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Teach-in on the Iraq War to be held at UC Berkeley Sept. 19

— Iraq War veteran Cleavon Gilman, who is a UC Berkeley undergrad, and pacifist Vietnam War vet Brian Willson will share a stage at a teach-in on the Iraq War to be held at UC Berkeley on Friday, Sept. 19. The vets will offer personal perspectives on two U.S. wars separated by four decades, alongside activist and former California legislator Tom Hayden; Carlos Munoz, a Berkeley ethnic studies professor and Vietnam-era vet; and author-activist Antonia Juhasz.

The line-up includes Daniel Ellsberg, of Pentagon Papers fame, speaking on "Secrets and Lies in the Vietnam War and the Iraq War," and Hayden discussing the Port Huron Statement, the 1962 manifesto of Students for a Democratic Society, which he largely penned. Activists, lawyers, and academics — in a day-long event to be held in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, Heller Lounge — will discuss torture as a tactic of war, U.S. intervention abroad, strategies for stopping U.S. wars of aggression, and two films on the 1960s — the Academy Award nominated documentary "The Weather Underground" and a work-in-progress on the 1968 student revolt at Columbia University.

The teach-in is part of a national week-long series of events titled "1968: The Great Rehearsal," whose organizing theme is the legacy of 1968 — the year that brought not only the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, but student and worker uprisings across the globe, from Paris and Prague to Tokyo, Argentina, and Mexico City. Writer/activist Paco Ignacio Taibo III, a veteran of the latter uprising, will speak on those events.

"Part of the thinking was to mark the 40-year anniversary of 1968," says ethnic studies grad student Roberto Hernandez, a teach-in organizer. "Not to be nostalgic about 1968, but to take seriously the legacy and the lessons, good and bad" of that time "as we think about the pressing issues of today." He notes that Friday's teach-in will be held just across from the site, now occupied by Zellerbach Auditorium, of one of the first national teach-ins on the Vietnam War, a 36-hour event attended by some 30,000 people. By putting the Iraq War in historical context, Hernandez says, organizers hope to help people think about what it means to be "against" the Iraq War in a time when "everyone's anti-war, but that hasn't stopped the war."

Schedules are available online for the Iraq War teach-in at UC Berkeley and a week-long series of events in the San Francisco Bay area.

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