Peace Signs

Third–generation activist Luchita Rodriguez and her friends find the missing rally bus — and a fresh, family-style fight against war in Iraq

Henderson continues down the street, makes another turn, circles back to Sixth and Penn to see if somehow they knew to go there. A red light stops the bus and riders idly glance at what looks like a sculpture planted on a concrete stoop outside a closed shop.

Suddenly it comes alive. The dark mass splits into three bodies who throw their arms up at the bus.

"Wait!" passengers shout. "It's them!"

Rubac rallies for peace at the Mecom Fountain.
Daniel Kramer
Rubac rallies for peace at the Mecom Fountain.
The travelers depart from Mosque 45 in Houston.
Daniel Kramer
The travelers depart from Mosque 45 in Houston.

Henderson brakes to a halt. The three students dash to the open doors and the sounds of passengers clapping and cheering.

All that's left is the 30-hour ride back home. Even though the excitement of the rally is behind them, they remain buoyant. They're coasting on the afterglow of contributing to one of the largest antiwar protests ever. It's a high they ride all the way to Houston.

At 2:30 a.m., they finally unload outside the mosque on Old Spanish Trail. It feels more like a beginning than a conclusion, however. They'll talk about this trip to anyone who will listen and especially to those who won't. They're trying to do much more than prevent a war. In their minds, these 42 people are trying to change the world.

They rode a bus to D.C. to do it. And if necessary, they'd probably ride it to the ends of the earth -- if only Henderson would take them there.

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