Miles for Peace activists cycle through San Francisco
with message of peace, friendship and solidarity
Amid growing tensions between the governments of Iran and the
U.S., fourteen cyclists arrived in San Francisco July 3 to convey
a message of peace, friendship, and solidarity.
July 8, 2007
On July 3, fourteen "Miles
for Peace" activists arrived in San Francisco as part
of an extended bicyling tour that includes the United States and
Europe. Their purpose - to convey a message of peace, friendship,
and solidarity amid increasing hostilities between the governments
of the United States and Iran.
As a gesture of goodwill and friendship, the cyclists brought
with them a hand-made emblem of Miles for Peace which they dedicated
to the citizens of San Francisco through the office of Supervisor
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi receives a hand-made emblem of Miles
from Miles for Peace spokesperson Ali Nasii.
Last year, San Francisco supervisor Ross Mirkarimi passed a resolution
condemning a possible, "preventive" war on Iran. As
a city with a strong history of peace activism, we welcome the
Miles for Peace cyclists and hope to create a space for US-Iranian
dialogue and opportunities for locals to learn about the Middle
East and engage in greater efforts of collaboration and solidarity.
Although official U.S.-Iran relations have been frozen since
1979, the US has renewed its vilification of Iran and the Iranian
people since President Bush's declaration of Iran as part of the
"axis of evil" in 2002. Iran's recent development of
a nuclear program has attracted worldwide criticism and increased
tensions with the US. The possibility of a US military strike
on Iran seems more and more likely as the general situation of
the Middle East deteriorates. The failure of the US government
to engage in diplomatic relations has isolated the country both
politically and through sanctions that punish the Iranian people
rather than the ruling elite.
The American media has consistently demonized the Islamic Republic
of Iran. However, it does not differentiate between the government
and its people and thus Iranian voices are rarely heard in the
US media. Fourteen cyclists, communicating the pacifist message
of the Iranian people, started their journey in Europe and have
now reached San Francisco.