Friday, January 23rd is the beginning of the Nuke Free California Weekend gathering in San Luis Obispo. (see more info at: SLO Mother for Peace ) To commemorate this event and to start the New Year on a note of hope, Reverend Sawada will be walking from Diablo Canyon to the Courthouse in San Luis Obispo. It is a peaceful and prayerful 12 mile walk.
Reverend Sawada praying in front of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. (from March 2014)
The rough schedule is as follows:
9 am – Gather at the gates of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant (just beyond Avila Beach, on Avila Road, west of Highway 101)
Bill Deneen, a long-time local activist elder, will also be there with signs from 10am.
Elder Bill in front of the Diablo Canyon gates. He is not stepping over the “blue line.”
Walk to the Courthouse in San Luis Obispo via San Luis Bay Drive and Higuera Street.
The Walking Monk
Walkers should be arriving at the Courthouse (1050 Monterey Street, Downtown San Luis Obispo) sometime between 3:30 – 4:30pm.
Everyone is invited to walk with Reverend Sawada for all of or part of the way. Or, be at the Courthouse for his arrival. Signs and banners are welcome.
There are parking structures near the Courthouse, on Palm Street.
During December, several monks from Nipponzan Myohoji gathered in San Luis Obispo for a weeklong prayer fast at Diablo Canyon and the Courthouse in Downtown San Luis Obispo.
The Monks and supporters praying in front of the Courthouse in San Luis Obipso. December 2014
It is hard to truly express our gratitude in words to all who supported this Peace Walk. We could not have done this without the kindness and generosity of everyone involved. The outpouring of love was an incredible feeling and a burst of light in the darkness of the Fukushima tragedy.
Thanks also to the many who did not know about this Walk but waved and smiled at us along the way.
Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Geh Kyo 南無妙法蓮華経
The culmination of the Peace Walk was a public event hosted by San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, featuring the movie “Women of Fukushima” and speakers Umi Hagitani and Jerry B. Brown, Director of the Safe Energy Project at World Business Academy.
The World Business Academy recently released a report on the health status of residents living near Diablo Canyon. (Please see full report at: worldbusiness.org )
The event ended on a spiritual and hopeful note, with Jimmy Joe of the Santa Barbara Chumash peoples reminding us what his ancestors have understood for eons – that we are all connected in this world: the people, all living things, as well as the land, water and air – and Reverend Sawada Gyosen offering one last prayer.
SLO Mothers for Peace spokesperson, Jane Swanson greets guests at the Steynberg Gallery
SLO Mothers for Peace spokesperson, Linda Seeley MCs the Fukushima Third Anniversary event.
Umi Hagitani of No Nukes Action Committee
Jerry B. Brown, Director of the Safe Energy Project for the World Business Academy
Rev. Sawada and Chumash Jimmy Joe give us a spiritual message to take home.
March 10 was the last day of the Peace Walk, with the Walkers gathering at The Mission in San Luis Obispo and walking to Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.
Walking in the direct shadow of Diablo’s influence, we expected some heckling and negative feedback, but to our surprise, the response from drivers that passed us was overwhelmingly encouraging: thumbs up, waves and smiles! Thank you, San Luis Obispoan!
March 11, the third anniversary of Fukushima, began with a beautiful prayer session at the gates of Diablo Canyon. Joining Sawada and the Peace Walkers were members of the Chumash Nation and Pilulaw Khus, Mother of the Bear Clan and Ceremonial Leader who performed a traditional blessing.
Reverend Sawada prayed all day, on a knoll just above the main gates to Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, for all nuclear victims and for a nuclear free future.
Two Spiritual Elders — Reverend Sawada and Pilulaw Khus
Umi and Elia with Pilulaw.
At the morning prayer session — Chumash, Japanese, and European Americans all coming together.
Reverend Sawada prays at the gates of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.
SLO Mothers for Peace spokesperson, Linda Seeley being interviewed by a reporter for Information Press
Rev. Sawada being interviewed by a reporter from Al Jazeera TV.
The Peace Walk continued on Day Six, with a slight hiccup – we had all forgotten it was the start of Daylight Saving Time and arrived at the Grover Beach Amtrak station an hour late!
The walk went from Grover Beach, through Pismo, Price Canyon, Edna Valley and into Downtown San Luis Obispo and Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, the end of Day Six.
“It was invaluable walking through the County,” said Umi. “I got to connect with the community that is most vulnerable should something happen at Diablo Canyon: the farms, the businesses, the farm workers, ranchers, tourists and students.”
We could not help but become emotional as we got closer to the anniversary of Fukushima…and closer to Diablo Canyon.
Peace Walkers in Price Canyon.
Meeting local residents along the way.
At Edna Valley Vineyard. Elia decides to “demonstrate” — isn’t that what the sign is suggesting?
Sunday, March 9 is Day Six of the week-long Peace Walk. Route and schedule are as follows:
8:30am Gather at Grover Beach Amtrak Station
Walk up Highway 1 to Pismo Beach, turn up on Price Canyon, then Broad St. (227) towards San Luis Obispo. We plan to finish at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa at the end of the day. Please join us!
On Monday, March 10, we will gather at The Mission at 8:30am and walk to Diablo Canyon, taking S. Higuera St., Ontario Rd., San Luis Bay Dr. and Avila Bay Dr.
Hope to see you there.