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Moore visit divides campus


Photo
CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
UAPD officers handcuff a man inside McKale Center during Michael Moore's speech yesterday evening. Police made one arrest and charged two with misdemeanors during Moore's two-hour-long speech.
By Jennifer Asmler
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
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Small groups of vocal protestors made their presence known at Michael Moore's sold-out speech last night, waving Bush-Cheney signs and chanting "Four more years" and "No more Moore."

Students protested before and during Moore's speech at McKale Center and many were escorted out by the University of Arizona Police Department.

Before Moore's appearance, students rallied peacefully outside, chanting, carrying signs and wearing pro-Bush and anti-Moore t-shirts to urge students not to listen to Moore.

Rob Fullerton, an event security guard, estimated there were more than 100 protesters outside McKale before Moore's speech, which drew an audience of 14,500.

"For the size of the crowd, it is pretty mellow," he said.

Members of the UA College Republicans were among the protesters.

Photo
DAVID KEMPER/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Michael Moore protesters greet those attending Moore's speech yesterday outside McKale Center. Protesters were allowed to demonstrate outside McKale, but some were escorted out by UAPD for disrupting the event inside.

"We want people to know not all college students are liberal. There is also a strong conservative voice," said Meghan Flanagan, a UACR member.

Jessica Marshall, a pre-business freshman, said protesters were not out of control and said she thinks the other side to Moore's opinions should be discussed.

"People have the right to speak, even if they don't agree," she said.

Flanagan, a molecular and cellular biology sophomore, joined other protesters to oppose Moore's appearance at UA.

"I think the whole thing is absolutely ridiculous," Flanagan said. "We are in a position where we can make who we are and move through the social strata."

Flanagan said with the November election approaching, students should be presented with all of the facts, something she said Moore doesn't offer.

"He puts out lies as truth an that is where the problem lies," she said.

Jeff Yaeger, a finance senior, said he bought a bootleg copy of Moore's movie "Farenheit 9/11" because he didn't want to contribute to his profits.

"I see his point of view and how dumb it is," Yaeger said, who carried a Bush-Cheney sign into McKale.

Joel Feinman, a second year law student, said although students have every right to protest against Moore, they probably do not fully understand problems with the Bush administration.

"I have every sympathy for them. I can't live in a fantasy land like them," he said.

Feinman did not participate in the rally against Moore, but said he has participated in left-wing rallies, as well as anti-Bush and anti-war protests.

Bronwin Rhodes, a studio art junior, said she thinks Moore has a big effect on college students.

"He brings a perspective that is drowned out and unheard," she said.

Rhodes said she feels speakers like Moore are usually censored in society, but they have the right to speak to crowds.

"Whether it riles people up or informs people, it gives them more choices to base their decision off of," Rhodes said.

The UA was the 22nd stop on Moore's college "Slacker Uprising Tour."

His visit has sparked controversy on campus between politically active students because of his strong liberal views.

In an attempt to bring political balance to campus, the UACR booked conservative speaker Ann Coulter to speak next week.

Coulter, author of "How to Talk to a Liberal (if you must)," will speak Oct. 21 at Centennial Hall.



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