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US Educational Events Examine the Roots of Hate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Educational Events Examine the Roots of Hate

November 8, 2001

Contact:

Garrett Bucks, (765) 973-2699

Lara Jirmanus, (781) 724-6354

Student Peace Action Network,

(202) 862-9740 X3051

Educational Events Examine the Roots of Hate and Terrorism

Between November 9 and 16, student and community groups around the country will host teach-ins and forums examining the war in Afghanistan and U.S. foreign policy. The goals of the project are to encourage participants to think critically about the root causes of terrorism and war, and to offer constructive ideas for achieving a just and lasting peace.

“Recent news reports show us that the bombing raids are killing innocent civilians, creating a massive refugee crisis, and feeding into anti-American sentiment throughout the Middle East. Now more than ever, we need to understand the impact of U.S. actions and look for more effective responses to terrorism,” said Jessica Gould of Boston.

Schools and communities are organizing a variety of events for the week of education. Projects include conferences, lectures and student-led workshops. In Boston, a coalition of universities and local peace groups will run a two-day conference featuring Ralph Nader. In Connecticut, Wesleyan students and community members plan a weeklong series of speakers and panel discussions on topics ranging from the history of U.S. policy in the Middle East to racial profiling and civil liberties violations at home. In Berkeley, the Coalition of Schools Against the War is hosting a national conference Nov. 10-11 to spread information and coordinate student efforts. Over 500 school representatives and organizers are expected to attend.

“Is the war in Afghanistan an effective way to end terrorism? How do people outside the U.S. see the situation? What civil rights is our government taking away from us in the name of fighting terrorism? The U.S. rushed into the war without a full national dialogue about these issues. We want to open up the debate, to get people asking questions and thinking of real solutions,” said Garrett Bucks of Indiana.

The week of education is timed to coincide with the annual protests against the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia. The SOA has trained many of the military forces responsible for the worst human rights abuses in Latin America. “We oppose all terror - whether it’s created by bin Laden or by the U.S. army and its allies,” said Natasha Sienitsky of Connecticut.

The week was organized by members of Student Peace Action Network, Students Transforming and Resisting Corporations, and local youth and anti-war groups.

A Sampling of Events Planned for the Week of Education

- In Pasadena, CA, the All Saints Episcopal Church and students at Fuller Seminary are hosting a teach-in and seminar with the Revolutionary Afghan Women’s Association. 200-300 people are expected to attend.

Contact: Jill Young McMurchie, (213) 380-7886

- In Pittsburgh, PA, students at the University of Pittsburgh will hold a concert, rally and poetry slam on Friday, November 9th. At 5 PM, they will join a peace march organized by the Pittsburgh Anti-War Coalition, expected to draw 500-1000 participants.

Contact: Josh Weinberg, josheeba@hotmail.com

- In Berkeley, CA, the Coalition of Schools Against the War is holding a conference November 10-11 with an estimated 500 participants.

- In Boston, MA, a coalition of schools and peace groups is holding a conference November 10-11, and a series of forums later in the week. The events will feature speeches by Ralph Nader and Cornell West.

Contact: Lara Jimanus, (781) 724-6354

- In Haverford, PA, Haverford College is holding a panel on responses to September 11th. It’s organized by the president of the college, the student government, and a variety of student groups.

Contact: Laura Smoot, (610) 795-6904

- In New York, the Columbia County Greens are running a peace and justice forum to discuss foreign and domestic policies and their relationship to the American public.

Contact: Peter Rowley, (845) 518-3391

- Students at Stanford University in Stanford, CA are holding a meeting with the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. A coalition of Iranian students and others are kicking off a Hate-Free Zone campaign to combat hate speech toward Middle Eastern Americans.

Contact: Louise Auerhahn, louise@mailhome.com

- In Middletown, CT, Wesleyan students and community members plan a weeklong series of speakers and panel discussions on topics ranging from the history of U.S. policy in the Middle East to racial profiling and civil liberties violations at home.

Contact: Sarah Norr, (860) 344-8782

Other schools participating:

George Washington University

American University

University of Hawaii

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Louis and Clark University

University of Texas

Howard University

Moorhouse University


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