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October 20, 2004
3:45 PM
CONTACT:  National Youth and Student Peace Coalition
Jessica Marshall, 646-643-7702
Silky Shah, 512-971-0486
Weeks before the Election the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition Sponsors a ‘Realities of War’ Speaking Tour

Cleveland, OH – The National Youth and Student Peace Coalition has announced a Realities of War Speaking Tour which kicks off Wednesday, October 20, 2004 at Cleveland State University. The tour will take place on campuses around the country this fall, gathering young people to learn about and discuss the reality of the war on Iraq and its connection to the struggles of youth and students in our high schools, colleges and communities.

With less than a month before the Presidential elections, the energy and momentum behind the Realities of War national speaking tour grows. Youth and students around the country will hear the real truth behind the war on Iraq and learn what they need to know to make an informed decision about their future on November 2nd.

"This is the season when we actually get to decide what the new leadership of our country will look like for the next four years" said Brandon Nessen, organizer of the Cleveland State University event and a member of the Student Peace Action Network. "It's important that young people have a say in who that new leadership is and what they represent."

Prior to the elections the tour will be stopping in swing states, such as Wisconsin, Michigan, and Nevada. Speakers will include returning veterans, military families and civilians who have traveled to Iraq who will share their experiences and discuss the devastating reality of war in Iraq and the conditions on the ground for our troops and the Iraqi people. Other issues that will be discussed are military recruitment in high schools, the impact of the war economy on funding and access to higher education, the attack on civil liberties on campuses and the targeting of the Muslim and Arab communities.

"Young people have a lot invested in this war and we're being asked to sacrifice our education and even our own lives" said Ashwini Hardikar, a senior at the University of Michigan who plans to bring the speaking tour to her campus this fall. "The Realities of War tour will give us an opportunity to talk about and learn what war and militarism really does to our generation."

Realities of War is a national speaking tour organized by the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition - sponsors of the historic Books Not Bombs national student strike of March 5th, 2003 and the Books Not Bombs Youth Convergence Center held during the Republican National Convention this summer in NYC. NYSPC is organizing around the country to take back our future and build the Books Not Bombs agenda for youth and students. To learn more about NYSPC and the Books Not Bombs agenda email


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