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The College Walk Colossus

College Walk finds itself abuzz with excitement this afternoon, playing host to an array of colorful happenings. Spring is here to stay, much to the delight of protesters and peddlers.

First, as the beat of a conga drum wafts through the air, one finds the ubiquitous trinketry, cheap spring scarfs, and ethnic food of a street fair. Feeling a little green? Make your way to the base of the Steps and celebrate Earth Day by picking up a few fluorescent light bulbs courtesy of the Earth Institute and Columbia’s Sustainability Working Group, but remember to trade in your incandescent bulbs first.  Hear a gong in the distance?  That’s the Iraq War protest group counting five years of conflict by striking a chime for every person killed. They’re on day two now, and Bwog just received word that a counter-protest may be in the works! 

See all those American flags on clotheslines? Courtesy of the College Democrats, it’s a flag washing extravaganza to “wash away the negative image associated with the American flag” and restore the flag as an “international symbol of freedom and justice.”  College Walk and Low steps are very much alive today, and Bwog looks forward to many more hours spent idling on the urban beach.

More photos of the sunshine festivities after the jump!

Update: Tipster Alex Port sends pictures of an unorthodox Iraq counter-protest.


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  • QQmoar says:

    @QQmoar You’re taking tests in late april? Finals are in may. What is your damage?
    big ups to 9:36

  • yea says:

    @yea wow, someone should protest little kids being allowed to play on the lawn… that sounds awful, i feel so bad for you.

  • Bwogette says:

    @Bwogette Ringing a fucking bell is doing nothing more than disrupting my classes in Hamilton. Why are they allowing something that’s causing a disruption to the academics to go on like this?

    Look, I’m just as much opposed to this war as the next bleeding heart liberal Columbian, but standing in the center of campus irritating the fuck out of people only drives people away from your little cause.

    1. grr says:

      @grr it made my test-taking yesterday wholly obnoxious- bell ringing- little kids yelling and screaming on the lawns, obnoxious classmates muttering, ugh.

      pity that people are still dying. small price for me to pay, though i could have done without the little kids and classmate, too.

  • captain obvious says:

    @captain obvious If those “I don’t care” posters had been put up in protest of a conservative event on campus centered on a memorial for the dead in Iraq, Matt Sanchez would already be scheduled to talk to Bill O’Reilly about it tonight.

  • Pontius Pilate says:

    @Pontius Pilate Nice work Dems, the flag washing’s a great idea. We should just pretend the invasion never happened and declare war on free trade instead.

    ‘Sorry about that, we’ll just be off then. Good luck and God bless’

  • Silly Americans says:

    @Silly Americans Your second amendment is a joke. Get over your silly Constitution; some of it is archaic.

    1. ah, trolls says:

      @ah, trolls Yeah, while we’re at it, let’s trash all those other protections against government intrusion encoded in the rest of that pesky Bill of Rights codicil that annoyed the crap out of Hamilton and his cronies.

      1. constitution says:

        @constitution they don’t have a written constitution in britain. I’m pretty sure it’s not a despotical autocracy.

    2. ummm says:

      @ummm If that was in reply to #19, you should probably know that the 2nd Amendment and Article II of the Constitution are not the same thing.

      Silly foreigner.

  • I think says:

    @I think the flag washing made some really interesting points. If you read the op-ed in today’s spec and listened to what the Dems were saying at the event, it was a pretty nuanced message. They were saying that we need to think about how the war and the policies which accompany it have damaged the US image around the world. I think that’s a pretty powerful message.

  • THIS PROTEST says:

    @THIS PROTEST is ridiculous. they could be using their energy in better ways, like trying to make legislative changes, instead of banging a bell for two days straight. they’ve made their point, why not trying to be more active?

    1. how says:

      @how are they supposed to “make legislative changes” – assuming few of the protesters are members of Congress? ask politely, write letters & call their reps? or perhaps, assuming that reps are unlikely at this point to be persuaded by more facts, try to build a movement & raise hell to put pressure on Congress?

