In cities around the world, students are organizing walk-outs on “Day X” (the school-day after a full-scale US attack on Iraq). Socialist Alternative and our affiliates in dozens of countries are mobilizing students for this action.
A massive student walk-out is a powerful way to show that we don’t support Bush’s war, that business will not proceed as usual as long as Iraqi civilians and US troops are being killed in a war for oil profits and power. Protests alone won’t stop Bush. Student walk-outs will begin to popularize the idea of mass direct actions to shut down the war machine.
Right after the 1991 Gulf War started, semi-spontaneous student walk-outs in cities across the country brought tens of thousands into the streets. The biggest wave of student strikes in US history followed news of US incursions into Cambodia during the Vietnam War.
The launch of war on Iraq will be met with a powerful wave of anger and revulsion and a mood among young people to take serious action. We must prepare to harness and express this mood in an effective, organized way.
Some anti-war activists have also been building for walk-outs on March 5. While this is another a good initiative, walk-outs on arbitrary dates will only attract a smaller layer of already politically conscious students at this stage. The start of the war, however, will be an enormously radicalizing event, and a walk-out on this day has much more potential to empty out schools by attracting a wide layer of students.
Start preparing for a walk-out at your school today. Call a meeting of your friends and classmates to set up an anti-war group if one doesn’t exist already. Make a plan for “Day X” and let others know by distributing flyers, making announcements in class, and calling your friends.
Justice #33, February 2003