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Bush visit attracts protesters

President comes to Phoenix for Matt Salmon fundraiser

 by Megan Rudebeck
 published on Friday, September 27, 2002


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When President Bush comes to downtown Phoenix today, protesters from all over the state will be waiting for him.

Bush is in town to speak at a fund-raising event for Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Salmon.

Members of the Young Democratic Socialists, Phoenix Anarchists and Local to Global Justice have organized the protest in order to voice their beliefs about globalization and civil liberties.

"Since Bush has taken office, he has rolled back civil liberties and provoked war against Iraq," said Kyrsten Sinema, a first-year law student at ASU and member of Local to Global Justice. "We couldn't not protest."

The protest will start at Patriot Square Park and continue to the Phoenix Civic Plaza, the site where Bush will be speaking.

Luis Fernandez, a justice studies doctoral student and member of Local to Global Justice, helped organize the Phoenix protest.

"The protest here serves multiple purposes," Fernandez said. "They range from stopping the war on Iraq and the creation of the office of Home Security to the loss of civil liberties."

Sinema said groups from all over the state have contacted her to get involved with the protest.

"Everyone is pulling together to move forward," she said. "The protest has grown into so much more than it originally was. I've even got e-mails from people in California who are coming."

Organizations such as the Arizona Democracy Group, Feminist Action for Peace and several environmental groups are participating as well.

Sinema said the protest is meant to be non-violent, a principle that Local to Global Justice was founded on.

"We just want to reach people going into the fundraiser to tell them that everything is not right in the world," she said.

Scott Celley, a consultant to Matt Salmon's campaign, said the protests would not have a negative effect on the fund-raising event.

"The nature of the protests are out of step with a clear majority of the state of Arizona," he said. "Citizens of the state are more concerned with creating high-paying jobs that will stimulate the economy and fund things like education and health care."

Celley added that he thought most Arizonans stood behind President Bush.

"The president's outstanding leadership at a very difficult time just puts this protest even further out of step," he said.

Reach the reporter at megan.rudebeck@asu.edu.



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