We all knew it was coming. We waited in anticipation of what many of us believed to be an unjust war against the people of Iraq. On Thursday, the day after the bombs descended on the city of Baghdad, students from all over the bay took to the streets of San Francisco to join many of the affinity groups that had organized a major shut down of the city.
The Weekly staff was no exception. Half of the staff took to the streets of San Francisco as journalists but also in solidarity with the many groups who opposed the war with Iraq. Like everyone else, we had classes and meetings to attend and papers to write.
But none of that seemed important as more and more students began to flood the streets by the planned 7:15 a.m. meeting time. As we moved further up Market Street we bumped into the People of Color Against War Coalition from Mills.
Their excitement and determination was contagious, as one protestor exuberantly shouted, “We shut down the Bay Bridge!” These were Mills women in action. These were Mills women who were reigniting the flame of activism that our college was once known for.
Our ASMC president, Michele Roberts, along with many other Mills students, set a great example as she transferred her feelings of helplessness into action by choosing to sit in the middle of the intersection of Sansome and Market to face arrest. Surrounded by chants, policemen with sticks, firemen with power saws and protestors intertwined together in PVC tubes, the Weekly staff truly realized the power of the people.
Reports from the media later stated that the thousands of protestors that took over several intersections throughout the city and inconvenienced those on their way to work. We looked at the inconvenience and the huge number of arrests as a success.
Previous antiwar protests did not stop Bush from proceeding with the ousting of Saddam through war. Now more then ever students, young and old, need to take action to ensure that Washington is aware of our disdain for this war.
This past weekend, Mills students represented this college in a very commendable way. They foregoed their classes and faced extended periods of incarceration in a show of solidarity. As the protests continue we hope more Mills students will take to the forefront of the anti-war movement to help bring this war to closure.