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Hundreds of students to protest the war at Rutgers University

by staff |
March 26, 2008
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New Brunswick, NJ - A large anti-war demonstration is set to take place March 27 at Rutgers University.

Last week, students at over 90 campuses responded to a call from chapters of Students for a Democratic Society and organized protests to mark five years of U.S. occupation of Iraq. Across the United States, high schools and universities became sites of demonstrations and dissent against the war. Classes were interrupted as marchers chanted slogans and urged their classmates to join them. The demonstration at Rutgers will be continuation of this wave of protests.

Last year on March 20, over 500 Rutgers students walked out from their daily routines in protest of the occupation of Iraq, marched through downtown New Brunswick and on to Route 18, temporarily shutting down the major highway. Named the biggest action on the east coast on the anniversary of the war last year, organizers for this year’s Walkout Against the War expect an even larger, more spirited demonstration. Already more than a thousand students have indicated to organizers that they will participate.

“Education is only meaningful if it translates into action,” remarked Hoda Mitwally who plans to attend the rally. “Students feel that if we take what we’re learning seriously, we have an obligation to speak out. These are our peers that are dying in this war. Just recently, 91 Rutgers-Newark students were recalled to active duty from reservist status in the National Guard. They will be in our thoughts on March 27.”

Adriel Bernal, a Walkout Coalition organizer agrees: “The Walkout shows that for one day we’re willing to disrupt our everyday lives to show that there will be no business as usual until all the troops come home.”

“I think it’s great that they’re protesting,” says Rutgers student Rafay Siddiqui, an Iraq War veteran and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War who recently testified in the Winter Soldier Hearings. “A lot of Marines I know have serious doubts about why they’re in Iraq. Most of them just want to be home with their families.”