Hatchet shows anti-protest bias

Your articles on the protests at George W. Bush’s inauguration and Dick Cheney’s recent appearance and the subsequent letters printed on your editorial page were a disgrace to both college journalism and the romantic ideal of the questioning university student. As a journalism major and a campus activist, I find it sad that the New York Times story on the Jan. 20 protests presented demonstrators in a more understanding, positive light than did The GW Hatchet.

Your lead in the Jan. 22 article on the Inauguration protests (“Protests shadow events,” p. 1) makes it sound as though thousands of individuals were throwing objects at the President’s motorcade, when in fact there were only a few isolated incidents of such activities. Did you not realize this is what you implied in the article? Did you intend to imply this for sensationalist purposes? Or do you have a specific agenda that requires you to demonize vocal dissidents in society? You will have plenty of time to do that when you work for the corporate media.

Also, I was misquoted. That does not make me happy.

In regard to David Kay’s letter (“Protest this,” Jan. 25), we were not protesting the veterans; we were protesting the new administration, its policies and its principals’ presence on our campus. In fact, many of us made a conscious effort not to say anything that would be misconstrued as offensive to the veterans. Had you listened to the rally, you would have heard someone speak about the Gulf War syndrome and veteran rights violations.

I am disturbed by Mr. Kay’s willingness to accept the Bush administration’s policies even though he disagrees with them. What does he mean by “expressing grievances in a decent and democratic way?” Are we not guaranteed the right to peaceably assemble by the First Amendment? Is it undemocratic and shameful to exercise the rights granted to us over 200 years ago? I think not.

In order for a democracy to function, citizens must be active and
engaged, and rallying on a sidewalk is far from indecent. I encourage all students at this University to take this opportunity to work toward their ideal vision of the world, whatever that ideal may be. This is college. This is a time for exploration of ideas, for challenging institutions, for being able to voice your opinion. Fifteen years from now when you are stuck in traffic on I-495 in your SUV coming into “the city” from Fairfax to work at your desk job, you may regret not saying what you felt during your years at GW.

-Brian Dolber

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