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Hundreds off students protest Iraq war

About 500 students skipped school Friday to protest the war in Iraq at a rally in downtown Minneapolis.
The students from schools all around the Twin Cities held signs and sang songs of protest in the plaza outside the Hennepin County Government Center.
The Pioneer Press, which called the event “peaceful,? said that on-site officers who watched from the sidelines estimated a group of about 200 protesters. Organizers put the number at 1,000.
Kesh Gabyalla, a student at Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, said he didn’t know how much of an impact the protesters had.
“But if we don’t go out and express our First Amendment rights,? he told the Pioneer Press, “then we will lose our power and our country will go down the tubes. We have to stand up and say ‘No.’?
The protest attracted more than just high school students, with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak making an appearance.
“I was up in my office when I saw people out peacefully protesting the war and I came down and said thank you. Because many of us were out protesting this before this war started. More people should,? Rybak told Minnesota Public Radio.
After the rally, the students marched through downtown streets on their way to Augsburg College for a teach-in on the war.
The protest was sponsored by Youth Against War and Racism, a student-led initiative formed about three years ago after three Kennedy High School students fought against having military recruiters in their Bloomington school.
Now, the group has activists at about 40 schools in the Twin Cities, according to Ty Moore, an organizer with Socialist Alternative, along with chapters in Boston, Seattle, and Tacoma and Olympia, Wash.
MPR said Socialist Alternative, an international activist group with a local chapter, also sponsored the protest.


Pioneer Press: