Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March 20 Organizing Reports

These are organizing reports from schools building for March 20 actions. Email in your report on what you are doing to build for March 20 and how things are going at your school! The idea is to get ideas from these reports to use at your schools too.

Report from University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC)
Chicago, IL
March 15, 2007

On March 20th, we at the University of Illinois at Chicago have a walkout planned for 11:30am and a rally in the quad at 12:00pm with other progressive groups at UIC. During the rally we'll have several speakers. These include Bill Ayers--a former leader of SDS in the 1960s and a current professor in the UIC Education Department. A couple of members of IVAW will also be speaking as well as many others. At 4:00pm, we're calling on students across Chicago to assemble at University Center (located on State and Congress) where we're having another rally. From here, at 5:00pm we're having a student feeder march to Bughouse Square where we'll link up with the main march planned for Chicago.

In order to get a large turnout we've been doing traditional things like putting up posters across campus as well as fliering at main student gathering places. However, we also tried a new tactic. We approached progressive faculty members and asked them if we could tell students in their classes about the March 20th events and distribute fliers. Many professors were excited and agreed to this. By passing out fliers in a classroom setting we can talk to the students and describe the events in much more detail. A couple of professors even agreed to cancel their classes on the 20th.

Report from Macalester College
St. Paul, MN
March 13, 2007

In an attempt to restart conversations on the Macalester Campus (and hopefully beyond), Macalester Anti-War is planning a walkout for the 20th in the hopes that it will not be a one time action, but rather something sustaining. The plan is that there will be a student walkout at 1:30, to Bateman Plaza (in front of our campus center). We will have a microphone set up for a speak out and hopefully start conversations, but we will also have several tables with activities/crafts/art to create things. This will include stenciling, banner making, more (?) set up around the mic area. We then hope to break up into affinity groups, and encourage students who haven't been attending planning meetings for this event (as well as those who have) to organize autonomous actions around the cities during the afternoon. Potential ideas we have so far range from banner drops to protests or other demonstrations at key sites around. Hopefully it will all come together, something needs to be done.

Report from Chicago SDS Chapters
Chicago, IL
March 13, 2007

UIC SDS is going to be at the M-17 demo in Washington, and there might be some folks coming from Depaul SDS. Chicago SDS is organizing a united student youth block at the University Center, also known as the superdorm since it houses students from three universities, because the military is putting in a new recruitment center there in the spring. We are also hyping up a walkout among highschoolers, people at Columbia College are going to be holding events all day with teach-ins and street theatre, UIC is holding a rally before the student bloc and I'm not sure what Depaul is doing. Elmhurst College SDS will just be attending (Hurray for having an SDS at a college with 1,500 kids with family incomes over 100,000).

Report from Winthrop University
Rock Hill, South Carolina
March 13, 2007

We are doing a walkout/ rally in front of our main auditorium on Winthrop's campus. We're located in Rock Hill, SC. We actually don't yet have a chapter of SDS at Winthrop, but the Socialist Student Union is putting together the demonstration for March 20th in alliance with SDS. We've gotten a late start, but to get the word out, we've mostly just been flyering and talking to people. I've gotten the best response from classmates and professors who I've just talked to for about 5 minutes, explaining the action and the cause, and most of them are happy to join. Hopefully, that will translate to Tuesday and actually make a successful event.

Monday, March 19th, which is the day our school starts back from spring break, we will be handbilling all day long, and trying to talk to people as much as possible, to remind those who know already and to get new people to sign on. Our faculty advisors are sending out all faculty emails to get faculty members on board. A couple of our members are making banners. Sunday before the demonstration, we are having a final organizing meeting and will be sliding quarter sheets under faculty office doors, while a few of us are going to try and get into the dorm buildings to talk to people there.

Really, we're just trying to get the word out as much as possible by actual interaction with people, so that they understand why and what we're doing and they can relate and want to join. Our contact is:

Report from Kennesaw State University Greens
Kennesaw, Georgia
March 12, 2007

Here's what the Kennesaw State University Greens have going on: We're handing out flyers to build up to the events we're having and black armbands with the number 650,000 to represent the number of Iraqi dead and 3,000+ to represent the U.S. soldiers dead. We're encouraging everyone to wear them on the 20th to increase visibility.

We're participating in a "teach-in" at our senators' offices on March 19, along with a larger statewide coalition, the Georgia Peace & Justice Coalition, 9 am-4 pm. It's a basic filibuster technique to put the pressure on our senators. Although neither of them will be there, their staff will surely report back to Washington.

