Our local weekly peace vigils attract attention and support!

One way to “think globally and act locally” is to participate in the three peace vigils that occur in Olympia every week!

The Wednesday and Friday vigils downtown occur EVERY week, all year around, regardless of weather or holidays.

The Thursday bannering at a local freeway overpass occurs when it is not too windy to hold the huge banner safely.

  • Every Wednesday from 12 noon to 1 pm in the NW corner of Sylvester Park (Legion & Capitol Way) since March 5, 1980
  • Every Thursday from 11 am to 12 noon (current schedule might change in winder, and as weather allows) on the Eastside Street overpass over I-5 since winter of 2017-2018.  Our big banner and our hand-held signs say we must ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
  • Every Friday from 4:30 to 6:00 pm in the SE corner of Percival Landing (4th & Water) since November 1998.  For many years the Artesian Rumble Arkestra has provided delightful, lively music from 5:00 to 6:00.  Join us at 4:30, and enjoy the music starting at 5:00.

Please join us for all or part of the times.  Lately we’ve been especially short-handed on Wednesdays.

Our signs promote peace, nonviolence, human rights, and other positive values.  We are friendly and non-partisan.  Our friendly demeanor reinforces the peaceful, nonviolent, positive messages of the signs we hold.

These vigils attract a lot of public attention and support.  Politicians and media do not know that the vast majority of people support peace and human rights.  Many people tell us that they have seen us at one or more of these vigils.  Sometimes people stop and talk with us, and almost all of them agree with us.  Vigiling helps to build a strong, broad-based grassroots movement for peace, social justice, and nonviolence.

Building this broad-based grassroots movement requires:

  • Communicating the peace message effectively to the general public
  • Communicating the peace message very often
  • Creating opportunities for two-way communication
  • A warm and friendly attitude that invites strangers to think open-mindedly and join with us.

We achieve these by holding public peace vigils that stimulate thought and invite people to join us. We enjoy friendly conversations with passersby.

Although occasionally someone refers to these events as “protests,” they really are vigils. The roots of the word “protest” actually imply something positive. (“Pro” means “forth,” and “test” means to “affirm” and comes from the same root as “testify,” so etymologically a “protest” is a positive statement of the values we affirm.) Politicians and mainstream media have misinformed the public to think of a “protest” as something negative.

Our weekly public peace events really are “vigils.” A “vigil” is an alert presence during a specific period of time. We gather for one hour on Wednesdays and 1½ hours on Fridays to be alert and attentive as we publicly testify for peace, social justice and nonviolence. We literally “stand up for peace.” We hold signs proclaiming our values for all the world to see.

In the course of doing this, we remind the pedestrians and motorists who pass by that war is the problem, not the solution, and we invite everyone to pursue higher values of inclusiveness and reconciliation. We provide signs offering a variety of messages, but none are rude or abrasive.

Many passersby express their support for our vigils’ messages. They appreciate our willingness to publicly support peace, and our vigils reinforce their desire for peace.

Some people stop to talk with us. Most of those who stop to talk are supportive, and some have mixed feelings. Even if someone disagrees with us we are still warm and friendly, and often we can find some common ground.

These photos show a sampling of our messages:


Wednesday Vigil





About GlenAnderson 1515 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at https://parallaxperspectives.org He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093 glen@parallaxperspectives.org