Historians Host a Teach-In Protesting War
October 25, 2006 6:13 PM
SF State students, instructors and anti-war groups participated in a six-hour teach-in to express their dissatisfaction with the Bush administration and the course of the Iraq war.
Guest speakers included four SF State history professors, members of Code Pink Women for Peace, and the California Peace Action, as well as more than 30 SF State students expressing opposition to the war.
Marissa Blodnik, 19, expressed feelings of powerlessness over the war in Iraq, and wanted to know how she and others could get involved with the anti-war movement. Blodnik said that she was once a very active and vocal opponent of the war, but became discouraged over the last couple of years by what seemed a hopeless situation.
“I’m trying to get back involved,” said Blodnik, a math major at SF State. “To learn more, educate others, and gain back that power. I wanted to see what these professors and educators think the next best step for the movement is.”
Professor Jules Tygiel, who headed Wednesday’s discussion, said the best way for students to get involved with the anti-war movement is to educate themselves.
“Educate yourself so that you are prepared to go out into the world and speak to people knowledgeably, said Tygiel, who teaches a 20th century U.S. history class at SF State. “We feel somewhat doubly paralyzed in San Francisco because normally we don’t run into people who disagree with us terribly, so that becomes a challenge as well.”
The teach-in was held in room 270 of the science building, and was sponsored by the Historians Against the Iraq War and the College of Behavioral and Social Science. It included four sessions of open discussion on topics like civil liberties, the future of Iraq, and American politics.
“I think that it was just a pretext to control the region,” said Sernas, a history major at SF State, regarding the war in Iraq. “The whole war on terror was an opportunity for the Bush administration to exploit the region for its resources.”
Panelist Laura Wagner, 30, decided to show a scene from season five of the TV show “24,” where a nuclear warhead is stolen and a suspect is taken into custody who is thought to know the whereabouts of the leader of a terrorist organization.
According to Wagner, she wanted people to engage the issue of torture and what they are willing to give up in the name of security.
“We passively accept the messages that we get from television and movies,” said Wagner, a history professor at SF State. “I chose it because it is a very strong exposition of the idea that we need to do what is necessary in order to protect national security. I think were living in an atmosphere where we think there is always a crisis, and that we need to do whatever to combat it.”
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