Editor, Daily Nexus,
When I walk around campus I keep seeing these yellow posters calling for a student strike against war on Feb. 15. Apparently, that means we’re not supposed to go to class and instead show up at the Pardall Tunnel at 1 p.m. How is that going to stop the war?
I voted in the last election. The Democrats won control of both the House and of the Senate. Their success was attributed, in large part, to widespread discontent with the continued occupation in Iraq. Somehow, Bush took this to mean we should send more troops. I voted, but it doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference. Congress remains either unable or unwilling to stop the president and the president doesn’t care what we want.
The strike offers an alternative. At first, it seemed strange that I could stop the war by not going to class. But when I thought about it, I realized that there was more than that to striking. Not going to class forces the University to grind to a halt. Unlike the weekend demonstrations, we would be using our role as students to strongly impact the normal operation of society.
War isn’t just waged by a couple of soldiers in a distant land. Our whole economy and society are needed to support the war machine. My role in that is as a student. By not going to class as part of a strike against war, I directly withdraw my consent and support. In fact, our University has very direct links to the war effort. The UC manages nuclear weapons design labs. A number of UC regents give hefty financial contributions to the president in addition to having strong financial ties to military contracting corporations. Furthermore, the University provides the talent that goes on to work for defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.
Students hold a vital place in society. Politicians often ignore us because we are young and poor. However, when we organize, we can wield the power of the university we attend, just like countless students before us.