Letter: Anti-war rallying cry

October 26, 2001

In response to events of September 11, a small group of us at the University of Southampton organised a "teach-in" for the first day of term.

The response from students, staff and the local community made us aware that we have a role in building a strong voice opposed to the war. Some of our personal resources must be committed to linking to the broader anti-war movement, but there is also a need for a broader dissenting network-cum-coalition within universities and colleges. We have no plan as to how we propose to do this. Nor do we want to lead it. All we want in the first instance is to make some links.

We are sure that there are other university people out there who are as opposed as we are to military action and would like to do something to influence our government away from a strategy that is counterproductive and anti-humanitarian.

We are also sure that many share our frustration at the narrow analysis that turns complex historical and political circumstances into a simplistic game of "good" versus "evil" and "us" versus "them".

For many years, our voice has not been heard in the corridors of power. We feel that if ever there was a time to stand together and lend our weight against a flawed judgement bordering on insanity, it is now. Together we can speak with a voice that the government cannot simply ignore.

We would like to hear from others who might want to join us. Our provisional contact is ml1@soton.ac.uk.

Tony Campbell

School of Modern Languages

University of Southampton

Phil Chokeword, Student

Elizabeth Dore

School of Modern Languages

Peter Figueroa

Emeritus professor, Research and Graduate School of Education

Carrie Hamilton

School of Modern Languages

Andrew Harmer

Department of politics

Karen Leimdorfer

School of Modern Languages

Mark Levene

Department of history

Rose Lindsey, Alumna

Katharine MacDonald

Department of archaeology

David J. Smith

Department of physics

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