Students organize peace rally for war in Iraq

By Chris Beauchamp

Students opposed to the U.S.-led war in Iraq have a chance to learn more and voice their dissent in an upcoming peace protest.

The event will take place Fri., Mar. 19 from 12-1 p.m. on the South Lawn of MacEwan Student Centre. Following scheduled speakers, the protest will form a large peace sign made out of the protesters themselves.

“I’ve been opposed to the U.S. foreign policies in Iraq for a long time,” said event organizer Susanne Van Maarion, pursuing a Masters in Social Work at the University of Calgary.

“I’ve read a lot of Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore and was getting fed up with my own lack of action,” said Van Maarion. “If you have an idea and feel strongly about something, then don’t just talk about it, do something.”

According to Iraqi Body Count, an independent group of American and British researchers, as many as 10,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in 2003.

The protest will include speakers from Amnesty International, Project Ploughshares Calgary, a City of Calgary social worker and a member of CANDL with direct experience in Iraq. Van Maarion also hopes to increase awareness of the Sat., Mar. 20 Global Day of Action, which takes place in Calgary and cities around the world.

“My goal is to allow people who want to learn more an opportunity to hear some information, and for those who already know, to do something and get involved,” said Van Maarion. “If you build it, they will come.”

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