February 11th saw the beginning of the Longest Walk 2, a five month journey from California to D.C. initiated by Native Americans, intended to raise awareness of the need to clean up Mother Earth and protect Sacred Sites. Three months into the walk and less than two months away from reaching D.C., the Longest Walk is going strong, but needs a little help.

I am planning to join the walk in July when the Northern and Southern routes pass through Maryland and Virginia and meet in D.C. But at yesterday’s organizational meeting, the coordinators told us that despite numerous attempts to work through proper channels, they have been unsuccessful in their attempts to obtain proper camping permits at surrounding parks, especially in the D.C. area, and use of the National Mall when they arrive in D.C. on July 11, 2008.

The organizers told us that they’ve mailed in their application three times, starting in December, only to be told each time that the National Park Service never received it. After that, organizers tried to deliver the application in person four separate times, only to be told, each time, that they needed to go to a different office–twice they were told to go back to the office that they had just been to.

Tomorrow the Longest Walk 2 coordinators will be having a meeting with the National Park Service at 11 AM. In the meantime, they are asking that as many people as possible send an email to the Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne by 11 AM, Tuesday, May 20. If you have fifteen seconds to click on the link, type in your name and address and hit send, the organizers of the Walk would greatly appreciate it.

To learn more about the Longest Walk 2, you can read stories, see photos, and watch videos from the walk. The walkers still need support, especially as two of their transport vehicles along the Southern Route have broken down. You can sponsor a walker through Paypal, or make a general donation.

Previous post on the Longest Walk 2:

2-11-08 – Native American Activists and Allies Embark on Longest Walk for Healing and Justice

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Lisa Swanson

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