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Student Protests and Virtual Marches

On March 5, the Books Not Bombs rallies motivated students from over 360 high schools and colleges across the United States to walk out of class in protest of a potential war in Iraq. These protests came soon after a "virtual march" organized by the Win Without War Coalition, which attempted to unify willing protesters from across the US using the Internet. An estimate of 400,000 telephone calls, as well as 100,000 faxes and numerous emails, flooded Senate, White House, and other government offices, where inundated staff members had difficulty conducting normal communication. Also, earlier this week, on a related note, the European Union passed laws "intended to deter computer hacking and the spreading of computer viruses." Yet, according to legal experts, the law could "criminalize" anyone in the European Union that were to conduct a "virtual march" like the one organized in the US. The laws attempt to limit "illegal access to, and illegal interference with an information system" and call for prison terms of at least two years in some cases.

Offered by, the first site is an account of the student walk-outs that occurred throughout the entire US. The second and third sites are articles on the "virtual march" on Washington. The next two articles concern the new European Union laws passed earlier this week, as well as their relevance to potential virtual protests in European Union countries. The National Youth and Student Peace Coalition Web site offers information about the student walk-outs, while the Win Without War Web site might give insight into how the virtual protests were organized. Finally, an article from The Guardian discusses other arenas of protest on the Web.

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Date Issued 2003
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication 2003-03-07
Archived Scout Publication URL

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