Protestors gather to oppose war in Iraq

Jason Mann

Jason Mann

SDSU students, faculty and Brookings residents held a peace rally outside the post office at noon on Sept. 14.

The group of anti-war protesters gathered at 11:45 a.m. in the grass just southwest of The Union and then marched to the post office on Main Street for a silent vigil. They wore painted T-shirts and held homemade signs calling for a troop withdrawal from Iraq. The South Dakota Answer Coalition sponsored the event in concurrence with a rally held in Washington D.C. that drew tens of thousands of people, including Jane Fonda, an actress who drew fire for protesting the Vietnam War, to the city to protest the war in Iraq.

“We want to get the troops home right now,” said Chris Huska with the Answer Coalition. According to Huska, they also held a rally Sept. 15 at the Battleship Memorial in Sioux Falls.

“A lot of people probably aren’t thinking about the war, but when they see people walking with signs, they know someone is trying to do something,” said Huska.

“It’s something I do feel very strongly about. I’ve felt from the start that we shouldn’t be in Iraq,” said Allison Crisler, a junior English major, who was one of the students involved with the peace rally. She said there were more people taking part than she had expected, and also of different demographics. She said she had assumed the participants would be mostly students and she was surprised to see so many instructors and city residents. Crisler also said this was an unusual time for this type of demonstration. “Now we’re in the majority,” she said.

Russ Stubbles, a parks management professor, also took part in the rally. “I’ve seen war. I prefer peace. Anybody with a brain would do the same,” he said.

According to Brian Price, a Brookings resident and self-proclaimed “concerned citizen,” the war in Iraq is the first privatized war in American history. He said the war is government-funded, but is controlled by corporations like Halliburton.

“It’s an experiment in privatized government and it’s not working,” said Price.

Huska said that if there is enough interest, the Answer Coalition would hold more demonstrations in Brookings and at SDSU. He said that the Answer Coalition holds a demonstration the last Saturday of every month in Sioux Falls.

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