Nov 052006
 
Authors: Vimal Patel

GREELEY – A sheep goes meh-eh-eh-eh-eh.

So does Dave Euresti.

But the lifelong Greeley resident is far louder and in your face than the gentle farm animals.

Many of the 5,000 or so Republican Party supporters leaving the Island Grove Regional Park Events Center Saturday morning could attest to that.

“Bye, sheep,” Euresti shouted from his post on the corner of 11th Avenue, a prime protest spot in which thousands had to drive through to leave. “Meh-eh-eh-eh-eh.”

The agitator was one of more than 100 who lined the street to protest President Bush’s visit to support the campaigns of Marilyn Musgrave and several other Republican candidates.

Some gripped pro-Paccione and anti-Bush signs. Others danced around and chanted while sporting “Yes on 44” and “pro-peace” T-shirts.

And above it all, the taunts of Euresti pierced the street corner.

“Meh-eh-eh-eh-eh.”

Many looked annoyed as they drove off. Some smiled.

“Mostly, rolling up the window,” he said of many Bush supporters’ reaction to him, with a sheepish grin.

Nearby, counter-protesters held their own mini-protest of the protesters. One waved a giant sign reading “Don’t feed the leftists.”

“We’re doing some good, not just letting off steam,” said Larry Burns, a Fort Collins software engineer, who made the nearly 7-foot-tall sign.

He grumbled that during Clinton’s tenure, there seemed to be fewer protests in his hometown despite some limited military action in Kosovo.

But when Bush went to war, the political scene exploded, he said.

“Republican bombs are inherently evil,” he said sarcastically. “We know that for a fact, right?”

A heavy police presence could be felt throughout the center, and aside from around the president himself, the protester intersection seemed to be the epicenter of it.

One heckler was escorted by Secret Service agents out of the center for screaming at the president. He later joined the protesters.

David Mann, a CU-Boulder open-option freshman, said he had completed two tours of duty in Iraq and wanted to protest what he called the illegality of the Iraq War.

Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who was sentenced to death Sunday for war crimes, had no “weapons of mass destruction,” wasn’t acting aggressively toward his neighbors and had no connection to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he said.

“This war broke all international laws,” said Mann, 24. “I believe the military should be used very sparingly. It’s a sacred power to be in charge of the military. To abuse it, it’s a disgrace to the United States.”

Meanwhile, Euresti’s quest to annoy and amuse as many attendees as possible continued.

“Meh-eh-eh-eh-eh.”

Despite his participation in an event democratic in nature, the Greeley native said he’s become so disillusioned that he’s probably not going to vote.

“It’s become holographics,” he said about the political system.

So, for now, his contribution to democracy consisted of sparking dialogue, or, at least, sparking as much window- and eye-rolling as possible.

“How many sheep can you fit in that?” he shouted, giggling while a white truck rolled by. “You’re stupid. You’re ignorant. Meh-eh-eh-eh-eh.”

News managing editor Vimal Patel can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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