Editor, Daily Nexus,
Speaking as a participant in last week’s anti-war protest, I would like to explain and promote the nature and purpose of this event. First off, the choice to boycott classes and businesses was a sign of civil disobedience that often accompanies a successful sociopolitical protest. This aspect, however, was neither the motivation for participation in it nor the point of it. The desire to utilize the right of free speech, to show that students have power in the national community, to make a statement about blatant injustices within our country and to question the nature of our government’s project abroad and specifically in Iraq – these were the goals of this passionate and successful protest.
Our generation is virtually silent compared to those of the past when it comes to social and political issues that directly affect us. Why is this? The participants in this demonstration were not expecting to convince the government to withdraw from Iraq and they were not being anti-American or cowards for supporting this method. Rather the protestors were real people, like all Americans and all Iraqis – those who are directly and indirectly affected by the policies of the U.S. government abroad and who decided to declare it for once.
Yes, a march of over 1,000 people on one campus in a small city in California is not enough to change the world, but multiply that amount by every large college campus in this country and then add all the families who have lost sons or daughters in Iraq and now imagine this multitude of people marching on Washington on March 17 for a national display of dismay with this war. This past Thursday was an example of one proactive community thinking globally and acting locally. These were young people who decided that silence just makes us part of the problem to which we now desperately need a solution.