“We’ve got freedom fries and Bush’s lies.
We’ve got corporatized and
little children making t-shirts in Malaysia,
and no I don’t think that’s right.”
-Jason Keen, performer at rally
When he was a child, Derek Fox’s hometown of Galesburg, IL was a
thriving town, due largely to the presence of a Maytag factory,
which employed a majority of the town’s population.
Now the factory has moved to Mexico in an effort to reduce costs
and Fox’s birthplace is devastated.
Schools and hospitals are closing, close friends of his family
are struggling financially and Fox blames President Bush.
“This is something I am seeing happen all over (the United
States),” Fox said. “Bush is letting anyone go anywhere.”
Fox’s disapproval is far from an isolated case.
In fact, Derek Fox helped organize The Project, a local group
that held an anti-Bush rally last Thursday, turning the Aggie
Theatre into a stage for the First Amendment.
Numerous supporters of The Project attended to unite in their
common disapproval, and in many cases, hatred, of President
Bands, speakers and other activists spoke out against the Bush
administration’s unwavering support for free trade. A system which
has led to the emigration of many large factories to other
countries, leaving thousands of Americans, like those in Fox’s
hometown without jobs.
This was the kick-off rally for The Project, a new anti-Bush
group, whose slogan, B.B.C. America, stands for Boycott Bush and
The campaign was started by five Fort Collins residents who all
quit their jobs so they could spend their time campaigning for ABB,
Anybody But Bush. They are currently living off their savings and
t-shirt sales, just one sign of their dedication.
“Usually hardcore people put on such events,” said CSU political
science professor, Robert Lawrence of the rally. “I believe it’s
going to be a rigorous and nasty campaign.”
One of the founders of The Project, Rosalie Thompson, a senior
art major, said her goal was to get what she called an “extreme and
dramatic administration” out of office.
“Before I started doing things like this I was as guilty as the
person who votes for Bush and Cheney,” she said.
Participants spoke out about what they felt were other
injustices committed by the nation’s leaders such as human rights
abuses, environmental degradation and ongoing casualties in
“It’s obvious we’re not going to find weapons of mass
destruction and we haven’t,” Fox said. “We supposedly won this war,
but soldiers are dying every day.”
According to Dan Lyons, a former CSU professor and speaker at
the rally, that number is even larger than many people think. While
American citizens recognize that soldiers are dying, he said that
they are being shielded from the true magnitude of these
“The Bushies won’t let us see on TV the coffins coming home,”
Lyons said in his speech. “We must make sure that even though those
body bags are out of sight, they are not out mind.”
CSU alumnae, John Palmen, who also spoke at the rally, said he
was originally very apathetic about the war in Iraq but that all
changed after a chance encounter with two U.S. soldiers at an
Avalanche game in Reno.
Palmen said he was reminded of those soldiers when he heard news
of a fatal helicopter crash in Iraq, and then listened to Bush tell
the world that he had always intended to invade Iraq the next day.
These events in succession “started a fire” that led Palmen to the
“World War III has already begun and we need to stop it
immediately,” he said. “President Bush has no intentions of
bringing our soldiers home anytime soon.”
The rally attempted to boost Democratic influence by providing
booths that supported Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Howard
Dean and encouraged voter registration.
“If we can get just 20 people aware and voting, we made a
difference,” said Nate James, a band member of Hobbestown, which
was one of several bands to play at the rally for free, in support
of The Project.
Support for The Project has been growing exponentially since its
creation, with plans to attend rallies coast-to-coast, including a
nationwide protest on the one-year anniversary of the Iraqi war,
said Fox. Organizers of B.B.C. America intend to reach
international levels of influence in the very near future.
Many citizens, however, continue to praise the Bush
Administration and find rallies such as Thursday’s, unnecessary and
“You could help out the country much more by doing things other
than protesting,” said Elizabeth Crider, a junior liberal arts
major. “Are a few rallies really going to make (Bush) rethink
The rally, designed as an expression of defiance against the
current administration, has caused many Bush enthusiasts to express
the need for a more supportive mentality toward our government.
“I think it’s great that people are trying to get involved, but
at the same time it’s our responsibility as Americans to support
our leader and his decisions,” said Laurie Doud, a junior marketing
Lyons, however, said he cannot support a leader like Bush.
“(Bush’s) a coward,” he said. “He dodged war in Vietnam and now
he dares to send our boys to a different war.”