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Anti-war effort mounts

U students protest in Washington, D.C. and Minneapolis in oppostion to the war.

President Bush’s highly controversial military strategy to send some 21,500 additional troops to Iraq led University students to protest in Washington, D.C. and Minneapolis on Saturday.

where to go

cindy sheehan
what: Cindy Sheehan, an anti-Iraq War activist, will speak to anti-war organizers. College Republicans will engage in a rally outside the church.
when: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
St. Joan of Arc Church
4537 Third Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55419
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Anti-war protesters called for a binding Congressional action to help stop the escalating war in Iraq. The Senate has yet to vote on a nonbinding resolution.

University student groups represented in the protests included the Anti-War Organizing League (AWOL), the Socialist Alternative Club and the Queer Student Cultural Center.

Twelve University students traveled 10 hours by van to Washington, D.C. and met tens of thousands of protesters at the National Mall for Saturday’s demonstrations. Other University students added to an estimated 400 protesters near the University’s West Bank campus.

Amelia Smith, social justice sophomore and AWOL member, decided to make the trek to Washington after the group raised funds for the trip.

“I feel like there needs to be actions like this because it’s not the ’60s, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t care and that we’re going to let this happen,” she said.

In Minneapolis, the protests stretched four blocks from Bethany Lutheran Church on East Franklin Avenue to the 26th Avenue Bridge, where participants hung banners and brandished signs for an hour before returning to Bethany Lutheran Church for an open mic event against the war.

Group organizers will send a tape of the speeches to the Minnesota Congressional Delegation.

Global studies senior and AWOL member Erika Zurawski spoke on the role of young people in the anti-war movement at the packed church. She challenged students in the room to learn more about the “struggle.”

“I’m sick and tired of hearing about the ’60s,” Zurawski said. “The youth is the now. We are the here and we are the now.”

Marie Braun of the Twin Cities Peace Campaign and one of the head organizers of Saturday’s protest in Minneapolis said the main goal of the demonstration was to “mobilize the grassroots because the press and government will follow.”

“It does not respect the force of law; it respects the law of force,” Braun said of the U.S. invasion in Iraq. “It’s a recipe of chaos; you can’t operate that way.”

Some students question the effectiveness and message of anti-war protests. Andy Post, business first-year student and treasurer of the College Republicans, said the protests may send the wrong message to the troops.

“Leave (policymaking) to the experts,” Post said. “My opinion is that we’re looking at options and I’m willing to give (the military increase) a chance.”

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