March for Peace: Student Reviews

By Miguel Maciel, Freshman

This was one of my best days of my life. When I got to school I saw a lot of people there. The day was awesome and incredible. It was very special to me because I helped prepare this event and this march so I felt very excited. I mean it wasn’t just me who helped, but everybody like RAW and BAM, my brothers and sisters. Also Mr. Thomas, the principal, and those who went to this march. I give thanks to everybody who went there.

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By Eric Zepeda, Freshman

My experience in the March was good because a lot of people helped and participated. I felt good because I tried to help in any way I could. I felt that the last circle that we did in the park was great because we had many people in the circle; I had a very good experience and I don’t think I will ever forget this one.

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By Keith Webb, Freshman

I have learned a lot about the march. I had a really good time. I felt like our voices were being heard all around and that we accomplished a lot. It was a good experience for me because I had a lot of fun. I would also love to go back on another march. I feel like our school in general would get a lot of respect after that and I feel like Julio was a good leader.

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By Rudy Burciaga, Freshman

Well the day of the March was so cool man. It felt good walking and screaming all those things we where saying. It was also cool when the Aztec dancers preformed. I didn’t think that many people where going to go. I was expecting less but a lot went and I went to because of the credit. It was good going and seeing all those people screaming. I had a good time.

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By Christopher Garcia, Freshman

On March 30, I want to the march. First, I thought it was going to be a boring march with not that many people, but when I got there the place was full of energy. There were people being interviewed and people having fun. Then the Aztec dancers came and did some fantastic dances for the community. Then it was time for the march and you could feel the energy coming off the students, staff, parents, and community. Overall the march was as expected, perfect.

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By Yamira Ortiz, Senior

On March 30, 2012, I was surprised to find myself among community members that gathered in front of Life Academy’s school campus in order to support the Season of Peace-Building. I had fasted the day before to stand in solidarity with my classmates and community to demonstrate that I supported the peace that I wanted to see in my community. As the Aztec dancers blessed us for our work in the community, I was asked to be interviewed by a news station. I was honored to have the opportunity to spread the message of peace in our community through the media outlets that were available. After a great interview, it was time for the march of peace, as we started to walk down 35th avenue; I realized the power that our movement was creating in Oakland. Even if the march lasted only one day, for that one day providing peace to others took priority over the violence that occurred around our community. Our constant reminders of violence have happened consecutively but our peace march was an experience that seemed to be a rarity for our community. Our march for peace was a success, as Oakland citizens started to acknowledge our movement by honking and waving in support to our movement. Throughout the march I was hungry, begging for food and a nice cold drink, but I knew that I must stay strong. Our rally at the Peralta Hacienda was great, we were able to invite public officials to our gathering and the media was enough to take notice in our movement. The breaking of the fast by far was my favorite part of the day because I was finally able to eat food.

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By Everlyn Merino, Freshman

My experience in the march was okay. First of all, it was not what I expected. I expected a lot more people like around 200 people but the results were only about 30 or less and then they left right after the march. I also did not like how when they were doing the final circle people were in line waiting for food already. What I did like was how they made a speech about how Cesar Chavez was or how much they appreciated how the community was coming out to speak for peace. In this whole march something I will change was the way people were in the final circle I would actually get every single person to get in the circle then give the food out.

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By Patty Duenes, Freshman

Well I had a lot of fun in the march because when we were walking by people, they would look at us and say, ”Wow!” This made me feel good for trying to make a change in our society. This made me realize that we can make a change, but it takes the whole community to unite to stop the violence so that this place would be better for the next generation. I learned that many people are tired of all the violence we live in because people get scared to be in the streets thinking they can get killed by any human being now days. My experience in this march was good because we send the younger kids and adults a message of how we want PEACE! But all we can do is keep fighting till we get what we want. I liked seeing many people participate and talk! Awesome experience.

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By Katebah Al-Olefi, Freshman

As the day of the finale came closer and closer I was super excited! I couldn’t wait! All that dedication and hard work was going to pay off! I knew that it was going to be amazing! When I arrived at the meeting area I was speechless with the number of people milling around and congratulating the students who took their day off to celebrate in the campaign that they have been part of since day one. I got to speak in front of so MANY people that came on their day off and the students from other schools that came to support. I was really nervous, but I enjoyed wearing the Season Of Peace Building T shirt, since it made me stand out and boy I was filled with pride! I loved meeting new people and what brought them here to our finale event was interesting. Watching the Aztec dancer had me silent, and I’m never silent! I had never seen one and the fact that they still danced their dance from hundreds of years ago was amazing. When we started to march I was overcome with emotions because of the HUGE turnout that we had and the amount of support we had from other drivers (there was a lot of honking!). I chanted so much my voice went away, but it was a lot of fun. The energy that surrounded us was powerful. I got interviewed and it was interesting because that was my first time ever on TV. Overall if I could do this all over again I wouldn’t hesitate to say yes.

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By An Tran, Senior

On the day of the march, I woke up and realized that I didn’t have any ride to school. Gladly, my brother arrived and we rushed to school. By the time I came, my T-shirt size had already ran out. I was upset because I wanted to represent both BAM and RAW groups. On the other hand, I was able to see many familiar and new faces, which made up for the T-shirt’s lost. I was excited and knew right away that the march will be an amazing event!

My prediction turned out to be right! As soon as we started the march, everyone was chanting altogether. I still remember two of my favorite chants: “What do we want? Peace. When do we want it? Now!” and “We want peace, we want peace!” It was so awesome and powerful and united. I loved how we formed a circle at the Fruitvale Bart station in memories of Oscar Grant and Trayvon. It was very moving. Also, it was cool how we all walked in the park and everyone was staring. I’m certain that according to not only me, but everyone else, the march was a success. It was an excellent and the best event that was going on that day. Even though The Season of Fasting officially ended, our Season of Peace Building will continue to go on. I have no doubt about that!

Edited by Yuvitza Rivera, Sophomore

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