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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Protesters gather at Bush Library

“All we are saying is give peace a chance,” sang protesters participating in a candlelight vigil Thursday night at the George Bush Presidential Library Complex.
More than 100 protesters gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Wellborn Road and walked to the Bush Library holding signs and singing antiwar sentiments.
Robel Tekleab, a senior philosophy major and one of the organizers of the vigil, said the protesters encountered mixed reactions from drivers during their walk to the vigil.
Even though the war has already started, Tekleab said, he helped organize the vigil because the principles he believes in remain true.
“We believe war is unnecessary and unjustified,” he said. “We detest war.”
The vigil organizers submitted a request to the Department of Student Activities Concession Committee to obtain permission to hold the vigil at the fountain in front of the Bush Library, but the request was denied.
Their application was returned with the instructions that their “planned activity be restricted to a designated area just west of the parking lot” at the Bush Library.
Even with these instructions, the demonstrators gathered around the fountain and held their vigil.
Lt. Bill Zitkus of the University Police Department was on site to oversee the vigil and allowed the protesters to stay in the area around the fountain.
“It’s a public area and they aren’t offending or assaulting anybody,” he said.
UPD officers were there, Zitkus said, mostly as a safety issue to make sure no one interferes with the protesters’ rights.
The Rev. Danita Noland from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship said the vigil was held out of concern for the people in Iraq and to send a message of peace to our government.
“With heavy hearts we have gathered as people who love our country and all it stands for.” VIGIL Noland said, “and we demand this act of military aggression be stopped.”
Noland said America is isolating itself from the rest of the world and will suffer the consequences of this for many years to come.
“The actions and words of President Bush have caused this country to be at odds with most of the world, and we hold our government accountable and responsible for the lives of each and every Iraqi citizen,” Noland said.
Jeff Graham, president of the College Republicans, disagrees and blames Saddam Hussein for the conflict.
“War is never anybody’s first choice but Saddam has forced us into this situation,” said Graham, a sophomore business administration major.
Tekleab said this is close to the last stand protesters are going to make, but they will continue to pray and “remember those who die on all sides without discrimination.”

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