HARVARD — Sixth-grader Moriah Arnold, with the help of friend and classmate Hannah Egan, collected about 50 signatures in The Bromfield School cafeteria on a petition aimed at ending the war in Iraq.
After her half-hour lunch period was over, Moriah planned to circulate the petition among her classmates, she said.
Information that helped frame her opinion about the war came from TV, radio and talking about it with others at school, said Arnold, along with some general knowledge of current events and government that came from subjects she studied last year.
In a Jan. 10 e-mail, Arnold alerted area newspapers that on Jan. 11 she’d be collecting signatures at school on a petition aimed at convincing the U.S. Congress to stop funding the war in Iraq.
She got the petition idea from a Web site, unitedforpeace.org.
“My mom found it for me,” she said.
The group behind the site has organized an anti-Iraq war march on Jan. 27 in Washington, D.C., and Arnold said she and her family plan to be there.
According to march organizers, the goal is to send a message to the Bush administration and Congress that draws on a “mandate” for peace voters delivered on election day this year.
That message is stated on a flyer Arnold handed out at school that reads, “Bring the troops home now!” The flyer was on the table, along with impromptu anti-war messages other students had written in marker on note paper.
“Fighting isn’t the answer. Stop the war,” one note reads.
Another reads, “Think about the people.”
Arnold, who wore a red T-shirt with the logo, “Inspired,” made her intentions clear. She said she will send the petition and a letter to state representatives, Cong. Martin Meehan, and sens. Edward Kennedy and John Kerry.
In the meantime, she’s getting the word out.
For starters, she alerted local media to the “important Harvard event” with more plans beyond.
“I am also going to urge my fellow students to join me and thousands of others in a mass march on Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Jan. 27,” she said.
Students weren’t the only ones signing Arnold’s petition. Adults from the community came to sign as well. Among them were Donald Gerard and Keith and Mary Helan Turner, who said they heard about the event via the Web site truemajority.org.
The group e-mails people on its list about events related to its cause, said Keith, including Arnold’s petition-signing and the Washington march.