Students stand for peace

Shawn Tallant and Shawn Tallant

Editor, The Channels

Feb. 15, 2003 marked the beginning of what has come to be known as the Global Peace and Justice Movement. The day after millions around the globe took to the streets chanting the phrase, “The World Says No to War.” The New York Times ran an article declaring the birth of the century’s second superpower. The U.S. push to an illegal invasion of Iraq had brought together advocates of international labor, environmentalists, anti-corporate globalization, the United Nations, international law, global finance reform and grassroots community organizations under the umbrella organization United For Peace and Justice.

The U.S. administration’s refusal to adhere to the calls of international civil society, national governments and international organizations resulted in the current U.S. occupation of Iraq and increasingly militant calls to act against Iran. The global movement for peace and justice has had no choice but to go stronger.

When students at University of California Santa Barbara decided to make their own statement in support of peace, it was heard across the nation. The call for a student strike against war was read at marches in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Several other universities across the country have since began planning their own events for the coming Thursday.

Students at City College have been organizing a solidarity action to make our own campus statement. Rather than a strike, we will be working with professors to hold a “Teach Out for Peace” outside on West Campus. Santa Barbara is just too pretty to have a sit in. We are encouraging faculty to allow a classroom discussion on the connections between war, our education, our future careers and the global society that we will build.

At noon, speakers will address those classes present on the effects of war and what we can do to end it. Among the speakers is a female Iraq veteran recently enrolled at our campus, and a student from UCSB extending an invitation for our students to participate in the Isla Vista-based Peace Out University taking place Feb. 20-23.

I urge all concerned students, faculty and staff to come out in support of peace, justice and a world without war.

– Shawn Tallant,

Student Labor Action Project