Locals join ‘virtual march’ | PostIndependent.com

Locals join ‘virtual march’

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – At least three Glenwood Springs residents joined thousands of other war protesters in Wednesday’s “Virtual March” on the U.S. Senate and White House.

“We swamped them big time,” said Bob Boyle, a retired business owner.

Bruce Christensen managed to get through clogged phone lines and talked with representatives for U.S. Sens. Wayne Allard and Ben Campbell, both R-Colo.

“I was disappointed with Ben Campbell’s response. Wayne Allard’s office was more receptive,” Christensen said.

Cheri Murray planned to place her calls to Campbell, Allard and the White House Wednesday evening. Murray said she is reluctant to discuss what she wanted to tell the senators because it’s personal.

“I just want to voice my opinion,” said the 46-year-old massage therapist. “We need to use our voice in a democracy, or lose it.”

The trio’s phone calls were scheduled through the moveon.org Web site, which acted as online host for Win Without War, the virtual march’s organizer.

Moveon.org scheduled calls to all 100 senators and the White House one minute apart, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, and expected 200,000 individuals to take part.

Boyle, a 61-year-old Air Force veteran, was scheduled to place his calls at 11:31 a.m., but started limbering up his dialing finger a few minutes before that.

“It took about 20 attempts to get through,” Boyle said.

Boyle read his message to the senators. It was quick and to the point.

“You have no plan and no way to pay for this war, or its aftermath,” Boyle’s message began. “Your folly will have our grandchildren paying the bills. No war with Iraq.”

Boyle said he considers the virtual march an important watershed in political action, in part because it came straight from the people and circumvents political parties and traditional politics.

“Political parties are out of touch with the people,” Boyle said. “Moveon is going directly to the people. This is a new way politics are being done.”

Christensen, 56, placed his calls at 7 a.m., and told the senators Iraq isn’t a risk to the United States, and domestic problems are more pressing.

“There seems to be a lack of awareness at the White House, other than for Texas oil interests,” Christensen said.

Christensen said Allard’s representative seemed to be taking notes. Campbell’s aide told Christensen if the call was part of the Virtual March, he was going to cut Christensen off.

“He said `You people have gotten what you want. Our phone lines have been clogged,'” Christensen said.

Boyle agreed that Campbell’s representative wasn’t interested in what he had to say. “He just wanted an up or down vote on the war,” Boyle said.

Senators Campbell and Allard were unavailable for comment at press time. Their phone lines were busy.

Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534


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