War protesters assemble on Quad

By Kathleen Foody

The voices of protesters chanting “Four years too long. Troops out now,” echoed across the Quad and down Green St. Thursday afternoon as University students and community members gathered to call for an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

The protesters gathered on the Quad at 11 a.m. and then marched down the south side of Green St. before returning to the Quad to hold a rally.

Representatives from several community groups and student organizations, including Iraq Veterans Against the War, spoke at the rally.

Dressed in brown corduroy pants and an army camouflage jacket and hat, graduate student Thomas Ayala addressed the crowd of about 50 people.

Ayala served in Afghanistan last year but said his experience convinced him the war is unjust and illegal and the administration is also neglecting the health needs of returning veterans.

“War is dirty and sweaty and bloody and nauseating and confusing and traumatic,” he said. “It’s not for pampered politicians.”

The rally was co-sponsored by 15 community and student groups, including the Campus Greens, College Democrats and local band The Living Blue.

For the full story, read tomorrow’s edition of The Daily Illini.