Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Events at USF Today...

Well, today is Wednesday, which means that there's a Bull Market (our mascot is a Bull) out on the palm tree lined walk that passes between the Education Building and Cooper Hall (aka Arts & Sciences). It usually has vendors selling trinkets, sunglasses... jewelry... book... religion... There are usually just the religious organization that are on campus there. And they are always civil to one another. The Jewish Student Union aka Hillel can sit right next to the Muslim student group and it's all good. No different today, except that the number of Christian groups that are *not* student run and are *not* on campus has been growing. Today, in addition to the Catholic Student Union and the Christian Challenge (a fundamentalist group) which are usually there, there was also the Mormon student group, a Baptist Student group, two or three other non-student run off campus Christian groups, and a group of old men who have been prostlitizing on campus for at least the last three Wednesdays. (I found it very amusing that this last group was stuck next to the other group of old men who come onto campus every Wednesday and set up a tent and hang up signs - the militant Atheists who have inflammatory signs like "Insidious Christian Fundamentalists!" and "God is Dead!" and "The Bible is Fake!" and "Don't make yourself a slave to religion!" Very amusing they... )

But in addition to all of that there was a new, supposedly student run group at the Bull Market today calling themselves "The Voices for the Unborn." They set up a cardboard mock-graveyard of white crosses in the grass, passed out flyers (I told them they could keep the one they tried to give me), and they held up signs and Bibles... ::rolls eyes:: There were maybe about 10 people in their group: 2 holding up signs, 2 holding up Bibles and about 6 scattered around passing out flyers. The two signs said "We Speak for the Unborn!" and "I regret my abortion!" Uh-huh...

Well, within the hour of them setting up their little Anti-Choice protest, an opposing impromptu Pro-Choice protest was set up about... oh, six feet away or so... Amazingly, both sides did not speak to the other. They just held up their signs. About 6 young women held up a sign that said "You Don't Speak for Us!" and one young woman held up a sign that said, "And I'm just glad I didn't have to use a coat hanger!" How's that grab ya? There were a lot of other people sitting behind them and milling around near their protest, out-numbering the Anti-Choice people by at least 3 to one at any given time. I couldn't get a picture of them because their were just too many and I couldn't get a good angle or a clear shot (only very blurry ones).

But I did get a picture of the Anti-Choice protest. You can see the boys who had their Bibles in the foreground on the right. The girls holding up signs are further to the left, and the field of cardboard crosses (which they better have cleaned up when they were finished! Littering is bad!) can be seen through the middle.

Just to the other side of me, behind me as I took the above picture was, the Pro-Choice protest. Just behind them was another interesting thing going on... a car being smashed... It was not a prank. It's a charity drive. A group of students raising money for a local charity that makes dreams come true for terminally ill children (not Make A Wish) was selling tickets for 1 dollar per hit to hit a car with a sledge hammer or baseball bat. People were having a grand old time, let me tell you!

In the background of the first three photos, you can see the red sign that read "They don't speak for us!" of the counter-protesters.

Meanwhile, Laura, Maria and I were eating lunch on the lawn, pic-nic style, just like pretty much everyday since classes began this semester. We decided we liked it a lot, so we keep doing it everyday. I always bring the blanket. Laura took this with her camera phone, which is way better than mine (Maria is hiding behind Laura... silly Maria!):


ilana said...

There's a guy who came to Shepherd a couple years ago and stood in the middle of the little grassy circle in front of the old gym, waving a bible and shouting that all the women who were attending classes were whores and shouldn't be given education of any kind. Apparently the school has to allow that sort of nonsense, no matter what anyone thinks, because of the First Amendment; if they don't allow it, it's grounds for a suit. Of course, during my tenure at the school, I didn't go out on campus very much, so I never actually saw this stuff; only heard about it second-hand from friends who found it hilarious. Hee! We have a Hillel bumpersticker on our refridgerater, right under a picture of Alfred Molina. :)

Rachael said...

I think the same guy comes to USF too! Every year! He says the exact same thing, calls women whores and tells other people they're going to burn in eternal Hellfire. And lord forbid you tell him you're Jewish... That starts a whole different interesting tirade 'cause I did that one year... also has interesting things to say about the Muslims. People mostly ignore him, moon him, tell him "Go to Hell!" or "Bite me!", or they amuse themselves by trying to get him to argue himself into a corner. It's pretty fun actually. He usually gets frustrated when they try that, turns red with anger and starts reading more random Bible passages and telling us what it "really" means. He usually shows up during Finals Week or just before it at the beggining of December. Screams himself hoarse! To try to avoid that, one year he brought a bull-horn with him and used that to shout. But it was disturbing classes inside the surrounding buildings so the Campus Police showed up and confiscated the bull-horn. We laughed and pointed. LOL! ... We have an area on campus, near where the protest was today, that is called a "Free Speech Zone." If you want to get on a soap box at USF, you have to go there to do it or you get thrown off campus or arrested for trespassing. I hear they instituted it during the Vietnam protest era to contain the sit-ins. It's pretty cool.