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9.03.2004

Freedom Fighters



At least 2 protesters disrupted President Bush's acceptance speech Thursday night. The protesters made it into the security fortress of Madison Square Gardens and waited until quiet moments in Bush's speech to stand up and express their first ammendment rights to protest and speak freely.

Facing protesters is something the President is apparently unaccustomed to at his heavily screened and appearances which are usually limited to the party faithful who have been forced to sign loyalty statements. Bush was genuinely shaken by the protesters. The first stood up and shouted something at Bush but was quickly drowned out by chants of, 4 more years. Bush was knocked out of his rythym by the shouts and stumbled through his next few lines, his eyes darting about apprehensively.

The protester, a young lady, was quickly hustled out of the arena by 5 or 6 men, some wearing yellow hats with W. on them. The protester was struggling to get her message out the entire time.

Bush regained some of his composure and continued his speech, never commenting on the outburst. He seemed to be unable to deviate from his prepared remarks.

Just as he was getting back into his groove, another protester stood up and began shouting. The crowd started chanting again and the young man was quickly hustled out. Bush was shaken. He speech continued haltingly but his rythym and the crowds response had been badly derailed.

The protesters were non-violent, they just wanted an opposing voice to be heard. Perhaps the Republican National Convention was not the ideal place for airing disagreements with the President, but I salute their bravery and fortitude in doing what they did.

Maybe if Bush heard a dissenting voice occassionally, he would make more informed and better reasoned decisions. Probably not.

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