Ohio Women's Peace Walk: Documentary about the One Hundred Mile Walk Across Ohio
I am a dangerous woman carrying neither bombs nor babies flours nor Molotov cocktails. I confound all your reason theory realism because I will neither lie in your ditches nor dig your ditches for you nor join in your arms struggle for bigger and better ditches. I will not walk with you nor walk for you. I won't live with you and I won't die for you but neither will I deny you your right to live and die. I will not share one square foot of this earth with you while you are hell bent on destruction but neither will I deny that we are of the same earth born of the same mother. I will not permit you to bind my life to yours but I will tell you that our lives are bound together and I will demand that you live as though you understand this one salient fact. I am a dangerous woman because I will tell you whether you are concerned or not. Masculinity has made of this world a living hell. A furnace
burning away at hope love faith and justice. A furnace of my lies. Hiroshima was a furnace which burns the babies. You tell us we must mate masculinity made femininity made the eyes of our women go cold and dark sent our sons. Yes are our sons to war. Made our children go hungry made our mothers whores made our bombs our bullets. Our Food for Peace our definitive solutions and first strike policies masculinity broke women and men on its knees took away our futures made our hopes fears thoughts and good instincts are relevant to the larger struggle and made human survival beyond the year 2000 and open question. I am a dangerous woman because I will say all this lying neither to you know with you neither trusting nor despising you. I am dangerous because I won't give up or
shut up or put up with your version of reality. You have conspired to sell my life quite cheaply and I am especially dangerous because I will never forgive nor forget or even conspire to sell your life in return. Yes I am a dangerous woman. The Ohio women's peace walk brought together women from all over the state in protest of the nuclear arms race and in support of a nuclear weapons freeze. The walk began in Newark Ohio July 13th and finished in Dayton on July 22nd. Throughout the 10 day walk we spoke to many women who participated
some for a few hours others for many days. This report focuses on these women and why they chose to walk her piece. A grassroots organizing effort joined women from all over the state. We first spoke to Sheila Richards of Granville Ohio one of the walk organizers. Q How did you get involved. You know what. Originally we had planned to walk from Cleveland down you know were going that way. We told them. What would be impetus for the March what would be a loss would be a mission way I think the philosophy was simply to win that were women to bring the awareness to women's groups that this is a women's issue. Most of us I think believe that if there's going to be any significant social change just so we really want to win in the south and with the women and change it back to
Sarah Kirsten bomb of the Ohio. Nuclear Weapon 3:00 p.m. playing do you take ordinated What do you feel that the importance of having that walk in Ohio. Well I think that the foremost reason that we're having in Ohio if somebody said one of the meetings is because we live here. And I what I think that means to me is that women are concerned everywhere women are speaking out of where women are organizing women everywhere on this is our state and for this is where we do it but I think that the walk also has a special calling our special function to publicize how Ohio play such a key role in the nuclear arms race and we have more. The nuclear weapons facilities here than any other state. Several The participants gave us their reasons for joining the walk addle a new bar from Granville. Since I saw the movie The Day After really kind of opened my eyes to what's going to be left if a nuclear war happens I just go out. I
felt a real need to do something active. I feel real bad when I'm just sitting how watching the news and not doing anything so I wanted to get involved in from Columbus. Pat JONES How long have you been on the walk. I've been on the walk and started last Thursday night actually and the who what when they were coming in to bring field. Well why did you join the walk. I'm very concerned about the arms race. I feel that the odds against that being even here alive right now are probably a million to one. I just go by I feel that because we're still here we can still do as long as we're still here. And I'd like to ride with him. Rebecca from potassa go up with her son blue and daughter mango. How about you. Well I during the walk because I'm real scared and I feel like this is
my way to to express some of those fears and concerns and to walk with other people who feel a lot of the same things that I feel and I want a chance to raise my children and to and to give life in my own life and I really feel secure that that that might not be there and. I'm going to do what I can to dedicate my life and to walk on to see that this world will have a future. You brought your two children with you on the walk. What do you think that they're feeling about it. Well various things. I think that my son blue who's 6 is really knows what's going on. And he does also know that future means that we have to stop in his words the nucular war from happening. And he I think what he's feeling the most is that he's really glad that he can be with all these women and be accepted and loved and and that that's really what it's all about what we're
