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We, the Columbia Coalition Against the War, are staging a strike followed by a teach-in on February 15th, 2007. We are inviting the entire Columbia community, including students, faculty, staff, and the administration, to join us in publicly and actively opposing the unjust War in Iraq.
We call upon the people of this country-especially our generation-to shoulder the responsibility of bringing an immediate end to this war.
This unjust war began without provocation and continues despite the opposition of the vast majority of American and Iraqi people. This war, criminal in its violation of the Geneva Conventions, has resulted in a catastrophic loss of life-3,300 coalition troops and over 655,000 of our Iraqi brothers and sisters. In the name of this war, and the “war on terror,” there has been a broad assault on our civil liberties including the violation of habeas corpus, condoning of torture, and rampant racism against Arabs and Muslims. This war has made the world less safe, and less free.
We strongly encourage the students of Columbia to walk out of classes in opposition to this war. We call on the faculty and administration to set aside business as usual, join our strike, and issue statements of support. Columbia, as a global university, has a responsibility to take a proactive stance against this illegal war.
By investing in corporations crucial to the war effort, our university has aligned its financial future with America’s protracted occupation of Iraq. We therefore call on the administration to divest from these corporations for the duration of the war to hasten the war’s end.
February 15th, 2003 marked the largest coordinated anti-war demonstration in human history. We unite on the upcoming anniversary to “rekindle the flame of protest that flared up all over the world on that date four years ago,” as noted by historian Howard Zinn in his support for a nationwide strike. Our protest and teach-in on the 15th is only the beginning. We aim for this to be the rebirth of a strong and diverse anti-war movement on Columbia’s campus and on campuses around the world.
We will work to build support in our schools and our communities for resistance to the war. We will give voice to the majority of Americans who have expressed their strong opposition to the war. We will show the leaders in Congress that we, the people, are the true “deciders.” We will continue to struggle to end the war and bring the troops home now.