Students protest war rhetoric on campus, promote peace

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The UVU Peace and Justice Club organized a protest April 13 at UVU.  Members of the club who participated in the protest held signs in the hallways that said, “God bless America Everyone.”

“We are protesting the war rhetoric of political candidates such as Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, as well as the over 20,000 American bombs dropped on Syria last year. This is a place where the peaceful people of Utah will be using their voices,” said Oakley Hill, one of the protest organizers.

The protest was in conjunction with the UVU peace building through the arts class that put on a donation based event, which was sponsored by Summit: The Sustainable Mountain Development and Conflict Transformation Global Database.  The proceeds from the event, which featured a handful of local bands and speakers from UVU, will go to help build wells in Haiti.

“The central message of the God Bless Everyone protest/concert is that everyone is human, and none are inferior…As the world’s only superpower, the United States has more power than its citizens realize. Unfortunately, much of this is used unjustly, and hypocritically,” wrote the event organizers on the God Bless Everyone Facebook page.

The protesters holding signs throughout campus drew the curiosity of students walking through the hall.  Some students stopped to ask questions about the signs, giving the protestors an opportunity to explain the ideology behind the protest, while other students said, “thank you” as the passed by, in response to the “God Bless America Everyone” signs.

“We are protesting American aggression.  We are protesting war.  If you look back and ask five people why we are fighting wars, you’ll get five different answers.  Nobody really knows.  They are not defensive wars.  They are offensive wars.  This is expressed in policy and in action,” said Hill.

The protestors encouraged students to come to the event later that night, and to bring signs.  As part of the protest, along with the event, a photo booth where students and protestors could take a picture of their signs to upload online was available.

According to Hill, the photo booth was meant to take the protest online in order to gain more publicity, and utilize the power of social media.