February 09, 2008

Banks, monks, and Indians

Activists' national trek takes first steps in Yolo

American Indian group to lead 4,000-mile walk for environmental cause.Activists from four continents–led by American Indians and Japanese Buddhist monks–will gather in Yolo County on Monday to launch a walk across America dedicated to protecting the environment.

Led by American Indian Movement co-founder Dennis Banks, they will embark on a five-month, 4,000-mile spiritual trek to Washington, D.C., calling for an end to the degradation of the planet.

"We want to raise the issues of global warming and clean air, water and soil," said Banks. "Many native elders believe Mother Earth is being hurt by all this and it's going to cause some very serious climate change."

Banks, a well-known indigenous activist, said he didn't want future generations to look back and say, " 'What did they do to stop it?' "

The trek–dubbed "Longest Walk II"–begins on the 30th anniversary of the first "Longest Walk," another transcontinental journey led by American Indians. Like this second walk, the trek set off from D-Q University, a tribal community college seven miles west of Davis.

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