PRESS RELEASE: Philadelphia-Area Youth March Against War on Iraq

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For information contact [email protected] or Ivan Boothe, 267.496.6819An online version of this press release is available at

Local contacts– Bryn Mawr College: Sheila Webb-Halpern, [email protected] Drexel University: Trey Warner, [email protected] Eastern University: Cassie Heino, [email protected] Haverford College: Angelina Conti, [email protected] Swarthmore College: Ivan Boothe, [email protected], 267.496.6819 Temple University: Leah Hilsey, [email protected] University of Pennsylvania: Lincoln Ellis, [email protected], 267.258.7046 Upper Darby High School: James Kennedy, [email protected], 610.924.9174


PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 13 — Students from at least 12 schools in the Philadelphia area will march on Saturday in a contingent with other local youth in an event protesting a war on Iraq and continued violations of civil rights in the name of security. The youth march, which will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Community College of Philadelphia (18th and Spring Garden streets), will meet up with the main Philadelphia protest march at Broad Street and continue to the concluding rally at the Liberty Bell.

“Those who are questioning these acts need to see just how many people oppose this unjust war and join us in calling for peace with Iraq and the world,” Temple student Leah Hilsey explained.

The student march is being organized by the Youth Philadelphia Anti-War Resistance (Youth PAWR), a coalition that formed following the planning of a youth anti-war rally last November that drew more than 400 people to Philadelphia City Hall. Representatives from local high schools, colleges and universities meet regularly to coordinate peace events in the area.

Coalescing across ethnic, socioeconomic and ideological lines, students are protesting the massive military buildup in the face of increasing cuts in education on the federal and state levels.

This unjust war, organizers say, will not only result in the death of thousands of Iraqi civilians but will also cause state deficits to skyrocket, resulting in mounting tuition bills and underfunded, crumbling schools. Invasions of students’ privacy and violations of their constitutional rights under the USA-PATRIOT Act and the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System are now commonplace, as young people across the country are arrested for their political beliefs or their country of origin. Here in Philadelphia, they say, local officials are more interested in fomenting militarism and violence in our schools through mandatory JROTC programs than educating the youth of our city.

“It is crucial that the youth of this nation step up,” Hilsey said.

Youth PAWR challenges the United States government to pursue diplomatic, peaceful negotiations with Iraq and North Korea, calls on the Philadelphia City Council to commit to preserving civil rights by supporting Councilman Angel Ortiz’s bill establishing Philadelphia as a “civil liberties safe zone,” and demands that the Philadelphia School District scuttle its proposal for JROTC.

The Philadelphia Regional Anti-War Network, organizers of the Feb. 15 event in Philadelphia, plans to read the following statement during the march:

“We, the people of Philadelphia, stand with the people of New York City and the people of the world, who are demonstrating today in protest of war on Iraq and the attack on human rights worldwide. We speak with one voice across the planet for peace and social justice everywhere.”

Youth PAWR encourages all students and youth from the area to join them in a march for peace and justice.


Schools represented in Youth PAWR: Bryn Mawr College, Chestnut Hill College, Community College of Philadelphia, Drexel University, Eastern University, Haverford College, Swarthmore College, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Upper Darby High School, Villanova University, and many concerned youth from the Philadelphia area.