Last Saturday, organizations throughout the city and campus joined in a “tent encampment” on Library Mall titled, “Nations Under Siege.”
This day-long session was held to bring attention to the plight of foreign civilians affected by American Foreign Policy.
“We wanted to simulate what it is like to live under siege with limited water and food,” event organizer Rae Vogeler said.
The groups wanted to highlight the possible effects of potential military escalation after Sept. 11’s terrorist attacks.
“The Bush administration demonizes the Middle East,” participant Mike McHugh said. “Part of this encampment was to put a human face to these people because we don’t want a war.”
Vogeler said the purpose of the encampment stretches beyond potential war in Afghanistan, missile strikes against Iraq, the $3 to $5 billion in aid annually given to Israel and the refugees trapped in Indonesia’s West Timor.
The event, complete with makeshift tents and information session, gave “us the opportunity to explain to people the role of the U.S. government in causing terror in the world.”
“Our country has a long history of militarism — using military might to control the world,” Vogeler said. “We need to stop U.S. militarism and stop the impending war and make sure no more innocent people civilians perish.” The event also included many speakers. During the “Outcry for Justice Vigil,” the atrocities of Sept. 11 were discussed.
“We should not respond to violence with violence,” Gray Panther Peggy Baime said. “World Trade Center is just a building. For me the symbol of the America is the Statue of Liberty, and that is still standing. I am not mourning the building. I am mourning the loss of life.”
However, Vogeler said, “we would like to make it clear that we condemn the violent actions of Sept 11.”