By Aaron Mackey
CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
More than two-dozen anti-war protesters took over three study rooms on the fourth floor of the Main Library Monday morning. The group plans to stay in the rooms around the clock.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday March 26, 2003
Students and local activists spent a second night in three fourth-floor meeting rooms in the UA Main Library last night in protest of the war with Iraq.
Since 8 a.m. Monday, the protesters have occupied the rooms, using them as a 24-hour "information centers" for the war on Iraq. The group has no name, but is composed of members from local activist groups such as the Alliance for Peace and Justice in the Middle East (APJME), UA Young Socialists and Students Against Sweatshops.
The "information centers" are a quiet departure from a 300 person off-campus protest that flooded the downtown area last week, obstructing traffic and forcing more than two dozen police officers in riot gear to control the crowd.
"The goal is to organize and educate," said art education senior Mike Sousa.
But members of the library group, such as Sousa, said that the "information center" had to overcome several obstacles in order to operate.
"The original goal (of the demonstration) was to show solidarity with the people who are dying in Iraq," Walsh said.
Originally, the group planned on operating the "information center" on the UA Mall, but members said the Dean of Students office told them this was not possible.
According to APJME member Elias Walsh, the Dean's office would not allow for such a demonstration because around-the-clock security for the protesters could not be assured.
The dean of students office could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The group also claims that at approximately 4 a.m. yesterday six UAPD officers appeared on the fourth floor, telling protesters that they could not have bedding material in the library and that sleeping was not allowed.
UAPD did not return phone calls yesterday.