Protesters stop off at Hays for a few days


Apr. 6, 2007

Reception to placard-waving group has been mixed


Hays Daily News

Two Colorado men seen standing on Hays street corners holding signs are trying to spread a message they believe is vitally important.

Elliott Nesch, 22, and Raymond Schwab 31, are stopped in Hays as part of a cross-country trip from Denver to Washington. They call their trip the “Walk for Truth.”

Their reception in Hays has been mixed. Passers-by have been curious and have sometimes hurled angry words.

The placards Nesch and Schwab hold have slogans such as “Stop the 9/11 coverup” and “Real Christians don’t choose war.”

The most frequent response the pair have encountered, at Hays as well as other towns they have visited, has been a gesture.

“Many, many fingers” Schwab said. “I think the 9/11 sign shocks people.”

The pair made a visit to the Fort Hays State University as well as the Brass Rail on Wednesday.

“I can say I had an encounter with a police officer on campus that was probably the most refreshing encounter I’ve ever had,” Schwab said.

The campus police officer sat down to listen to them talk.

The two are part of an organization called Beit Shalom Ministries. The pair feel called to exhort Americans to look more closely at the country’s war in Iraq and Afghanistan and examine the events that led up to it. The truth is being covered up, they believe, and the nation has been led into a war that God would not approve.

It’s their faith and their reading of scripture that persuades them of that, Nesch and Schwab said.

Beit Shalom Ministries is not affiliated with any denomination.

“We just say we love Jesus,” Nesch said.

In a few days the pair will continue their eastward journey along Interstate 70.

“We’re going to start walking again on Monday,” Schwab said.

Other Kansas stops will include Salina, Topeka — where they plan to picket Fred Phelps’ church with a bullhorn — Manhattan and Kansas City.

They hope to reach Washington by Sept. 11.

Reporter Phyllis Zorn can be reached at (785) 628-1081, Ext. 137, or by e-mail at

Original article here.

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