By Holly Wells and Laura Ory
Courtney Smith/Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA students and Tucsonans march down the Fourth Avenue underpass during ‘The World Can’t Wait’ protest, one of more than 200 protests that occurred nationwide yesterday. Protesters assembled at the Alumni Plaza and marched to the intersection of South Church Avenue and West Congress Street, where they held a rally.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, November 3, 2005
Students, Tucsonans march downtown
Students were urged to drop their pens and ditch their plans yesterday afternoon to march in protest of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq.
About 60 students and Tucsonans gathered on the Alumni Plaza and marched to South Church Avenue and West Congress Street in protest against the Bush regime.
Protesters said they were upset about several of Bush’s actions including those relating to Iraq, women’s rights, the Patriot Act and the relief response to Hurricane Katrina.
Greg Knehans, political science graduate student and member of the UA chapter of Refuse and Resist, said the group decided to bring “The World Can’t Wait” campaign to Tucson because one of their main focuses is an impeachment of President Bush.
“There’s nothing more dangerous in the world than the Bush regime,” Knehans said. “The next big step will be to gather and raise our voices during Bush’s State of the Union address.”
The Tucson demonstration began at the Alumni plaza around 11 a.m. Several protesters urged students to skip class and join the march, but most students walked by the protesters, with some students cheering the protesters on and others giving angry shouts.
Demonstrators carried signs such as “George Bush War Criminal” and shouted chants including “The world can’t wait, drive out the Bush regime.”
Leigh Anne Schmidt, a pre-communications junior, said she missed class for the protest because she believes ousting the Bush administration is the most important issue of our time.
“I want to make a difference instead of just sitting down,” Schmidt said.
The protesters reached Congress and Church by noon, temporarily holding up traffic until they reached a park, and continued to hold up signs and chant. Some of the protesters sat on benches and talked while others urged people to sign postcards protesting the more than 2,000 deaths in Iraq.
Many motorists honked as they drove by and some passersby stopped to take pictures.
Kenny Brau said he missed work to attend the protest and said he is very troubled by many of Bush’s policies.
“I’m not really political, but I felt compelled to do this,” he said.
The protesters later went to major intersections around town where they held up different signs criticizing how Bush came into presidency, the administration’s use of war and torture, its use of fundamentalist morality, and how it handles racism and women’s rights.
Michael Smith, a graduate student, said although he was glad to be participating in the protest, he felt it should have concentrated more on the issue of the president lying about the war in Iraq.
Journalism freshman Meridian Negilski, a member of Refuse and Resist, said she was concerned with the Bush administrations policies on birth control and abortion.
“I want to practice my rights as a women,” Negilski said. “I don’t think it’s right that he’s telling me what to do with my body.”
Several protesters said they don’t believe Bush will be impeached, but said they still thought it was important to have their voices were heard.
“I hope the population in general gets tired of being lied to and actively searches for the true policies of the administration,” said Alana Conway, a Near-Eastern studies graduate student.
The March was held on the anniversary of last year’s presidential election and was organized as part of “The World Can’t Wait,” a national campaign “to drive out the Bush regime,” according to a press release.
Walkouts, demonstrations and protests were planned yesterday in 67 cities, 43 colleges and universities, and 90 high schools nationwide, according to the release.