Editor, Daily Nexus,

Many students are calling for a strike today. While there has been much debate regarding the efficacy of the strike, much of this debate is taking place within fixed boundaries. The organizers of this strike are not so naive as to think that our refusal to go to class will be picked up by the Bush administration’s protest radar and result in immediate troop withdrawal. The point here is not whether this strike will have an immediate visible impact on ending the war. What we do believe is that this strike is an escalation in the tactics of dissent in which many American citizens, students and citizens of other countries have been involved.

I participated in protests before the Iraq war with many of the students and professors at this institution and I was, of course, dejected when the administration decided to invade Iraq despite the largest protests in human history on February 15, 2003, when over 10 million people protested around the world. Nevertheless, when people decide that war based on deception cannot be fought in their name, they cannot continue to go about their daily lives as if everything is just fine in the world. If we are truly against what is happening in the world as a result of the lies and deceit of our government, we must do everything in our power to delegitimize the institutions and the world-views that support war.

We must recognize the great influence students hold over policy, the community and the formation of culture. UCSB students have already influenced 14 other schools across the country to join us on today just through this call to action.

Who will forgive us if we choose to close our eyes and wait until it’s all over? Please, do not continue to rely on elected representatives who don’t care about you. This strike is not about “who will listen to us?” It’s about actively fashioning the world in which we want to live.