A Peaceful Protest

UM Democrats peace protest condemns war against Iraq
Earlier this week, the UM Democrats held an anti-war peace protest that included a procession around the Ashe Building, the Memorial Building, the Learning Center, the Merrick Building, the School of Business, and the UC Patio.
Participants chanted: “What do we want? PEACE! When do we want it? NOW!” and “One-two-three-four, We don’t want George Bush’s War.”
“The UM Democrats are appalled at the lack of tangible and significant evidence provided by the Bush administration in regards to impending war against Iraq,” said an anti-war peace demonstration statement posted on the official website of the UM Democrats. “The proverbial ‘Mount Everest amount of evidence’ Colin Powell was supposed to present to the United Nations ended up being nothing more than sandy pebbles of circumstantial findings.”
“We’re trying to get a procession going to show that UM has some spirit in regards to national events that are going on,” Xavier Jimenez, president of Amnesty International, said.
Some of those participating in the protest said they believe that many UM students seem to be concerned with issues that are immediate to this country and are unaware of events occurring in other parts of the world.
“UM is apathetic,” Katie Brown, sophomore and member of the Anti-War Coalition, said. “If we would just stop and take a look outside of our world, we would see things from a completely different perspective.”
“Peace organizations are going on all over the world,” Brown said.
The organization maintains that as daily events shape the course of a possible attack on Iraq, peaceful demonstrations will be organized in response to any unreasonable actions taken.
“It is our responsibility as citizens to exercise the freedom of expression and virtue that our procedural republic allows,” said the official website of the UM Democrats.
After the procession, an open mic session was held in which students, faculty and others were welcome to voice their opinion concerning the impending conflict. Speakers encouraged open discussions and dialogue between all points of view and asked students to find strength in numbers in order to become effective public speakers.
“We want to raise some sentiments that relate to passionate opinions that are either for the war or against it,” Chris Wilson, president of the UM Young and College Democrats, said.
Students and by-standers who witnessed the demonstration stood behind the anti-war sentiment.
“I think the protest is right on,” Amanda Sullivan, junior, said. “I don’t think the war is going on; I think anti-war is going on – forget class, this is reality.”
“It’s all about free speech,” Monica Rossbach, law student, said.
“I think it’s stupid and sickening that we are threatening a country that has not even directly threatened us,” Veronica Onye, a Spanish major, said. “How would this country feel if another country came to attack us because they didn’t like our president?”
All peaceful demonstrations are open to anyone interested. UM administration cannot fault anyone in attendance because all of the demonstrations are made aware to the Department of Public Safety, and locations have been reserved.
“Ask not what you can do for your country, but rather, ask what you can do for the planet,” Brown said.
For more information on future events and on the UM Democrats, visit www.umdems.com.

Jorge Arauz can be contacted at xxarauzxx@yahoo.com.