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US students say 'education not war'
THOUSANDS OF students across the US 'Twin Cities' [Minneapolis and St Paul] walked out of class on 28 April to protest against the occupation of Iraq and military recruitment in schools, and demanding money for education and social needs, not war.
By Socialist Alternative members
Up to 900 students rallied at the University of Minnesota at Northrop Plaza and listened to speeches from youth anti-war organisers. Chanting "No justice, no peace, US out of the Middle East," and "Exxon, Mobil, Chevron, Shell, take your war and go to hell," students maintained a lively protest in the pouring rain.
Students took to the streets to march to a military recruitment station, where one youth threw a can of red paint against the windows of the recruitment station to symbolise the innocent blood spilled in Iraq.
When several trained peace marshals moved in to calm the situation, University of Minnesota Police officers rushed into the crowd and violently grabbed and arrested three of them.
Janae Marshall, post secondary MCTC student from South High, and also a peace marshal, explained the circumstances of her arrest: "The officer slammed my face against the wall and when I asked him for his name and badge number he told me to 'shut the f*** up and stop resisting'."
Ella Comeau, also a MCTC/South High student and a peace marshal, was urging people to back away from the recruitment station when she was arrested. "We were not the ones who threw the paint. We were wrongfully arrested," explained Ella. "The paint on the recruiters window was washed off within a couple hours, but the blood of innocents in Iraq can't be washed away," added Janae.
While the first three students to be arrested were released within 30 minutes, another protester, 21 year old Daniel Falla was arrested at least 30 minutes after the incident at the recruiters' station, blocks away at the end rally behind Coffman student union. He is being accused of felony and probably causing damage to property. He is being held until at least Monday, when his bail may be set.
Chris Allison, who is coordinating Falla's legal defence team, said: "We are very concerned that the legal system will try to make an example out of Daniel. Since the passage of the Patriot Act there has been a huge rise in severe and unjustified punishment for non-violent civil disobedience."
The Twin Cities Student Anti-War Walkout was organised by Youth Against War and Racism, the Anti-War Organizing League, and Socialist Alternative.
In The Socialist 4 May 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party workplace news
1926 General Strike
International socialist news and analysis