UCSB’s Peace Out Week in Review

Last week, UCSB students followed up the widely reported student
strike with an event called Peace Out University. From Tuesday to
Friday, some professors lectured to their classes on the topic of
the war in Iraq, with some even doing so Isla
Vista’s Anisq’Oyo’ Park. They were mostly discussions, open to the
public, and schedules were posted online as well as in the
park.

I got to attend a class on campus called “Social Movements and
Revolutions in the Middle East” with John Foran, a sociology
professor. Usually, this was his cultural studies class; it was
held on my home turf of the Little Old Theater in the College of
Creative Studies building. After introductions, each student from
the class read selections from the book Night Draws Near
by
Anthony Shadid
, highlighting points from the two chapters they
each were assigned. The main focus was on the potential Iraq had
before the war, as characters in the book reminisced about the past
and compared it to the present. Aside from me, one other student
from outside the normal class attended.

I sat in on the beginning of John Foran’s next class,
How To Make Radical Social Change.” Here, no one
came from outside the normal class, perhaps because it wasn’t
posted on any of the schedules with the other sessions. I spoke
with Foran on the walk between classes and found that he admired
the idea of following inaction up with the action of learning, but
he said he thought that it could have been more centralized.

Friday night, February 23, bands played in Anisq’Oyo’ park for
students and coordinators to let off some steam from the past
couple weeks of political activity. Although the night was cold and
hands were even colder, it only made a good excuse to get
closer together and dance
as much as possible, especially
since the kind souls who organized the event worked hard for an
alcohol permit. Oso brought it together, as the trio’s tribal beats
─ reminiscent of Mice Parade ─ were jammed and jazzed out over
funky bass lines and shouting gang vocals. Blues/rock band
Ambidextrous played next, with soulful singing and jam-style songs
that got everyone’s hips moving. Last but certainly not least was
Other Nature who played classic rock songs ranging from blues to
jazz to straight party rock.

It all provided for a great vibe; it was clear that the
encouragement in the atmosphere strengthened the crowd, as in
between bands the microphone was open for anyone to speak their
mind. It felt like a movement. More upcoming events were announced
throughout the show including Critical Mass IV on March
17
, when they plan to collectively ride bikes down
Hollister Avenue all the way to downtown Santa Barbara to join
another group downtown rallying against the war. Updates will be
available online here at SBAntiWar.com and at the
page for the Facebook
club page
dedicated to the effort.

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