doing right now. And you were trying to stop the war and I know we have to when I think anything like that. More. Grand. I personally just about died. And I was on the bed beside me. I think the bombs coming. That's coming up because I want to be with you. Just might just do something. I talk because
mother was wounded there and was in a really committed to. And I wonder what the fuss is all about and get educated because I think educating the public is the key. You know until a few weeks ago I was under the mistaken impression that everything was all right in the Politico. It was when I heard a lecture given by Helen Caldicott at my church that really opened my eyes and it was education. And I think that more people need to be educated about the issues in whatever they feel is right Ed. I think that maybe this walk is going to hopefully make people take a second look. What are your feelings about the march so far have you learned. Want to walk from Yellow
Springs Wendy leverage. What are you on the peace walk. You have very peculiar trying to explain why I am on the walk. I would ask people why they aren't on a walk or why we should have a why we should have to have a peace walk. Also from Columbus Barbara Williams. What he had to say about what I think of my future my children's future and I want to have a better future for my kids a better education what have you. And survival with the name of the gap and then with them building these nuclear bombs were not going to buy anything. Unless somebody you know disappears their foot down and the best thing I would think to do is to organize more peace walk write our congressman and let them know how we felt in the church leaders get together and protest and really say how they feel. How long have you been on the walk and snort from the very beginning first
and you've got both here children here with you right. Yes. So how do you have to feel to be walking with your kids what do you think they think or for is they really didn't know what we were walking for and I explained to him about you know the different mom that United States was trying to build and everything and and and I tell them that I wanted to say to them grow. I didn't want anything like this to happen that it angers me to shorten someone's life span is definitely more or less that I understood why I would want him. How about you show him knowing Android and walks. I don't when it's you know why you give him the bombs when you don't really don't want to have who are being part of the walk in Alpha trying to do this documentary. One of the thing for me personally is the walk itself being part of it has helped me deal with my despair. You know I feel like oh well at
least I'm walking 20 miles a day or I'm getting somewhere more and we're going through town places I've never been I live 30 miles away you know and I was wondering if you feel that same way. Yes I very definitely do. I feel that I have this commitment and the energy and I really need to express it in a positive way to. Get out my feelings. In my frustration. How about you what do you on the Walk for. Really stop the war. I don't really like it. Because it's actually a bad thing. If we don't stop the war all of us will be killed. Hello there you blew it. Talking to Linda Ma Mie thi Campbell Oxford. Why are you I'm no walk. Why am I on the walk. Is because I want to grab the attention of other people. I'm also walking
because I enjoy the company of other women who have the same sort of commitment. You're a part of the free movement in Oxford that write what kind of work do you do there. I coordinate a community peace group called Oxford citizens for peace. What methods would you like people to get. Well I will. What the message is. Is Wake up. Or did you know. The Emperor Has No Clothes. This is madness. The thing that what it is and there are a lot of people out there who were probably very much like myself involved in my own and my own work doing community things involved in other good things. But didn't know what an ICBM was. I didn't know what the destructive power of a nuclear weapon was and didn't know how many of them there were. And I also didn't know the
system that that that made those nuclear weapons functional. And once a little bit of knowledge about that comes to a person they believe would be the threat that's hanging over our head. The walk was organized as a women's event for several reasons. As the walk literature states why women because women have a vital urgent message of peace. We know that enduring strength comes from cooperation and not competition and domination. We value the power of living things. We are not impressed by amazing inventions of death because militarism inflicts violence on women in physical economic and spiritual ways. The view of women as property is acted out in the rape of women as the spoils and spoils of war.
Do you feel that women have a special place in the peace movement. A special purpose. Very definitely. Women are special victims because of the sex the culture we're in and because of the interrelatedness of sexism militarism ageism racism and few other reasons that I haven't already mentioned. And because women have special values which because of the the discrimination and the powerlessness which they feel in this society and perhaps in in all of Western culture and who knows perhaps all in most of the world's cultures they are powerless. Women need their own space and time to get their messages across that women need time to learn how to be leaders and to learn how to be organizers that that can't be done. Often times when men are included because their skills are
usually quite developed in those areas and they just have a tendency to take over. How is the walk affected you. What's been the highlight of your. Well that's hard to say because there's been a lot of highlight here for me I think the physical exercise of getting to know your body and the great side that you and I and the community getting to know these women some of whom I work with a lot but we women in the office we maybe never get a chance to really have a good talk because we're so busy taking care of details and frustrations and problems with the office where I feel a great energy a community where spirituality is right there. This kind of special. Feeling that we can get with an all women's group. It's hard to find that sort of community there. Why are you on the walk. Well personally you know I work on the crease all the time and I think this was an
opportunity to work in the support of women. In. A feminist process and I really think that I look forward to this rejuvenating me. I think a lot of women they're coming to this for a first option and I'm sort of coming from a different place where this is a place to rejuvenate me and. Give me spirit and hope to keep on working. You said you came on the walk to hopefully to get a rejuvenated event happened how do you what is your personal reaction to being on the walk now through the ninth day. It's happened very fully I feel. My life has been so divided into a feminist community that I have women friends that I have in the peace movement which has been pretty. It's not really the male dominated but it certainly has the women that are involved in the peace movement had their involvement has not been woman identified closer than a girly heterosexual and women and
it's just so exciting for me to have all these aspects like coming together and seeing that women can speak out as women in Ohio. Again I'm sorry I don't feel as isolated. As a feminist in the peace movement and really the peace movement and the feminist movement need each other and the peace movement needs the feminist process and principles and as a premise we're all concerned about the arms race. So if it's a real natural for them to come together. Specifically the walk advocated a bilateral free in the testing production and deployment of new nuclear weapons and their delivery systems in addition conversion planning with urged to protect the economic well-being of those people in communities who would be impacted by a nuclear weapon 3. Fair question. I've found in my work over the past year that we have better opportunities in this state for conversion for peaceful conversion of economic
conversion than perhaps any other state. So it's a it's a bittersweet situation here. We have a we are receiving a good number of dollars from the Department of Defense. We have a lot of nuclear weapons facilities but we also have a very special right fertile situation to try out planning for economic and for him. What do you mean by economic conversion. Well I'm glad you asked because there's a lot of definitions I think. At first when I was first introduced to the concept. I thought of it as budget transfers as something that happened through the Congress the federal level where we would transfer monies. From the bloated military budget back into social services with us money taken from. And then the definition that that I began using recently is a consequence of that. It's too easy to just say let's transfer the money we have got to realize that there are very serious and real real consequences of those transfers and that is people could lose their
jobs. And. As he said organizer we've got to see and recognize everybody's right to employment their right to job security basically being able to work with where their ads are or find employment from the facilities where they're working. So the consequence of the budget who cares I've come to you is economic conversion planning at the facility themselves at the city contemplative component. Military spending and we have that beginning to happen on all different levels you know why we have it happening at the plant level we have it happening on the city level beginning that kind of process. And lastly to me you can on the conversion. Mean something. There's a deeper change that goes along with that.
