SPECIAL SERIES : 2004 National Election
Politics Turns Ugly On Campus
November 1, 2004 3:50 PM
SF State University Police Department (UPD) was called to the Cesar Chavez student center to breakup a heated political debate between unofficial surrogates of President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry, Monday afternoon.
A crowd of approximately 100 gathered in front of a table setup by Republican supporters of the Bush/Cheney ticket to hear a contentious discussion over the Iraq war.
"Bush is a murderer," shouted Nala Mohammadi, business junior and supporter of the Kerry/Edwards ticket. "How can you stand up there and support him?"
"Bush is a liberator, and you're a terrorist," countered Victor Traycey, Republican Bush supporter. "If you don't like what he's doing, why don't you go back to the country you came from?"
As the debate grew more heated with name calling from both sides, Mohammadi pointed her finger in Traycey's face as they shouted at each other. Visibly upset with his accusations, Mohammadi went to grab an item off the table when suddenly Traycey pushed her hand away. Mohammadi then lunged at Traycey.
Her friends restrained her but she struggled to break free from their grip and Mohammadi tried to run back towards the table of Republicans.
"He called me a terrorist because I oppose the occupation of Iraq," said Mohammadi. "Where is the democracy in this country?"
A police officer, who refused comment, stepped in and warned Mohammadi about the consequences of the argument turning physical and the officers words appeared to calm her flared temper.
"While I give these guys credit for having the balls to be out here with Bush signs, they have to know that they are getting nowhere screaming at people," said Randall Szabo, English senior and witness to the debate and scuffle. "They should learn how to respect people, especially when they know the campus is more liberal than they are."
Cinthya Acuna, a junior majoring in nursing, said that she was shocked that the Kerry/Edwards supporters did not have a table set up with signs and stickers like the Bush/Cheney people.
However, a few minutes after the altercation between Mohammadi and Traycey ended, fine arts senior Tanya Beaudet joined the large gathering with a roll of Kerry/Edwards lapel stickers.
"I bought these with my own money," Beaudet said of the roll of 5000 stickers. "I was going to hand them out tomorrow, but when I saw what was going on here, I felt that I had to do something."
Ali Amirkizi, a cellular molecular biology senior, offered to help Beaudet hand out stickers. He said though he is not eligible to vote until he becomes an American citizen next year, he wanted to do whatever he could to help Kerry win the election.
"Bush has got to go," said Amirkizi, who is from Iran. "The worse thing he's done to the world is starting this war with Iraq. For the interest of the country and the world, I hope Kerry wins tomorrow."
While the police made no arrests, Mohammadi said she plans to file a police report against Traycey for allegedly hitting her.
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