Listening to the protestors

In Friday’s cover story about the rally (“Anti-war rally draws hundreds, blocks traffic”), Students Against War member Jeff MacPhail was quoted as saying, “People might be against us – which is fine – as long as they keep listening.” I have been listening to a group that continues to claim it wants an “open discussion” and this is what I have heard.

I have heard the constant badgering of yet another student trying to hand me another piece of paper about a rally I don’t want to go to, and who is not letting me stand at the bus stop in peace.

I have heard the disgust of teachers in the buildings along the Northrop Mall, trying to keep the focus of students on the class instead of on the yelling by rowdy kids outside.

I hear the threats against people who have volunteered to protect and defend our country (when placing pictures of coffins on military recruitment buildings, I think “threat” is the appropriate word).

I hear the muttering of some poor lady who can’t make it to her dentist appointment on time because a group of college kids thought it was best to block off Washington Avenue Southeast and take over the street.

But most of all, I hear the torture of Iraqi children starving and being neglected under the tyrannical regime of Saddam Hussein.

MacPhail, I am listening. I am going to continue listening and if those who are against the war in Iraq will stop yelling and live up to their promise of “open discussion,” I will be happy to participate.

Tony Dahlman, freshman, mathematics/political science