By Gina Vaile/Managing editor
A three-hour protest in the Powell Plaza yesterday drew more than 100 anti-war supporters and a crowd of more than 200 students.The peace march and rally, sponsored by the EKU Greens and the newly formed Colonels for Peace, began at 10 a.m. at the Daniel Boone statue and ended in the Powell Plaza around 1 p.m. The event was part of a nation-wide “Student Strike” that encourages “Books not Bombs.”
Robert Topmiller, professor in the history department, is one faculty member who helped students organize the rally.
“This is the proudest day of my life as an American,” he said during the rally, “to see you standing up for free speech.”
EKU Greens President Audrey Combs said she wanted campus to know that the party is open to all opinions and questions about the proposed war with Iraq.
At least one student marched behind the protestors in opposition of the group.
Holding a sign that read “Forget Larry, Curly and Moe, War Protestors are Sadaam’s Stooges,” William Sandford, a Gulf War veteran, said he was part of a silent majority.
“The 60s are over, they (protestors) don’t care either way,” he said before the march.
Sandford, who served 10 months in the Gulf with the Army, said every Iraqi prisoner of war he encountered begged the soldiers to get rid of Sadaam Hussein.
“His own people hate him,” he said.
The protesters gathered in the Powell Plaza to speak out against the government and to sing praises for peace.
Students in opposition watched from the top floor of Powell and outside of the Grill. Most students remained quiet until many of the peace protestors began chanting “One, two, three four, we don’t want no fucking war; five, six, seven, eight, why don’t you just stop the hate.”
Ray Arnold, 18, a Model student in support of peace said it was sad that both sides became belligerent.
“It’s unnecessary. This is a really good chance to educate, but it’s not working,” he said.
At one point, one student ran through the protestors ripping up signs.
Matt Allen, 23, who has served overseas in the military, said he ran through the protest because “I have more respect for the enemy than (protestors).”