Hollister Peace Vigil has been standing on street corners for eleven years to remind people of alternatives to war. It began as a response to the Afghanistan war, not Iraq; there has been no shortage of wars and other military actions to protest.
“Many of us had participated in vigils or demonstrations in other places, but at first it was a little daunting standing in front of your friends and neighbors, especially with war fever at a high pitch.” according to Franz Schneider, one of the vigilers.
The demonstrators were met with both support and opposition at first. Some people yelled and even threatened. But curiously, as the number of vigilers dwindled from 15-20 to three or four expressions of public support have increased. Most passersby now wave, honk, or flash the V-sign. Some have even stopped to thank the sign-carriers.
“I started this because I felt I had to do something in my town,” said Franz Schneider. “I’m still doing it because the war is still there and the drones are still flying.”