Gas station protest fueled by 'war for oil'

    About 30 protestors gathered Feb. 4 at the Mobil gas station at Villa La Jolla and La Jolla Village Drive as part of the International Day of Action-No War for Oil campaign.

    David Safford
    Guardian

    “”This event is the first demonstration of its kind which focuses solely on oil in response to the Bush administration’s relationship with transnational oil corporations,”” said Celia Alario of http://www.targetoil.com.

    UCSD Campus Greens organized the local rally, while protests were held at over 100 gas stations throughout the United States, Great Britain and Spain to speak out against the United State’s “”oil dependency.”” Organizations such as www.targetoil.com and Citizens Works rallied various groups around the globe to specifically focus on a link between the oil in Iraq and the U.S. push for war.

    “”Most people believe that war is inevitable,”” said event organizer Chris Noddings. “”But it’s not a necessary war — it’s a war for oil, and we’re hoping to have more discussion about other alternatives out there.””

    David Safford
    Guardian

    According to the Citizen Works’ Web site, the United States consumes 19.5 million barrels of oil daily, while only having 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves. Information from the Web site also claims that incentives for war point to the U.S. desire to control Iraqi oil fields. However, alternatives to fossil fuels such as solar, wind and geothermal power sources could lessen dependency on oil fields in the Middle East.

    “”The amount of money that is being spent on war is astronomical. That money could be used for the hydrogen-powered automobiles that Bush talked about in his State of the Union address,”” Noddings said. “”Right now he’s done nothing to show actual interest in replacing fossil fuels.””

    Students, residents and members of local anti-war organizations held signs, passed out fliers with information and encouraged commuters to honk their horns in support of their cause.

    “”I just hope to spread the word that a lot of people out there don’t support Bush’s war for oil,”” said Eleanor Roosevelt College freshman Ashley Burke.

    Throughout the two-hour protest, participants also dispersed to the four corners of the intersection, while others crossed the streets or walked up Villa La Jolla Drive with their signs.

    “”Personally, I think that not everyone in America is aware about what is going on,”” said Thurgood Marshall College senior Scott Spitzer. “”It’s especially important for college students to increase their awareness so that we can move toward more peaceful actions.””

    Community members who heard about the event were also present to express their concerns and show their opposition to war. Residents such as Jane Bishop, who has lived in La Jolla for 38 years, spoke about her worries concerning the government and said that “”it is our tradition to speak out.””

    Other participants who decided to join the rally were passersby who decided to show support for the anti-war organizations and express their opinions about the Bush administration.

    “”I detest the Bush administration policies,”” said passerby Vince Williams, who was on campus for a conference meeting. “”He is destroying the rights of everyone in America.””

    However, some members of the community were not all in agreement with the protestors. One commuter shouted his disagreement with the rally signs. The Mobil gas station manager also expressed his concern that the protest was “”knocking down business.””

    The San Diego Police Department was also present to make sure that the protest was within municipal laws. Participants were told not to block the sidewalk and to stay away from the street median.

    “”It’s good to voice your civil rights, just as long as it’s within the law,”” said SDPD officer A.J. Spagnolo.

    Protesting together were members of other anti-war organization, such as International Action Center, County Greens and San Diego Campus Anti-war Network.

    “”It’s important for all groups to join together and show solidarity in order to stop this war,”” said Scott Cossette of the International Action Center.

    A protest and march against weapons of mass destruction will also be held on Feb. 15 by the San Diego Act Now to Stop War and End Racism organization.

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