Afghan war questioned

Jan. 11, 2002, midnight | By Annie Peirce | 19 years ago

Student Action Club sponsors Teach-In about alternative options to war

A Teach-In this week, coordinated by the Blair Student Action Club, discussed the current military and civil rights situation in America and alternative reactions besides war to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Five speakers attended the event, each speaking for around fifteen minutes in the SAC on varying issues such as media military coverage, the morality of war, individuals' rights of privacy from the government, and what students can do to join anti-war activists.

The guest speakers were David Zyron, a member of the International Socialist Organization and the DC Anti-War Network, Rev. Graylan Heygler of Plymouth Congregational Church and an anti-war activist, Carl Messineo from the Partnership of Civil Justice Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Amy Cirincione, a 17 high school student and anti-war activist, Peta Lindsay, a high school activist and student coordinator of International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism).

After the final speaker, Blair social studies teacher George Vlasits, had spoken, the speakers led a discussion where students and teachers from the audience were able to ask questions and state their opinions.

Rachel Yood, the coordinator of the event from the Social Action Club, was "really pleased" with the attendance of over 100 students. She was also impressed with the sophisticated levels of questions that students acted and the amount of enthusiasm students' show for becoming part of the anti-war effort. Yood felt that it is important that students understand that just talking about the pacifist issues are not enough. "The issue exists and it will continue to exist," she said.

The event took months to put together, mostly due to lack of organization within the club and time-consuming procedures required to coordinate events. Finding experts to speak was, however, according to Yood, "pretty easy." Yood was also happy with the amount of support that the social studies have shown in encouraging students to come by giving extra credit for attending the event and asking questions. "We've had good luck in publicity," saidYood.

Part of reason for the start of the seminar was that the Blair Social Action Club had noticed that many people who were typically pacifists and against war, felt that the war in Afghanistan and the disruption of civil liberties is fine in this situation. Yood felt that if people could talk about the war and other options in a rational setting and could ask questions, "they would come to their senses."

For more information about the various issues surrounding the anti-war effort, visit the International ANSWER web site at .

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Annie Peirce. Annie Peirce is a senior in the Communications Arts Program and the public relations manager for Silver Chips. She is also an opinions editor for Silver Chips Online. She was born on October 25, 1984, in a hospital somewhere in Prince George's County; but doesn't … More »

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