Activists denounce war
The University needs to end military recruiting and end the militarization of UH, student protesters said as they marched around campus Wednesday.
Student organizations including UH Students Against Sweatshops, Houston Revolution Club and The World Can’t Wait, along with individual students, met outside the military classrooms at Hofheinz Pavilion and carried signs and a banner.
"The goal is to stop the militarization and recruiting on campus," said Spanish sophomore Jamilah Hoffman, member of The World Can’t Wait. "When the war is full of crimes against humanity, it’s unconscionable to not speak out. If there were no protests I shudder to think what the Bush administration would have done."
The protest moved from Hofheinz Pavilion to M. D. Anderson Library, around the University Center, past the University Center Satellite and back to Hofheinz. The protest grew to 15 participants from nine.
"Semper Fi. Kill or die, in a war based on lies," protesters chanted. "What are they recruiting for? Murder, rape, torture, war."
The students also held a "die in" demonstration at the library where they lay on the ground and drew chalk around their bodies as history freshman and member of Houston Revolution Club Eric Rebillarsi spoke about the Iraq war.
"(The Iraq war) is all about capitalism, not terrorism or weapons of mass destruction," music composition junior Steven Lachin said.
"We’re taking control of natural resources and making millionaires, billionaires. We are killing innocent people, children and families, all for money."
UH ROTC officials did not comment by press time.
Standing on the wall around the library, Ribellarsi said UH needs to fight recruiting on campus like students are in Berkeley, Los Angeles and Seattle.
Protests are vital because the American government has had 200 years to fix itself and it hasn’t succeeded, Hoffman said.
"I want to see a world that is equal and fair for everyone despite race, gender or religion. A lot of work needs to be done," Hoffman said.
Spectators laughed, made comments, or joined in the march while others just watched.
"I think it’s good that they can speak out. That is the great part about our country," pre-business freshman Averi Holliman said. "Some people do want to go into the military, so having recruiters on campus gives them the opportunity."
Immediately pulling out the troops is not the answer, Lachin said.
"We’ve overthrown their government. We can’t abandon them. Think about our forces and the soldiers coming home with post-traumatic stress disorder," Lachin said. "I support the troops, but more of a humanitarian effort."