Bush kicks off term; U sees protest

Officially starting his second term in office, President George W. Bush again

took the oath of office to continue his role as the 44th president of the United States.

Filling the streets for miles along Pennsylvania Avenue leading to the White House, more than 100,000 people were estimated to have attended the inauguration, including several University students.

In his inauguration address, Bush said the United States must play an important role in creating democracy around the world.

“The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands,” he said. “The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.”

More than 1,000 miles from Washington, University students on campus were as split as they were in the waning days before the November election.

Inauguration sparks large protest on campus

On campus, the day of Bush’s inauguration stirred up strong emotions for many at the University.

Music blasted. Students chanted. Bright flags waved. Painted signs with angry messages were held high up in the air.

Dozens of anti-war activists met on Northrop Plaza to protest the war before marching down Washington Avenue Southeast.

With signs saying things such as “Feed our poor, not the war machines” and “Iraqi Oil is for Iraqis,” demonstrators cursed the president throughout the day’s events.

“We hope to begin Bush’s term by sending a clear message that the American people aren’t going to put up with four more years of attacks on working people, attacks on women, attacks on democracy and attacks on peace,” said Ty Moore, a community adviser of the Socialist Alternative club.

The club organized the rally and march with members of the Anti-War Organizing League. The league was founded last month by former members of the Coalition Against the War in Iraq.

Chanting, “We demand justice, we demand peace, U.S. out of the Middle East,” protestors stopped at the U.S. Army Recruitment Center on Washington Avenue Southeast and waved their signs into the windows. Chants grew louder and one protestor wrote “No Blood For Oil” in blue chalk on the outside wall of the building.

Moments later, one of the military recruiters came to the front and locked the door.

Many cars passing by honked their horns and smiled in support. One person shouted harassing comments as he drove by.

Bush supporters

There was no large event at which Bush supporters met for the inauguration, and College Republicans Vice-Chairman Tony Richter said supporters remained focused on class instead of celebrating together.

“Besides our own collective joy about the inauguration, there were a few gatherings where Republican students got together to watch it and take in the moment,” Richter said.

Richter said he didn’t think protestors should have targeted military recruiters.

“I think it is terribly unfortunate that the Socialist Alternative and (the anti-war organization league) would protest the people who are protecting the freedoms they are exercising today,” he said.

Bush supporter Mike Downey said success in Iraq will continue to be important to the president.

“His success depends on how he handles Social Security, and whether or not he can implement a strong government in Iraq,” Downey said.

Several students said they wanted to watch the inauguration, but found that classes and work took priority over witnessing the event.

“I definitely wanted to watch it, but I had class,” said international relations senior Jeffrey Range.

“I caught as much of the inauguration as I could, but I had school stuff that I had to do,” said Kevin Schmitz, a communication studies senior.