Students fast in protest

A group of 10 to 15 students are currently fasting to show their opposition to a war in Iraq.

They had their final meal together on Tuesday and will consume only fruit and vegetable juices for three days.

During that time they will hold meditations in front of the university center today and Friday at noon.

“A fast is a very meditative act,” said Cameron Cochran, a junior history/Secondary Education, Social Studies major, who is participating in the fast.

Cochran said he opposes a war with Iraq because it would represent a situation where the United States initiated a preemptive strike.

He said the policy is dangerous because it says that if a country is a threat then the United States would cripple them.

“In this case, crippling them would devastate Iraq,” Cochran said.

Both he and his wife have been part of peace demonstrations elsewhere including last month when 700 people packed Fountain Square in Cincinnati to protest a war in Iraq.

He said he hopes that the combination of a fast and meditation will appeal to other students to join the group in thinking about peace, no matter what their position on a war with Iraq.

“When you go out and you demonstrate it sometimes has a negative effect on people who disagree with you,” he said.

“Hopefully people will see us and feel they can talk to us.”

This latest action in opposition to a war with Iraq comes at a time when student and faculty activism seem to be gaining momentum.

On Feb. 13, three faculty members from the Literature and Language department sponsored a Poetry Against War event on campus. This Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., NKU Students For Peace will sponsor a lecture from a panel of anti-war professors in the UC Ballroom. The lecture will be followed by a question and answer session. Students For Peace is planning future events.

The Feb. 20 meeting of the Society of Objective Individuals political discussion group addressed the many forms of anti-war protests. The discussion was billed as “Are Anti-War Protesters Anti-American?”

The consensus was that U.S. anti- war protesters were not anti-American.

At the meeting, SOI President Rebecca Bustos said that protesters and demonstrations are the “paradigm of Americanism”. She said that protesters are entitled to their pacifist views that “have nothing to do with being anti-American,” but she is wary that protests are used by liberals to attack the Bush administration.

College Republicans President Noah Meeks agreed.

“We should keep in mind that we’ve elected our leaders and should hold them in high respect for the office they hold,” he said. Meeks said he felt that for protesters not to respect their leaders is unpatriotic.

Junior Clara Matonhodze said she believed that protesting is a valid way of holding the government accountable.

Sophomore ROTC cadet Ned Jansen discussed how anti-war demonstrations have changed from the Vietnam era. He said the part of the anti-war movement that demoralized soldiers as “baby killers” is dead. He hoped that protesters continue to be respectful and not be anti-troops. He said U.S. soldiers are just doing their jobs and defending Americans.

Jansen echoed Vietnam Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, who was portrayed by Mel Gibson in the movie “We Were Soliders.”

“All of the rights we have do not come from anywhere but the soldier,” he said. “We need to support our soldiers.”