- President George W. Bush
Peace activists have received permission to hold a rally at the south gate of the Air Force Academy next Wednesday, when George W. Bush is scheduled to speak during the Academy's graduation ceremony.
A group of counter-protesters will rally in support of Bush at the Academy's north gate.
Representatives for both groups recently met with Academy officials to make arrangements for the events.
Peace groups across Colorado have declared a statewide protest against the war in Iraq as well as Bush's policies on healthcare, civil liberties and the environment. Dennis Apuan, an organizer with the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission, said he hopes that about 200 people will attend.
Two years ago, four local activists were arrested and charged with trespassing for demonstrating near the Academy's south gate when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spoke at a graduation ceremony. A judge later threw out the charges, ruling that the four had engaged in constitutionally protected free speech while standing in a public right of way.
On Wednesday, activists will be allowed to rally on Academy property outside the south gate, near Interstate 25 and Academy Boulevard.
The rally will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. As of press time, organizers were also considering holding an 8 a.m. march to the south gate, from the intersection of Academy Boulevard and Highway 83.
-- Terje Langeland