  • Argh says:

    @Argh I yield to no one in my disapproval of the war and wish to keep it in the public eye…but am still slightly annoyed by that tinny bell and those soggy flags…

    1. here here says:

      @here here I’m a veteran myself, and I thoroughly disapprove of this war. So do many other veterans on campus. Bell ringing and flag washing do nothing other than make the people involved feel they’re “doing something” productive. They’re not. That’s not how to get things done in the real world.

  • respect says:

    @respect and that 5 years and a shitload of casualties is too much.

  • respect says:

    @respect you’re an idiot. the bell and the protest is just to make people aware that we are in war and that it’s taking lives.

    1. how noble says:

      @how noble Wow, without bells & whistles & protests we’d never know we were at war and people were dying, huh? No one reads, no one watches news, no one blogs… sheesh.

    2. Name says:

      @Name one person who doesn’t know that people are dying because of this war. Go for it.

      If their goal is simply to raise awareness why not bring attention to less obvious effects such as the fact that our public schools are now in a stranglehold for funds because all their money is getting sucked up into the Pentagon?

  • I see says:

    @I see two main issues with the bell thing

    1.) There are much more respectful and less irritating/enraging way of honoring the dead than standing in the middle of college walk and ringing a bell incessantly for five days straight.

    2.) If they mean to protest the war, their methods are ineffective. It has become very clear that the war will not end during the current presidency. Whether or not we pull out of Iraq comes down purely to whether we elect a Democrat or a Republican in the upcoming election. Therefore, if these people cared at all about ending the war in Iraq they’d be out campaigning for the Democratic Party instead of standing on the sundial and ringing that fucking bell every five seconds.

    1. Fat chance says:

      @Fat chance Yeah, sure, an elected Democrat will make all the difference in the world to our chances of getting the troops out of Iraq: Obama is a “nuke Tehran until it glows” warhawk, Hillary is indistinguishable from a mainstream Republican in this matter, and Mike Gravel (the only sane candidate in the Dem field) has been marginalized as an embarrassment by his party.

      Don’t think I like the Republican party’s presumptive nominee either: his “stay the course” line is threadbare code for “let’s stay there at least as long as we’ve been ‘policing’ Korea.”

      1. Oh, and says:

        @Oh, and “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”

        If that’s your only reason to say that Obama wants to “nuke Tehran until it glows” would you rather he had said:

        “if we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will do absolutely nothing”?

        1. At last says:

          @At last An actual researched reply, for a change. Very cool.

          Then surely you’ll not object to my asking that you do a bit more research, and tell us which clause of which section of Article II of the U.S. Constitution – which delimits executive power – would give Obama in his exercise of that power the mandate as CinC to threaten the citizens of a nation with whom Congress has not declared war?

          1. Well says:

            @Well I don’t know if I’d call the statement “threatening”… This is not a shoe-banging “Iran we will crush you” moment.

            Let’s face it, there are certain things you have to do to get elected in this country. No one who runs a campaign claiming that they will under no circumstances strike against known terrorist targets will ever be elected president. The sheer ambiguity of the quote should be enough evidence that it’s a matter of general policy, not a direct threat the citizens of Iran.

  • i don't care? says:

    @i don't care? seriously? they are protesting honoring the dead by saying “i don’t care”?

  • Consumer says:

    @Consumer Yo, that food they were selling was mad good. $5!

    And I bought a whales+dolphins book for the same price.

    Holla with few Dollas!

  • And if so says:

    @And if so is it free?

  • 2010 says:

    @2010 but is there food?

  • YEAH says:


  • never gets old? says:

    @never gets old? How many Columbia students does it take to change a lightbulb?
    Seventy-six. One to change the light bulb, fifty to protest the light bulb’s right to not change, and twenty-five to hold a counter-protest.

    1. ... says:

      @... well at least now they’ll be energy efficient lightbulbs.

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