Protesters ‘arrest’ George Bush

Kelly Pickerel

“You’re all terrorists!” Wesley Foldessy, Kent resident and memeber of the Kent State Anti-War Committee, yells at passerbys in Rizman Plaza, yesterday afternoon. Foldessy portrayed a giant paper-mache talking head of George Bush as a part of the committe

Credit: Ron Soltys

LOOK at photos from the anti-war protest

Verbal confrontations broke out between students and members of the Kent State Anti-War Committee during a three-part anti-war protest yesterday.

After a mock arrest of President George W. Bush for war crimes, Shane Facenbaker, freshman business major, expressed his displeasure with the committee’s actions.

“I walked out (of the Student Center), and they were chanting,” he said. “It annoyed me. They don’t need to be disturbing everyone.”

Facenbaker shouted his opinion while various committee members fired back amid a slew of expletives.

“They got mad at me for my freedom of speech,” Facenbaker said. “They were doing the same thing earlier.”

Before the loud outburst, the protest had started quietly.

Holding signs displaying facts, figures and anti-war slogans, including “War on terror? War is terror,” and “You can no more win a war than an earthquake,” members of the committee held a silent protest in the Hub of the Student

Center.

Some students felt the group’s silence wasn’t effective.

“People protest to draw attention, and wouldn’t being silent take away from it?” said Joshua Wagner, senior Spanish major.

Bob Lyle, freshman education major, was doing homework in the Hub during the protest. He said he was more supportive of the silence than he would be of a rowdy protest because the silence doesn’t distract him.

“If they believe in it,” he said, “they’re going to do it, silent or not.”

Outside in Risman Plaza, Vince Packard, a member of the community, was preparing the Bush mannequin. The model featured a 4-foot-tall head and large hands connected to a contraption that could be worn as a backpack. Packard said he made the large-scale Bush look-a-like three years ago, and it took him two months to complete.

“It’s time to stop the war,” Packard said. “Our constitution has gone to hell. It will be a bleaker day than Nazi Germany if we let these guys get off (for war crimes).”

Wesley Foldessy, a member of the committee who doesn’t attend Kent State, was chosen to wear the contraption, displaying Bush 12-feet in the air.

He said the group wanted to show students how “insane Bush’s speeches are” during the mock arrest.

“Our president is an idiot,” he said. “Do you listen to his

speeches?”

During the arrest, Foldessy read from a prepared script mocking the president.

Dominic Mendiola, sophomore international relations major, and David Priestley, senior criminal justice major, were studying Arabic lessons outside during the mock arrest.

They said the speech wasn’t very effective because Foldessy didn’t take the time to

memorize it.

“If we could memorize this skit in Arabic, they could memorize this speech,” Priestley said.

The demonstration ended with a die-in at Risman Plaza. About 20 people read from notecards, expressing displeasure with the current events in Iraq, and then fell to the ground in mock death.

After 20 minutes, the protesters got up and left the area.

“I like that people are active, but no one cares anymore,” said Richard James, senior computer science major, while watching the die-in. “(This protest) is not interrupting our lives. It’s just people laying down. They need to think more. Come up with

better things.”

Stephanie Szabat, sophomore nursing major, said the committee probably didn’t succeed at getting a message across, especially since onlookers were more concerned about taking pictures with their camera phones than finding out what was happening.

“(The die-in) makes us aware of the war and how it’s been going on for way too long,” she said, “but it’s not sending out a message to students.”

Contact student politics reporter Kelly Pickerel at [email protected]