Students Against War in Iraq helped kick off a national “Week of Cultural Resistance” Saturday night, hosting two musical performances.
Twenty-five students gathered in the Marvin Center Amphitheater for a Night of Peace to show their support for a peaceful resolution to the conflict with Iraq.
“It is important to show that we don’t just go to protests and meetings, we also sing and dance,” freshman organizer Stefanie Fisher said.
The performance featured folk-singer Stephan Smith, who will launch his national anti-war movement tour Monday.
Fisher said that while the low turnout for the event was disappointing, it was a last minute event thrown together after the group heard Smith would be in town.
Smith will give 25 performances in 20 days while promoting the release of his new CD, The Bell.
“I am an American, but I also have family in Baghdad and they are going to get carbon bombed if this war happens,” Smith sang. “Business runs this country and we can change that. We could be the first generation to do it right, to live equally.”
Smith is scheduled to go on tour with the Dave Matthews Band later in the spring.
In addition to Smith, GW senior Kate Herring performed.
“All forms of art are important to social movement,” Herring said. “But music is especially important in the spread of peace because everyone has a voice.”
SAWI formed on Sept. 9 this year. Now with almost 300 members, students said they hope to make a statement with their presence.
Last month the group hosted an East Coast Campus Anti-War Network meeting which included representatives from 57 colleges and universities throughout the country prior to the national rally on the Mall.
Although they had organized a bus trip to anti-war protests in New York City next weekend, members said they will not be able to attend the event as a group due to financial costs and permits from GW.
“Although we will not be able to go on a bus up to New York, we will still make a presence at the event,” Fisher said.
She said the group plans to take vans into New York and encourages all students interested to take the bus and join people from all over the country to protest war Saturday.
This week, members of SAWI will table at J Street with anti-war fliers and mail one half a cup of rice to President George W. Bush – a flashback to anti-war tactics used during the Vietnam War, when rice was mailed to President Dwight D. Eisenhower reinforcing feeding people instead of military action.