Today, November 20th was the Not In Our Name National Student/Youth Day of Action Against The War. Here at 'Ground Zero' thousands of New York City high school and college students gathered in solidarity to say "NO, NOT IN OUR NAME" to the war on Iraq. Over 2,000 strong the youth took the entire street of Broadway. We did this in the face of threats from administration, campus security that tried to block them at the doors, talk of suspension, and all kinds of other wack shit. We rallied at Union Square, till our numbers swelled so much we just HAD to take it to the streets. The cops said we could have University Place--but as we all shouted out together as we did it: "We're taking fucking Broadway!!!" And then we did! As one of the MC's said, "We took Union Square without a permit. We marched down fucking Broadway without a permit. We permitted ourselves to take history into our own hands!"
MAAAAD students and youth on the busiest street in downtown! To anyone who thought we would keep our mouths shut, sit in class and let this war be waged in our names, to all those who said it couldn't be done... This is what we have to say to you! This war is not going to happen in our names! The detentions and round-ups of our Arab and Muslim brothers and sisters is not going to happen in our names! This war on the world and the shredding of civil liberties is not going to happen in our names! In fact, we are going to prevent it from happening at all!!! And this is the just the beginning.
We moved to Washington Square Park and held a HOT rally, fists in the air. Students talked about why they came out--why they weren't intimidated. One student pointed to a playground on the other side of the park. She said, "Look at all those innocent little children playing. If they were in Iraq they could be dead in a few days. We are not going to let that happen!" Another student came up and said, "This goes out to my principal who threatened me with suspension. FUCK YOU!!! You are not in danger of being drafted. I AM!!! And I am not going to sit in your fucking school and be intimidated by you!"
A Vietnam veteran got up and spoke about why he resisted that war and in 1971 threw his medal back at the White House. Afterwards a group of NYU students got up and gave their response to a preemptive war and led the crowd in burning their 'preemptive draft cards'.
The whole day was characterized by the determination of our generation to not go along and let the future get stolen by a "bunch of cowboys in the White House." Speakers exposed the detentions and disappearances of immigrants, the plans to have high schools and colleges turn over people's information to the FBI and military recruiters. Together we took the Not In Our Name Pledge of Resistance, fists in the air! We promised to ourselves and to the people of the world that with every escalation and war move from the Asses of Evil, we're gonna meet it with escalating Resistance!
As people marched, they chanted: "Tapping our phones, reading our mail, the FBI should go to jail!" "You say it's for the people, you say it's to be free, but we are the people, don't fight this war for me!" "They want us silent, they want us tame, this war on Iraq is not in our name!" "The students and the youth, stand up, rise up! With the people of the world, stand up, rise up!"
WHAT A FUCKING AWESOME DAY!!!
NION New York/National Office