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Copyright vEsti24
Apr 01 2010
Kodiak Marchers "Choose Respect" PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 April 2010

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            About 40 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 state.

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 ... crowd cheers..hey!")


            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 around Alaska 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.

            In Kodiak, 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.")


            The rally was disrupted briefly by a participant who started shouting after the Kelly's speech.


--          (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 disorderly conduct.

            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.

            I'm Diana Gish.

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