“We’re getting a huge response,” said HIPJ member Paul G. Dexter ’04, who said that yesterday’s rally was larger than a similar event held in October.
And with some students missing class to attend yesterday’s event, the rally might also serve as a gauge for the HIPJ-organized walkout scheduled for the first weekday after the war begins.
So far more than 800 students and faculty have signed an online pledge to walk out of class on that day.
“To be honest, I do feel like most students have made up their minds [about the war],” said Jessica L. Diaz ’05, vice president of the College Democrats, “but this rally will help to mobilize those who are already opposed.”
“I thought I’d learn more about moral reasoning from this than from class,” said Sophie L. Gonick ’05, who skipped out on Moral Reasoning 54, ‘“If There is No God, All is Permitted’: Theism and Moral Reasoning.”
Some students said they felt that while the war may already be a foregone conclusion, the rally was still useful.
“We’re going to war no matter what,” Scott F. Goldman ’04 said. “But that’s even more reason to come to these things and ask important questions.”
He said students deserved to have their questions about the war answered by the Bush administration.
“Why Iraq? Why now? And where is bin Laden? There are bigger fish to fry but we are being dragged into this war,” Goldman said.
The crowd dispersed at about 1:45 p.m. and was encouraged by HIPJ to move on to Harvard Square to distribute information and to participate in a protest along Mass. Ave. this Saturday at 10 a.m.
Along with HIPJ, the event was co-sponsored by the Progressive Student Labor Movement (PSLM), Harvard Islamic Society, Harvard Society of Arab Students, Harvard Friends of Amnesty International, Harvard College Democrats and the Shura Islamic Forum.
—Staff writer Margaretta E. Homsey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.