This article is based on an email by Mark Sandefer and news reports from Wyoming
On Thursday, September 10th, a protest was held in Laramie, Wyoming at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the gruesomely named “Cheney International Center”, at the University of Wyoming. Dick and Lynn Cheney donated $3.2 million for this building, and received matching funds from the University.
About 40 protesters started on the east side of the UW campus, marching with signs, banners, and chants to the area of the ceremony. One large sign read "REAL COWBOYS DON’T TORTURE!" Upon arrival at the center at least another 100 activists joined in to shout at Dick Cheney and former Wyoming senator Alan Simpson. There was a lot of media from Cheyenne, local tv, radio, and newspapers.
"I think its wrong to name an international center after a man who sanctioned torture internationally. It’s going to be expensive to change that name when he’s indicted," said Meg Lanker, a UW student protestor. Protestors like Lanker stood with large signs challenging the University’s decision to name the center after Dick Cheney, following years of his war crimes. "I think his crimes are really dramatic and extremely problematic for American democracy and the country and what it stands for," said Karen Molleson, a protestor visiting from New York. "I don’t think that honoring Dick Cheney with an international center is keeping with the so called Wyoming values that we hear about," Lanker went on to say..
With a large and hostile hostile crowd gathered, some people figured Cheney would not even speak. He spoke for about 5 minutes. Several of the protestors expressed amazement at the gathering of naive students and university workers (who seemed to outnumber the students) watching the proceedings. Lots of them had a puzzled look on their face – like, "Why are you against torture?"
Overall, it was a really positive message to the campus and to the University. Haliburton blood money, from Dick Cheney to the University, will never be acceptable to us.
There were several teachers in the protest, some Green Party members from Denver, and a host of students, who want an anti war movement.