Thursday morning was an unusual one for Karen Medina, graduate student in library and information sciences. Instead of studying for exams or sitting in class, she was chalking body outlines on the Quad.
Medina and dozens of other anti-war activists took to the streets Thursday morning to stage a march and “die-in” protest as a way of demonstrating their discontent with the upcoming fifth anniversary of the Iraq war.
“We’re calling it a ‘condemoration’ because we’re both condemning and commemorating the war,” Medina said.
The two-hour event was organized primarily by the Campus Greens and University chapter of the Campus Antiwar Network.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, Students for Justice in Palestine, Champaign-Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice and the College Democrats co-sponsored the event.
The cooperation of the groups was a large part of the morning’s success, said Jeremy Polacek, senior in LAS. “We (Campus Antiwar Network) don’t have a monopoly on the anti-war effort by any means,” he said. “The collaboration of these groups was really important.”
The demonstration began at roughly 11 a.m. Activists gathered to chant anti-war slogans before marching down Green Street to Fifth Street and then back around the Quad.
Many held signs condemning the war as others provided vocal support for the cause.
“This war has been going on for five years now, and, at this point, most people are against it,” said Mark Mallon, junior in LAS. “We need to stop spending billions of dollars on this illegal and immoral war.”