Bush declares war on Iraq, March 19, 2003.

This Date in UCSF History: Students Act Against Impending War

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

UCSF Students Call for Action Against Impending War

[Originally published on March 20, 2003.]

In a political climate charged with the suddenly tangible threat of war with Iraq, many UCSF students are voicing their opposition and calling for peace. UCSF’s chapter of Student Health Professionals for Social Responsibility (SHPSR) has initiated a multi-pronged response to the Bush administration’s recent actions, arguing that this war is at irreconcilable odds with their ideals as future health providers and world citizens.

SHPSR is the student branch of Physicians for Social Responsibility, a national organization founded around the issue of halting nuclear proliferation. In keeping with the founding theme, SHPSR’s immediate goal is to unite as many UCSF faculty, staff and students as possible in a united and resounding condemnation of military action in Iraq.

The organization is providing several different forums through which all members of the UCSF community may educate themselves about the issue, take immediate action against the war and join the collective voice for peace.

SHPSR takes its educational agenda very seriously and believes that these anti-war efforts should unfold on an informed and reflective backdrop.

For those who would like more information about consequences of this war, flyers and Web sites will be available at the SHPSR table in Saunders Court between noon and 1 p.m. this week.

The information includes pamphlets on the humanitarian costs of war, alternatives to a preemptive strike and the possible blow to domestic civil liberties when war begins.

As part of the collective voice, SHPSR has composed a Statement of Conscience that argues that this war is unconscionable.

Citing humanitarian catastrophe, domestic insecurity and international distrust, the statement is a forceful denunciation of U.S. military action.

“[Based on our commitment to human betterment through health promotion and the healing of disease,” it reads, “[we] pledge our steadfast resistance to the U.S. military assault on the nation of Iraq.”

All faculty, staff and students are invited to sign the statement which will be available at the SHPSR table in Saunders Court.

The statement will be circulated in campus and local publications. Along similar lines, SHPSR is collecting signatures for a second petition that enumerates additional reasons for avoiding war with Iraq.

This petition will be sent to Congressman Tom Lantos, the representative for the congressional district that includes the Sunset and Twin Peaks, and an ardent supporter of the Bush administration’s policy towards Iraq.

Finally, SHPSR is organizing Emergency Antiwar Mobilizations in the event that war breaks out.

These emergency actions include participating in a citywide march from Powell and Market streets at 5 p.m. the day that war begins, organizing walk outs the morning of the next business day, and working as street medics for protesters needing medical attention.

Flyers detailing the action plans are available at the SHPSR table in Saunders Court.

All members of the UCSF community are encouraged to join these efforts towards achieving true homeland security — one that lies not in frenzied airport searches and code orange alerts, but in international cooperation and domestic justice.