The SF Youth Commission in opposition to the war on Iraq


root - Posted on 16 December 2003

by Alex Cuff, Newsbrief Editor

From the San Francisco Youth Commission

The San Francisco Youth Commission is in opposition to the war on Iraq . We believe that peaceful solutions are always the best way to
solve a conflict, whether it be in a fight between friends, a domestic violence situation or in conflict with another country. Innocent people will
die in this war for which there was seemingly no provocation. By ignoring the largest peace movement in the history of the world, our
government has decided to use our young people to play police of the world, a job that they neither signed up for nor are prepared to play.

We as the Youth Commission are in a better position than any other governmental body to relate to and feel compassion for the troops
fighting in Iraq . They are our contemporaries, our peers, and our friends. The Youth Commission fully supports our troops by demanding
that they be taken from harms way immediately. There is no reason that Iraqi and US youth should be killing each other; not for oil, not for
pride, and not for revenge.

We are proud to see the millions of youth around the world participate and lead the anti-war movement. As youth, we must create the vision
for what we want to see happen in our society. With our combined hope, vision, and other talents, we are unstoppable. We know that
throughout history youth have always been at the frontlines of making social change happen. In the late 1960s, young people organized when
they saw their friends, their brothers, their husbands and their boyfriends being sent overseas to fight in the Vietnam War, a conflict that many
of them did not understand or support. Today our young people carry on that tradition by volunteering in higher numbers than in any
previous generation.
We are out protesting more than our parents, the baby-boomer generation, did. We are crafting a vision of a world where resources are spent
on education, healthcare and housing, not on military action that results in death and destruction. Students have organized demonstrations
against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq , including students at Hampshire College who passed a resolution condemning the civilian death toll
in the war on terrorism. More than ever before, we as young people are demanding that our voice be heard. We refuse to stay silent while our
contemporaries are being ordered to attack a country in which 50% (9 million people) of the population is under 17 years of age.

As Ghandi said "Strength does not come from physical capacity." Our greatest leaders, the people who have helped our society takes leaps in
moral sobriety have been peaceful. People such as Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and Henry Thoreau have strengthened our social
consciousness and made the world better without relying on physical force, by instead letting their strength manifest itself in the power of
conviction and an unwillingness to stoop to the level of violence. Our strength and courage as a nation does not come from killing, it comes
from our kindness, love, and our compassion.

The Youth Commission hopes that our congressional leaders and the president will reconsider the implications of this war and stop the
invasion of Iraq before more blood is needlessly shed. We pray for the lives of all the participants in this war, whether they be combatant,
civilian, American or Iraqi.

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