noise in D.C.
student Aurianna Tuttle, left, McKinney School teacher Aurelia Blake
and YSHS student Matt Wallace spoke with the Rev. Jesse Jackson
before an anti-war rally in Washington, D.C., Saturday, Oct. 26.
By Matt Wallace
Hey Matt, would you like to go to an anti-war march, in Washington,
Sure, why not? I could drive the van down with some friends and
This conversation sparked a chain reaction of random, experimental ideas
about how to manage such a trip. Out of the flames of excitement rose
the first draft of our grand plan.
Four weeks later, while loading two buses, I sensed excitement emanating
like waves from the students. The whole trip down the student bus buzzed
with activities. Each social group sat together while the age groups automatically
organized themselves, youngest in the front and the older participants
toward the back.
As we positioned ourselves to listen to the rallys speakers, some
students had the opportunity to meet, shake hands, and talk with the Rev.
Jesse Jackson, who received us with a proud smile and welcoming arms.
All of the speakers spoke inspirational words as if they were filling
the audience with hidden facts and encouraging truths about our nations
government. Their words acted like dry wood on a hot fire. During the
actual march, I felt overcome by the sheer magnitude of the masses. People
from all walks of life were all pushing in the same direction, striving
to reach the same goal of peace.
At the same time, one fact was deeply depressing if I stopped to think
about it. Of all the people and groups we met and heard about on Saturday,
Yellow Springs High School was the only organized high school presence.
This scared me. One of the main reasons for going there was to show that
the younger generation isnt being fooled by the propaganda that
the government has aimed at kids, using TV and other forms of distraction.
But in the end, being the only high school group was O.K. because we let
our presence be felt.
Sunday night, when the dust from our shoes had settled and our feet had
finally stopped throbbing, I said to my mother, Man, mom, that was
All of a sudden the phone rang and my mother picked it up. It was Ashlee
Cooper, my co-organizer.
Hey, theres another anti-war rally in D.C., in January. We
could get even more students together and go. What do you think? Are you
down with that?
Matt Wallace is a senior at YSHS.
changed my life
By Ashlee Cooper
When Matthew and I decided to charter two buses and transport people to
Washington, D.C., for the anti-war on Iraq march, our purpose was to let
our voices be heard. We both felt that our government misrepresented the
feelings of American people who were against the war on Iraq. So we decided
to organize the trip as our senior project.
As the Yellow Springs High School bus arrived in D.C., everyone was sound
asleep, but awakened by a womens voice stating that we had arrived.
The high school students started packing their backpacks with junk food,
pop and any other desirable treats and headed out onto the sidewalk where
they were welcomed with protest signs. Once everyone had acquired signs,
we walked down Constitution Avenue where the rally was planned for 11
This was no hippie-festival. The people at the rally ranged from all types
of ethnic backgrounds, religions and locations. It was great because everyone
had the same purpose, which was coming together to fight for his or her
beliefs that would one day change our future for the better.
The experience that I value the most was meeting Jesse Jackson and hearing
him speak. Mr. Jackson was an extremely humbling man. He stood on the
side of the stage crowded by several protesters, sharing words of wisdom.
As I approached Mr. Jackson I was reluctant to hug him because I did not
want to make him uncomfortable, but he grabbed my hand and said girl,
give me a hug. We both exchanged smiles and he told me that he was
proud of what I was doing. After he said this, I introduced myself and
explained to him that Matthew and I had organized this for our senior
project. He then told me that I should continue fighting for what I believed
When the dialogue ended I asked him if he would mind if I took a picture
with him, to which he replied, of course you can have a picture
with me. When I walked away from Mr. Jackson I thought to myself,
he is a great man.
The experience of going to Washington has changed my life and will forever
change the way I feel about human rights. I came away knowing for sure
that I will one day impact peoples lives for the better, the same
way that this whole experience has changed mine.
Ashlee Cooper is a senior at Yellow Springs High School.