Demonstrators express another view

Jessica Reyelts (left), sophomore studio art major, participates in the Bush Blackout demonstration Nov. 3, held outside Hearnes Hall during the Missouri Victory Rally. The demonstration was organized and managed by the College Democrats.

Mitsumasa Misaki

Jessica Reyelts (left), sophomore studio art major, participates in the “Bush Blackout” demonstration Nov. 3, held outside Hearnes Hall during the Missouri Victory Rally. The demonstration was organized and managed by the College Democrats.

Alexandra Nicolas

More than 100 students, faculty and staff, including College Democrats and other anti-Bush demonstrators, united under one banner in a demonstration during the Nov. 3 Missouri Victory Rally at Missouri Southern.

Shelly Peavler, junior political science major and president of the College Democrats, organized and managed the “Bush Blackout” demonstration. The demonstrators were originally confined to a designated area behind Hearnes Hall, down a hill in an area they said was not prominent enough.

“I see it for security reasons,” said Michael Baca, sophomore communication major, “but the President’s at the top of the hill, we’re at the bottom of the hill. They’re trying to hide us”

After a brief address from a Secret Service agent over the demonstrators’ complaints, the viewing area was relocated to a more visible area, provided all demonstrators followed strict conduct guidelines.

“I think we did really well,” Peavler said, “We had a lot of response and everyone behaved.”

Prior to the President’s visit, Peavler contacted officials to establish regulations for the demonstration. Demonstrators were required to stay behind police tape marking the security perimeter. The perimeter was also monitored by agents of the Secret Service and local police.

Though the event was in opposition to the current political climate, organizers of the demonstration took care to ensure participants were respectful.

“We kept it about demonstrating our political opposition and not slandering anyone,” Peavler said. Though the demonstrators shared opposition to the president, some had stronger motivation.

“I think it’s our right and responsibility as American citizens to express our viewpoints as guaranteed by the Constitution,” Baca said.

However, for a day full of expressing views, rally participants, such as Becky Beasley, freshman French major, respected the demonstrator’s actions.

“If they want to do it, that’s cool,” she said. “It’s awesome they’re trying to protest what their ideals are about, Republicans do the same thing.”