Skip to comments.Protesters rally on South Oval (Univ. of OK)
Posted on 11/03/2005 10:00:28 AM PST by LibertyRocks
Three men knelt on the street in front of Dale Hale. Their bodies were shrouded in sand-colored jumpsuits and burlap sacks covered their heads. The chains around their necks were clipped to black leashes that they held in their hands and offered to passersby.
Take the leash! they shouted through the sacks. Does this make you sick to your stomach? It should, because people are being tortured!
The startling display of anger at the war in Iraq drew a crowd quickly. The group of protesters, which was made up of sign-wielding students and Norman residents as well as the hooded men, gathered at noon in front of one of OUs busiest buildings.
If youre not angry, youre not paying attention! they shouted to passing students. Stop the abuse and the torture!
It wasnt long before the protesters passionate pleas evoked passionate responses from students.
Courtney Johnson, education senior who fought in Iraq, strode up to Dan McAniels, English graduate student and one of the men holding a sign.
You cant tell people whove been there what its like! he shouted.
McAniels yelled something back and Johnson advanced, still shouting, until nothing but a few inches and McAnielss Drop Bush Not Bombs sign separated them.
Johnsons friends had to pull him away from McAniels. A police officer who had been on the way to the scene addressed Johnson.
What are you trying to do? he demanded. If you get in their face, try to start a fight, guess whos going to jail?
Johnson agreed to back off but didnt seem to regret what he did.
Thats passion, he said of his shouting. I was in Iraq. This is bullshit.
The protesters, most of whom are affiliated with The World Cant Wait, a web-based organization dedicated to opposing the Bush administration, insisted that the protest was not degrading to the military.
Were not against the troops, Ashley Cook, journalism sophomore, said. We just want to save lives. We dont want anyone else to die for this.
Cook is the president of Bring Them Home, a student group that plans to push for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.
Wednesdays protest, which focused on the abuse and torture of detainees, was Bring Them Homes first event. It was held in conjunction with The World Cant Waits call for action on Nov. 2, the anniversary of Bushs reelection and what its calling The beginning of the end of the Bush regime."
The World Cant Wait called for people to stage walkouts at schools and businesses and hold protests on Wednesday. According to its Web site, groups from Seattle to New York responded.
In central Oklahoma, the reaction was varied. Some passersby flashed peace signs and called out thanks to the protesters, but more students either rolled their eyes or openly challenged the protesters.
Is this allowed? a girl wondered out loud as she walked by demonstration.
Yes, its called dissent! Kerryn Laumer, human relations senior, yelled. Its patriotic! You should try it!
Laumer, 44, sees the protest as a means of fighting apathy and disbelief among students.
This audience has never been faced with this kind of war before, Laumer said. And they react the way anyone reacts to something the first time. With disbelief.
Having men dress like torture victims and offer their leashes to passing students was designed to combat the disbelief, said Kyle Ellis, political science sophomore and one of the three who donned a jumpsuit and sack.
Its out of sight, out of mind about things like this. But this puts it right in their face. They see it. Better than pictures, better than video, he said.
This in-your-face element infuriated many students.
Adrea Clark, public affairs and administration sophomore, was offended by how everyone walking through the South Oval was forced to watch men dressed as torture victims deride the current military effort.
She confronted the protesters, pacing in front of the three kneeling figures and shouting.
You dont understand! she screamed. Youre liars!
She turned to leave the circle of onlookers that had gathered around the men, but when one of the protesters said something about her family member in Iraq, she whirled around.
No! she said. I dont have a family member over there! Theres a man I want to marry over there! Again she turned to leave, but a protesters voice stopped her.
Why are you letting him die? a hooded man called out.
Im not letting him die! Clark screamed. She rushed through the bystanders, pausing about 10 yards away, where she was briefly comforted by a friend before sinking to the ground.
Tears rolled down Clarks face as a man came up to comfort her.
They think this accomplishes something, but it doesnt, she said. Thats not how you solve things.
Other onlookers who were less passionate than Clark still didnt agree with the protesters methods.
I think there are better ways to do this, Jonathan McKay, letters sophomore, said. People feel like they are being attacked, even people who are against the war.
Zach Burris has a different perspective on the controversial demonstration.
It does kind of seem like theyre pushing it down peoples throats, he said, But sometimes thats the only way to get people involved, he said.
Laumer agreed that the importance of the protesters message outweighs the need to be inoffensive. Anything that breaks the silence is worth it.
So the turds are rising to the top of the Democrat sewer in Norman, Oklahoma.
Were there any protestors displaying the behavior that got the inmates captured in the first place???
Any 'death to the Evil Satan America' taunts?
Of course you can always get a few college kids to do stupid stuff. I am glad there were a few who stood up to them.
If my buddy from college and I would have been there, we would have the whole crowd laughing at them in no time.
Nobody dressed as a suicide bomber?
"It's not the way to stop a war and it's not the way to treat people," she said of the protest, sobbing but with conviction, after walking away from a brief shouting match. "They have no regard for anyone but themselves and their point of view."
Welcome to the world of liberalism, honey.
Shouldn't these lemmings be in class?
I am curious as to what would have happened if you grabbed the leash, put your foot hard on the jerks back and then pulled like heck on the strap? He offered it to you? Isn't that consent? It would have made a effective counter protest I would think!!
No apologies necessary... This of course isn't just happening at OU - it's happening all over the U.S. at many universities. It just happens to be of particular interest given the recent events at the University. I too, am glad that the papers at least gave a little voice to those who stood up against the protestors.
You're welcome. (o:
I wondered the same thing thinking someone should've obliged them, held the chain (although without the foot and yanking) and then started questioning the protestors in regards to the crimes these prisoners committed before they were detained. It would've made an effective counter-protest to hear the "anti-war" activists defend the atrocities the terrorists are committing.
LOL - Thanks for posting the link... Good song by the Right Brothers! (o:
Should have brought a woodchipper over and offered to feed them into it.
I hate to admit it, but I am shaking with rage, tears in my eyes, at the sickening, outgrageous display on the University of OK campus! God bless Courtney Johnson and Adrea Clark for standing up and facing these lying scumbags! May God protect our military men and women from our enemies within and our enemies abroad.
This cries for a counterdemonstration that displays photos of the results of terrorist actions, including:
* children maimed and killed by terrorist bombs
* men and women beheaded by terrorists
* signs that say - Why are you wasting your pity on this debris when they are the ones performing these real atrocities?
Hopefully there are some courageous students down there in Norman who will see your post and take your advice. Good ideas... (o:
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