Yes, apparently I have raised another anti-war protester. I couldn’t be more proud.
Yesterday her high school staged a walkout to protest the escalation of the Iraq war and it was actually covered by the local FAUX news. See clip here.
UPDATE from todays Lowell Sun
Peace Signs. Songs. A Flag. A Face-Off. It’s Democracy 101By RITA SAVARD, Sun Staff
GROTON — The warning echoes over the intercom. Any student walking out of class will be punished according to the rules in the school handbook: suspension for two days.
Groton-Dunstable High Regional School senior Ian DeBay rises from his chair about 12:30 p.m.
He walks out the door, wearing a John Lennon T-shirt, and carrying a sign reading “Give Peace a Chance!!!”
Nearly two dozen of his classmates follow.
Crowding together in the high school parking lot, Will Bauch pulls an acoustic guitar from its case.
A John Lennon song seems to say it best.
“… And a happy New Year.
Let’s hope it’s a good one
without any fear.
War is over, if you want it …”
Stop the War in Iraq. It’s what DeBay wants. It’s what those who followed him want.
“We live in a society that takes the pill and swallows it,” Bauch says. “And nobody’s doing anything about it.”
When DeBay heard President Bush say “20,000 more” soldiers in Iraq, he felt sick. Already, 3,019 American soldiers dead. Thousands more Iraqi civilians.
“How many more people need to die before it stops?” he asks.
DeBay made flyers and sent e-mails. He hoped for a larger crowd, but he isn’t disappointed.
“No one questions authority anymore,” says Peter Lilley, 17. “They’re too scared to get into trouble.”
Lilley’s brother, Jeff, is a Marine stationed in Iraq.
Sometimes Lilley wonders if he might not see his brother again. That thought scares him more than anything.
“Skipping class, that’s all we’re doing. … I can deal with that to hopefully save someone’s life.”
Dorothy Moynihan, 15, wonders if they’ll reinstate a draft.
She says 25 kids walking out of school might not make a big difference.
“But I hope it gets a message across that we care a lot about our troops, and tell Bush to at least think over his decision,” she says.
A school police officer and two principals watch quietly from the school sidewalk.
“We’re not preventing Ian from exercising his freedom of speech,” Assistant Principal Tom Murray says.
Drowning out the sounds of Lennon, an SUV blaring music pulls up alongside the crowd.
A girl with long blond hair steps out, unfurling an American flag.
Some students whoop and cheer, thinking more protesters have arrived.
“Why are you here?” asks 18-year-old senior Elizabeth Provost, flag in hand.
Provost’s sister, Brittany, 19, a 2006 graduate, cranks up the volume.
“American Soldier” by Toby Keith pours out of the speakers.
“…And I will always do my duty no matter what the price
I’ve counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice … freedom don’t come free.”
“You’re anti-American!” Elizabeth Provost yells at the group.
“We support the troops, not the war,” comes a voice in the crowd.
“Why are you doing this during school, interrupting final exams?” Provost says. “Why don’t you do this on another day, on your own time.”
DeBay’s group tries to keep the protest peaceful. They move toward the school building.
“They couldn’t handle it,” Elizabeth says, walking back to her sister.
The Provosts’ brother, Patrick, is in the Navy. He’s stationed in San Diego, preparing to ship out to the Middle East soon.
“I think most of the people aren’t doing this for the right reasons,” Provost says. “For most of them, I think it’s just to get out of a couple hours of school.”
The Provosts drive away. The students walk back to class. It’s 1 p.m. Cassandra Marino, 17, lingers, then approaches a reporter.
They called us anti-American, she says.
“But our country gives us the right to stand up for what we believe in,” she says. “We believe no one else should have to die.”
No one was suspended. No detentions.
Rita Savard’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.