Pro-America rally hits UCSD

A rally supporting the United States’ recent military efforts and featuring many leaders from the San Diego community was held Tuedsay at the Price Center Plaza.

Scott Thomas
Guardian

The event, sponsored by College Republicans at UCSD, The California Review and the UCSD Conservative Union, addressed President the decision to use military action in Afghanistan in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“”We know how diverse America is,”” said KOGO radio personality Roger Hedgecock. “”Now it’s time to find out how united we are. Today, we are here to rally around our grand old flag, a symbol that has stood for freedom and opportunity throughout our history.””

While the latest Gallup Polls indicate that President Bush’s approval rating is at 89 percent, and that 92 percent of Americans support the use of military action against the Taliban regime, campus conservatives feel that many at UCSD have been reluctant to embrace Bush’s plan of action.

Scott Thomas
Guardian

“”Ignorance and apathy: Both run rampant in our country, on the world stage and on our campus,”” said Brian Brook, co-chairperson of the Unified Campus Coalition. “”How many more people have to die before we do something?””

Several speakers said that taking a stand against the war was “”un-American.””

James Keller, a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, said that the United States has fought for freedom on multiple occasions.

“”We have enjoyed the luxury of choice: the choice of where and who to worship, the choice of who to vote for, and the choice to hold on open forum of discussion and disagreement,”” Keller said. “”Now our generation is faced with a choice. Our country’s freedom was not won overnight. It continues to be forged 225 years later.””

Although only those in favor of forceful retaliation against the Taliban spoke at the rally, several anti-war onlookers were present Tuesday. While they did not cause commotion or confrontation, they were certainly noted by event participants.

“”The different points of view here today really depict the beauty of America,”” said Steve Vaus, a folk singer who performed “”There’s an Eagle,”” a song he composed in the wake of the terrorist attacks. “”We can both be in the same space and express ourselves freely.””

Other speakers at the rally included Robert Forouzandeh and Vince Vasquez of the UCSD Conservative Union, California Assemblywoman Charlene Zettel and San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn.

Mark Aquino of UCSD Fleet Services performed “”The Star Spangled Banner”” to begin the event and “”God Bless the U.S.A.”” during an intermission. He offered some insight on the rally’s purpose.

“”It should be known that we as Americans stand for freedom, from the local to the national level,”” Aquino said. “”That is what we are trying to accomplish today.””

Hedgecock, who hosts a conservative radio show on KOGO 600 AM weekday afternoons, broadcast live from the Price Center stage after the rally ended.

During the program, Hedgecock fielded questions and comments from the audience, who had mixed opinions on the matter at hand.

“”The most important point we want stressed is unity,”” said Vasquez, a Revelle senior and the UCSD Conservative Union’s chairman. “”We are diverse within ourselves, but it is essential that we support the president’s decision in solidarity.””

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