Arizona Daily Wildcat advertising info
UA news
world news
cat calls
police beat
photo features

Write a letter to the Editor

Contact the Daily Wildcat staff

Send feedback to the web designers

Arizona Student Media info...

Daily Wildcat staff alumni...

TV3 - student tv...

KAMP - student radio...

Wildcat Online Banner

March calls for peace, end to racism

By Tyler Wager

Monday September 17, 2001

Participants say violence is not the solution to terrorist attacks

A long chain of peace marchers wound around the UA campus Friday afternoon, participating in a silent "Walk For Peace, Walk Against Racism."

The crowd of approximately 200 ended the event with a teach-in - an extended meeting regarding Tuesday's attacks - on the Administration building's south lawn.

Samantha King, a University of Arizona physical education professor who helped organize the event, said that the walk was meant to "promote an anti-racist environment on campus."

"Our goal from the beginning was to ask our government for peaceful reflection rather than retaliation," King said.

This desire for peaceful reflection was evident among the participants, who carried white carnations and signs pleading for peace with messages such as, "Yes to Justice, No to Revenge."

One woman carried a sign quoting Martin Luther King Jr. that read, "Violence creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers."

The anti-racism aspect of the event was important to those who have seen racist attitudes exhibited in the community because of the terrorist attack.

"In Tucson, there have been numerous death threats against Islamic people," King said. "If we look at our own Wall of Expression (on the UA Mall), we can see anti-Arab sentiment written right there."

Participants also said they wanted to overcome the inclination to act violently in response to the attacks.

"I would like to think that humanity can figure out a new way to deal with violence," said Teresa Blevins, a psychology and English education senior. "It's been a vicious cycle in the past, so why not stop it this time?"

Another attendee agreed that the solution could be peaceful.

"I think it's important for people to be mindful of the fact that even though there's been an enormous loss and tragedy, which I've felt on a personal level, we need to have a different reaction than in the past," Tucsonan Jane Dille said. "The government should know that not everyone wants to see bombs dropped."

The reasons why people got involved in the event varied greatly.

"I'm here because my women's studies class merged with the peace walk," said Vicky Milligan, a women's studies junior. "Our professor felt it was very important to recognize. I was really glad that she did this because I've been going to some classes where the attack isn't even acknowledged by teachers or students, and that's dismaying."

Carrie Hansen, a sophomore in engineering mathematics, wanted to remind people that although the attack was a tragedy, she as a Navajo knows that Americans have committed atrocious acts against indigenous peoples.

The teach-in took on a tone of disapproval toward the U.S. government.

"(Osama) bin Laden and his organization can be seen as a reflection of past U.S. foreign policies," said political science professor David Gibbs, a critic of U.S. foreign policy. "What I fear is that as a reaction to Tuesday's grisly events, the United States will engage in shortsighted policy that would further decrease longsighted security and detriment everybody."

Although some speakers were critical of U.S. foreign policy, pleas for peace and unity were far more prevalent.

"We've talked about foreign policies, but I'd like to incorporate a people policy. I think we need to respect, nurture, educate and be together as a people."
- Ben Markwart, political science junior

"We've talked about foreign policies, but I'd like to incorporate a people policy," said Ben Markwart, a political science junior. "I think we need to respect, nurture, educate and be together as a people."

Many students who did not participate in the walk stopped to listen to the speakers.

"I think it's good for people to express what they're thinking, but sometimes they contradict each other and it just doesn't make sense," said Cassie Huerta, an undeclared freshman. "But it does make you calm down and realize that we don't just want to go in and bomb everything."

Many participants and organizers of the walk and teach-in said they hope the event will convey a message about peace to the rest of Tucson.

"I hope that this will show the community that there are a large number of people who would like to see a peace revolution and are concerned about a tidal wave of racism sweeping the nation," King said.


advertising info

Webmaster -
© Copyright 2001 - The Arizona Daily Wildcat - Arizona Student Media