After a recent protest against the war in Iraq brought hundreds of demonstrators from the university community to UCSB, local activists are now organizing to further increase student opposition to the conflict.
This week, a group of community members, UCSB professors and local students are hosting “Peace Out University” — a week of student activism aimed at educating students about the war and encouraging more campus opposition to the U.S.’ occupation in Iraq. In addition, organizers said they are hosting the week-long event in hopes of bringing students, professors and community members together to encourage a dialogue about the war.
Will Parrish, youth empowerment coordinator for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, said Peace Out University represents the next step for students and community members who are serious about anti-war efforts.
“We had this massive strike, which generated a lot of interest in anti-war activism,” Parrish said. “Peace Out University is how we are coming together collectively about these issues.”
On Tuesday, professor Richard Flacks moved the lecture for his sociology class from its location on campus to Anisq’ Oyo’ Park in Isla Vista in recognition of the Peace Out University week. Flacks devoted a portion of the day’s class to a discussion of the Feb. 15 anti-war protest at UCSB and its relation to other student-led social movements at the university and throughout U.S. history.
In addition, several other professors — including Doug Bradley of the Writing Dept., Richard Falk from the Global Studies program and Christopher McAuley of the Black Studies Dept. — have either held or plan to hold their classes in the same park as an expression of solidarity within the anti-war movement.
Andrew Culp, Research and Advocacy Associate at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, said he will lead a discussion today at 3 p.m. in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park about the involvement of the University of California in U.S. military affairs and the impact the ties between the two may be having on students – in what he called a “military-industrial-academic complex.”
“We will start a discussion to inform people about the deep, ongoing militarization and what the community can do about it,” Culp said.
Peace Out University week will conclude Friday afternoon in Anisq’ Oyo’ Park with a town hall meeting about the future of the anti-war movement.