Students join the Washington anti-war rally

Students from the College joined hundreds of thousands of anti-war protesters in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Jan. 27 for a massive demonstration and march.

John Leschak, treasurer of the Progressive Student Alliance (PSA), helped organize transportation for students. The 27 students from the College and 22 activists from the surrounding area, most of whom were part of the Coalition for Peace Action (CFPA), traveled to Washington.

Dave Weinstein, president of PSA, estimated that 100,000 people attended the rally, including students from the College, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.

“The theme of the march was an immediate end to the war in Iraq,” Weinstein said.

Kari Osmond, vice president of Vox (Voices for Planned Parenthood), heard about the rally through Vox’s e-mail account.

“I got involved with this rally because I think this is a very important message to be sending to Congress,” Osmond said. “They are supposed to represent our concerns as the people of this country, (and) with that they need to understand that the continuation of the war is not on our agenda and therefore it should not be on theirs.”

“Personally, I think the war in Iraq was and continues to be a huge mistake,” Weinstein said. “I think that much of the unrest in Iraq is caused by the continued presence of American military forces and private contracting companies, which are rebuilding Iraq, doing jobs that the unemployed people of Iraq should be doing.”

Students who attended the rally had to help pay for the cost of the bus. PSA requested Student Finance Board funding but were too late to receive money before the winter break.

“I had known about this march months in advance and had been networking with Reverend Bob Moore from CFPA to get a bus to come to (the College),” Leschak said. “In addition, I applied for and received a $300 grant from Campus Progress (an organization dedicated to strengthening progressive voices on college campuses) to help pay for the bus.”