Protests against the U.S. bombings in Afghanistan are not just coming from overseas. Many colleges, especially on the east coast, are organizing protests against U.S. military retaliation. Such protests could be seen last week at Haverford and Bryn Mawr College’s, both schools planned peace sit-ins on their campuses.
At Haverford College about 80 students sat in the center of campus at Founder’s Hall, the oldest building on their campus. There was an open microphone where students voiced their opinions and concerns. According to Pam Sheridan, director of public relations at Haverford College, the students said they weren’t happy with the bombings in Afghanistan. There were no counter protests, simply open discussions and forums in their classrooms.
One Haverford student didn’t agree with the anti-war demonstrations. He got on top of a nearby building and yelled at the protesters. The anti-war protesters were able to coax the man down by offering him food.
Students at Bryn Mawr College had an all day sit-in for peace. There, students met at Merion Green’s, the center of campus. They made signs calling for peace, sang songs, wrote letters to their congressional leaders, and even had lectures.
At Harvard University, over 500 students turned out to support the Harvard Initiate for Peace and Justice’s anti-war protests. One sign held by a student protester Molly McOwen read, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”
Many students simply walked out of their classes in protest. At Wesleyan University, students walked out of classes 10 minutes into them. Some 200 protesters held a rally followed by a teach-in.
Pro-military demonstrators matched anti-war demonstrators as over 1,000 students at the University of California at Berkley set out to rally.
All over the country, students felt the need to express themselves representing their opinions and beliefs in peaceful manners. After a day of peaceful protests, the students of Haverford and Bryn Mawr College’s gather on a Lancaster Avenue corner to protest. They held signs and candles while walking back and forth between the two colleges.
It is important to understand that these students are not anti-American. Carol Gifford, manager of media relations at Bryn Mawr College said that these students were very upset at the loss of life on Sept. 11. Gifford said these students are interested in making peace without bombing Afghanistan.