Anti-War Walkout at U.C. Berkeley
Students, Faculty, Staff Speak Out Against Bombing in Afghanistan

Monday, October 8th
12pm Walkout and Rally
Sproul Plaza, U.C. Berkeley

For more information, contact the coalition's spokespersons:
Maryam Gharavi 510-334-6757
Robert Chlala 925-381-4730 (cel)
Hoang Gia Phan 510-847-2503 (cel)

BERKELEY, CA -- Thousands of students, faculty, and staff at the University of California, Berkeley are expected to walk out of their classes and workplaces today in opposition to the bombing that began yesterday in Afghanistan.

The walkout has been called by the Berkeley Stop the War Coalition, the same group that organized a 5,000-person anti-war and anti-racism rally on campus three weeks ago. The coalition's worst fears about the U.S. government's response to the terrorist attacks of September 11th have been realized, said spokesperson Jose Palafox about the reasons for the walkout.

"The bombings in Kabul and other Afghani cities are not going to make anyone safer. They're certainly not going to protect people from terrorism. Already U.S. senators have been telling us to be ready for more terrorist activity in the United States. What then is the point of these attacks against Afghanistan?" explained Palafox.

Members of the Berkeley Stop the War Coalition also spoke out against the bombings because of their likely consequences in Afghanistan.

"Who knows how many thousands of innocent people in Afghanistan are going to pay the price for the actions of a few. Do they really deserve to die because of decisions by a government over which they have no control? Because they happen to be in the same country as Osama bin Laden?" asked Viviane Scott, another coalition spokesperson.

The coalition says that in a worst-case scenario which looks closer and closer to becoming reality, the bombings will inflame anti-U.S. sentiments in Afghanistan and in other countries sympathetic to the plight of the Afghanis. "This sort of response is
completely wrong-headed if the U.S. government wants to reduce support for Osama bin Laden. More likely, these actions will just reproduce a devastating cycle of violence," said organizer Ruth Jennison.

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