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Anti-War Activists Fail to Win Wide Support on Campus

Nationwide activists and journalists are comparing the student opposition movement against war in Iraq to the anti-Vietnam war movement of the 1960s.
Anti-war Activists Fail to Win Wide Support on Campus

Nationwide activists and journalists are comparing the student opposition movement against war in Iraq to the anti-Vietnam war movement of the 1960s. Though many campuses have anti-war activist groups, they have failed to motivate a large number of their peers. Some students say that after September 11th the country as a whole is more united behind the president, and less likely to protest the government's decisions. Others say that students feel less of a personal stake in a possible war in Iraq than young people did in the Vietnam era. Thus far, there is no war, no bodies coming home, no televised scenes of violence, and no draft. During Vietnam students faced a real prospect of being sent to die in the war, but the draft ended in 1973. Some former activists from the 1960s, however, believe today's student activists are more prepared at this stage than their counterparts were in the months leading up to Vietnam. Many student activists have experience in the anti-globalization movement, and are skilled in organizing protests. Their radicalism and political engagement however, has not yet spread to a majority of their peers on campus.

"The war hasn't started. We have a volunteer Army. It's not quite real yet," said Arthur Levine, president of Teachers College, who researches student attitudes. "There is
no indication that it is resonating with a wider audience."

The article, entitled "Specter of war treads lightly on campus" appeared in the November 24th edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Published Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2002

Anti-War Activists Fail to Win Wide Support on Campus

Anti-war Activists Fail to Win Wide Support on Campus

Nationwide activists and journalists are comparing the student opposition movement against war in Iraq to the anti-Vietnam war movement of the 1960s. Though many campuses have anti-war activist groups, they have failed to motivate a large number of their peers. Some students say that after September 11th the country as a whole is more united behind the president, and less likely to protest the government's decisions. Others say that students feel less of a personal stake in a possible war in Iraq than young people did in the Vietnam era. Thus far, there is no war, no bodies coming home, no televised scenes of violence, and no draft. During Vietnam students faced a real prospect of being sent to die in the war, but the draft ended in 1973. Some former activists from the 1960s, however, believe today's student activists are more prepared at this stage than their counterparts were in the months leading up to Vietnam. Many student activists have experience in the anti-globalization movement, and are skilled in organizing protests. Their radicalism and political engagement however, has not yet spread to a majority of their peers on campus.

"The war hasn't started. We have a volunteer Army. It's not quite real yet," said Arthur Levine, president of Teachers College, who researches student attitudes. "There is
no indication that it is resonating with a wider audience."

The article, entitled "Specter of war treads lightly on campus" appeared in the November 24th edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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