Opinion: Peace


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     On Sunday, Feb. 16, 2003, San Francisco held its second rally against the “war on terrorism.” Thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets to express themselves and speak out against the United States’ potential war on Iraq. The President of the United States has diligently proclaimed that Iraq holds weapons of mass destruction and is a direct threat to the greatest superpower in the world, the United States of America. Additionally he has asked for the removal of its leader Saddam Hussain. In my opinion, college students have had the biggest voice during times of political unrest.
     In February 1960, four black college freshmen sat down at the lunch counter of a Woolworth’s store in Greensboro, North Carolina. When they asked for coffee the waitress told them to go downstairs where African Americans were served. The students said that they would remain seated until they were served. The news of the Greensboro “sit-in” spread quickly, more students joined the peaceful protest. After a few months Woolworth’s policy of racial segregation was forever changed. The students that were successful in their demands formed their own organization, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the SNCC.
     The August 28, 1963 march on Washington D.C. riveted the nation when over 200,000 protestors, demonstrators, and students ascended on the White House lawn. The marchers demanded that Congress and the then President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, provide equal access to public facilities, quality education, adequate employment, and decent housing for African Americans. This march was led by the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and on that day the country heard one of the important speeches of our time, the famous “I Have A Dream” speech.
     In 1989, the students who occupied Tiananmen Square in China protested at the ruling order and provided a symbol of hope. Nov. 9, 1989 was also the year the Berlin Wall came down–students comprised one-quarter of the population of the city, and these students, by most, have been credited for being the pivotal force of this movement.
     In 1991 student activists at Ohio State University came together to debate and condemn the US Policy in the Persian Gulf region, at the end of the demonstration, the students chanted, “Hands off Iraq!” The event was organized by the Arab Students Organization. Student organizations across the country spoke out against the Gulf War during the presidency of President Ronald Reagan.
     On April 1, 2003 thousands of high school and college students will march through the streets of Washington D.C. to the US Supreme Court demanding that the high court uphold affirmative action in the University of Michigan cases.     History reflects that students not only have a powerful voice, but they make changes–enormous changes that impact the entire world. So whether you are for the left or not remember our voice at Skyline College as college students does count.