For actual on-campus events on March 20, we are setting up educational and interactive stations. For example, we are going to have a "wall of dissent" or canvas people can write on to share their thoughts about the war. We are also chalking names of victims of the war, setting up a station that shows the amount of money spent on war as opposed to that spent on education, and tents with information about people displaced because of the war.

Report from Animas SDS
Fort Lewis College, Colorado
March 12, 2007

Animas SDS mobilizing a Radical Youth Contingent for our local anti-war action, which is going to be on the 18th. We will also be representing at a candle-light vigil the next day. Two people will be in DC.

On the 20th we will be holding a classroom occupation action to mark the anniversary, and will be screening documentary films and holding discussions. Films we already have lined up include "Hijacking Catastrophe," "The Oil Factor," "Iraq for Sale," "The Ground Truth," "Arlington West," and more.


Animas SDS

Report from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SDS
March 11, 2007

Here at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill we are working hard to get the word out about the walk out and rally we have planned for March 20th. For the past two weeks SDS members have been going door-to-door in the dorms asking students to pledge to leave class. We have found this to be an excellent way to engage people in brief dialogues about the war. A number of the folks we spoke with had already heard about the walk out, either from flyers around campus, seeing the Facebook group we created online, or through their friends. We are expecting to see a lot of new faces at the rally on March 20th.

Monday, March 19th is the day that UNC students get back from Spring Break. On that day we are planning a die-in at the center of campus in order to publicize the walk out. On the 20th we are going to have a really high-energy rally in this same area of campus (“the Pit,” an extremely high-traffic area at noon on a school day). We will enjoy a few brief, fiery speeches, drumming and samba music from a fantastic Greensboro group called Cackalack Thunder, and the spoken word talents of members of the UNC Black Student Movement, then we're taking it to the streets!

Good luck with all your organizing!

Sara Joseph
UNC-Chapel Hill SDS

Report from University of Illinois Chicago - Students 4 Social Justice
March 11, 2007

Plans at UIC: Walk out of Class at 11:30 a.m., march across campus. We're going to chant, "You want the troops out? Get up and walk out!," and "Want out of Iraq? Get up and walk!" (Reminder: "Iraq" rhymes with "walk"8=) Rally at noon in the center of campus, where speakers will include UIC professor Bill Ayers, a leader in Vietnam era Students for a Democrat Society,and grad student Nader Abusumayah of the Palestine Solidarity Group.

At 4:00 pm, we'll join students and youth from other schools downtown Chicago, march to Bughouse Square, join the citywide rally there, and then march down Michigan Avenue.

Report from Rutgers Against War
March 11, 2007

Rutgers Against the War originally put out the call for a walkout over a month ago. Since then, we have organized with a variety of other groups including cultural groups. We fliered buildings throughout our school multiple times, handed out 7 or 8 thousand handbills, gave speeches about the walkout in multiple classes, and dorm stormed throughout the whole school. We also began banner dropping and have already unfurled 4! Our work has been paying off. We have a list of teachers who endorsed the walkout and another one of teachers who are walking out with their students. The Rutgers College Governing Association has also recently endorsed the walkout. We currently have over 333 people RSVPed on facebook and we are expecting many more. We are expecting several hundred people to walkout.

Report from Brown SDS
March 10, 2007

Brown SDS is organizing a die-in to protest Textron, Inc., a war profiteer best known for clustser-bombs and Cobra attack helicopters. The organization, with billions in assets and 20,000 employees world-wide, has their headquarters in downtown Providence, RI. We'll head down to the HQ, where people dressed as Textron executives will stand on the landing outside the building, and with bloody hands, throw fake clusterbombs on the rest of us, who will pantomime agonizing deaths.

The street-theater is a fun, easy stunt to get some good press and embarrass the company by illustrating the effect of their company. Right now, we're contacting press and sending out calls to other students to swell our ranks. On the same day, separate from the actions, we'll be doing a banner drop off a centrally located building, something to the tune of "Not Another Death; Not Another Dollar; In Defense of US Empire"

Gainesville SDS Report
March 10, 2007

In response to the Students for a Democratic Society's call for a national student day of action against the war in Iraq ( ), Gainesville Area SDS ( is calling for a MASS DEMONSTRATION and RALLY on Tuesday March 20th, @ 1 pm in the Reitz Union Colonnade, followed by a MARCH to Tigert Hall to demand that UF: 1) provide an audit of all UF investments (totaling in the billions) and end business with companies related to the war industries; 2) inform students of all war related research being conducted on campus; 3) publicly declare UF's opposition to this illegal war and the continued occupation of Iraq.

