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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 September 2008

USA: Defying police, students walk out against the Republican national convention

Anti-war protest outside Republican convention, organised by Youth Against War and Racism, a Socialist Alternative initiative, photo USA Youth Against Racism

Anti-war protest outside Republican convention, organised by Youth Against War and Racism, a Socialist Alternative initiative, photo USA Youth Against Racism

DESPITE POLICE attempts to intimidate students from participating, hundreds of Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St Paul) youth walked out of high schools on 4 September to protest against the Iraq war on the final day of the Republican national convention. The protest, organised by Youth Against War and Racism (YARW, a Socialist Alternative initiative), received substantial media coverage.

Over 400 joined an energetic rally and march from the State capital, featuring a theatrical mock trial of giant puppet caricatures of Dick Cheney and the other "war criminals" who run Washington.

Anti-war protest outside Republican convention, organised by Youth Against War and Racism, a Socialist Alternative initiative, photo USA Youth Against Racism

Anti-war protest outside Republican convention, organised by Youth Against War and Racism, a Socialist Alternative initiative, photo USA Youth Against Racism

Most organisers of the event had anticipated a substantially higher turnout, but this was cut across by thinly veiled threats by police of violence against students who walked out - threats echoed by school officials.

However, hundreds of students peacefully left school in an act of collective civil disobedience, many participating in their first ever protest, demanding an end to the war in Iraq, an end to military recruiters in their schools, and money for education, not war.

Anti-war protest outside Republican convention, organised by Youth Against War and Racism, a Socialist Alternative initiative, photo USA Youth Against Racism

Anti-war protest outside Republican convention, organised by Youth Against War and Racism, a Socialist Alternative initiative, photo USA Youth Against Racism

Police Chief Harrington deceitfully told the media that students should skip the walkout since "there will be opportunities [Thursday] evening" to protest. That evening, over 1,000 people gathered at the State capital for a rally and march to the Xcel convention centre, where Republican presidential candidate John McCain was to give his acceptance speech. However, the police refused to grant organisers a permit to march after 5pm, effectively turning the streets around the Xcel into a 'no protest zone'.

Anti-war protest outside Republican convention, organised by Youth Against War and Racism, a Socialist Alternative initiative, photo USA Youth Against Racism

Anti-war protest outside Republican convention, organised by Youth Against War and Racism, a Socialist Alternative initiative, photo USA Youth Against Racism

Of those who turned out to the evening protest, nearly 400 were arrested after 'robocops' blocked them from crossing bridges to get anywhere near the convention site. About 20 members of the media were caught in this indiscriminate police round-up! This was the culmination of a week of police repression against mostly peaceful protests, which created an extremely anxious climate in the city.


While the turnout on the student strike was smaller than past walkouts organised by the local YAWR, which have brought up to 2,000 youth out, our campaign against military recruitment in schools is stronger than ever.

Ty Moore, Socialist Alternative, (CWI, USA)
A full report is available on www.socialistworld.net

Video and news story on the student strike from KSAX

All pictures

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In The Socialist 10 September 2008:

Housing Crisis: Brown has no answers


War and occupation

End the wars and occupations

USA: Defying police, students walk out against the Republican national convention


Socialist Party editorial

US mortgage bank nationalisation - sign of deepening crisis


Scotland

Scotland council tax to be scrapped

Scotland: Council pay battle at critical stage


Socialist Party workplace news

Workers' anger surfaces at TUC

London bus workers inspired by strike

Fighting for decent pensions

In brief


Socialism 2008

Come to Socialism 2008!


Socialist Party campaigns

May Day detainees fight for justice

No to post office closures

Boom to bust in Cardiff Bay

Fans pay for the success of the 'beautiful game'

Protest against harassment!


Socialist Students

Fighting start to freshers fairs

Young workers ripped off

Bangor University students union fees referendum


Environment and socialism

Can we have 'the right to travel' - without adding to climate change?


Socialist Party review

Richard Dawkins: The genius of Charles Darwin, (Channel 4)


International socialist news and analysis

Thailand in grip of political deadlock


 

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