Taking action on May 4

Shelley Blundell

Although protesters were few, ideas and voices were plentiful, loud

Protestors line up in the Taylor Hall parking lot and memorial site yesterday afternoon.

Credit: Andrew popik

“Not my president, not my war. This whole system’s rotten to the core,” chanted a group of more than 60 protesters during the anti-war march into downtown Kent yesterday.

Promises of bad weather may have scared away many who planned to protest, but those who followed the march made their voices heard across the city.

The march, organized by the Portage Community Peace Coalition and the Kent State Anti-War Committee, began after the commemoration speeches. The group initially assembled in the Prentice Hall parking lot, spending time in each of the memorial spots sharing thoughts and memories. From the parking lot, the group marched through the Commons to the ROTC headquarters, speaking out against America’s policies in Iraq.

The group assembled at the gazebo in Kent for a speak-out against the war in Iraq.

“I came out because I’m against the war in Iraq. What better day than May 4 to protest it?” said Patty Fridrich, Kent resident and former Kent State student.

During the march, Fridrich helped carry a coffin that was draped with the American flag, symbolizing fallen Americans and Iraqis.

“There’s a lot of senseless killing going on, and today we saw probably about 200 people who feel the same way,” said Amy Hanmer, Stow resident and former Kent State student.

While protesting is a very visible form of anti-war sentiment, there were those protesters who acknowledged that the act of protesting was not enough.

“I think the main thing that stuck out today was that we need to research,” said Theresa Hagarman, freshman art education major. “You have to get all sides to know what we’re fighting for, you can’t just shout and chant for no reason.”

Mary Jo Muser, long-time environmentalist and anti-war activist, spoke out on behalf of Not in Our Name, a national organization that denounces America’s actions in Iraq and social injustice across the globe.

“I think it’s important that students come out and not forget what happened here,” Muser said. “Students need to make connections to what happened here with what is going on today because it is all connected.

“Now they’re attacking science in schools — it has to stop,” she said.

The speak-out remained peaceful and the demeanor of the protesters positive. No violence occurred during any of the scheduled events.

Contact general assignment reporter Shelley Blundell at [email protected].