---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 13:23:08 -0800
From: radtimes <email@example.com>
Subject: It's a war of words at anti-war conference
Local News: Sunday, January 13, 2002
It's a war of words at anti-war conference
By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times staff reporter
Before there is a student anti-war movement, there are
hand-lettered signs, bowls of chips and tables of literature.
And before there is a student anti-war movement, there is debate - lots
and lots of it.
The war in Afghanistan may seem to be winding down, but the discussion
was just beginning for the 200-some students from across the Northwest
who gathered at the University of Washington campus in Seattle yesterday
for the Northwest Student Anti-War Conference.
They began to educate themselves and others about the war and its
broader issues. They got to know each other, strategized, organized.
And, above all, they took part in getting a national, student anti-war effort
off the ground.
Organizers hoped the conference would result in the formation of a
coordinated Northwest anti-war student community that would participate
in a national meeting in New York City next month.
But first, there were the debates, the rules about debating, the debating
over the rules.
Over who would get to make proposals and vote and who wouldn't.
Over the wording of the "points of unity."
Over the procedure of how the wording of the unity statement would be
"In the '60s, 10,000 anti-war students voted with their student ID cards in
Berkeley, so all this today is a little argh," said Guerry Hoddersen, 56, a
second-year student at Seattle Central Community College who has
taken part in efforts against the Vietnam and Gulf wars and is a member
of the college's anti-war coalition.
Still, Hoddersen understood. It's a laborious, messy thing, building a
"They're trying to do two things at the same time here: create an
organization and build a movement, and that's a little difficult to do,"
So far, there has been less outcry against the current war than previous
conflicts, she said. "But it's not that different from where we were for those
of us against the Vietnam War in the beginning. It took hardy, largely
radical young students and people to launch the anti-war movement."
Regional student conferences have been held elsewhere in the country,
including one in Berkeley.
It was time for the Northwest to hold one, too, said Connie Daruthayan,
23, a University of Washington senior and a member of the UW Coalition
Against the War. The conference continues today.
Yesterday, students from Washington, Oregon and Idaho attended the
conference, representing groups such as the Coalition Against the War at
the UW; Socialist Alternative, an international activist group; and Students
Toward Awareness and Responsibility at the University of Portland.
They came to see what they could do to help change U.S. foreign policy
and promote world peace, protect civil rights and fight against
mistreatment of Arab Americans and Muslims in the United States.
"We're still at the beginning level, trying to build networks," said Anna
Lindall, 19, a sophomore at The Evergreen State College and member of
an anti-war coalition there.
"There's a need for a united, national, student anti-war effort across the
For David Dang, 21, a senior at the University of Portland, the conference
was important "to show the rest of society there are students coming
together, students who are aware of what's going on."
Some saw the effort as part of a larger student movement that has been
building in the past three or four years, with anti-globalization,
anti-sweatshop and anti-World Trade Organization groups gaining steam
on college campuses.
"As soon as Sept. 11 happened, a lot of these groups formed anti-war
movements," said Amanda Foti, 29, a member of Socialist Alternative in
Seattle, which put out the initial call for yesterday's conference.
"It's also been the backbone of how we've been able to get this
In the end, the simple fact that hundreds of students came together for an
anti-war effort made even the hours of debate worthwhile, students said.
"We're students, we're not experienced," said the UW's Daruthayan.
But many of the most significant social movements started out with
student groups, she said.
"And we have the Internet now, so we have a strong ability to coordinate
the anti-war effort. I think this student movement has huge potential to
make a difference - hopefully more than even the civil-rights movement."
Janet I. Tu can be reached at 206-464-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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