USF students to hold ‘Push Bush Left’ rally at local park

The student-planned “Push Bush Left” rally will be held at 1 p.m. today at Lettuce Lake Park. The event was inspired from what the organizers consider a disappointing outcome of the 2004 election.

“I was in shock, pretty much,” student Jenn O’Neill said, describing her reaction to President Bush’s re-election. The political science major was watching the election at friend Michele Agius’ house.

“I was sad, but at the same time, these next four years cannot, by Democrats, be spent sitting around,” said Agius, who considers her opinion to be common among students.

Their disappointment soon gave way to inspiration. The next week they began planning an event to discuss issues and the liberties they felt had been taken away from them under the Bush Administration. Posting flyers and contacting other political organizations, O’Neill, Agius and friend Robyn Silva have received an enthusiastic response so far.

“A lot of people were excited to know something like this was going on,” Agius said. Republicans she encountered while passing out flyers were sympathetic. “They understood that we felt we had lost something in the last four years.”

Starting with a few issues of their own, such as abortion, the friends began compiling more as they contacted people.

“We are researching issues we knew nothing about before,” Agius said, adding that they will keep in contact with everyone who attends so they will be able to plan future events.

The topics will be discussed at the Lettuce Lake Park in what she describes as a “think tank” session. Both the well-informed and uninformed are invited to share ideas and learn how to become active in issues they care about, Agius said. “It’s an interactive rally.”

They aren’t working with one specific organization, Agius said, and are taking it upon themselves to bring people together. It will serve as a political common ground, they hope, allowing organizations active in one area to interact with others. “We really want it to be all people’s ideas, instead of one speaker talking,” Agius said.