US law students make stand against the war

Law students in California have taken out a full-page advert in The New York Times as part of a campaign against the Bush administration’s war on terror.

Around 300 students from eight law schools contributed towards the cost of the advert, which appeared on 13 Feb-ruary and cost more than $18,000 (11,400) to produce. Michael Froehlich, a third-year law student from the University of California at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, said that the advert was an announcement that law students “do not want to have to clear up this mess tomorrow”.

He said: “As law students, we take seriously our responsibility to foster just and peaceful societies. We value the princ-iples underlying our consti-tutional, civil and human rights. We apply them in our clinical work. As such, we can’t stand behind a boundless war on terrorism that erodes civil liberties, undermines international institutions and wreaks havoc in communities here and abroad.”

The advert is part of a larger campaign to voice the dissent law students feel about the war, which has also included lectures, immigration law clinics, marches and a letter-writing campaign.

In the advert and an accompanying position statement, the Californian students make their feelings clear. “Tomorrow’s lawmakers shouldn’t have to answer for today’s misdeeds,” the strapline reads.

Froehlich said that law students in Florida, Boston and New York are also considering taking out anti-war adverts in national newspapers and he hoped the united stand would galvanise the rest of the legal profession into action. “We’ve received emails from non-lawyers and law students wondering why the legal community had not spoken up about this war and thanking us for taking a stand.” He added: “We do believe that law students have a unique voice in voicing dissent. Many, many community members have supported our campaign, but we believe that the message can most clearly be expressed if it comes exclusively from law students.”

To find out more about the campaign go to: www.wake