Student rally raises voices against war
City Councilman Angel Ortiz, center, with bullhorn, talks to a crowd protesting a possible war against Iraq. College and high school students walked out of class to take part in the rally, part of a national student organized day of protest. Inquirer photos by John Costello
Echoing tactics from antiwar protests from the Vietnam era, hundreds of high school and college students throughout the region today walked out of classes and converged on City Hall to protest a war with Iraq.
About 600 students participated in the march and rally, and for at least three hours a smaller group sat in the middle of Broad Street north of City Hall, snarling the evening rush hour traffic.
Five Temple University students handcuffed themselves to the front door of the Armed Services Recruiting Office at the corner of Broad and Cherry Streets.
At Swarthmore College, many students stood during classes to show opposition to the Bush administration's plans for war.
The Philadelphia rally was part of a larger national student-organized day of protest against a war, as students at some 300 schools across the country, from Chicago to San Antonio, walked out of classes, set up tent cities and rallied in downtown areas. In Los Angeles, police arrested 19, including nuns and priests, who held hands and blocked an intersection.
About 1,500 protesters - and several Bush supporters - gathered at Pennsylvania State University. Thousands also rallied for peace in Britain, Sweden, Spain, Australia and elsewhere.
In Philadelphia, students from the University of Pennsylvania, Temple, the University of the Arts and other colleges listened to speakers and danced to 1960's-vintage anti-war music, including Edwin Starr's song "War." Students from William Penn High School, Girls High and Masterman Middle School also attended.