There was a rally today at lunchtime featuring both those supporting and those opposing the decision by UMass to have former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card speak at this year's graduation ceremony.
In all the turnout was rather sparse considering the amount of media coverage the controversy has received. But then again the petition to cancel Card's appearance has only gotten around a thousand signatures as of this writing. There are over 23,000 students at UMass.
Opponents greatly outnumbered supporters, but the pro-Card folks were very feisty, including the legendary right-wing activist Ed Cutting, who had to put up with some taunts and insults from a small number of rude leftists.
In general however, the two sides seemed respectful of one another, with the introductory remarks welcoming the Republicans "in the spirit of democracy."
A lot of people came with signs, such as these folks.
The opponents had a series speakers talk against Card's visit, which most seemed to oppose because of Card's support for the Iraq War.
Members of the faculty also appeared to be in attendance.
The University was wise to invite Card, who is destined to become a major figure in Massachusetts politics now that he's out of Washington and back in the state. As a publicly funded institution, UMass needs to be on friendly terms with the full spectrum of Massachusetts politics. Since only a small but noisy number of campus leftists seem to be bothered by Card's invitation, UMass should do what is best for UMass and give Mr. Card a warm welcome.
Here's a video I made of the crowd: