Catalysts of HOPE bicycling

Published:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept 4, 2007

CONTACTS: Vernon Huffman or Michele Darr (425)438-8985

The Catalysts of H.O.P.E.(Healing Our People and Earth) are riding

bicycles across the country to demonstrate an alternative to oil wars. 5

riders; including 23 month old twins and an 11 year old rider; are

currently en route to Washington, DC, where they will hand deliver an

open letter to President Bush. They expect to arrive by Saturday, Sept 15th,

and will be available for media interviews along the way. They are committed to pursuing further communications with the President, Congress and Representatives,

and will travel throughout the country on their bicycles engaging citizens

in grassroots efforts to end the war until the troops come home. They left

Portland, Oregon, on 17 March.

Now in Frankfort, KY, the Catalysts will join local peace supporters to stand Vigil in front of the Federal Building downtown at 330 West Broadway, between the Old Capitol & the YMCA, on Tuesday from 11:45 to 12:45.

Sponsored by Veterans for Peace and other organizations, as many as 15

Catalysts of all ages have joined the ride. Organizer

Michele Darr was living in Kuwait when Saddam invaded and occupied the

country in 1990. "In war, all whom are engaged suffer, occupiers and

occupied alike. We owe it to our troops and to the citizens of Iraq to do

everything we can to ensure that war is de-legitimized by telling our

stories, examining our own habits and roles in perpetuating the wars and

encouraging our neighbors around the country to do the

same. We vow to continue until the troops come home, and the healing begins."

"We're showing that it's fun and easy to live without oil," says Vernon

Huffman, the other adult rider. "The stuff's not worth fighting over." He

reminds us that a few generations ago, all people lived oil free. "I'm no

Luddite," he insists. "We've got lots of appropriate technology today that

they didn't have. We carry a laptop and cell phones on our modern

multi-gear bikes. Our trip is easier than our ancestors had it and

considerably cheaper than driving a car. We're having a wonderful time."

Eleven year old Tala Darr says her favorite part is "meeting new people

and doing my part to support the troops," Sponsor members provide support

in most locales. Between hosts, they frequently camp out. "There are

endless opportunities for everyone to participate and get involved,"

suggests Michele, "either on a bike or in your neighborhoods and

communities. So many of us are still suffering from the effects of

Hurricane Katrina and the citizens of this country must demand that our

precious resources being spent on this illegal, immoral war be invested

instead in human needs here and abroad. We need to start by connecting

with each other and finding our common ground. We are all in this

together."

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