Letter to the Editor
Student protesters explain their actions
Dear Editor and Readers:
Some of you may have been wondering what all of the leaflets, posters, and talk about "No business as usual" is all about. Here is the real story from those of us who were there.
NBAU was a day of national action to protest the arms race, war preparations, and US sponsored massacres and invasions throughout the third world. The main focus of the day's activities was on preventing World War III--no matter what it takes.
Armageddon-bound America did not begin its usual Monday morning activities in quite the same routine way on Monday, April 29, 1985, and neither did 11 Maine South students. We chose to miss one day of trivialities such as, "Who are you going to the prom with?" and "Did you get kicked out of the library?" We decided that there was something more important that we could do on that day.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at central locations to chant sarcastically, "Join the Army, learn to obey, kill and die for the USA!" On the way to listen to speeches at a rally at the Post Office at Federal Center, we chanted, "Sick of waiting, let's register; we want World War III to occur!" Then, when refused admission to the Post Office, hundreds fell to their knees and shouted, "We want to register, we want to die!"
The local demonstration was a single part of a much bigger effort. Rallies and die-ins took place at Northwestern University, University of Chicago, U of I Medical Center, Loyola University, and dozens of high schools throughout the city and suburbs. At Lincoln Park high school at precisely 11 AM, over 300 students and faculty members stopped whatever they were doing and "died-in," that is, they lay down, feigning death to portray the results of radioactive fallout from a nuclear war. On the national level, major actions took place in San Francisco, New York, Cleveland, Atlanta, and many other cities and universities throughout the nation.
You've also probably heard stories about the arrests and extremely unfriendly police response to the demonstration. Well, the stories are true. At least 37 protesters were arrested in the Loop including three Maine South students, one of whom escaped from a paddy wagon before arriving at the police station at 11th and State. Two individuals received hospital treatment because of police handling. According to Peter, Student Council President of Maine South, Class of 1978, and an organizer of NBAU, "The brutal police response towards the demonstrators shows how seriously the authorities take this type of real resistance as they protest the war machine as it prepares for World War III." Peter also added that he feels that NBAU day was a definite success.
And so did we.
Perhaps you are thinking that none of this pertains to you personally. If you are not an inhabitant of the planet earth, you're right. Otherwise, face the facts; in a nuclear war we are all losers. And if you feel that this is too remote for you to think about, we urge you to think again. Even our president Ronald Reagan has said, "Man has used every weapon he has ever devised ... It takes no crystal ball to perceive that a nuclear war is likely sooner or later."
Face it, our leaders refuse to stop this suicidal race, so we must join together to put an end to this madness before it puts an end to us. NBAU day was the beginning. Join the resistance and get involved, for what we cannot do alone we can do together.
What's the future?
Third World War!
The day after--
Or the day before?
Tom, Ashley, Shelley, Diana, Scott, Andy, Joy, Beth, Scott, John, Chris