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George W. Bush "Global Service" award protest about DU values, organizer says

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Big photos and more below.
The decision by the University of Denver to honor former President George W. Bush at a DU fundraiser has been controversial for months. Now, with Bush scheduled to speak at downtown Denver event this evening, a group of concerned students and alumni, among others, are planning a protest and press conference in advance of the get-together, with one organizer expressing fears that the money collected will be used to promote an agenda that flies in the face of the university's values.

"The people who'll be attending this event are presumably people who support Bush," says Sara Fitouri of the Colorado Student Power Alliance, "and that will shape any future ways those funds are used."

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From the Colorado Student Power Alliance website.
In the beginning, as we've reported, Bush was to be given an award for "Improving the Human Condition" under the auspices of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. After this announcement, Christopher Hill, Korbel's dean, immediately became the target of intense criticism symbolized by a Change.org petition signed by more than 1,600 people and a letter from faculty members unhappy with the honor.

According to Fitouri, the letter was endorsed by two-thirds of Korbel's faculty members, representing "a diverse spectrum of academic specialties and political/social views. In particular, it's significant that all of the senior international security/counter-terrorism faculty members signed the letter, which counters the perception among some that the opposition is coming only from human rights activists and so-called 'leftists.'"

The letter appears below in its entirety, but here's an excerpt:

When we first learned of the award to the former President, "for improving the human condition," we were shocked, disappointed, and embarrassed in light of his administration's decisions to repudiate the US' responsibilities as a signatory of the UN's Convention against Torture by authorizing the use of waterboarding of prisoners. President Bush's culpability is a matter of public evidence and personal admission.
In an apparent effort to smooth ruffled feathers, the name of the award being given to Bush was changed from "Improving the Human Condition" to "Global Service." But critics such as Fitouri weren't placated -- hence, today's event, whose Facebook page features the following image....

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...and this text:
CALL TO ACTION!!!!

Join us on Monday, Sept. 9 at 4:45 p.m. in front of the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center (650 15th St) to protest this terrible decision and stand in solidarity with Korbel folks whose academic integrity will be affected by it. We will begin the protest around 4:45 p.m. and plan to have a press conference around 5:15 p.m., so be sure to get there by then (as close as you can).

Another on-campus action is also planned; Fitouri says it's being kept quiet so that DU representatives can't prepare for it in advance. In addition, the alliance is collecting online nominations for people who truly should be honored for their humanitarianism and global service.

"We're asking people to nominate local heroes or global political figures who are more deserving," she notes. "We're going to award certificates as a way of saying, 'We're sorry our school didn't think you were worthy of an award, but the students, faculty and community recognize what you've done.'"

Get more information about today's rally here -- and click to nominate someone for a Korbel award.

Here's the aforementioned faculty letter.

DU Faculty Letter Protesting George W. Bush Award

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "DU should give George W. Bush the Denver Boone Award, not the humanitarian award."


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14 comments
Don Finley
Don Finley

Ahhh a truther anti capitalist, nice.

Douglas Evans
Douglas Evans

not everyone who dislikes Bush like Obama. Some of us arent trapped in the false left right paradigm of good cop bad cop horse and pony show BS political game show most fall for. More and more people are starting to wake up to the fact that both parties are beholden to the bankster war profiteering cartels!

Douglas Evans
Douglas Evans

not everyone who dislikes Bush like Obama. Some of us arent trapped in the false left right paradigm of good cop bad cop horse and pony show BS political game show most fall for. More and more people are starting to wake up to the fact that both parties are beholden to the bankster war profiteering cartels!

kozan
kozan

George Bush and Barack Obama are both war criminals.

jwallick35
jwallick35

Does anyone take a bunch of hypocrite students serious??

Steven M Palmer
Steven M Palmer

I'd say that while Bush was just an average president he did in fact promote quite a bit to the AIDS epidemic in Africa and continues working there today. He is much more deserving of such an award than someone else I know of who received a Nobel prize for essentially doing nothing...

Jack Quinn
Jack Quinn

Lost my home during Bush's incredible tax breaks for the rich situation and other things that put us into eternal debt.

Chip Reeves
Chip Reeves

"group of students"? Should be a "lynch mob".

rockymount77
rockymount77

These closed-minded bigots are just trying to feel high and mighty about their superior compassion. They would be overjoyed to attend if Clinton got the award. Pay no attention to the fact that far more people in the world were dying in war related deaths during his terms. Clinton sat on the sidelines debating the definition of genocide while hundreds of thousands of people were getting hack to death by machetes in Rhwanda.

I'm sick of these people trying to hide their need to judge people with their obvious prejudice and stereotyping and then pretending that it's objective compassion from "diverse viewpoints". I call BS!

Don Finley
Don Finley

The stench of marxism right ellen?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

See, that's called an ad hominem attack. Instead of doing that, you could have said something like, "As much as you can fault Bush for many of the problems facing the U.S., the honor DU is bestowing upon him is actually well deserved because he did, in fact, do quite a bit for HIV and AIDS research during his term." I don't like GW Bush one bit, but this is true, and a much better argument.

Kristina Gorman
Kristina Gorman

they'd all kneel for Obama , oh master forgive our student debt , oh master Obama , we know the war is bushes fault

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