Protesters prove unconvincing at rally

IBy Elizabeth Hutter  indeed the dozens of protesters at Thursday afternoon’s War on Iraq demonstration were passionate about their cause and showed great dedication to their mission of stopping President George W. Bush from proceeding with Iraqi bombing. Any student or faculty member involved in a protest is obviously a strong supporter of their cause. I do, however, have a few criticisms that I hope the organizers of such an event take into consideration the next time they decide to protest.

I stood outside Coffman Union listening to the chanting and trying to identify what the demonstrators’ objective was. Certain statements I heard yelled from organizers were, “You guys are awesome!” and “We can do this!” Throughout my moments pondering the purpose of a demonstration such as this, I listened to the many creative chants that were lead by activists and never was I given any concrete facts or meaningful arguments that supported their war protest. For instance, one chant I heard went something like this: “Hey Bush, kiss my ass! Don’t spill blood for the price of gas!” Based on this statement alone, I heard derogatory remarks made about our president and absurd allegations that Bush’s motive for this war is to keep gas prices low. Pardon me if I’m mistaken, but from what I learned in my composition class for first-year students, when making a formal declaration of disapproval, one must present actual facts to support his or her argument. This chant spoken during the demonstration, along with others, is not offering the public factual information regarding the issue at hand. Thus, students like myself might not be convinced that war with Iraq is such a bad idea.

After the protesters marched into Northrop Mall, I stood along the sidewalk with many other students, and one volatile activist screamed his chant directly into my face as he and his colleagues passed. His yelling did not bother me – after all it was a protest and he had every right to be passionate about his cause. However, I found it a bit hypocritical that this man would scream in my face as if I were the enemy. Here he was trying to send the message of peace across the University campus, but instead he couldn’t even be cordial and respectable to a fellow student. His actions made me feel as though he were accusing me of being pro-war and antipeace.

I appreciate the strong-willed students and faculty that made their way across campus Thursday. And as planned, at noon on the day of the first bombing, I’d love to see the protesters out near Coffman Union protesting once again. However, maybe this time they will make their objective clear to the public, and refrain from ridiculing other less-ingenuous students.

Elizabeth Hutter is a University junior in the School of Nursing. Send letters to the editor to [email protected]