Thursday, September 27, 2007
Students to protest war in D.C.

from the Gainesville Sun:


By STEWART ATKINSON

A University of Florida student group is taking its dissent off campus and to the nation's capital to protest the war in Iraq. Students Against War, an on-campus organization, formed in April to give students the opportunity to voice their opinions about the Iraq War.

The group's main goal, said president Chelsea Solmo, is to educate students about the war, allowing them to decide how they feel about U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Members of Students Against War will be making their voices heard in Washington, D.C., in the coming week.

Solmo and 19 others say they are traveling north to join forces with the Troops Out Now Coalition, a national activist group aimed at bringing American troops home. The students will be part of a weeklong protest calling for the impeachments of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for war crimes, according to the Troops Out Now Coalition's Web site.

The local contingent will leave Gainesville Friday at noon and endure an expected 14-hour drive to a church they will stay at for the weekend. Solmo, who is in charge of transportation, will allow people to sign up until "the last possible minute."

"As long as we have room," Solmo said.

Students Against War hopes to get a referendum on the ballot in the spring Student Government elections that would give students the chance to denounce the war.

"It'll give students a chance to voice their opinions about the war," Solmo said.

Solmo said she's confident the majority of students agree with her views against the war and is confident such a referendum would pass.

The organization wasted no time getting started this semester. A week after classes began, Solmo helped organize a movie night at the Civic Media Center featuring "War Tapes," a documentary following three men as they leave their homes and families, join the military and head to Iraq.

Members of Students Against War handed out fliers in the Plaza of The Americas in advance of the documentary and packed the CMC with students with anti-war sentiments.

More than 115 students filled all available seating, lined the walls and stood crowded together in the back of the CMC for a chance to view the movie, Solmo said. Some people had to be turned away, she added.

Danielle Emenhiser, a UF business and economics major, came out to watch the movie and participate in the discussion after the film. Emenhiser said she attended the event to be educated about current world issues and events.

Students Against War plans to make the movie night a monthly occasion. The organization raised $218 in donations at the showing of "War Tapes," half of which went to the Civic Media Center and the other half into an account to help pay for future Students Against War events.

The organization protested the war on Sept. 11 by lining the Plaza of the Americas with 25 students each wearing a letter on their shirts. Standing together, their shirts spelled out, "Our grief does not justify war." Each person then gave his or her reasons for opposing the war. The group continued the demonstration outside the Dave Matthews Band concert that night.

Students Against War will be releasing the first edition of the White Rose, a newsletter written by the organization, by mid-October. The monthly publication will give detailed information about current happenings in Iraq and Gainesville, Solmo said.

The group meets Tuesdays at 7 p.m. at the Reitz Union Amphitheatre.


Copyright © The Gainesville Sun
posted by Stop War @ 7:42 PM  
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SEPT 22 - 29

It's time to move from Protest to Resistance:

SEPT 22- 29: Encampment in Washington DC & March on the White House

SEPT 29: National March on from the Capitol to the White House

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