Blazers protest war in Iraq

Oct. 31, 2002, midnight | By Cori Cohen | 21 years, 7 months ago

At least fifty students from Blair joined the tens of thousands of protesters on Saturday October 26, to march around the White House in protest of a U.S invasion in Iraq.

Students For Global Responsibility (SGR) organized for students to meet at the Takoma metro station on Saturday morning. According to George Vlasits, the clubs sponsor, "there were about 25 students who marched with us." With the parents of the students, Vlasits said the SGR group consisted of about fifty people. He said he "kept running into students" who were not with SGR, at the protest. He estimates that there were at least one hundred Blair students protesting.

Vlasits says he believes the protest was successful both in the Blair community and nationally. Junior Ben Austin, an active SGR member, agrees. "I've been part of SGR for three years and this is the largest turnout for any protest. And we've been to a lot of protests," says Austin.

On a larger scale Vlasits believes that this protest will cause George Bush to rethink his actions. "I would hope the international opposition and the national opposition would cause George Bush to pause. At least any sane intelligent person would," Vlasits said. Although Austin believes that this protest will not be enough to deter Bush, he does believe that this protest had a large impact. "It's good to have a strong foundation before a war even starts," says Austin.

Still, Austin and another SGR member, senior Sam Goldman, were quick to find fault with the protest, mainly in the chants. Goldman disliked when protesters chanted "A nation united will never be divided." "Obviously. That is the definition of united," said Goldman. Austin found it ironic that at a protest promoting peace many of the chants reflected violence. One example Austin gave was: "George Bush you can't lie. We charge you with genocide."

The majority of Blazers went in opposition to the war, but there were a few who attended for other reasons. Junior Annie Cohen went to be more informed about the subject. She listened to both the pro-war rally and the anti-war protest. "I thought by seeing both views I could understand them better." The protest did influence her views. "After seeing all the posters and hearing why we were going to war I was convinced that we were making a mistake," she said.

Almost all the students who went called the protest successful. "I am very proud of the students," said Vlasits.

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Cori Cohen. Cori Cohen is a senior. And guess what? She made has made some new friends! CICADAS! She loves taking them for drives and is starting a "save the cicadas program." More »

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