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Political views clash at rally

After celebrating Republican ideals for nearly three hours inside Anderson Arena yesterday, Republican supportors who attended vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s rally were met with a wall of Democratic supporters after leaving the arena.’

Made up of members from College Democrats, Transcendence, Amnesty International and FREEDOM, as well as a random assortment of passerbys, the pro-Obama gathering took place on the sidewalk in front of East Hall and lasted roughly 30 minutes.

Touting a random assortment of Obama signs and chanting and cheering supportive songs, the originally friendly crowd quickly clashed with Republican supporters after differences between the two parties began to be argued.

A conversation between senior Ronald Collier and Graytown, Ohio resident Jeff Sievert quickly turned heated when the two began discussing the Iraq war and the differentiating policies between the Republican and Democratic policies.

‘I don’t feel we should be in this war and I don’t think we ever should have gone,’ Collier said. ‘I feel like [Sievert] doesn’t understand what America is really about, which is diversity and equality for all.’

Sievert, who served in the military during the first Iraqi war, said he felt betrayed when he began to be attacked for believing the troops should not be removed until everything is resolved in Iraq.’

‘When you’re deployed places and killing innocent people, it makes you feel very unappreciated and angry to hear things like [Collier] was saying,’ Sievert said. ‘Whatever the reasons we went over there for, we helped people and the finished product is 1,000 times better.’

However, not everyone attending the gathering took sides based on political parties.

Graduate student Jesse Koza, who walked down the middle of the divided line between the Republican and Democratic supporters carrying a notebook page proclaiming ‘Be Nice! Hooray for People!’ decided to try and create peace between the two conflicting parties.

‘It’s really easy to get caught up in the wash of all this, but these people you disagree with are still going to live next to you in a week,’ Koza said. ‘I believe that if people would be more willing to pick people up rather than attack them, we wouldn’t have as big of a split between the parties in this country.’

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