Lo and behold, President Clinton is also going to Stanford University
that day, for Parents' Weekend. The combination parents-and-Java-geeks
summit in Palo Alto should be a fun field day for the press
Crisis in Iraq - Students plan to protest U.S. policy
By Jennie Berry, Contributing writer, Stanford daily
Yesterday afternoon, Stanford protesters geared up to hold anti-war
demonstrations on Parents' Weekend.
More than 70 students and faculty members stayed after the "U.S.-Iraq
Crisis" forum held in the History Building to plan for distributing
flyers, putting up posters and staging demonstrations.
"Being so far away from Washington in an oasis at Stanford, it's
extremely important to become as engaged as we can and to voice our
opposition to the decisions that are being made in our name," said Shira
Robinson, a Middle East history master's student who helped plan the
Organizers are planning to protest Feb. 27 at University President
Gerhard Casper's "Conversation with Parents" and on the next day at a
The demonstrators hope to gain national attention by having President
Clinton at Stanford.
"[Stanford is] ideal because Clinton is coming and also because it has a
reputation for being a real establishment think tank," said Georgia la
Riva, an activist for the International Action Center who spoke at the
Protesters expressed no remorse for using Parents' Weekend to their
advantage. "President Clinton is definitely a public figure and,
Parents' Weekend or not, he's still President Clinton," said Amira
Salaam, a junior and vice president of the Organization of Arab American
Students in Stanford.
However, the activists were quick to state they would not involve
freshman Chelsea Clinton in their demonstrations.
"We should make sure that Chelsea is screened out of the it," said Drama
and Classics Prof. Rush Rehm.
"Absolutely," seconded la Riva. "It's the hypocrisy of the warmongers"
that are being protested, she said.
The forum, arranged by several Middle East students, Rehm and History
Prof. Joel Beinin, was an effort to highlight tactics of the
"warmongers" and to encourage active opposition against them.
"People are being starved of information," said la Riva. "We're being
totally blocked out."
Protesters hope the forum and demonstrations will encourage more
students to get politically involved.
The meeting turnout was a surprisingly good sign for the
speakers. Audience members filled all the seats and the aisles -
doubling the 81-person capacity designated for the room.
"I was extremely impressed by the number of people who came out to
listen to the speakers and got involved," Robinson said.
An eclectic group of people attended: hair color ranged from brown to
green to white and clothing varied from T-shirts to button-down dress
Activists called for sustaining this political activism. "I'd encourage
students to get involved in all political issues because the political
system in the United States is corrupt," Beinin said.
The activists held that preventing war with Iraq was essential - an
issue that should not be taken lightly by students. All of the speakers
at the forum voiced concern for the Iraqi civilian population.
"I urge students to use all their time - even if it means skipping a
class or two - to put a notice on every bulletin board because the U.S.
government is so hell-bent on unleashing a massive bombing war," la Riva
said. "Innocent people will die."
The United Nations embargo on Iraq also was a key issue.
"The embargo against Iraq - now that's a weapon of mass destruction,"
The forum concluded its presentation with the 25-minute video "Genocide
by Sanctions," which focused on the nutritional and medical effects of
the UN embargo on Iraqi civilians.
"We hope to raise people's awareness about U.S. foreign policy in the
Middle East and contribute to the voices of opposition to this impending
attack," Robinson said. "I think we should take our cues from the
students at Ohio State and realize that our voices do count."
It's you and me and the bottle makes three tonight.