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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Professors protest war with Iraq

A group of A&M professors staged an antiwar protest Wednesday afternoon, urging a peaceful resolution to the confrontation with Iraq.
About two dozen professors, clad in black to symbolize their opposition to the war, gathered in the Academic Plaza for a “teach-in” and discussed their views with passersby.
“We want to discuss alternative ways to engage in the situation in Iraq, but we also want to discuss North Korea and other global situations in ways that result in peaceful resolutions to conflict,” said Dr. Patrick Slattery, an education professor.
Dr. George Welch, a physics professor, said he hoped more antiwar protests would mobilize public opinion against military action in Iraq and force world leaders to take notice.
“A push toward a war is a big mistake,” Welch said.
Ray White, a Vietnam war veteran and Class of 1985, said he was protesting American policy because the United States does not have a just cause for war against Iraq, and said other alternatives should be explored. He warned that ravages of war could leave lasting effects on American soldiers, and leave a bitter legacy much like the Vietnam conflict.
“There will be a hole in their souls,” he said.
Some students attended the protest to discuss their feelings toward war. Tanya Mounsey, a junior theater arts major, said she was not against military action, but wanted to learn more about the issue.
“There are different points of view that students should become educated about so they will be able to make their own decisions,” Mounsey said.
Michael Loudermilk, a junior history major, has a brother in the armed forces who is stationed in Kuwait. He said he supports the military but also wants to consider antiwar perspectives.
“It’s important to understand issues connected to the war, and to know what my brother is fighting for,” Loudermilk said.
The protesters’ discussion group ended at 2 p.m., and was followed by a demonstration for peace at 4 p.m. and a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m.
Members of the A&M chapter of Young Conservatives of Texas are countering the antiwar events by wearing red, white and blue in support of the troops, said Kristin Foulk, A&M’sYCT vice chairman of former student affairs.
“Our troops are fighting for freedom, which is the same freedom that allows them to stand out there and say their opinions,” Foulk said.
YCT will only be wearing patriotic colors to protest the professors’ antiwar activities, Foulk said. The group did not have time to organize a structured, effective protest, she said.
However, YCT will conduct a statewide “Rally for America” on March 22. The A&M chapter will also send care packages to Aggies that have already been sent overseas.

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