BBC

 Uncategorized
Feb 042004
 
Authors: Nicole Davis, Eric Klamper

“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

Bush.

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

Cheney.

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

Iraq.

“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

deaths.

“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

Aggie.

“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

even unpatriotic.

“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

it?”

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

major.

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.”

 

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