Iraq: Day X – Minneapolis student walkouts march in Day X

At least 3,000 – 4,000 students and at least 41 schools walkout out of classes on Day X to protest against the war. 1,500 mostly high school students rallied at the University of Minnesota (U of MN), while some schools organised their own local marches, rallies, and teach-ins.

Stop the war in Iraq. US.

Minneapolis student walkouts mark Day X

The U of MN, where the main rally was held, was on spring break, so only a small number of students attended the event. On Monday 24 March there will be another walkout for U of MN students and other schools that are on spring break this week.

In Minneapolis Public Schools alone, administrative officials estimate 1,800, or 17 percent, of high school students walked out. This number appears low because at just two schools we can confirm 1,400 came out (at Washburn 600 of 1300 pupils walked out; at South High 800 of 2200 left).

The 1,500 rally at the U of MN marched to Wiley auditorium and filled to overcapacity the 1100 seat room for a lively indoor rally. Speakers explained the reality behind US imperialism, the history of US foreign policy in the Mid-East, and the importance of taking the anti-war movement forward. These remarks received standing ovations. Representatives from each participating school had a chance to speak, retelling their reasons for opposing war.

Finally about 600 marched of us two miles from the U of MN downtown to the Federal Building, taking over two major roads as we went. By 5:30 pm the downtown community rally had swelled to around 5,000. We marched for two hours, winding through all of downtown until after nightfall. The student contingent was definitely the liveliest.

Monday U of MN walkout plans

On Monday we will stage another walkout for UMN students on break this week, which will end in a march on Senator Norm Coleman’s office to demand he vote against Bush’s anticipated $70-90 billion war funds request. We have over 70 ’pickets/peace marshals’ lined up for the day, about 50 of whom have been through a two hour ’Peace Marshal’ training we put together.

In the morning, we will have pickets at every major entrance and bus stop on campus, urging people to walkout and join us for the noon rally. Then an afternoon of teach-ins and a March on Norm Coleman’s office, where we will be joined by Macalester students also walking out that day, and community activists also mobilising for the convergence.

We will send a report out later.

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March 2003