Protestors Speak Out Against President Bush's Visit - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/30/06

Protestors Speak Out Against President Bush's Visit

Not everyone was as excited to see President Bush in Statesboro during his visit today to campaign for 12 District congressional candidate Max Burns. Protestors made sure their voices were heard.

Almost 300 demonstrators came to Georgia Southern, and their message was clear. They didn't want the president on campus, or in office at all. They made sure that everyone at GSU knew about it, even if they couldn't get inside the building.

As the lines outside the Hanner Field House grew, a small but vocal group of students, faculty and friends gathered on the other side of campus in what was called the free speech zone.

"Free Speech Zone? I thought the United States was a free speech zone," said GSU professor Richard Flynn, one of the protestors.

But this group of peaceful protestors wasn't about to sit back and wait in a courtyard. They took their signs, their fight, their views to the rest of campus, and directly to the field house.

"I see it as a chance to rally around. To have our voices out there, our opinions out there," said GSU student and demonstrator Rachel Barkie. "They'll have no choice but to see us and hear us."

A march for change is what they called it. Each person with a different opinion about what was wrong with the country, but all with the same overall message.

"This is what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like," they chanted. "Hey hey, ho ho, George Bush has got to go."

Security kept a close eye on the demonstration, making sure no one got too close. But protesters were willing to stay across the street from the president, hoping their words would move everyone to think about the day, and their country.

"What do we want? Change. When do we want it? Now!"

None of the protestors got a face-to-face meeting with President Bush. They were kept across the street, and away from the motorcade.

The demonstrators say as long as their message got out, and made one person think on election day, then their hard work was worth it.

Reported by: Andrew Davis, andrewdavis@wtoc.com

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