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Friday October 20, 2000

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Civil disobedience can't be anonymous

Tuesday night, or perhaps Wednesday morning, unknown persons posted fliers around campus. They did so anonymously, not signing the fliers calling UA President Peter Likins a "Fat Cat," or "Even though it's me (Likins) who's in bed with the corporations, it's the students who get screwed." For whatever reason, those who posted the sheets did not want people to know who they are. It is this that leads to problems.

Simply putting up posters around campus is perfectly acceptable. Unfortunately, these particular posters weren't taped or stapled or pinned up. Some were glued onto highly visible campus signs. As minor as it may seem, this is an act of destruction of university property. It may be understandable: the glue job was such that the posters certainly weren't going to come down in the rain, but that doesn't make it right.

As it stands now, this is simply an act of vandalism. Certainly, it has the potential to be an act of civil disobedience, but civil disobedience must have accountability. Rosa Parks is an icon because she refused to sit down and faced the consequences of her actions.

Because of the anonymity of the act, we cannot speak about the motives of the group or individual which put up the posters. If, as we would hope, they have a legitimate gripe with Likins, they need to come out and express their concerns. If the group that put up the posters has the moral high ground, if it really believes that it is right, the group needs to come out in the open and face the consequences for its actions. It is at that point that they can begin to get something done.

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