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News ::
MIT Students Take Anti-War Message To the Streets (english)
11 Feb 2003
After hanging a giant banner visible from across the Charles river, several dozen MIT students clad in white bodysuits and lab coats braved frigid temperatures this morning to demonstrate their opposition to the looming US-led war in Iraq. (article 3)
MIT Students Take Anti-War Message To the Streets
Refuse to be “cogs in the war machine”

Cambridge, MA- Dressed in white bodysuits and lab coats, several dozen Massachusetts Institute of Technology students braved frigid temperatures this morning to demonstrate their opposition to the looming US-led war in Iraq. Against a giant backdrop proclaiming, “MIT Says No Blood for Oil,” the students waved colorful anti-war signs and distributed flyers to rush hour commuters on the Harvard Bridge. The group had attached the 20’ x 40’ banner off the Ashdown House Residence Hall earlier in the morning, before it was removed by building maintenance staff several hours later.

“We were originally just going to drop the banner as a way of making a statement against the war,” said Jean Walsh, an MIT graduate student and co-organizer. “But the more we mentioned the idea to other students, the more we realized that enthusiasm was mounting about protesting this war. People really wanted to get involved—and we decided to get creative.”

Gan Golan, another group member, explained the meaning of the cog symbols that the protesters wore on their costumes. “As students at one of the top technical schools in the world, one that has many close ties to the US military, we have a special duty to act. We will not be used as cogs in the war machine.”

The young activists had prepared flyers that, according to them, present facts that prove false the Bush administration’s most compelling arguments. Jeff Duritz, a graduate student in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning stated, “First, they announced they had information that Iraq was six months away from nuclear weapons, then they said they had satellite photographs, then they said they had aluminum rods. But none of this so-called evidence withstands scrutiny. The administration is clearly misleading us in a drive for war.”

The demonstrators pointed out that the United States is isolating itself by taking an aggressive military stance. The students also expressed fear of the expected backlash in the Arab and Muslim world that a US-led war could bring. Said Tiffany Groode, a graduate student in mechanical engineering: “According to UNICEF, more than 500,000 Iraqi children have died as a direct result of the sanctions that we imposed on Iraq in 1990. How can you claim to liberate people after killing their babies?”

In order to leave no doubt about the accuracy of their information, all sources on the protesters’ materials are footnoted. These MIT students may have skipped class this morning, but they showed they have certainly done their homework.