Archive for Sunday, October 28, 2001

Peace rally draws crowd, protests U.S. retaliation

October 28, 2001


More than 70 people from several groups gathered Saturday afternoon for a peace rally and vigil to advocate alternatives to war.

The Lawrence Peace and Justice Coalition sponsored a vigil, "Lawrence Responds to Terrorism," at the corner of 11th and Massachusetts streets. People of all ages held signs to express their feelings against the war in Afghanistan.

Since the United States has retaliated following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Mehrene Larudee, a Kansas University assistant professor of economics, said the Taliban had gained more followers in response.

"The (U.S.) government doesn't take sufficiently into account that we're not in a war with a country. We're in a war with the Taliban," she said. "The worst thing we can do is attack a particular group of people, and they get a lot more enthusiastic."

Galen Turner, a KU senior from Lawrence, said the United States was leading a violent campaign overseas.

"As far as attacking them, we have killed an estimated 6,000 civilians already," he said. "It just becomes violence for violence's sake."

Turner said people should take a step back and evaluate why America was attacked in the first place.

Members of Free State Action, a Lawrence youth activist group, Lawrence Peace Project and the KU Green Party also marched from Buford M. Watson Jr. Park to same corner. People played drums, sang and held banners that read "Peace must come from the people."

Sean Whittier, a Lawrence member of Free State Action, said the group was opposed to the war especially because missed targets are killing innocent civilians in Afghanistan.

"Even one casualty is too much for me," he said.

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