National Student Anti-War Movement Begins Process of Fusion

M. Junaid Alam redjaguar at attbi.com
Wed Dec 4 11:52:11 MST 2002


Two days ago, delegates from those college groups that met in DC after the
Oct. 26th protests, in addition to several new ones, met to strategize,
discuss tactics, and plan ahead for the movement in an internet chat
discussion. My impressions are that it was a productive affair. Minutes
posted to the e-mail list follow:

---
Message: 2
   Date: Tue, 3 Dec 2002 00:54:26 -0500 (EST)
   From: Jessie Kindig <jk2049 at barnard.edu>
Subject: 12/3/02 Antiwar Network Listserv Chat Minutes

December 3 2002
Antiwar Network Listserv (campus_peace at yahoogroups.com) Email Chat

(this network came out of a 300+ student meeting called by George
Washington Univ. after the Oct. 26 Protest in Washington DC).

Minutes:

(I'm Jessie from Columbia in New York City, and I volunteered at the chat
to send out minutes)

Agenda:
1.  December 10 Actions
2.  Plans for when the bombs start falling
3.  Networking/Natl Conference Discussion
4.  Planning for next email chat (added to agenda during discussion)

Liz facilitated and UTexas took stack.

There were about 32 schools represented:  George Washington,
Prescott (Arizona), Univ. of Illinois-Chicago, Columbia Univ., Lafayette
High School, Earlham (Indiana), Northeastern, Univ. of N. Carolina -
Greesnboro, Univ. of Maryland, U. of California-Santa Cruz, UC-Berkeley,
UC-San Diego, Univ. of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, Univ. of North Texas,
Univ. of Texas-Austin, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Hunter,
U-Mass.-Amherst, Boston University, City College (New York City), New York
University, Yale, Rochester Institute of Tech., Univ. of Chicago, Azusa
PAcific University, Notre Dame, Brown, Univ. of Vermont, Hampshire, Boston
College, WakeForest (Winston-Salem, Mass), Macalester, plus some
non-campus groups who's names I didn't quite catch (sorry).

1.)  December 10 actions:
Most schools did a small report of actions they were planning for December
10 (Human Rights Day).  They included teach-ins, die-ins, protests,
wearing black armbands, vigils, and mock funeral processions.

Since the discussion turned into a report-back, it was decided for people
to email a report out to Daniel at Boston University at
acyclosis at hotmail.com.  Please also copy them to Jessie at
jk2049 at barnard.edu so we can get them up on the website.  Also, as the
minute taker, I made a list of who said what action they were doing, but
please send a fuller report to Daniel.

Also, Ryan from UCSC said that he would set up a bulletin board on the
existing website (www.antiwarnetwork.org) for people to post their Dec. 10
actions.

2.)  When the War Begins

This section was also a report back.  Most schools had a definite plan to
meet in a central location at a certain time on the day the war officially
began.  For example, in New York some campuses said that they were meeting
at 5pm at Times Square for a citywide rally that day.  Since most campuses
were already formulating plans, it was decided not to try to organize our
own action, but have people do what they were already planning to do in
their own cities.

Also, please send reports of what you are doing to Daniel at
acyclosis at hotmail.com (and a copy to jk2049 at barnard.edu)

3.)  Networking/Conference

Kirstin from Univ. of Illinois-Chicago made this proposal:

"The Chicago Students Against War Network (CSAWN) voted to host a
conference in Chicago that would be open to everyone.  We have not decided
yet on a date for the conference.  Personally, I (Kirstin) am in favor of
an earlier date like January 11-12.  CSAWN is looking for feedback about
the idea of a conference and the date.  We are meeting Friday to make a
final decision."

There was then general discussion about the idea of a conference and the
date.  Many schools endorsed the idea of a national conference and the
formation of some sort of national network (I counted only the first
couple schools endorsing the idea, but they were George Washington, UNC
Greensboro, Wake Forest, Berkeley, Columbia, and Univ. of
Vermont-Burlington).

Someone else from Chicago (I'm sorry, I don't know which school) was
opposed to the date of Jan. 11-12, and put forward the idea of student
meetings after the national demos in DC/SF on January 18-19, which would
then build towards a national conference in Chicago at a later date.

There was then discussion about the date.  Most campuses argued that an
earlier meeting would be better because:
1.  We would have an organization going into the DC/San Francisco protests
that new activists could hook up with
2.  The bombing is slated to start on December 16, and could very well be
over by Jan. 18-19, so we should begin to organize as early as possible.
3.  A national conference should last more than one day or a couple hours
so that there will be adequate time for discussion, debate,
decision-making, etc.
4.  People will be too exhausted after DC/San Francisco to want to sit
through a whole other meeting.

The point was then made that perhaps going to both a national conference
and then a demo was too much financially and time-wise.  People then
stated that only a few delegates were needed to go to a national
conference, and Tona from UCSD proposed that people begin collections to
pay for the trip.

All who spoke were in favor of the idea of a conference.  The issue of the
date (Jan. 11-12 or Jan 18-199) was put to a vote:

[In terms of voting, some schools were representing their coalitions, and
some were voting their personal opinions and then taking back that idea to
their own groups for discussion and final decision.  Some people made this
explicit - for example, Kirstin from UI-C voted for the 11-12, but made it
clear that that vote did not represent CSAWN or UI-C, only her own views.]

22 voted for a national conference on Jan. 11-12
1 vote for student meetings after the Jan18-19 marches
3 abstentions (Univ. of Chicago, UC-Santa Cruz, and U. North Texas)

Kirstin then reiterated that she would take that vote back to CSAWN for
discussion, and that a final decision about the date would be made in
their meeting on Friday, and a that call for a National Conference will be
put
out that day.  Also, she asked anyone who wanted to help organize the
conference to email csawn at hotmail.com

4.)  Next Chat

Ryan from UCSC proposed that we have weekly online chats.  There was a
counter-proposal for a chat every 2 weeks.  Half of the schools had signed
off by now, but it was decided to:
1.  Have a next email chat one week from today (next Monday at 9pm EST),
but have it be a meeting with no decision-making, only discussion
2.  Have an email chat in two weeks that does make decisions and has
people voting.

Liz and Ryan are going to work on setting that up.  It was also floated,
but not firmly decided, that the existing website
(www.antiwarnetwork.org) continue to be used.

I've tried to be as comprehensive as possible.  If there's anything people
feel I've forgotten, please send it out.

Solidarity,
Jessie Kindig
Columbia University Anti-War Coalition


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