Books Not Bombs! Stop The War Against Iraq!
By National Youth and Student Peace Coalition
One-Day National Student Strike, March 5th, 2003
Thousands of students in cities like New York and San Francisco and hundreds in some 400 other high schools and colleges across the country walked out of their classrooms on March 5 in response to the call to action by the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition. These actions took place despite the principals in many schools having warned high school students that the walkouts constituted truancy and that participants would face consequences ranging from detention or community service to suspension or possibly even transfers. In Los Angeles, for instance, 75 students from University High School who were trying to join a demonstration at U.C.L.A. were picked up by police and taken by bus back to school and issued citations for truancy.
While high school and college students have participated in all previous demonstrations against the war on Iraq, this is the first time that a national student strike against this war has occurred.
Socialist Viewpoint received this notice too late for our February issue. However, because of the importance of the role of high school and college youth in the antiwar movement, we have reproduced this call for action for the information of our readers.
For more information, contact the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition by calling 212-741-2016, 413-559-4883 or 501-244-2439 or send requests for information about this and other important actions via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Editor
The National Youth and Student Peace Coalition (NYSPC) calls upon students on campuses across the United States to join us in a one-day student strike on March 5th, 2003.
As students and youth, our futures will be shaped by the actions that the Bush administration takes today. A US attack on Iraq will inevitably:
Endanger the lives of US servicemen and women
Increase the suffering of the Iraqi people while slaughtering thousands of innocent people
Encourage terror attacks against the US around the world and at home
Be used as an excuse to erode civil liberties
Divert resources from education and social services
Subvert historical precedent and international law
As students and youth, the future of this country, we are disturbed by the lack of attention paid to the real needs of Americans, especially education. Financial aid opportunities and family income are rapidly losing ground to the rising cost of higher education. Low-income families are facing decreasing access to education. Student debt is increasing. All while the US military budget steadily increases (12% from 2000 to 2002).
We say NO! to this war of terror to increase American power and take control of strategic oil supplies.
Join us in a student strike March 5th to demand:
US Government: End the drive for military action and sanctions that target the people of IraqFund education to ensure that everyone in the US has access to higher educationRe-allocate military funds to eliminating poverty and building peace and home and abroadRepeal the provision of the No Child Left Behind Act that requires schools to give out student information to military recruiters
Campus Administrators: Declare opposition to the warDisclose and eliminate military research contractsFreeze or lower tuition and feesStop sending student information to military recruiters without consent from parents and students
The Bush Administrations war on Iraq is a venture for control of the region and its oil supplies, not national security, democracy, or human rights. Our campuses provide implicit support for this through military research, recruiting, and ROTC programs. As students who value freedom, democracy, and our education we say: there is an alternative! The best way to improve our national security is to halt drives for illegal and immoral wars and redirect public funds from the military and arms trade to education and social services at home and humanitarian aid abroad. Take a stand with students across the nation on March 5th to build toward this collective vision.