Students rally against pending war with Iraq

Seth Woerhle

Approximately 125 University students and other activists made their way from the West Bank to the Federal Courts building Monday afternoon to protest possible U.S. military action in Iraq.

Although they enthusiastically chanted slogans like “Bush is a terrorist” and drummed on office water-cooler bottles, many admitted they thought an attack on Iraq was already a forgone conclusion.

“The chances that an invasion will happen are great,” said Angela Gerend, a cultural studies and comparative literature senior. “But you can’t just sit back and let it happen if you don’t believe in it.”

“It’s about 99 percent sure at this point that we’ll go into Iraq,” said Tony Kanazeh, a fourth-year chemistry student.

As they marched down Washington Avenue, several cars honked, all seemingly supporting the activists’ cause.

The crowd met up with a larger group of protestors in front of the Federal Courts Building on Fourth Street and Third Avenue, eventually swelling to approximately 400.

“If you ask me, the more dissent we have on mainstream political issues, the better,” Michael Graca, a fourth-year cultural studies and comparative literature student said. Graca also thought a U.S. invasion of Iraq was almost guaranteed.

Police kept a low profile and the protesters were orderly, staying back from the Federal Courts Building and concentrating on Fourth Street in front of City Hall.

The event was organized by Students Against War, Women Against Military Madness and other anti-war groups in conjunction with protests nationwide.

A bystander, identifying himself only as Quincy, said he’d join the protesters if he wasn’t working.

“But I don’t think it’s going to accomplish a single thing,” the 66-year-old bus driver said. “How many times do you have to see it on TV before you know that the buttons have already been pushed?”

Dave Green, 35, had a different view of the activists.

“I think they’re hippies,” Green said. He also said he hadn’t made up his mind about the situation in Iraq. “They should go to Iraq and see how they’re treated there.”

Lesley Terry waited patiently to get to her parked car as the activists marched past. She said she was glad they were speaking their minds, but that she hadn’t made up her own yet.

“I’m very divided,” Terry said. “I don’t agree with going to war against a country that hasn’t attacked us, but I think of World War II and how everyone was against going to war against Germany. I’m going to go home and think about it.”

“I don’t think Iraq should be attacked,” Ali Mohammed said, who had just gotten off work. “Iraq wasn’t behind the (Sept. 11) attacks.”