Youth Speak Out Against War, Recruitment

By David Walsh

Some 85 students opposed to the war and disturbed by the general direction of American life occupied Boulder High School in Colorado Nov. 4, before peacefully leaving the next morning.

The students told reporters they were disgusted with the Bush administration’s policies, particularly the war on Iraq, the national debt, the environment, military recruitment in the schools, and the possible return of the draft.

The students, who belong to the “Student Worker” group at the school, asked to see representatives of Congressman Mark Udall and Senator-Elect Ken Salazar, both Democrats. They also insisted on seeing Republican representatives.

The protesters told the media the action had been planned before the election. They had brought sleeping bags and clothes to last through the weekend.

Clearly, however, the election results deepened their anger and anxiety. Brian Martens, a high school senior, told reporters, “We want them to reassure us that our fears are misguided and that the government is doing everything in its power to prevent our futures from being destroyed.”

“We’re protesting our futures, or lack thereof,” said Travis Moe, another senior.

Seven Rostovsky said the protest was meant to get adults to listen to students’ opinions “by letting people know that adolescents are there and by saying, ‘We’re not going to take this.’ We want a voice, too. We want a place in this democracy.. . . We should have a say.”

“We are the generation that will have to take on and suffer from the burden,” senior Cameron Ely-Murdock told the Associated Press. “We’re worried that in four years we’re going to be at war with five countries and we’re going to have no trees. I know that’s an extreme position, but I’m really worried about the draft.”

A longer version of this article appears at the World Socialist Web Site,