Opinion

Protesting in the ‘Can’

As it is reported in the media, presidential disapproval is increasing and concerns about the Iraq War grow. I have often wondered how much of this anti-Bush sentiment exists in my generation and college age adults, and what is being done to vocally demonstrate anti-war beliefs? I can only speak of first-hand experience from the University of Miami campus and information I gather through the Internet, television, or my Newsweek subscription.

Unlike in Washington, there has been no picketing or protesting here on campus in Coral Gables. There are no anti-war tables staking a claim in the breezeway. The topic of conversation is usually not the state of our country. I had a bumper sticker that said, “January 20, 2009-The End of An Error,” until it faded, and I removed it. I had some anti-war pins on my backpack last year until they either fell off or were pilfered.

Recently I have found a cry for anti-war protest from UM male citizens in an unlikely place: the men’s bathrooms around the UM campus. Urinal and toilet stalls have long been the canvas for verbal epithets about mothers, sexual pleasures, good times, who to call for a good time, and male genitalia, but now I’ve noticed a sixth category: political protesting.

Phrases such as “Bush lied,” “War sucks,” and, “Peace is the answer,” can be seen in UM men’s bathrooms like the one in the UC and the one next to Starbucks. Why have people chosen the public toilet as the venue to voice opinions, especially since only the male population will ever read it? I have to hope the women are as politically active. Since I never visit the women’s facility, I hope someone writes in to enlighten us. Anyway, It appears we have little time in our increasingly busy lives to organize a protest or a display table in the UC breezeway. But during this rare moment in the day of five minutes of relaxation, it appears that some male students take the opportunity to do something we wish we had more time to do: protest our current political and military displeasures.

The fact remains that there is an increasing public outcry throughout many age levels against the president and his leading our country into war on what appears to be more than increasing suspicions of false pretenses. We all express our feelings in different ways. As long as one can offer one’s opinion publicly, it does not matter the venue. Keep in mind that political graffiti was a staple of ancient Rome and was put up everywhere.

We are in a time of uncertainty, with many of our questions either unanswered or answered with the current solution of deploying additional troops. Maybe the bathroom protestors have the best method of voicing this concern. A ballpoint pen or permanent marker can leave an imprint that lasts until it is painted over or the building is destroyed, but the potential exists for the writing to last for an exceedingly long time. A well-placed phrase of “Bush is the devil” (an actual piece of toilet graffiti) can be seen by hundreds of people in a given week. For the work of one to affect such a large group of people is a very powerful way and non-violent way to voice disagreement.

With each passing day, and more Iraqi citizens and coalition forces killed and wounded, the concern grows about the escalating violence. So far, presidential candidate Barack Obama is the only one to provide us with a solution to the Iraq War, a solution that will have all American troops redeployed by March of 2008. Obama was also against the war from its inception.

Will we see demonstrations like the US saw during the Vietnam era? I hope our current political and military situation does not reach a point to necessitate such outcry, but if our country must, we will take our fight from the bathroom stalls to the streets and hopefully into the halls of Congress and the Oval Office.

Sam Rega is a junior majoring in motion pictures and philosophy. He may be contacted at s.rega@umiami.edu.

February 27, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Wednesday: ▪ The Miami Hurricanes are honoring their 1983 nation ...

With Jaquan Johnson still sidelined with a hamstring strain he suffered on Saturday against Toledo, ...

The Miami Hurricanes are running low on tight ends. But their receivers — notably sophomore speedste ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Tuesday: ▪ The pretty even split of carries between Travis Homer ...

The University of Miami has lost another player to surgery, and the depth was already lacking at thi ...

The trailer for a documentary exploring the relationships between UM students and Holocaust survivor ...

New technology could help workplaces and schools identify violent intruders before they enter the do ...

A University of Miami professor has created software to detect fraud in standardized tests. ...

UM President Julio Frenk outlined the strategies of the Roadmap to Our New Century, part of his Stat ...

Students attending Monday night's State of the U address by UM President Julio Frenk offer thei ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team will begin her fall campaign Thursday a ...

Through three games, Miami is No. 1 in the country in tackles for loss and the entire Hurricanes def ...

Jeff Thomas may be quiet off the field, but the sophomore has been consistently making lots of noise ...

The University of Miami soccer team is set to return to Cobb Stadium, where it will host No. 12 Duke ...

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Tuesday the league slate for the upcoming 2018-19 season. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.