Students march for peace at MacArthur Campus

The students at the Jupiter campus put together another rally for peace, and this time, they did not stay in one place, and even got to speak with a U.S. congressman.

On Sunday, October 13, fifteen students gathered on “protest hill” in the parking lot to march for peace. The Channel 5, 12, and 25 news crews were there again, but the students did not hang around for interviews. Jennifer Williams, one of the main organizers, along with Autumn Widdoes, spoke to one reporter briefly, and then the students took off across the campus to the streets of Abacoa.

“No Blood for Oil,” a slogan referring to President Bush’s plans to unilaterally invade Iraq, boomed across the quiet Sunday streets. The protesters began marching around 12:45 p.m.

There were not many people on the streets, and the response from bystanders was positive.

Some marchers spread out, taking up one lane on the road. They carried large signs and small signs, bearing messages like “FAU Call for Peace”, “War IS Terrorist” and “Fighting For Peace Is Like Screwing For Virginity.”

The students marched east out of Abacoa, across Central Boulevard and Military, and towards a small affluent community with “Re-Elect Clay Shaw” signs lining the roadway, where Congressman Shaw was having a meet-and-greet at a home there.

As they approached the house, the chants of the protesters changed to “Hey, hey, Mr. Clay, We don’t want your war today”.

News crews set up along the streets and interviewed the marching protesters. When they reached the house, the students set up on the sidewalks and waited for Shaw, who had voted for the Joint Resolution giving President Bush the authority to attack Iraq, to arrive.

Two men, dressed in sport coats and ties, came out of the house and brought water to the protesters.

Shaw was not set to arrive for another 45 minutes, so the marchers tried to relax in what little shade they could find. An amiable debate took place between two of Shaw’s supporters and a few students.

When Congressman Shaw finally arrived, the students again exploded into their chant. He actually came to speak with the students, and while he did not demonize them, he dismissed their questions.

Shaw was interviewed by the news cameras and stated that “[the students] don’t have the facts”, alluding to the supposed “secret” information that the Bush administration is unwilling to share with the American people.

Williams feels that the President is not using facts to make decisions, but is using his “psychic powers to predict future attacks.” “This [resolution],” she said, “has wider, international implications and dangers.”

“We had fun, the event was peaceful, and we were able to have discussion. I think we accomplished our goals,” Widdoes said.

Both Williams and Widdoes have established a local chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a pacifist group. They are planning an event for October 26 for National Protest Day.