A while ago (1:30 p.m., to be exact), a student-led walkout (where anyone participating left the class they had at that time) protesting the Iraq war began. There’s been a lot of debate around campus as to the validity of such a demonstration, whether it’s appropriate to walk out on class, etc.  A lot of the opposition I’ve seen has, unsurprisingly, been from conservatives voicing their opinions through the Targum, saying it’s disrespectful to be walking out, calculating that you waste x amount of money by missing x amount of class time, etc., without ever totally admitting, “I’m trying to not sound like this is politically motivated, but I’m really saying all this because I disagree with their politics.” While I would think that this type of debate is what the organizers of this event had in mind, what it has already done is all it is likely to accomplish, and in the end, I have a feeling its impact will have been minimal.

One of the purposes of this whole thing was for people to show they are opposed to this war. However, this is hardly news. Plenty of people are opposed to this war, and everybody knows it. A demonstration like this isn’t really going to raise awareness. It’s common knowledge that the U.S. is prominently involved in a highly controversial war in Iraq. It is honestly inescapable to anyone in civilization; at this point, it’s harder to NOT know that than it is to know.

Also, it’s not like anyone in power in Washington is going to hear about this protest and say, “Well…that changes everything. We’re bringing ’em home!” WhileI wouldn’t imagine anyone participating is necessarily expecting that reaction, is that not the ultimate goal of these people – help bring about an end to the war? I just don’t think this will make it happen. As far as I can tell, there is a suspect – at best – chance that anyone with any influence on U.S. policy will even know this walkout ever took place, and if and when this theoretical person heard about it, they would most likly shrug it off, and not really care.

That leaves us with another possibility – that, above all else, this walkout is a group of college students more or less saying, “Hey, look at us, we’re taking a stand because that’s what concerned students do!” Minds are unlikely to be changed; we’ve seen that. Those who agree will still agree, and those who don’t still won’t. It’s simply a chance for people to parade their views, so let them do it, I guess. They’re allowed to, and it won’t really be affecting anyone (even though they want it to).