Broad-Based Coalition of 200 Obies Marches In D.C.
by Ariella Cohen

Usually pigeons and middle school boys armed with skateboards occupy the stone walkways of Freedom Plaza, but last Saturday, at the first anti-war demonstration since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the downtown Washington D.C. landmark buzzed with another group of young and action-ready visitors. Equipped with not only the requisite signs and banners but also their own cameras, clipboards and enough pamphlets to wallpaper the nearby White House,several thousand activists gathered by a newly organized anti-racist coalition A.N. S.W.E.R., spent the day in a largely peaceful rally and march to the Capitol
“I think that the big A.N.S.W.E.R. rally was for the most part very successful. It was peaceful and large and demonstrated to all those people that wanted to protest but were afraid of getting arrested that we can engage in political struggle without unnecessary sacrifice,” junior and Socialist Alternative member Ted Virdone said. Working in a large coalition of students and organizations such as the Muslim Student Organization, the Asian American Student Alliance and the Oberlin Peace Activist League, Virdone helped send busloads of puppet and drum toting Oberlin students to the rally.
“We had 200 people go to D.C. because the coalition didn't belong to anybody. Activism on this campus is always strongly segregated to different Oberlin Communities. The beautiful thing about CARAW [the Oberlin anti-racist and anti-war coalition that organized for the trip to D.C.] was that for a moment there it seemed like we could defy the laws of physics & Oberlin politics by having a place for action that nobody claimed as their own,” junior Jason Johnston said.

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