Monday, March 19, 2007

FROM THE FRONTLINE: A conscientious student's reflection

NOTE: This entry was sent to me from one of my former students--AR--who currently attends UCONN and who was at the Peace Rally in Hartford on Saturday. A huge thanks to AR for being more than 1% more conscious and for making some of his former teachers very proud; may the force be with him.
I participated in the Peace Rally in Hartford on March 17th. The emotions were high as some notable speakers such as Rosa DeLauro, John Larson, Susan Bysiewicz, and others spoke out against Bush and his war, demanding its end. It was a very powerful demonstration until the end when everyone quietly left. I was amazed to see that it was us students who decided to take action without major support from the adults. In moments we were organizing a march among different student organizations from across the state. This was what was needed, a true peaceful demonstration around the city to spread our word of Peace. Despite such peaceful intentions, police arrested one of our fellow protestors for beginning to lead the march. Soon after the arrest, the number of student protesters dropped tremendously. I cannot blame them completely, for I am sure none of them have ever faced jail before. However, several other students and I were outraged by this unconstitutional act and decided to march from the Old State Building to Police Headquarters where he was being held. There were 8 marchers and 15 more students drove to meet us there where we protested until our friend was released. During this period I could not help but feeling angry, scared, amazed, and sad. I was angry that our friend was arrested. I was scared that even I might be arrested. I was amazed that the police would go as far as they did. But mostly I was sad. I felt sorrow for our friend, but I felt more sorrow for our country. Our Bill of Rights is under attack. We are slowly becoming like the very enemy our forefathers fought. What has America come to if innocent students and others cannot express their first amendment right to peacefully protest the government? What is American when we need permission to use our rights? How can democracy survive if we cannot exercise the rights that make our democracy and the rights that made this country great? This country is turning into hypocrisy and slowly it is turning away from democracy. Our right to protest the government is what gave the people power. The government of the people, by the people, and for the people is what makes our democracy like no other. Without our right to protest, we have no power, and if the people have no power, we have no democracy. These are sad times for our country. I hope people realize these injustices and act before it is too late.

1 comment:

Femme Fatale said...

Preach on Brother Ninja! (AR)

That is a horrible display on the part of the police. I can say that I am all what you said plus embarrassed that I live in the same country as these dolts (pun intended - see previous blog post here)

Please keep the faith and know those of us back home support you ... and have bail money