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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Letter to the Editor: Iraq Rally’s Organizer Responds


As one of the organizers of Tuesday’s anti-war protest outside the Union, I want to say how pleased all of us were both with the turnout and with The Chronicle’s Wednesday editorial, “Democracy Finally Comes to U Campus,” praising student participation during such an important time for the fate of ourselves, our nation and our Earth. The coverage we received from various media sources was more than any of us had hoped for, and we are glad to see that so many students had similar views.

I will briefly take issue with Bart Gatrell’s column printed on the same day, “Slogans Don’t Make Good Arguments,” in order to contextualize my own argument.

The triumph of protest is the notion that democracy still can be effective. By denouncing our gathering yesterday as a “fiasco” put on by a bunch of “uninformed” students lacking “logical arguments,” Bart reminded me of the sad state youth movements find themselves in today. Democracy is under attack as we feel alienated from a political system that it is increasingly difficult to believe actually represents us. We are convinced that we are stuck in a political arena devoid of any agents capable of fighting for meaningful and significant change.

I believe Gatrell’s derisions are symptomatic of the cynicism that is so pervasive today. I found myself using guerrilla tactics to simply get attention for our cause. Putting fliers on top of people’s mouse pads in the computer center, placing them on their books and folders in the library and laying them next to their coffee mugs in the Union–these are the strategies we had to employ to get people out.

Dialogue is central to what makes a healthy democracy function. Even the opinion piece attacking our rally is part of the dialogue stimulated by the rally itself. So even if it’s a small drop in a bucket, we are thrilled with Tuesday’s successful turnout and are more than thankful for all of those who helped incite a much-needed debate on campus about what we see as an imperialist, aggressive and harmful United States foreign policy driven by a desire for material accumulation and global domination.

David Toumajian

Graduate Student, Business Administration

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