Anti-war movement does, in fact, exist

Pat Sewell and Pat Sewell

This is a response to the curious question posed by The BG News. Thursday, December 6, the majority of The BG News editorial board was wondering, “Where is the anti-war movement?” In fact, according to the majority of the board, “If it (the anti-war movement) exists, it doesn’t seem prevalent on college campuses …”

Maybe The BG News could ask students who have class outside of the Education building, because every single day peace activists can be seen holding signs declaring a “Stand for Peace.” Why, a couple of times there have even been drum circle rallies with speakers, and in fact one of these rallies got coverage by WBGU and the Sentinel Tribune. If The BG news is still unconvinced that there is a peace movement, they could talk to The Journal, a local television show that interviewed two of the peace activists from campus. Or maybe, one of the editorial board members might just stroll down Thurstin and see a giant banner draped in front of the United Christian Fellowship church that proclaims “Not In Our Names” and coincidentally holds a dinner every Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. that focuses on alternatives to war. But if all of these things don’t really constitute an anti-war movement, then The BG News might look beyond campus and take note that 100,000 anti-war protesters marched in London last month.

Or maybe, just maybe, The BG News could take a look at its own publication. Besides the numerous letters to the editor that have been written (some published, some not), there was also some coverage of a peace rally that I believe made the front page (Oct. 15). Come to think of it, there was even two half page ads in the good ol’ BG News that declared “Not In Our Names” and had a list of those opposed to military aggression. Why, The BG News made money off of the anti-war movement that quite clearly does not exist on our campus!

So it seems quite curious that The BG News could possibly wonder where the anti-war movement is. It might be that this is a symptom of a volunteer-run newspaper; when trying to keep up with school work as well as the newspaper the staff is bound to overlook some things. But I cannot excuse this particular opinion article, because I find it to be a bit more insidious than a trivial oversight. The peace movement has not simply been discredited, it has been outright silenced. For when a news board refuses to even acknowledge an alternative opinion, that opinion is squashed under a banner of denial. So the voices of peace are not heard? Not because we are doubted, not because our evidence is lacking, not because we are small in number. We are not heard because those who control the media have declared we do not exist; and I cannot help but feel that with this denial the tiniest piece of our freedom of speech has been extinguished.

We do exist. We are here. And it only makes me think how true our criticism must be if the cries of dissent are not even answered, but merely silenced.