Though the movement to defeat President George W. Bush suffered an electoral defeat on Nov. 2, students at Boulder High School in Colorado proved by example that this movement is hardly out of steam.

Nearly 100 students occupied the school library Nov. 4 to protest Bush’s policies, refusing to vacate the premises until the next morning.

Cameron Ely-Murdock, a senior, told the Associated Press, “We’re worried that in four years we’re going to be at war with five countries and we’re going to have no trees. I know that’s an extreme position, but I’m really worried about the draft.”

The protesters said they would not leave until they were able to meet with elected officials to voice their concerns, which included fear of a military draft, Iraq policy, environmental concerns, economic problems, military recruiters in their school, and other issues. They demanded to meet with Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and newly elected Sen. Ken Salazar, as well as with Republican officials.

James Vacca, a teacher at the high school, told reporters, “You have students here at Boulder High School, principled, thoughtful and yet scared of four more years of preemptive war, the Patriot Act and an increase in militarism at school through the No Child Left Behind Act.”

The protest received national coverage, with student leaders being interviewed on Air America, CNN, NBC, and other networks.

Protest leader Stephen Lobanov Rostovsky told the Rocky Mountain News that people have been calling the students with wishes of good luck and cheer from as far away as New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. He said someone from New York even ordered pizza for the students.

The group agreed to return to classes at 7 a.m. on Nov. 5, after Udall agreed to meet with them. About 20 students and Udall spoke for an hour. Salazar also indicated that he was willing to speak with the students.

Rostovsky said youth should be taken seriously. “Adolescents are here and … saying, ‘We’re not going to take this. We want a voice, too. We want a place in this democracy. … We should have a say.’”

Tags:

Comments

comments

MOST POPULAR