Tallahassee, FL - On Oct. 5, about 50 students and community members rallied at Florida State University (FSU) to protest on the 11th anniversary of the war on Afghanistan.
Demonstrators highlighted the imperialist nature of the war in Afghanistan by chanting, “No blood for oil! U.S. off Afghani soil!” They also highlighted the rising rates of suicide and PTSD in U.S. soldiers.
The protesters started their rally on Landis Green in the heart of campus, attracting many supportive onlookers. Black and white signs displayed facts about the horrors of the U.S.’s longest war and demands to end it. Signs called for funding education, not war; pointed out that one in four women service members deal with sexual assault; and called attention to the civilian deaths resulting from predator drones. Drone attacks have caused 1,245 civilian deaths in Afghanistan from 2006 to 2011, according to the United Nations.
Speakers from diverse organizations, such as environmental groups, Palestine solidarity groups, and mental health advocacy groups highlighted an enemy held in common: the military-industrial complex.
"War is not good for women, children, soldiers, the environment, LGBTQ people, or people of color,” said Jessica Schwartz, co-coordinator of an FSU feminist group.
The group then marched to the student union and dropped two large banners reading, “Stand up for vets!” and “No more war! End U.S. imperialism!’'
Another anti-war demonstration is planned for Oct. 7, at the Florida state capitol, where protesters will read the names of the deceased and commemorate the fallen civilians and troops lost in the 11 years of war. This second demonstration is being organized by Vets for Peace and their allies in Tallahassee.