By Sara Richardson
“It”s time to bomb Saddam,” said many south campus residents last Friday night.
BYU and UVSC students held a pro-war rally and dance party titled ”Operation: Bomb Saddam” that unexpectedly showed a small turnout, yet it still managed to evoke hostile feelings from anti-war supporters.
The original location of the party, The Barn by Seven Peaks, was changed at 6 p.m., three hours before the rally was to begin.
“The UVSC Police called the venue we were having it at and they said if they (The Barn) still held it, the police would come to arrest the people that organized it because we passed out fliers on campus,” said one of the organizers, Dave Eaton, 28, a psychology major at UVSC, from Chicago. “They said they were going to charge $100 for every flier that we handed out.”
He said the pro-war defenders were told they could not support a pro-war rally on campus, even though several peace rallies had already taken place.
“The professors were some of the people sponsoring the peace rallies, so I don”t see why we couldn”t voice our opinions too.” he said.
Attendees said the last-minute change in address is why most students did not end up coming to the event; however, the rally still created hostile feelings from many anti-war supporters.
“Two girls and one guy started egging us,” said UVSC student Mike Pionke, 26, from Paradise, Calif., majoring in construction management. “We were holding a peaceful rally, and these anti-war people started being violent against us and calling us murderers.”
The pro-war rally not only created hostile feeling at the event, but it also created hostile feelings on BYU and UVSC campuses.
While handing out invitations to the rally, the event”s sponsors said they were harassed, and even given a challenge to fight on BYU campus.
“It”s pretty darn ironic that these pacifist peace lovers are being violent against us,” said Jason Munck, 24, a junior at BYU from Washington, D.C., majoring in accounting. “Especially that they are speaking out now and not two months ago when they could have had an effect on the outcome.”
One of the main motivations the group had for holding the rally was the poll that showed more than 70 percent of Americans support the war, Eaton said.
“All you ever hear about is those who are against the war,” he said. “They never show all the families across America who are humbly supporting the president.”
Rally sponsors made t-shirts to sell at the event that read ”bomb Iraq” to contest the armbands worn on BYU campus that read ”no war in Iraq.”
Pro-war advocates said it is important to voice their opinions, even if it is by wearing it on clothing.
“I”ll keep putting republican war-hawks in office,” said Eaton. “And I”ll continue sporting my ”bomb Saddam” apparel; I”ll be wearing my ”Bomb Iraq” shirt in my upcoming band shows.”
Pro-war promoters said the armbands worn by anti-war advocates are also great ways to express opinions.
“That”s what makes our country great,” said Jared Madden, 26, a BYU senior majoring in actuarial science, from Madison, Wis. “We all get to support our opinion. I think it”s fine that they wear them, but I should be able to wear ”bomb Iraq”, and ”bomb Saddam too.”
Jared Fairbanks, 24, a junior at BYU majoring in microbiology, from Calgary, Alberta, said, he helped set up the event because of his support for the war in Iraq.
“I”m just trying to show my support,” he said. “I think people need to express their opinions more, especially here at BYU.”