[sixties-l] Veteran anti-war protesters still demonstrating for peace (fwd)

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Date: Mon Oct 28 2002 - 13:55:44 EST

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    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 12:32:47 -0700
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Veteran anti-war protesters still demonstrating for peace

    Veteran anti-war protesters still demonstrating for peace


    October 21, 2002

    The sign's a little harder to carry these days, but 84-year-old Kay Camp
    took her place in front of a post office in the Philadelphia suburbs this
    week at yet another war protest.
    Camp, who was national president of the Women's International League for Peace
    and Freedom during the Vietnam War, is among a more seasoned group of anti-war
    demonstrators who are trying to add momentum and counsel younger protesters
    in a
    fledgling movement against war in Iraq.
    "We've been through so many wars and just think war doesn't solve problems but
    creates so many more," said Camp, who spent about an hour protesting in Bryn
    Mawr on Thursday.
    Students on college campuses throughout the state have held demonstrations and
    sit-ins, calling on President George W. Bush to abandon plans to wage war
    Iraq. About 100 anti-war demonstrators rallied in State College and dozens of
    activists held a sit-in at Sen. Rick Santorum's field office this month. In
    the latter
    case, more than a dozen protesters were arrested after refusing to leave.
    But college students know they are following prior generations of war
    protesters, and
    some are getting advice from veterans as they seek new ways to build a
    In Philadelphia, Michael Simmons, 57, lectures black and Latino groups
    about his
    experiences during the Vietnam War, which included organizing rallies and
    fliers. He was drafted and spent 2 years in jail _ from 1969 to 1972 _
    for refusing
    to go to war.
    Recently, he has played a more behind-the-scenes role, he said.
    Simmons, who directs programs in Europe for the international work of the
    Friends Service Committee, spends much of his time talking to younger people
    about his experiences during the Vietnam War and trying to convince
    residents that
    they have a voice.
    "The thing that I find so striking is the disconnect between elected
    officials and the
    population at large," he said. "I want people to know their opinions matter."
    College students today aren't spending as much time making and distributing
    pamphlets as their predecessors, however, and have found the greatest
    organizer in
    the Internet.
    At Swarthmore College, Andrew Main, 20, monitors a Web site dedicated to an
    anti-war movement in Iraq. He said he has connected with other students
    across the
    country and internationally through the site "Why War?"
    "(The Internet) really enables you to reach a whole variety of different
    people you
    wouldn't otherwise meet," he said. "We get thousands of visitors everyday."
    But the power of face-to-face meetings, such as lectures, that dominated
    the mid- to
    late-1960s hasn't escaped the students. One of Main's friends is driving
    across the
    country stopping at college campuses along the way "to build a movement,"
    he said.
    Main, whose doctor parents were protesters during the Vietnam War, said there
    should be more discussion _ and proof that war is necessary _ before an
    attack on
    Andrew Murray protested the Vietnam War and was among 50 faculty members at
    Juniata College to sign a resolution opposing a pre-emptive attack on Iraq.
    He said professors weren't attempting to influence students by signing the
    resolution, but acknowledged that students sometimes look to him for guidance.
    "Students want to know: Does it make any difference? And can you give any
    on how to best make that participation effective?" he said.
    A Brethren college, dedicated to peaceful resolution of conflicts, Juniata
    hasn't seen
    much of a student movement yet, Murray said.
    "I would expect there might be a great deal of opposition early on and then
    opposition might fade away when the war starts," he said. "If it goes the
    way the
    planners want, I think there would be little time for popular opposition to
    That won't stop Camp, however, who promises to hold onto her sign "as long
    as it
    At the hour-long protest Thursday, she and about 18 other people held signs
    read "No attack on Iraq" and "Justice not war."
    The signs were reminiscent of those she held at prior demonstrations.
    "It's very frustrating, but I'm confident that in the long run the people's
    voice will be
    heard, and there will be peace," she said.
    American Friends Service Committee: http//www.afsc.org/Iraq
    Why War?: http//www.why-war.com

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