KSU students join Iraq protest march in D.C.

Jackie Valley


Credit: Jason Hall

More than 100,000 protesters descended the nation’s capital Saturday, including about 20 Kent State students, to give Congress a clear message: Bring the troops home.

Most Kent State students who marched in Washington, D.C. were involved with the Kent State Antiwar Committee and the International Socialist Organization, said Jackie Bleak, sophomore political science major and member of both groups.

Bleak said United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of various national organizations against the Iraq War, organized the march to remind the newly elected Congress of the public’s expectations.

“We want to show the nation and the Democrats that we want something done,” she said. “We want the troops to come home.”

Bleak said the march, which began after 2 p.m. and passed the Capitol and the White House, represented a unique cross-section of the United States — people of varying ages and political preferences came together to voice the same opinion.

Sophomore history major Isaac Miller, a member of the Kent State Antiwar Committee, said the unity in the march was empowering.

“There was a real feeling of solidarity of purpose to end this war and do it now,” he said, adding that the march reminded Americans they are not alone if they are against the war.

Bleak said she was surprised that she only counted about 10 people who came to Washington, D.C. to protest the demonstration’s antiwar slogans.

Before the official march, students had the opportunity to explore informational tables set up or attend speeches by well-known figures, including Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Dennis Kucinich and Jesse Jackson, Bleak said.

Bleak said she believes it is essential for college students to demand action from Congress.

“I think it is always very important to stand up for what you believe in,” she said. “The cost of this war is going to affect our generation the most.

“It’s just important to get our voices out there.”

Contact student politics reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected].