BY THE STAFF
More than 300 people gathered in front of Widener Library last Thursday to condemn calls for American military action against other nations and fight outbreaks of domestic racism.
Harvard University students leading the rally, expressed frustration and disappointment with U.S. leaders who were “deploying rhetoric and troops” instead of working to promote peace.
Though one speaker admitted that he did not know what the correct policy decisions were, he argued: “We need to do something, but we need to think about what we want to do.”
Speaking through a megaphone to a solemn crowd, rally leaders, including one representative from the University’s association of Muslim students, repeatedly spoke out against the dangers of a patriotic backlash. Those speakers said that the recent emphasis on patriotism has allowed some American’s to express their racist attitudes through violence and harassment.
Some in the crowd held signs condemning American military action, while others stood silently under low-hanging clouds. After several attempts, one attendee led the crowd in a brief chant: “What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now.”
Rally leaders also invited union representative to speak about the plight of workers who were killed and have lost their jobs as a result of the September 11 attacks. Similar rallies were held across the country.