Students advocate artful, peaceful alternative to war

BY ICHAEL GUROVITSCH
Daily Staff Reporter
Published March 5, 2003

Artists expressing their opposition to the potential war with Iraq greeted students walking through the Diag yesterday afternoon with monologues and music. Acting Out, a local activist theater troupe, organized the protest in hopes of breaking down the barrier between activists and the public.

Shabina Khatri
TONY DING/Daily
Music School freshmen Karl Pestka and Keith Reed rock out on the Diag yesterday to advocate the message of "Make Art Not War."

The protesters, who wore white signs that said, "Make Art Not War," recited works of poetry, most of which came from a collection titled "100 Poets Against the War."

"(Our purpose is to) flood the Diag with performance so anyone who walks by becomes immediately engaged with the message," RC freshman Ryan Bates said.

"This is a protest performance against the war ... a way for artists to use their talent to express their protest and educate people creatively against the war," RC senior Margaret Conway said.

Protesters cited many reasons for their opposition to the potential war. "The idea of pre-emptive strike on a country we've damaged unimaginably in the last 10 years through sanctions and bombings is wrong." RC senior Susan Harter said. "Waging a war against the people is not OK."

"We are being shoved into this war in the wake of September 11 for motives other than what we're being told," Bates said. "Iraq is not an imminent threat to security. Other methods besides war should be used and exhausted."

"The idea of pre-emptive strike is against international law," Conway said.

Music School freshman Keith Reed said he played bass guitar during the protest to spark interest in the topic among students who would then hopefully become educated about it.

He added that if the United Nations were to support the war, he would take a more serious look at the situation.

RC freshman Becky Eisen stood among the performers and quietly viewed the protest. She said it was interesting how the protesters expressed their opinions in different, creative ways.

"Arts is a really powerful medium for expressing opinion," Eisen said. "I think what's really sad is a lot of people are walking by and not stopping to listen."

A larger protest by Acting Out will take place today in the Diag at noon with more than 50 performers, painters, bands and Royal Shakespeare Company members participating.

Music School freshman Keith Reed said he played bass guitar during the protest to spark interest in the topic among students who would then hopefully become educated about it.

He added that if the United Nations were to support the war, he would take a more serious look at the situation.

RC freshman Becky Eisen stood among the performers and quietly viewed the protest. She said it was interesting how the protesters expressed their opinions in different, creative ways.

"Arts is a really powerful medium for expressing opinion," Eisen said. "I think what's really sad is a lot of people are walking by and not stopping to listen."

A larger protest by Acting Out will take place today in the Diag at noon with more than 50 performers, painters, bands and Royal Shakespeare Company members participating.