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News ::
More Mainstream Coverage of Student Protests
21 Sep 2001
In a throwback to the Vietnam War era, hundreds of local students and faculty joined people at college campuses across the country yesterday in simultaneous peace rallies amid a growing drumbeat for war.
College students rally for peace on Hub campuses
by Marie Szaniszlo

Friday, September 21, 2001

In a throwback to the Vietnam War era, hundreds of local students and faculty joined people at college campuses across the country yesterday in simultaneous peace rallies amid a growing drumbeat for war.

Noon rallies were held on most Boston-area campuses to condemn last week's terrorist attacks and call for a resolution that will spare innocent lives.

``If we take rash action now . . . we do not honor those who perished; we only redouble their tragedy,'' said Jessica Gould, a Harvard University student.

At Boston College, more than 150 students walked to the center of campus and distributed leaflets urging a review of U.S. foreign policy.

``It's important for us to remember that further military action by the United States will only lead to more attacks on our own country because it will increase anti-U.S. hostilities,'' said Deep Mayell, a senior political science major. ``I also feel it would be dishonorable to the victims here in America.''

At MIT, more than a dozen counter-demonstrators stood on the periphery of the campus green as scores of other students and faculty gathered around a ``Nerds Against War'' banner.

``We feel what they're doing is hypocritical: They want their freedom, but they're not willing to fight for it,'' said Helice Schramm, an MIT chemist. ``Everybody has a right to their own beliefs, but now is the time to be united.''

Others argued that blindly supporting either war or peace is not the answer.

MIT linguistics professor Wayne O'Neil said Americans need to consider why many people around the world hate the United States. O'Neil pointed to U.S. economic sanctions, which have resulted in the deaths of Iraqi citizens and allowed Saddam Hussein to remain free, as only one reason.

Hugh Gusterson, a professor of anthropology at MIT and Levitan Prize winner, cautioned that if the United States lashes out indiscriminately and at the cost of innocent lives, it will be creating a generation of ``embittered orphans'' who will become new recruits for Osama bin Laden.

``Desperate, impoverished people will take a lot of suffering before they give in,'' Gusterson said. ``And they will repay it in spades.''
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