives to war; we just have to be prayerful and creative enough to discover them."
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