Lancaster, PA – May 19, 2007. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, an area known for its traditional values and conservative politics, was home to an Anti-War Shindig on Saturday, May 19th. The event, which was held on Armed Forces Day, was hosted by the Lancaster Students for a Democratic Society. Organizers reported that over 100 people showed up for the event. Those in attendance represented a variety of different organizations, including the Lancaster Coalition for Peace and Justice and the Industrial Workers of the World.
The Shindig began at noon with Lancaster SDS hoisting a large banner at Lancaster’s Penn Square proclaiming “Support the Troops, Bring Them Home!.” SDSers and other demonstrators held signs that read “Ya Basta! End the War in Iraq!,” “600,000 Iraqis killed,” among many other messages.
Lancaster SDSers said they wanted the event to be more than a protest. “We wanted to draw people together who are against the war for more of a family event,” said SDS member Becca Rast. Many attendees danced to the music of The Repercussions, a Lancaster band with socially conscious lyrics. Rob Seitz, a member of the band, said that they were “adding their fuel to the fire,” of the growing movement in Lancaster. Local rap artist Emcee Analytical performed several songs with the Repercussions.
Jugglers and face painters added to the festivities, and children drew peace signs with sidewalk chalk on the ground. The Shindig ended with a drum circle led by professional percussionist Tim Riggs.
Lancaster SDS held a meeting that was open to the public immediately afterwards. The chapter, which has 30+ members, most of which are in high school, announced its plan to have at least one member of SDS in every county high school, and extensive counter-recruitment work happening in each high school. The chapter was also happy to announce that the Northeast SDS action camp will be held on a farm in southern Lancaster County this August. Expect more good things from Lancaster SDS in the near future!