War protesters to walk out

By Linda Luk

The Northern Coalition for Peace and Justice plans to make a statement once war has been declared by walking out of class in the afternoon.

“We are planning this walk-out because public demonstration is one of the most public ways to get the message out,” said David Healy, a member of the coalition. “The message we try to send out is that the war is unjust, and if the United States goes through with it, it is a grave mistake.”

Students wishing to participate are asked to walk out of class at 1:30 p.m. on the day war breaks out, and gather at the King Memorial Commons where a small rally will be hosted, Healy explained. Then, the students will march to Memorial Park at the corner of First Street and Lincoln Highway where they will join members of the DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace and Justice, who also are protesting the war.

“We really like to get the word out that there are a lot of Americans against the war,” Healy said. “Get the word out on why people shouldn’t go to war and should reject the war.”

Lolly Voss, a member of the DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace and Justice, thinks that war is not the best answer.

“We think peace is the way to peace,” she said. “War is not the way to peace. We feel the war is illegal, immoral and against the world anti-war cries for peace. Leaders are ignoring the will of the people.”

In various polls taken in the United States, there was no majority on whether or not Americans want to go to war, Healy said. It’s been about 50-50.

James Schmidt, an NIU history professor and adviser for the Northern Coalition for Peace and Justice, said there are plenty of reasons not to go to war.

“First, a lot of people are going to die – Iraqis and U.S. troops,” he said. “Second, it is a direct violation of international law, like the United Nation Charter. Basically, this is an aggressive, unprovoked attack by the United States.”

Fliers have been posted around campus promoting the walk-out. The coalition also plans on passing out leaflets at the MLK Commons.

“I would like everyone to know before they have a major reaction about what we are doing. Sit down and research what we have been doing in Iraq in the past 10 years,” Healy said. “Because until we know our history in that nation and region, you don’t know what is going on, and you won’t be making a justified decision in your stance on this war.”