November 5, 2007: This website is an archive of the former website,, which was created 10 years ago by Charles Jenks. It became one of the most populace sites in the US, and an important resource on the antiwar movement, student activism, 'depleted' uranium and other topics. Jenks authored virtually all of its web pages and multimedia content (photographs, audio, video, and pdf files. As the author and registered owner of that site, his purpose here is to preserve an important slice of the history of the grassroots peace movement in the US over the past decade. He is maintaining this historical archive as a service to the greater peace movement, and to the many friends of Traprock Peace Center. Blogs have been consolidated and the calendar has been archived for security reasons; all other links remain the same, and virtually all blog content remains intact.

THIS SITE NO LONGER REFLECTS THE CURRENT AND ONGOING WORK OF TRAPROCK PEACE CENTER, which has reorganized its board and moved to Greenfield, Mass. To contact Traprock Peace Center, call 413-773-7427 or visit its site. Charles Jenks is posting new material to, a multimedia blog and resource center.

Search site - New! Calendar - Calendar Archive
Contents - Archives - War Crimes - GI Special - Student Activism - Links

War on Truth  From Warriors to Resisters
Books of the Month

The War on Truth

From Warriors to Resisters

Army of None

Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal

Back to CAN historical index

Campus Antiwar Network (CAN) - Early History

Formation and growth of the US independent, democratic and grassroots antiwar
student movement - October 26, 2002 through December, 2004

Here, we continue a history of CAN from October 26, 2002 to January 19, 2003. We encourage people to visit for upcoming events, resources and information about CAN. Please consider ways to uplift this independent, democratic and grassroots student antiwar network.

The formation of the Campus Anti-War Network (CAN)
October 26, 2003 through January 20, 2003


National Campus Listserv Started (giving rise to CAN)
October 26, 2002
Washington, DC and San Francisco

Student Planning Meeting at George Washington University, after national rally and march on October 26, 2002.
photos © 2002, Charles Jenks

Oct 26 - One of the first good things that happened after the massive marches in DC and San Francisco were the convening of student organizations in each city. At George Washington University, about 200 students from 30 colleges and universities met to network with each other and to create a listserv.

See Report and Photo Album on October 26, 2002 Student Conference
George Washington University, Washington, DC

(with links to Fall, 2002 student activism news)

An Overview of CAN's formation (from our vantage point)

Traprock Peace Center has been working since October, 26, 2002 to support the formation and growth of an independent national student antiwar movement. Many national organizations were trying to organize students. Traprock's approach was to support an independent student movement, one that was not part of or directed by a non-student organization. With the Stop the War Coalition in the UK (Andrew Burgin) we worked to create linkages between the student movements in the US and the UK.

Our work with Stop the War started in September, 2002. They asked us to help them connect with national student organizations in the US. We went to the massive October 26, 2002 demonstration in DC with the hope of meeting up with student leaders. To make a long story short, Charlie Jenks met with George Washington students who had organized a mass rally of students after the demonstration at GW. Charlie was invited to speak to the several hundred students in attendance; he voiced support for their initiative to create a national listserv for students antiwar activists. His hope was that this listserv would develop into an independent national organization.

Between October, 2002 and January, 2003 the listserv was very active and students decided to organize a national conference before the mass demontrations of January 18, 2003 in DC and San Francisco. Originally, students planned to have their national conference in Chicago. That fell through after a group of people disrupted a Chicago meeting that was trying to come to an agreement on hosting a national conference. It was to have taken place in early January in Chicago. Reportedly, these people - many of whom had not been involved in the process up to that time - objected to the conference taking place at all. Instead, they wanted students to participate in a planned conference for students, but not sponsored by students, on January 19 in DC, the day after the mass January 18 demonstration. Did the people who prevented the Chicago conference intend to prevent the formation of an independent student network?

Meanwhile, Traprock was working with Stop the War to support an independent conference, wherever it would take place, by bringing a student ambassador from the UK to attend and support the conference. Stop the War agreed to send the student to Chicago. When the plans fell through, there was a scramble to come up with an alternative.

It was decided, with input from all over the country via the listserv, to organize sister conferences, rather than a single conference, that would occur in DC and San Francisco on January 17th, the eve of the mass demonstrations. The two sister conferences would confer by phone and create - in essence - a single conference. The timing was critical in order to create an independent student network.

Stop the War made arrangements to send a student ambassabor - Hellen Salmon of Oxford University and the National Union of Students - to the East Coast student conference in Washington, DC on January 17, 2003. StoptheWar and Traprock also sponsored the visit to the US by Jeremy Corbyn, British Labour MP. Mr. Corbyn had been invited to the US to speak at the mass rally by Michael Letwin, and Peter Wood, a former GW student, had met Stop the War representatives in London. Out of his meeting, and the work Traprock had been doing with Stop the War, came an invitation for Mr. Corbyn to give the keynote speech at the student conference. Traprock contributed funds to sponsor Mr. Corbyn's trip. arranged for his stay in DC, and acted as media liasion for him from January 17-20, arranging interviews on television (e.g. CNN) and radio.

Mr. Corbyn gave a great keynote address, and Ms. Salmon and he participated in a press conference that included student organizers of the new independent student network. Major print media participated in the press conference. For more on the creation of the Campus Anti-War Network and the participation by our guests from the UK, see the Report and Photo Album. (As noted, Traprock went on to host Mr. Corbyn for 4 days in Washington, DC. On January 18th, Mr. Corbyn and Charlie Jenks met CAN activists at the January 18, 2003 rally (see Jan. 18-19 PhotoAlbum), and on January 20th, Traprock; Mike Zmolek of and Jason Kafoury of UFPJ arranged a meeting between Jeremy Corbyn, CAN students and leading US peace activists. 4 student activists (3 students from GW University and 1 from Duke) participated in the meeting.

