Raleigh Youth Take a Stand Against The War
Posted by raleighfist on March 31, 2008
By Larkin Coffey and Zac Morgan
The 5th anniversary of the war in Iraq did not pass quietly in Raleigh. On March 20th, students from Enloe, Broughton, Southeast Raleigh, and Cary High walked out of school to demand an end to the war in Iraq. Building on the walkout demonstrations of 2007, student organizers from all over the country worked hard to ensure success this year. In Raleigh, over 150 students picketed and chanted on the sidewalk along Hillsborough Street, near the NC State bell tower.
Despite attempts to intervene by campus and Raleigh city police, the students continued protesting and made it clear they would not be moved. A strong group numbering about 30 came in from Carolina Friends School in Durham to support the Raleigh students, with school approval. Raleigh FIST placards and banners all along the picket lines reflected the militant, radical stand being taken by the students, as well as the important role of FIST in organizing the walkouts and demonstration.
After picketing on the sidewalk and making sure they were heard, the demonstrators marched up Hillsborough Street to the NC State brick yard for a rally. Speakers at the rally emphasized the disastrous effects this war will have on jobs, healthcare, and education for youth in America and all over the world. “I have been opposed to the war the whole time, and knowing that my family is over there is really stressful”, said Hank S., an Enloe freshman. The demonstrator’s enthusiasm and conviction was summed up by an Enloe senior: “everyone should scream and shout and make a big fuss because that is our duty as citizens.”
Beyond the walkouts, FIST is organizing a youth conference on April 6th, 2008 from 6-8:30pm at the ACRe Space in Raleigh. This event will help determine how to best continue organizing with youth against the war, as well as to make the connections between the war and the falling economy, lack of good paying jobs and health care for youth, and how to move beyond elections and relying on the Democratic Party. We must build a movement for social justice!
Coffey is a sophomore at Friends High School in Durham, NC and Morgan is a junior at Enloe High School in Raleigh, NC. Both were main organizers for the Raleigh walk-outs and also members of Raleigh FIST.