Led by the Solidarity Committee, Georgetown students will participate with thousands of people in the nation’s capital this weekend in a series of events aimed at highlighting peaceful means to resolve global conflict.

Although the events were planned to coincide with the meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, recent terrorist attacks and the subsequent cancelation of the meetings pushed organizers to change the focus of the events to fit what they call “a changed local and global reality.”

The events, which include a teach-in, march, panel and workshops, focus on the importance of avoiding war and the loss of innocent lives in the face of recent violence and racism.

Professors from American University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are among those to speak about the significance of global peace and justice. A march intended to promote civil liberties will take place in front of the White House Saturday.

“We’re planning on attending some of the educational events,” GSC President Vanessa Waldref (COL ’02) said.

The events’ sudden reorganization has also changed GSC’s plans to house George Washington University students during the weekend. The university had originally planned to cancel classes and construct a security wall but has instead decided to implement a weekend liberal leave policy.

“We’re still planning on housing students who are coming from out of the area though,” Waldref said. Activists from Oberlin and Notre Dame colleges are among those anticipated to attend.

Chief Organizer of GSC Andrew Milmore (COL ’02) said it is still difficult to predict how many students will be housed in university dorms, apartments and houses.

“We don’t know yet but it could be anywhere from five to 100 students,” Milmore said.

Last Thursday, GSC students met with Associate Dean for Student Affairs Bethany Marlowe and Vice President for Student Affairs Juan C. Gonzalez to discuss the regulations behind guest housing procedures.

“They had some concerns but we just told them we want to follow the normal visitation rules,” Milmore said.

He added that concern was expressed over housing students that could potentially participate in protests.

“They are just like any other students who would come to visit,” Milmore added. “It is as simple as they don’t have anywhere else to stay.”

During the Spring 2000 World Bank and IMF meetings, which attracted tens of thousands of protestors to the capital, GSC members housed approximately 100 students including those from Boston University and the University of Massachusetts.

The purpose of the rally was to encourage the IMF and World Bank to reduce debts incurred by 41 heavily- indebted poor countries.

While this year’s meetings were highly anticipated by activists, GSC members said they are eager to participate in the reorganized events.

“By attending we’re hoping to mobilize around the issues of peace and alternative options to [violent U.S. action],” Waldref said.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.