Hundreds of students at more than 25 colleges across the country walked out of classes or participated in rallies on Wednesday to protest a possible U.S. war with Iraq, as part of a "National Student/Youth Day of Action."
Organizers hoped to make a large show of opposition to war before students left their campuses for the holidays. Students at several high schools participated as well, according to organizers. The protests were coordinated as part of the Not in Our Name Project, which began in March 2001 and involves a coalition of activist groups.
"We really want to stand together, students and youth, saying that we don't accept the war, we don't condone it," said Edith Lagos, a volunteer for Not in Our Name.
One of the largest of the rallies was held at New York University, where organizers asked students to walk out of classes at noon — after standing up and saying "no war in Iraq" — and to gather in a park. Between 1,000 and 1,500 students at NYU attended the rally, according to John Beckman, a spokesman for the university. "It was very peaceful," he said, noting that classes were held as usual.
Other campuses where students had planned protests were Barnard College, California State University at Northridge, Columbia University, College of the Canyons, Pasadena City College, New School University, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Maya Sen, a graduate student at New School University and an organizer for Not in Our Name, said that the threatened war in Iraq is only one concern of the protest group, which also faults much of U.S. foreign policy that has emerged since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.chronicle.com/daily/2002/11/2002112106n.htmE-mail this article