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CAMPUS ACTIVITY: Campuses Stand Up to War and Racism

Youth and student activism has surged in recent weeks. On Monday May 12th, Telemundo reported that 500 people attended a demonstration (video) sponsored by Youth First! and Teachers for Social Justice, demanding a shift of funding from the military to education and an end to discriminatory standardized testing. Meanwhile, at the University of Chicago, the Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine kicked off Al Nakba week with a screening of "Jenin, Jenin" attended by over 110 people.

The University of Chicago has been a hotbed of activism. Students have been camping out on the quads for past seven weeks in a vigil for peace (also, and photos) and have raised over $2000 dollars for Iraqi hunger relief. The campus group No War in Iraq, now renamed Action Towards Peace (ATP), has been showing weekly documentaries (2), putting out a weekly newsletter, and is currently campaigning to end a 25-dollar fee for foreign students to pay for their own surveillance. All Universities have to comply with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, (SEVIS) as mandated under the PATRIOT act. Students at the University of Wisconsin at Madison have already won a campaign to spread out this cost, and students see it as a first step in kicking the PATRIOT act off campuses.

At DePaul University, La Voz de Los de Abajo hosted a teach-in on Plan Colombia and Coca-Cola's ties to death squads in Colombia on Thursday. On Friday, DePaul Students Against War hosted an all day anti-war festival called More boogie, less bombs! (photos). This all day concert occurred at the end of a heated student government election where the progressive slate was barred from running because of being 'too political'

Northwestern University just capped off Peace Week II last Friday with an amazing hip-hop and spoken word event. Panelists criticized the white liberal peace movement for ignoring racial injustice at home.

Students of color are increasingly mobilizing around issues of affirmative action and diversity on campus. On April 28th, students protested Antonin Scalia's appearance at the University of Chicago. Well attended teach-ins on affirmative action and minority representation occurred on May 15th, May 19th and May 22nd.

 

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