LaRouche Supporters Protest with Songfest
February 7, 2007 10:42 AM
"100,000 Muslims died/sounds like genocide/George Bush and Cheney want World War III," sang a group of 12 singers led by a conductor near the Tapia Drive shuttle stop outside of the Humanities building.
Students who stopped by to listen to the congregation seemed amused by its lyrical content and swayed by messages like "Impeach Dick Cheney while you still can."
"This is fucking awesome," Chris Chegia, 21, a senior music major, said. "I'm really excited to see this kind of thing walking to class. They are against what is going on right now."
But few took the time to find out that the singers were members of the extreme political activist LaRouche Movement.
The group is the brainchild of Lyndon LaRouche Jr., 81, who has run as a fringe candidate for the U.S. presidency eight times despite having served six years in prison for fraud. According to a CNN report, he is also known as a conspiracy theorist who has claimed that Queen Elizabeth II was part of an international drug ring and refers to Cheney, a frequent target, as "Beastman."
The LaRouche Movement has earned a place on the watch list of the Rick A. Ross Institute of New Jersey, a nonprofit organization that studies and informs the public on what they consider destructive or controversial groups.
April Ricromer, an art student who was amused by the performance, said she assumed they were affiliated with the school.
"Kick, slap, dropkick, handcuff," the group went on, "Dick Cheney likes to play it rough/from his bedroom straight to Abu Ghraib/He's been torturing people since 1975."
Ricromer laughed at this and accepted a booklet of LaRouche literature from one of the activists. "It's hilarious, it's so clever and true," she said. "It's entertaining, but they are also getting their message across."
Earlier in the day the LaRouche activists had been singing on the other side of campus, near the Health and Social Services building, but a noise complaint was lodged and the University Police asked them to move outside of campus limits, according to the Director of Public Affairs Ellen Griffin.
They moved to just outside the boundaries, by the bus stop. As soon as they were done, they scattered without a word and refused to make a comment. While they were only asked to move due to the complaint, there were indications that the demonstrators hadn't gotten prior approval.
"Generally speaking," Griffin said, "a political group does need to be invited by faculty or the administration or a student group to be on campus. Or they can request a leafletting permit."
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