Pacifist student speaks out

Marching alongside black-clad anarchists, puppet-wielding pacifists and disillusioned veterans, freshman Jamie Holbrook is just another face in the anti-war crowd.

Articulate and soft-spoken, Holbrook flashed a peace sign as the group wound around the streets of northwest D.C. The freshman from Pepperal, Mass., was one of a handful of GW students who marched in protest of the war in Iraq Saturday.

“I have been against war in Iraq but didn’t have anything I could do about it,” Holbrook said.

Studying at a small New England prep school, Holbrook had few outlets for social activism. Since coming to GW in the fall, she has embraced the activist community.

Despite limited action in her high school, Holbrook said her family has been supportive of her activism.

“I think they are proud of me for doing this,” she said.

A member of Students Against the War in Iraq at GW, Holbrook said she works with a national organization, the Campus Antiwar Network, in organizing groups for protests and other national activities.

Holbrook said the organization has helped connect students in protest at universities across the country this weekend, including a march in Oakland, Calif., and one in Chicago.

While Holbrook said she was surprised by the turnout at this weekend’s protest, she said even with the war seemingly over, the opposition to U.S. foreign policy remains strong.

“I want (President Bush) to stop ignoring people who oppose this war,” Holbrook said, echoing the frequent refrain of the anti-war movement. “We need to focus on domestic issues.”

A pacifist, she criticized the use of military force as unjust.

“We don’t want death,” she said. “We don’t want death for no reason.”

A neophyte in the antiwar movement, Holbrook said she has taken any opportunity to get involved, marching in protests and organizing events throughout the semester.

Holbrook also said she is working with others to create a new student group fighting for the rights of Palestinian civilians in the Middle East.

“I have nothing against Israel,” Holbrook said. “Just against the things they have done.”

Holbrook is optimistic about her future as an activist and the causes for which she works.

“I don’t see how anyone cannot hear this,” she said, while marching in the weekend’s anti-war demonstrations. “People have to listen.”

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