people gathered in the Kodiak High School parking lot Wednesday to take
part in an event that was also taking place simultaneously in other parts of
The occasion was a "Choose Respect"
march against domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse in Alaska. Leading the way
were some members of the Kodiak
High School drumline.
-- (Choose Respect 1 "Thank you all ...
The event was sponsored by the
Kodiak Women's Resource and Crisis Center with support from other local wellness
agencies. It was planned in solidarity with 18 other events that took place
today. The marches are part of the governor's effort to address what he calls
an epidemic of sexual and domestic violence. Parnell led a march that started
at the state capitol and ended in downtown Juneau.
the marchers carried balloons with the colors of violence awareness campaigns.
The purple, teal and mint green balloons floated over the heads of the cheerful
group as it moved quickly down the sidewalk along Rezanoff Drive. The diverse group
included a marcher in a wheelchair, another pushing a double stroller and one
who carried one baby while holding the hand of a toddler.
-- (Choose Respect 2 "My name is
...against child abuse.")
The "Choose Respect" march ended
at the Su'unaq building downtown where speakers addressed the assembled group.
One of the speakers was special assistant to the governor, Peter Kelly of Fairbanks.
-- (Choose Respect 3 "and you know...
have to take it on.")
was disrupted briefly by a participant who started shouting after the Kelly's
-- (Choose Respect 4 "Freedom of
speech ... need to leave.")
The woman was told to leave by
Kodiak Police Lieutenant Ray Ellis who was one of the participants in the
march. When she returned to the rally, she was handcuffed and arrested for
VPSO coordinator for Kodiak Area
Native Association Eric Olsen was also taking part in the rally.
-- (Choose Respect 5 "We had a
...absolutely appropriate." )
One of the event coordinators
was Cindy Harrington of KANA's children and youth services. She said she was pleased
with the event and that it achieved the goal of creating more community
involvement. She told those assembled that they've all taken a positive step by
helping to break the silence about abuse.