Alternatively use planning the facilities and that is. Giving more respect and responsibility to the workers to the people that work at these places. That. Saying people that work have to have a right to have some say in what product they're making and should be involved in that decision making process. How urgent do you feel the passage of the free is. I feel it's extremely urgent and I think. The birth of the freeze movement. From the sense of urgency that's new in the past couple years. It's different than the past thirty nine years where we were slowly been building more and more nuclear weapons. We have we've had overkill potential for a long time. I think that a military strategist fantasy when it says that if we just make our weapons accurate enough we can wipe out the Soviet Union retaliatory capability by destroying
their missiles before they're launched. But what that does is make the situation. Where it's a race to see who can strike first because you feel as a country you better use your weapons are you going to lose them. So in any time of crisis there's a race to see. You better use them before you lose them. And that's a very destabilizing situation and the possibility of us going to computerize launch on warning on very grave that if the Soviets feel they don't have enough minutes to decide whether it's a real attack or not and they're going to have to put it in the hands of computers that that is a very very grave consequence of people women especially spawning a real gut level. This is not right. This is not morally right not strategically right. In no way does this make any kind of them. And saying we've got to stop it. And I think that's really the source of the intense rising up of this grassroots concern is that kind of reckless talk and that kind of reckless arming
elok ended with a rally in Cooper park Deighton speakers included Paula McElwain Montgomery County Commissioner and Pat Roach state and city commissioner. Betty Jean Carroll representing the American Federation of Government Employees Local 11:38 had a very special message for the walkers. Welcome to Dayton. I really really now I'm getting to introduce my friend Betty Jean Carroll. That is the senior vice president. All I have to look around and see is the American Federation of Government Employees. And he's going to tell you this spectacular thing that they did this week. These are mostly employees at right that it's an Air Force Base. Twenty national unions are now on record in support of a bilateral verifiable nuclear weapons Fareed
numerous local unions have also picked up the banner by passing resolution endorsing such a free local 11:30 of the American Federation of Government Employees representing workers there right now to the airport here in Dayton Ohio added their names to a growing number of trade unionists who are concerned about this country arms buildup and military policy. There is a growing desperation and moral outrage developing among union members about the obstinate attitude of our government which has tied our economy and the Earth's survival to unload and Andre. 80 percent of the American public be now be on the way and polled and referenda at a union meeting on July 18 1984 80 percent of the members present voted for a bi lateral remained. An addict and we passed a good resolution in which we resolve to support
economic conversion money that would include one often that you fly on for defense related industry and job retraining for workers affected by such conversion are over bloated military budget has been the prime cause of cutbacks in Social programs for the poor the handicapped and the elderly minorities women and children suffer the most. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer in the continuation of our military escalation is utter madness. Each of us has been cut by the military madness and I've borne the brunt of our economic committment to this mad pursuit of military rank. I'm proud to represent local 11:30 and announcing our commitment to our world of peace and freedom and equality for all. And finally Landon Miss Missy Kimball one of the six women to walk the
entire route gave her reflections. Right. You would Boogie her dog out to me we made known and we got it. We've been walking for nine days. Have you any idea how wonderful it is to be in downtown Dayton. We're darker unhealthy you're dirty you're stronger more committed and wired and affirmed than we were before we was. We're all so bonded a special kind of permanent bonding that can't be broken after we're gathered and gone back to our separate parts of the state. Evan we walk we talk to each other. We talk to many others individually in groups and churches
home meeting hall of businesses public places of libraries and yes even insanitary. And we've had a lot of wonderful wonderful response from people. Halt wave he signed unsolicited response hugs even got ice cream dripped on it. Someone was so enthusiastic about what we were doing. Of course I have a feeling you feel things we left in Newark New Jersey. You can't help wondering sometimes when you're on the road and people look at you as if you're bananas. I thought. I'm not. Really. I'm not a commie. None of us are. We're just ordinary Americans who can't sit down let the madness and you know it's time we trusted all judgment. Make our voices heard and make it happen.
This program was produced by volunteers Panchen 9 in Katy wy a sew in Yellow Springs Ohio. Special thanks to Dorothy Smith and all the walkers of the Ohio women's peace walk. Summer 1984. I thought of something else I wanted to add about what I gained out of this walkin and that is knowing that that we can be active on this issue and have a good time. I think we all have this fear that you know oh you know when I get this issue I'm just going to be under this cloud of depression and on and be thinking about as mushroom clouds and death and destruction. Well this walk has quite honestly just really been fun as well as a very effective and it's so nice thank women that's a message that women have to say is that we don't have everything doesn't have to be grueling and competitive and intense in heart you know it's grueling work that we can enjoy each other and and we've been constantly talking having good conversation and exercising and sun and.
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- Chicago: “ Ohio Women's Peace Walk: Documentary about the One Hundred Mile Walk Across Ohio ,” 1984-08-01, WYSO, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 27, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-27-386hdvq9.
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- APA: Ohio Women's Peace Walk: Documentary about the One Hundred Mile Walk Across Ohio . Boston, MA: WYSO, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-27-386hdvq9