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Ralliers trade barbs, cheers outside Cheney MIZZOU speech
Columbia, MIssouri Daily Tribune ^ | Monday, May 19, 2003 | DIDI TANG

Posted on 05/20/2003 6:57:33 AM PDT by rface

Grace Jones of St. Peters didn’t expect that her hand-held video camera would be used to capture scenes other than her nephew’s graduation yesterday.


Vice President Dick Cheney speaks yesterday
to graduates of the University of Missouri-Columbia
College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources at
the Hearnes Center.

Standing at the southeast corner of Stadium Boulevard and Mick Deaver Memorial Drive, however, Jones shot pictures of two local groups, one denouncing Vice President Dick Cheney and the other welcoming him to Columbia.

Cheney was the commencement speaker at the University of Missouri-Columbia’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.


more than 150 people gathered at courthouse square
Sunday, kicking off a day of protests against the
Bush administration and Vice President Dick Cheney's
visit to Columbia. Here, Keith Brekhus energizes the
crowd before the march, calling for a new administration
change in next year’s election.

Across Stadium were about 150 protesters, holding up anti-war and anti-Cheney signs and standing in a line that stretched about 300 feet along one of Columbia’s busiest streets.

Armed with loudspeakers and drums, the protesters chanted their slogans. "Tell me what democracy looks like," they yelled.


local radio personality Fred Parry, lower left, leads
about 75 people in a pro-American chant, gathering to
welcome Vice-President Dick Cheney to Columbia on Sunday.

"This is what democracy looks like," people in the pro-Cheney group yelled back, as they clustered across the street and waved American flags and signs that read, "We support our troops."

"It’s a beautiful thing," said Roger Brallier, a 34-year-old local law enforcement official, of the competing rallies. But, standing among Cheney supporters, Brallier said war protesters should not forget that today’s freedom –– such as the freedom to dissent and protest –– would have been impossible without blood and sacrifices.

"It’s the citizens’ responsibility to support their government and the United States," Brallier said.

Protesters on the other side of the street, however, disagreed.

"I’d like Dick Cheney to know that I don’t agree with his policies, that I don’t agree with the Bush administration and that not all Americans agree with him," said Meg Milanick, a mother and the PTA president at Grant Elementary School. "I think the war is about oil, and the occupation is about the oil."

Ryan Walker, an MU graduate, joined war protesters after his commencement at the Hearnes Center, and he said Cheney should not have been a commencement speaker at the university.

"I’m offended to have Cheney come to town on my graduation day," Walker said. "To have a war criminal be an honored speaker - it soils the occasion."

It was the protesters, not Cheney, who ruined the occasion for many graduates and their families, said Jen Dzinvenis of Lawrence, Kan., who was in Columbia for her boyfriend’s graduation.

"It’s not the place and time to protest," Dzinvenis said, noting the protesters –– regardless of their stands –– should not take the focus away from graduates on a graduation day.

But Mark Haim, director of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, said it was the university that took the focus away "by bringing in someone with the baggage that Cheney carries to our campus."

Supporters, however, said it was a great honor to have Cheney visit Columbia.

"It’s important that they feel welcome," said Fred Parry, a local radio-show host who organized the supporters’ rally. "It helps add positive light to the vice president’s visit."

Motorists honked as they drove by, graduates and their families took pictures with the protesters in the background, and people in both camps chanted their slogans. Jones watched it all through the lens of her video camera.

"It’s very peaceful," said Jones, 53, who was a college student in 1967 and witnessed the protests of the Vietnam War. "This is mild … and I want to go home and show my children what a peaceful protest looks like."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reach Didi Tang at (573) 815-1718 or dtang@tribmail.com.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Missouri
KEYWORDS: cheney; commencements; mizzou
for another article about Cheney's visit to Columbia Missouri "Set high standards", Cheney tells grads: Vice president avoids political tone.
1 posted on 05/20/2003 6:57:34 AM PDT by rface
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To: rface
Goodo Morning, rface :-)

Thanks for tha article. it reminded me that I need to fill up the pick-em-up truck! It's about the oil don't ya know...

Regards

alfa6 ;>)
2 posted on 05/20/2003 7:06:05 AM PDT by alfa6 (GNY Highway's Rules: Improvise; Adapt; Overcome)
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To: rface
CIA Director George Tenant was the speaker at my son's Commencement here at The University of Oklahoma on 10 May. He did a fantastic job and received all applause no jeers. His speech was great and right on the mark for the graduates.

It was interesting to watch as he was able to connect with the audience immediately -- didn't hurt that he was praising OU football over his boss's Texas Longhorns. Been a long time since I have seen an audience totally focused on what a speaker was saying. Very impressive! His love of this Country and his loyalty to this Administration was evident throughout the speech. His speech was perfect for this part of the Country -- you could tell he was enjoying every minute and happy to be reunited with his mentor President of OU, David Boren.

Last year OU had Tim Russert -- very few applause and some boo's. This year we had CIA Director Tenant and he received all applause and sometimes very loud applause.

BTW, we had no protestors!
3 posted on 05/20/2003 7:12:07 AM PDT by PhiKapMom (Bush/Cheney 2004)
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To: PhiKapMom
David Boren singlehandedly stopped the Clinton BTU tax. We all should be forever grateful.
4 posted on 05/20/2003 7:29:18 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
David Boren singlehandedly stopped the Clinton BTU tax. We all should be forever grateful.

Excellent point - how seen we forget that period of 93-94 before the Republicans took back the congress and the clintons were trying to ram their marxist agenda down the country's throats.
5 posted on 05/20/2003 7:33:02 AM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
Boren, it should be noted, served as a Democrat senator from OK.
6 posted on 05/20/2003 7:40:53 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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