Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 May 2007

Seattle students walkout against the Iraq war

OVER 800 students walked out of schools throughout Seattle, USA, on 18 April to demand an immediate end to the Iraq war.

Philip Locker and Ramy Khalil for Youth Against War and Racism

The walkout, organised by Youth Against War and Racism (YAWR), culminated in a protest at a meeting of the School Board which called for military recruiters to be kicked out of our schools. The students also protested against the School District's plan to close seven Seattle schools, calling for money for education, not war.

Throughout the day of rallies and marching in Seattle's downtown, the students' energy and enthusiasm was palpable, with non-stop chanting and speeches. Students from over 35 schools joined the walkout, mainly from high schools, though there were also many students from colleges and even a few middle schools.

Unlike many anti-war protests which often draw the same crowd of activists, this walkout succeeded in mobilising hundreds of new students and young people who had been to few protests before, if any.

After a rally and a long march, we rallied outside the Seattle School Board, where there was a concert with amazing music and more speeches. Seattle hip-hop artists RA Scion and Gabriel Teodros, among others, performed.

Throughout the day of rallies many different high school and college students spoke, as well as speakers from Iraq Veterans against the War, Socialist Alternative (the Socialist Party's US counterpart) and Jobs with Justice, among others.

When the School Board meeting started the normally sterile atmosphere of bureaucrats and detached politicians was disrupted when over 125 protestors marched in, chanting: "What do we want? Recruiters out! When do we want it? Now!" - taking over the meeting for several minutes.

The one-hour public comment period was dominated by powerful speeches by students and anti-war activists, frequently interrupted by thunderous applause.

Speaker after speaker demanded the School Board finally take meaningful action against military recruiters and stop the school closures.

School Board members were clearly taken aback by the community's outrage. While they have tried to create the impression that they are listening and will begin enforcing and tightening their policies restricting recruiters, we will definitely need to keep up the pressure on them to make sure they really follow through in deeds, not just in words.

At the same time, a new policy further restricting recruiters' access to Seattle public schools would still be far short of what we want, ie military recruiters out of schools completely.

Media coverage

The protest succeeded in breaking into the local mass media and onto the national Associated Press newswire, with Youth Against War and Racism mentioned as the organisers in several of the stories. Local TV and radio stations carried reports and both of Seattle's daily papers prominently featured the walkout (we made the front cover of the Seattle Times with a large picture, and were on the front of the local section of the Post-Intelligencer), though, as usual, they under-estimated the turnout.

The walkout was endorsed by a wide number of organisations and individuals, including Aaron Dixon (Seattle Black Panther Party founder and Green Party candidate for US Senate in 2006), Veterans for Peace 143, American Friends Service Committee, Team Victory, and Socialist Alternative, as well as a host of other local anti-war and progressive organisations.

But it could not have been achieved without the dedication, sacrifices, and contributions from all the students and activists who helped organise this walkout.

Building a national student walkout

A COMMON theme throughout the day was that mass student walkouts are vital for building a huge anti-war movement of workers and young people. It sends a clear message to the ruling elite that 'business as usual' will stop unless their war ends.

A powerful example of the impact student walkouts can have was shown by the case of Lt. Ehren Watada. Watada has said the previous student walkout Youth Against War and Racism organised in Seattle in November 2005 was what inspired him to take a stand as the first US military officer to refuse to deploy to Iraq.

The walkout rally agreed to issue an appeal to students and anti-war groups across the country to organise a nationwide student walkout and strike against the war in the fall [autumn] of 2007. Many students commented they were very excited to go all out to build a much bigger, stronger, national walkout in the fall.

This would be one year after the American people voted overwhelmingly against the Iraq war in the November 2006 elections, and we will be demanding that Congress finally cuts off the funds for the war and brings all the troops home.

A massive, nationwide student walkout would be an enormous step forward in building the anti-war movement. We are calling on students and anti-war organisations to join us in issuing a call for a national student walkout which we will be circulating soon.

We are also calling on students to organise protests against military recruiters in schools, and to contact us for help, since the School Board refuses to ban military recruitment in schools.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 3 May 2007:

2007 election analysis: Time for a new workers' party

Scottish Elections: Labour rocked as SNP wins

Socialist Party election campaign

NHS cuts... privatisation... widening wealth gap

Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference

Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS: A matter of life and death in Swansea

Fat cats eye the cream

Socialist Party workplace news

PCS: Fighting for jobs, pay and services

Picketing the Tate Modern

Socialist Party editorial

Widening wealth gap needs working-class response

Socialist Party election campaign

Packed election rally for Scotland's Solidarity

Irish election - Socialist Party takes on the establishment

New Labour panics and resorts to lies

Yorkshire ISR and Socialist Students day of action

Global Warming

Alternative energy: Winds of change?


Stop these education cuts

Socialist Students

Campaign to Defeat Fees

Seattle students walkout against the Iraq war

Pressure mounts for troops withdrawal

Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Russia April 1917: Lenin returns from exile


Women must have the right to choose!

Socialist Party news and analysis

What 'public-private partnerships really mean

Campaigning for LGBT rights

Oppose legal aid contracts tooth and nail

Socialist Party workplace news

Support the Sunvic strikers

Greenwich workers fight on

Remember the dead but fight for the living

The scandal of HSE cuts


Home   |   The Socialist 3 May 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleRussia, spies and nerve agents

triangleGripping spy thriller exposes hypocrisy of Falklands/Malvinas war

triangle15 years since the invasion of Iraq: what we said

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: Is Trump up a new trade war?

triangleCorbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war


triangleSeeing-off the bigoted, billionaire toff!

triangleSpain: millions on streets against sexism and capitalist oppression

triangleStrike continues: set dates for next national action

triangleUCU strike: bosses on the run


triangleSyria: No ceasefire for 'hell on earth' eastern Goutha

triangleOpinion: British imperialism can take no credit in fight against Isis

triangleMovement challenges Iranian regime


triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleNewham: teaching workers and parents determined to halt academies


triangleSocialist anti-war exhibition opens in Kingston


triangleTamil youth march for justice


triangleRefugee Rights campaigners on the 17.3.18 anti-racism demo - pics

Socialist Alternative:

triangleUSA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Refugee Rights campaigners on the 17.3.18 anti-racism demo - pics


Socialist Party

Socialist Party congress 2018



Strike continues: set dates for next national action


Socialist Party

Members dig deep into their pockets to support the party


North West

Campaigners continue to demand Chorley A&E is fully reopened



Swansea Labour council votes for cuts



Derby public meeting: Women's Lives Matter



Seeing-off the bigoted, billionaire toff!



Continuing the fighting tradition of working class women



Workplace news in brief



Leicester: Blairites block Labour Party democracy



Leaked pay deal: fight for a genuine pay rise



We feel that we will win - a striker speaks



Woolwich ferry workers win automation campaign



UCU strike: bosses on the run

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018