March 5, 2003

Students Strike in Opposition to War on Iraq

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Today, students across the nation are uniting for a strike against the War on Iraq. This effort was originally developed by the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition as an opportunity for students in local communities to actively voice their political stance on the U.S.’s intentions in regards to the Middle East.

As students around the country take up the “Books Not Bombs” campaign, the Cornell community is conducting a full day of events. The picket lines, rallies, discussions and teach-in, are taking place today from early morning to the late afternoon.

For those students interested in participating in some of the events, below is a list of the times and locations:

8:45-9:15 a.m.: The three morning rallies will take place at the entrance to Ho Plaza from Collegetown, in the middle of Ho Plaza and at the entrance to the plaza from North Campus, right outside Baker Hall.

9:15-10:45 a.m.: Three picket lines will be formed throughout the campus. Students are encouraged to join as they pass.

10:45-11:45 a.m.: Each of the three picket lines will rally at the following locations on campus: the area between Uris Hall, Statler and Ives, next to the Hercules statue; the Arts Quad outside of Goldwin Smith at the statue of A.D. White; and the Ag Quad outside of Warran Hall.

11:45 a.m.-12:20 p.m.: All three picket lines will march to and convene on Ho Plaza. This will be followed by a march to the libraries and then to Day Hall.

1:15-2:00 p.m.: A rally will take place outside of Day Hall.

2:30- 5:00 p.m.: A teach-in will be held at the Founders Room in Annabel Taylor. Several speakers will be featured and further discussion about the war and its effects on the Cornell community will be conducted.

Students are not the only individuals promoting this national strike. Strongly assisting this event are some professors who are showing their support by offering make-up classes for those whose participation in the strike prevents attendance.

In addition to the events on campus, there will be events involving the greater Ithaca student community. Students at Ithaca High School are planning a “walk-out” at 10:20 a.m.

Organized by a group of seven juniors and seniors, a projected 200 students will leave the school building and gather in the quad. Student speakers will then conduct informative briefings about the effects of war on the educational system.

The students hope their demonstration will convey their political position to the school, local community and government in a peaceful manner. They plan to address the recent budget cuts in education, which have already forced their high school to relieve eleven of its teachers.

“These budget cuts are really real to kids. It is ridiculous that they will send a billion dollar package to the people in the Middle East but not have enough money to keep our teachers employed,” said one of the student organizers in charge of the rally at Ithaca High School, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Although the success of the national student strike is yet to be determined, the anticipated student participation is high, according to the organizers.

Archived article by Jennifer Chen