Peace rally at JHU is low-key
About 60 anti-war demonstrators braved the cold yesterday at Johns Hopkins University for a low-key rally that was heavy with academic arguments.
Held under a hand-painted banner reading "Support Our Troops -- Send Them Home," the rally was the first at Hopkins since students returned this week from winter break.
"What we really mean is to support our troops over there. We want to be their voice," said James Hadley, one of the rally's organizers.
Tim Guiles, a graduate student in human geography and environmental engineering, held a small plastic inflatable globe as he discussed the possible environmental consequences of the war.
"The idea that we blow away a part of the world we don't get along with will come back and kick us in the butt," Guiles said.
The environmental damage from blowing up huge Kuwaiti or Iraqi oil wells, Guiles said, will absolutely undo all of the efforts of America's environmental movement.
One speaker at the afternoon rally gave advice to people who may seek conscientious-objector status in the event of a military draft.
HELP FOR WAR REFUGEES
Catholic Relief Services, the Baltimore-based relief agency of the Catholic Church, has budgeted $250,000 to help people fleeing the Persian Gulf war through Jordan, according to spokesman Alex Rondos.
The money is to be used to buy food, tents, blankets and other necessities for an expected surge of thousands of refugees.
So far, most of the people leaving Iraq have been Egyptian or Palestinian. Iraqis have been barred from leaving the country.
About 10,000 people have fled through Jordan since the beginning of the war, Rondos said. Foreigners leaving Iraq have generally been prohibited from taking money out with them.
A phalanx of relief organizations, including the United Nations, is equipped to handle as many as 100,000 people in Jordan, Rondos said.
"It's as well planned an operation as I've seen," he said.
Rondos said his worry was for the people stuck in Iraq while the war rages on.
"I have the grim image of a country coming apart at the seams, with people taking to the roads looking for food or whatever."
SEND A VALENTINE?
If you're interested in sending a valentine to a U.S. military man or woman in Saudi Arabia, Recycled Paper Products wants to help.
The greeting card company is donating valentines to be sent to troops stationed in the Persian Gulf area. Participating card stores will pay for postage.
"This is just to make sure that troops who don't get any mail will get a valentine's card," said Helene Bloom, owner of Standing Ovations in White Marsh Mall.
Cards can also be signed and addressed at Cards Etc. in Belvedere Square and Send-sations in Pikesville.
"All we ask is that they address the card in the store so that we know it is going to a soldier," said Glen Tand, whose wife, Wendy, owns Cards Etc.
Allen Covan, owner of Send-sations, said he started offering valentines for soldiers even before he was contacted by Recycled Paper Products.
"It just makes me feel good, and people are very receptive," said Covan, who plans to keep the program running through Valentine's Day, Feb. 14.
Cards Etc. and Standing Ovations will have cards for mailing Friday and Saturday during business hours.
PRIVACY AT DOVER
Dover Air Force Base plans no arrival ceremonies for the remains of men and women who might perish in the gulf conflict. A spokesman at the mortuary port at the Delaware base said memorial services will be determined by survivors of individuals, or military units when remains arrive as a group.
"We do not expect to allow news media coverage of remains transferred at Dover AFB," an Air Force public affairs spokesman said.
Elaborate honors ceremonies were staged at Dover AFB for the return of 240 Marines killed in Beirut, the seven Challenger astronauts, the 37 seamen killed aboard the USS Stark and the 47 from the battleship Iowa. Dover received 21,693 of the dead from the Vietnam War, mostly without ceremony.
Thomas W. Waldron, Meredith Schlow and Carl Schoettler contributed to this report.