On the morning of Friday, April 8, 2022 at 10: 40 am, a group of women dressed in black began to gather and assemble signs and banners for a vigil to contribute our hopes and healing energy to ending the brutal war that had been waging in Ukraine for the past 6 weeks. This vigil came together through the work of a committee of members of Women Against War who met virtually to plan the ceremony and the visual and written messages that we wished to send out into the world. We knew that we didn’t just want to stand but also to call attention to the urgent need for a cease fire to stop the deaths and destruction and lay a groundwork for a negotiated peace.
This was our invitation to like minded, anti-war women in the community. In it you can see a photo of the original 2002 demonstration, on the much grander inside staircase of the Legislative Office Building.
One of the most dramatic messages of peaceful anti-war hopes and dreams was the half hour of silent vigil that expressed our unity of spirit with the women of Ukraine and peace loving, pro-diplomacy people all over the world. But before the silent ceremony we began with our policy statement suggesting ways to reach that lifesaving ceasefire as soon as possible.
There were many beautiful, wise, accomplished and healing women at our vigil but one that I’d like to highlight is Pat Beetle; our eldest community and world peacemaker, a member of Albany Friends Meeting, and an honored and valued member of Women Against War and several other peace and justice groups. She is 97 years old and still very active and involved.
Mabel Leon, our semi-official action photographer took photos from many perspectives during the vigil. Here are some that highlight different aspects of our vigil, our signs and messages, and the visual context of the vigil on this amazingly clear morning at the end of a week of rain.
Our vigil closed with a beautiful A Capella version of a Malvina Reynolds song sung by Terri Roben. Since we didn’t record Terri’s version here’s a short video of Malvina singing it.
And here’s Terri sharing it with us:
And here are two photos of the vigil without signs and banners, to match our original event in 2002.
Finally a couple of other media related events that publicized our vigil in advance and on that day. Maureen’s 9:51 minute interview with Mark Dunlea on the Hudson Mohawk Magazine the Wednesday before the vigil.
A photo on the front page of the Saturday, April 9th Daily Gazette:
And two photos taken by Darrell Camp, from his Twitter page: