INSIDE Chico State
0 February 27, 2003
Volume 33 Number 11
  A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
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Camping for Peace

More than 20 tents and 40 campers took up residence in the Free Speech Area by the end of the first week.

On Thursday, Feb.13, the fourth day of the peace camp, spirits remained high in spite of the rain and early-morning harassment by patrons straight from closing bars. The campers had originally intended to stay for as long as it took to accomplish their aims of getting other campuses involved and preventing a war with Iraq. On Thursday, Feb. 20, the group converted the camp into a peace vigil. Several of the campers are traveling to Chicago to a national campus peace conference.

Rhonda Pearson, Progressive Student Union, talks with other campers outside a dome erected on the second day of the antiwar with Iraq camp-out.

Rhonda Pearson, Progressive Student Union, talks with other campers outside a dome erected on the second day of the antiwar with Iraq camp-out. More than 20 tents and 40 campers took up residence in the Free Speech Area by the end of the first week.

Comments from campers Rhonda Pearson, president of the Progressive Student Union (PSU), and Sean Kennedy on the fourth day of the camp follow:

On passers-by
Rhonda: “We had people bring us hot cider and rice pudding … we’ve also had donations of rotten eggs. We experience aggression between one and three in the morning, when the bars are closing. We’ve definitely gotten more support [as the week progressed]—people have brought us treats, blankets, and we’ve gotten more praise.”

Sean: “People are yelling at the top of their lungs. Last night they were going by and kicking the tents and signs. They were very intoxicated. They kicked my tent violently, very close to my head. … I’m worried about the aggression intensifying between Thursday and Saturday, because of the bars. Why are people so angry?”

Rhonda: “People are feeling confused. They’re uninformed and uneducated. They don’t know what to think. They take their fear and turn it into aggression. We take our fear and turn it into positive action. This is the most serious issue … people are resisting the war in every way they can.”

The rain
Rhonda: “Our signs are getting wet. People woke up wet, and they had to go home and change.

I think about the Iraqi children and what they are preparing for … sleeping in the rain is a good sacrifice I’m willing to make for democracy.

Collage for No More War at Tent City

The PSU has asked the Associated Student government to review a resolution that urges President Bush to ‘neither unilaterally nor preemptively start a war with Iraq.’ The PSU hopes the resolution can be brought before the general student body on a ballot.”

Kathleen McPartland with Lisa Kirk

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