Octogenarians Demonstrate for PeaceCATHEDRAL CITY — Two determined octogenarians demonstrate for peace at the tower in in front of the City Hall in Cathedral City from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. every Wednesday.  NO War, their signs proclaim.

Some drivers honk as a gesture of support.  Others yell from their car window. The Cathedral City Peace Initiative sponsors this advocacy as part of its work to be a part of 400 International cities designated “Cities of Peace.” In May 2022 Cathedral City was designated number 360.  International Cities of Peace now number 404 in the world.

The demonstrators are Cathedral City residents Robert McKechnie and Ernie Smith, both retirees. Their demonstrations started last April. They demonstrate only during the months of reasonable weather. So far, they have not faced a negative response from people driving by.

McKechnie founded the Cathedral City Peace Initiative in 2022 with the help of two other Cathedral city residents, Sue Townsley and Karen Riley. Townsley works with the City of Cathedral City on special programs. Riley is the founder and coordinator of the Scrap Gallery, a non-profit that enhances art programs in Coachella Valley schools.

Initiative programs focus on inner peace for individuals, peace on the streets of our city, and world peace.  They sponsored the “No War” billboard on Dinah Shore just west of the city in November and December 2022.  At this point, they’re planning another billboard this for this coming Christmas season.

“The rule of law and due process would be the way to stop all war,” McKechnie said in a statement. “War kills and mains. War is costly. War rarely if ever resolves the underlying cause of the conflict. We say war must be outlawed. This is not a new idea, but its time has come.”

You can join the work of the Initiative by calling 760-567-6464 or emailing bobmckechne@earthlink.net  The Cathedral City Peace Initiative is hosted by the Cathedral City Senior Center.
Photo caption above: Pictured are peace demonstrators Robert McKechnie (left), founder of the Cathedral City Peace Initiative, and his colleague, Ernie Smith.  They demonstrate for world peace every Wednesday morning from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the tower in front of City Hall in Cathedral City.

Image Sources

  • 2024-Peace-Initiatvie-800×568 (1): Robert McKechnie