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Classroom Struggle: School's Out For Peace, Unity And Social Justice (Article Published In The Sydney Morning Herald)

793 words - 4 pages

March 5 was a historic day. It was the beginning of an international youth movement against war on Iraq. High school students, university students and other young people united to take a message loud and clear to world leaders: there is a better solution to this conflict, and we're prepared to fight for it.The slogan? Books not bombs. Students feel that the money which will be spent on the military would be better spent on upgrading educational facilities, public housing and hospitals.The Howard Government is unwilling to say just how much money will be devoted to the war, but it is sure to be in the billions. In comparison, $1.5 billion could restore public education funding to pre-1990 ...view middle of the document...

Many students remarked to me during the day that they had never seen anything like it. One University of Sydney student put it this way: "There are two superpowers in the world today - the US and the global anti-war movement."The walkouts were likened to the mass moratoria against the Vietnam War in the '60s and '70s during a period of mass youth radicalisation.In short, the protest was an empowering celebration of unity in the face of international warmongering and a climate of increasing fear and hatred.It is becoming clearer and clearer that the vast majority of young people don't support this war. But the demonstrations on March 5 were only the tip of the iceberg of the mass anti-war sentiment that exists among our youth.Since the start of the year, anti-war groups on high schools have blossomed, and more students have started to actively campaign in their schools against war. And these young people have the support of much of the broader community too. In the run-up to the demonstration, rally organisers received calls from parents who wanted to help their sons and daughters...

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