Guest $iLk Posted October 22, 2001 Report Share Posted October 22, 2001 grrrrr... quote: Campus protesters ignite U.S. flags Friday, October 19, 2001 By PATRICK JOHNSON AMHERST ÔÇö Amherst College students were stunned moments after a pro-America rally involving more than 100 people ended yesterday when several protesters emerged from the crowd to set fire to a U.S. flag. As the sounds of "God Bless America" continued through the public address system in front of the Keefe Campus Center, as many as 10 demonstrators doused two flags with lighter fluid and set them on fire. Five members of the group then spread a larger flag on the ground and stood on it while chanting "This flag doesn't represent me; this flag doesn't represent us." The crowd of more than 100 people, mostly Amherst College students who moments before rallied around the flag, stood in stunned silence as the same flag was desecrated. "This is really upsetting to me," said Christopher Palacios, a sophomore from Miami. Palacios, who said his parents fled Cuba in the 1960s to escape Fidel Castro, said, "It makes me sick when American kids say the American flag scares them." The pro-America rally yesterday was organized by a new student group called Amherst Assembly for Patriotism. The group formed in response to peace rallies at each of the Five Colleges in recent weeks as well as the controversial decision by the town of Amherst to limit flag displays downtown. "Amherst is 25 square miles surrounded by reality," said Theodore Hertzberg, a sophomore from Long Island. "I'm relieved the rest of the country does not feel the same way." The crowd had just finished a group recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and was beginning to disperse when as many as 10 protesters came forward. Most of those protesting the flag declined to be interviewed. One who did, 19-year-old Dan Griffin of Minneapolis, Minn., said the protest sought to show that the United States is responsible for much of the pain and suffering in the world. The United States has helped continue a spree of genocide that dates back to Columbus in 1492, he said. "How people take it is how they take it," he said. Griffin identified himself as a student but declined to say at which college. He said the others are from different area colleges but would not say which. Hampshire College officials confirmed a student named Dan Griffin is registered. The University of Massachusetts records show a Daniel Griffin was enrolled but he withdrew at the start of the semester. Michael Flood, co-founder of the Amherst Assembly for Patriotism, said he found the actions of the protesters to be inappropriate, especially since he suspects none of them are from Amherst College. "I believe they have a right to burn the flag, but this is inappropriate," he said. Sophomore Nick Echelbarger from Seattle said the burning was free speech of the lowest form. "It doesn't make a point. It's just poor taste," he said. I wonder which flag they WANT to represent them?This one? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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