Rain did not deter organizers, speakers and about 150 spectators from participating in an Anti-War/Peace Rally at Ithaca College yesterday afternoon, sponsored by Students for a Just Peace, Young Democratic Socialists, Amnesty International and ICES (an environmental group at Ithaca College).
Several speakers and performers from Ithaca College, Cornell and the surrounding community rallied together and spoke against U.S. military action towards Iraq.
The speakers gave diverse performances, ranging from rap to folk songs, satiric to serious speeches in order to highlight the humanitarian, economic, ethical and personal oppositions to war.
“We wanted it to be an open discussion of the facts and the consequences of war with Iraq,” said event organizer and member of Students for a Just Peace and Young Democratic Socialists Brett Miller. “No one wants to be preached at,” he added.
Miller continued to say that the rally’s purpose was two-fold: to encourage those already active in the anti-war movement and to engage and inform those on the fence. “We need to create a smart peace movement that focuses on the subtler issues,” Miller said.
Kerry Ross, a member of Students for a Just Peace, echoed these sentiments and said, “We have to get people to understand something must be done and that we have the power to affect change.”
Michael Matly ’03, President of the Cornell Arab Association, spoke on the effects of war on the civilian population of Iraq. “Those who will really be hurt are the civilians and children,” said Matly. “We need to push for a peaceful solution.”
Matly is looking forward to similar rallies and protests on the Cornell campus and is planning on staging a rally in the next few weeks.
The rally emphasized the need for solidarity among college and university movements as well as a connection between campus efforts and the community. “We need to unite the campuses nationwide,” said singer/songwriter Bora Yoon.
“This is not a fringe effort. The anti-war movement is made of up a cross-section of all social, generational and religious groups,” said Lucas Shapiro, speaker and member of Young Democratic Socialists.
Archived article by Emily Sketch