Please note that incredible student activists, such as Katrina Yeaw, were doing similar work on the West Coast in arranging for the San Francisco conference. CAN would not have come about without both the DC and San Francisco sister conferences. The San Francisco story needs to be told, and we welcome an account of it. We also welcome an account by students in Chicago and DC on their view of events leading up to the January 17, 2003 conferences.

Leading up to the January 17 student conferences, Traprock was in frequent communications with students nationally - advertising student events, discussing strategies and developing working relationships. Two of our primary student contacts during this time were Tim Kaldas at George Washington and Kirstin Roberts at University of Illinois at Chicago.

Traprock's goal was - and remains - to support an independent national student movement that works with students internationally. Tim and Kirstin were among the many students working toward the same goal.

(Pictured at left: Charlie with two of the DC conference primary organizers - Tim Kaldas (media liasion) and Josh Steverman - wed editor - - during their visit to Traprock Peace Center - December, 2002.) photo © 2003, Sunny Miller

Jan. 17, 2003 - Students Create National Network at
Washington, DC and San Francisco Conferences

Report and Photo Album of January 17, 2003 at George Washington University

Pre-Conference Press Release National Student Conference (East) in Washington, D.C.
(See Press Conference Announcment - January 16, 2002)

National Sudent Conference in San Francisco - Conference report and pre-conference press release.


photos © 2003 Charles Jenks

Jan. 17 - Helen Salmon (middle) of the National Union of Students (UK) spoke at the national student peace conference in Washington, DC (a sister conference took place at the same time in San Francisco. These conferences gave birth to a national grassroots student network, formally named the Campus Anti-War Network (CAN) at a singular national conference in Chicago, February 22-23.

Jeremy Corbyn, (Labour MP - UK) was the keynote speaker at the DC conference. Ms. Salmon and Mr. Corbyn both participated in a press conference with student organizers. Helen's visit as a student ambassador from the UK and Mr. Corbyn's 4 day visit to DC were arranged by the Stop the War Coalition (UK) and Traprock Peace Center. Working independently of Traprock, Peter Wood of George Washington University had met with Stop the War organizers in London and had been instrumental in Mr. Corbyn's invitation to speak. Traprock served as host and media liasion for Mr. Corbyn during his stay.

photo © 2003 Charles Jenks

Left: National 'sister' student conference at George Washington University, DC, January 17, 2003.
Click on Image to see larger photo. Above: University of Texas (Austin) contingent - Allison (right) is giving the Longhorn greeting. photos © 2003, Charles Jenks

See also the PhotoAlbum of the January 18th DC March and the Action on Jan. 19th at Lafayette Park. The Album features Mr. Corbyn as a special guest to the US. He spoke at the mass rally to several hundred thousand people and met up with the CAN contingent at the end of the march. While he was in DC, he gave many media interviews, including CNN and the BBC, on the looming war and his impressions of US peace movement.

On Jan. 20, Mr. Corbyy met with leading US peace activists - this meeting included some of the primary student organizers of the Jan. 17 student conference.

Left: George Washington students Lauren Ciszak and Stef Fisher of Students Against War in Iraq with Jeremy Corbyn, MP, at a meeting with leading US antiwar activists. Right: A consensus best of three group pictures taken. We could all agree to peace, but could not all manage to look at the camera at the same time. Front row sitting: David Levy (Mobilization for Global Justice), Jeremy Corbyn, Maddy Bassi (Global Exchange), and Charlie Jenks (Traprock); standing: Jason Kafoury (UFPJ); Eric Gustafson (EPIC); Tim Kaldas, Lauren Ciszak, and Stef Fisher (George Washington University students); Eric (Duke University student); Mike Zmolek (National Network to End the War Against Iraq); Jen Carr (Peace Action); Ben Zogby (UFPJ) and Sunny Miller of Traprock. photo © 2003 Charles Jenks
See report on meeting.

Traprock stays in commuication with CAN organizers and applauds their successful efforts toward building a national student antiwar movement. Traprock became CAN's fiscal sponsor so CAN could receive tax deductible donations under 501 c 3. It has continued to work with Jeremy Corbyn, the Stop the War Coalition and other UK groups, such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the Campaign Against Depleted Uranium (CADU). We have tried to return StoptheWar's gesture of sending Helen Salmon by facilitating CAN's networking with international students, abroad (a trip to St. Petersburg and Paris) and in the US (meeting with a Danish student international coordinator with the Nuclear Weapons Inheritance Project of IPPNW). Traprock also facilitated a retreat for CAN organizers at the Blue Mountain Center in New York state. (The Blue Mountain Center graciously donated their facilities to CAN for retreats in 2003 and 2004.)

Traprock's website, acknowleged as a national resource on the US student Movement by the Nation and others, has tried to promote CAN's work via our site. We will continue to support the independent, democratic and grassroots antiwar student movement, as exemplified by the Campus Antiwar Network.

National Actions Against War on Iraq
November 20, 2002

photo © 2002 Charles Jenks


Calendar Archives

The Archives contain for Important History of Student Events from December 3, 2002 to March 5, 2003. Go to the CAN website for the Upcoming Student Actions and Events.

Campus Antiwar Network (CAN)

CAN is a democratic coast-to-coast network of independent campus antiwar organizations. It is student owned and operated.

See Links to student antiwar and justice organizations.

Page created January 11, 2005 by Charlie Jenks and updated frequently.