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News and reports

February 4, 2005 | Pages 10 and 11

SCCC Students Against War
By Noah Centenero and Jorge Torres

SEATTLE--Two weeks ago, more than 300 students staged a walkout organized by Seattle Central Community College (SCCC) Students Against War (SAW). After marching through the halls, students surrounded two Army recruiters and chased them off campus amid chants of "Don't come back!"

Now the school administration is organizing a backlash against our efforts. A few days after the walkout, the school administration threatened that if SAW didn't write an apology to the recruiters, the student group would "cease to be in good standing" for the rest of the quarter.

In SAW's defense, anthropology professor and SAW's student advisor Peter Knutson has written a response to the school administration and forwarded it to all faculty at SCCC, as well as North and South Seattle Community Colleges.

So far, there has been a great showing of support from SCCC faculty. But to fully secure our right to free speech, SAW members are formulating a petition to garner mass support.

We have to continue the struggle. We will not back down to the Army recruiters--and we will not apologize while so many lives are being taken in this war for oil and empire.

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Ralph Nader speaks out

RALPH NADER is rallying supporters across the U.S. in a 10-city speaking tour.

In San Francisco, 300 people came to hear Nader along with Peter Camejo, his vice-presidential running mate, and Green Party member Matt Gonzales, the former president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Gonzales filled in the numbers for the antiwar chant "Money for schools, not for war," pointing out that so far the city of San Francisco has plowed $520 million into the war effort while the state of California has kicked in $19 billion.

In Seattle, 400 listened as Nader roasted the Democrats for focusing on keeping the Nader/Camejo ticket off of state ballots and refusing to raise the real issues that face most people in the U.S.--the lack of a living wage, jobs, health care and pensions.

And in Boston, 500 people came to an antiwar rally featuring Nader, Howard Zinn and Patti Smith.

Nader's speaking tour seeks to raise money to cover a $250,000 debt racked up by his presidential campaign, which incurred extensive legal costs responding to 21 different law suits in 18 states, spearheaded mostly by the Democratic Party, to challenge Nader's right to appear on the ballot.

In Seattle, Nader admitted it took him 20 years, but he said that he is now convinced that the Democratic Party cannot be reformed. It is, he said, hopelessly committed to the interests of the rich.

In San Francisco, Nader spoke of the illegal nature of the war in Iraq perpetrated by the White House with the complicity of the Democratic Party. Nader implored the audience to stand up against the war, asking, "How are you going to ask the next 100,000 Iraqis to die for a mistake--which is more than a mistake, a crime?"

Steve Leigh, Justin Powers and Keith Rosenthal contributed to this report.

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