Steamboat Springs A small group of Steamboat Springs residents will be walking in the shadow of one great peacemaker tonight in hopes of becoming the same.
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this year, the focus of activism will be shifting from the civil rights movement to anti-war protests all across the country, and in this town as well.
The group will be meet in front of the Bud Werner Memorial Library at 6 p.m. with candles and walk silently down Lincoln Avenue to the courthouse.
This is not civil disobedience, march organizer Robin Watkins Morris, 28, said. "We do not have a permit to walk down the middle of the street so we will stay on the sidewalk and obey traffic signals. This is not a protest against stop lights."
It is a protest against the possible war with Iraq.
"I'm sure it will mean something different for everybody," Morris said.
"I think it's important to have our voices heard," she said. "I want to send a message to Bush that we want to wait for the United Nations and that we want to try for peace before we go to war."
When the marchers arrive at the Routt County Courthouse, a petition will be passed around that will be sent to Colorado representatives in Washington, D.C., Morris said.
Morris said that she is also toying the idea of finding a microphone and speaker to let people speak.
She has been hanging flyers around downtown Steamboat and along the bus route, hoping that news of the march will spread.
"I am not against all war," Morris said. "I wish it was that black and white, but I think Bush has not exhausted all his peaceful measures."
To local residents, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day means a busy ski resort hosting 13,000 tourists. Bombs falling on Baghdad or on the Arabian Desert seem so unreal here in Steamboat, where all we expect to fall from the sky is snow.
"But I've traveled overseas and we need to realize that those are people," Morris said. "This is not about exploding buildings. We need to act even if it is just by silently holding a candle."
As marchers make their way down Lincoln Avenue, protesters will already have gathered in Washington, D.C. for the climax of "The Week of Resistance -- A pre-emptive Strike for Peace."
Martin Luther King, Jr., can be a symbol for us of correcting wrongs, said Steamboat resident Al Luce, who plans to participate in the walk.
"The United States doesn't need to be emperor of the world," Luce said. "I don't want to see the U.N. get weaker."
Originally, Luce planned to join the marches in Washington, D.C. this weekend, but his schedule kept him in Steamboat.
"Then one day I woke up and realized that I needed to do something," he said. After asking around, friends connected him with Morris.
Luce doesn't want to see the United States go to war with Iraq.
"Bush is setting a precedent with a pre-emptive strike. This is huge," he said. "If we are to have a democracy, people need to get involved. Each generation has to create its own democracy."