Following half a quarter of planning, the UC Irvine Worker-Student Alliance, Muslim Student Union, Students for Peace and Justice and Amnesty International unveiled a series of events entitled “Gears of War” in response to the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Eight events were held at various locations on the UCI campus, which lasted from March 3 through 6.
Outside of the primary emphasis on the war in Iraq, a number of related topics were also addressed, such as perceived United States imperialism, voting and gender equality. These issues were presented to the community through documentary screenings, various speakers and panel discussions. Each day featured two events, one held at noon and another in the evening.
The first screening of the series was held on Monday with ‘Sir! No Sir!’ a documentary which focuses on soldiers of the 1960s protesting against the Vietnam War. The documentary functioned as a way for students to relate a historical movement to the current youth movement against the United States’ involvement in Iraq.
On Tuesday, UCI anthropology professor Sheila O’Rourke gave a presentation about unequal gender practices that are ingrained into society and how male domination of women has allowed the U.S. government to exploit female labor for profit. This, to some extent, tied into Tuesday’s second event that dealt with exploitation of the Middle East.
Imam Muhammad Al-Asi, the former Imam of the Islamic Center of Washington, and Dick Platkin, a member of the group Los Angeles Jews for Peace, served as the speakers for this event. Both were critical of the U.S. involvement in the Middle East as well as the submission of Arab nations in the face of American forces.
‘Any observer of these governments only for a short period of time will begin to realize