It should be obvious by now that even a clear mandate in the electoral arena is not enough to stop this war. No longer will we make the mistake of relying on politicians to represent our voice -- we will take our demands to the streets and we will reclaim our voices as our own. We simply cannot conscionably allow these actions (and our "representatives'" inaction) to continue unopposed.

Report from Lancaster SDS
March 6, 2007

Lancaster SDS, formed only three weeks ago, plans to hold its first of many actions against military recruitment centers in Lancaster. While three weeks is not much time to recruit members as well as organize a chapter, Lancaster SDS is expecting a solid turnout on March 20th. March 20th marks the beginning of student resistance to war and imperialism in
Lancaster. Solidarity!"

Nick Martin
SDS Lancaster

Report from Moriah Arnold from Green Hope High in North Carolina
March 6, 2007

In anticipation of the March 20th student day of action, I have worked on organizing with several schools in the Cary/Raleigh area. Though being in a southern area has caused a lot of resistance from not only the administration, but also from the students, four high schools in this area alone have signed on! At my own school, Green Hope High, around thirty people have shown interest in participating. Considering the school has close to 3,000 kids, that's definitely not a lot, but the number seems to keep growing and hopefully soon there will be a lot more! We started out by going to the principal and asking about the rules regarding protesting. The only requirement by law (besides the obvious ones such as not being violent) is that we cannot cause a disturbance in the "learning day." This means lunch, before school, and after school are the easiest times to have a demonstration or rally. We decided to go a different route and call for students to wear black armbands, bandannas, or whatever else they may own that is black with peace signs on them. We are also planning on having a demonstration at lunch, consisting of about fifteen kids going from table to table with a large banner that reads something like "stop the bloodshed," while a few of the students stand in front of it and sing John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance." All of this has been approved by the principal and you CAN NOT get in trouble for participating in them. Our principal did however make it very clear that walking out would not be acceptable. We plan to do this anyway, just in much smaller numbers, since most students fear of being suspended. After we walk out, we are working on getting transportation to the rally in Chapel Hill. Other schools, such as Enloe High School (which is much more liberal), also plan to join us in walking out. I have heard ideas, such as acting out war scenes, or at a specific time having everyone in class play dead to represent everyone who has died in this war. Some groups of kids are even walking out and playing songs about the horrors of the war on their guitars. The only thing we're afraid of is the part of the student body that is very much for the war. Even the administration warned us that people who oppose our views may try push their views through violence, and since the group in my school that is still for the war is much bigger than the group that is against it right now, this could be a problem. Despite this, we will continue with our protest. In the words of Kimya Dawson, "we wont stop until somebody calls the cops, and even then we'll start again and just pretend like nothing ever happened!" I urge you all to get your school involved and help out! This is going to be a truly historic day! Good luck!

Report from Chapin Gray from SDS-Tuscaloosa, Alabama
March 6, 2007

To moblize students for the March 20th rally, we've tabled several times and passed out handbills. Our campus is 1) very enormous and 2) very conservative, so we've faced some obstacles in getting the word out. We organized a discussion about the week of student unrest that happened here back in 1970, which I think was really inspiring to a lot of students. There is basically zero activism of any type here, and even people who are strongly against the war tend to have a very defeatist attitude. We have organized a campaign to protest the shady dealings of the university administration, which has united hundreds of students. We're going to try and use that event to publicize for the 20th. We had a die-in (students laid in front of the Student Union during lunch hour in bloody t-shirts and gave antiwar speeches on a megaphone) which drew a LOT of attention to the war, as well as to SDS and the 3/20 event. Unfortunately, our spring break is the week before 3/20, which puts us at a disadvantage. Also, our chalking was buried amid candidates' names for the upcoming SGA elections, and our flyers get ripped down very quickly. Still, we should get a decent sized crowd out for the 20th, hopefully enough to march downtown to the Federal Building. I've noticed that it has really mattered that we are not acting alone that day; not only do other SDSers get excited when they hear what other chapters are up to, but people seem more committed to come to our rally when they realize it's a nation-wide event. We can't wait - it's going to be so powerful to have that many student protests on one day!


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