Crowd marches for freedom

By Katherine Klingseis, 

The people who gathered in front of City Hall on Thursday had different hairstyles, outfits and hometowns. But, what they all shared — the reason why they were there that morning — was freedom.

ISU students, faculty and staff joined high school students and Ames community members to celebrate First Amendment Day by walking from City Hall to Beardshear on a Freedom March.

The march began with readings of proclamations from the city of Ames and from the state of Iowa that proclaimed April 12 as First Amendment Day. Jami Larson, city council member and pro tem to the mayor, read the city of Ames’ proclamation and Jared Knight, president of the Government of the Student Body, and Katie Brown, vice president of GSB, read the state of Iowa’s proclamation.

“First Amendment Day reminds us of our freedom and the privilege and the duty we have to protect that freedom,” Knight said.

Mark Jungman, ISU senior in journalism and mass communication, said he could not imagine the United States without the First Amendment. He said he appreciates how the First Amendment allows people to voice their opinions.

“The First Amendment allows us to have control of something — to speak our opinions,” Jungman said. “It shows that we’re still the freest country in the world.”

Michael Bugeja, director of Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said the First Amendment is the most important right in the Bill of Rights. He explained that the First Amendment is so vital to society because it is intricately tied to education.

“Education without the First Amendment is censorship and oppression,” Bugeja said.

Michael Dahlstrom, professor of journalism and chairman of First Amendment Day, said he was happy about the turnout for the Freedom March and the First Amendment Day festivities that occurred earlier in the week. He said he also enjoyed the enthusiasm of the students

“I’m very happy students planned ahead and made signs,” Dahlstrom said. “I’m excited to see how the rest of the day goes.”

The Freedom March ended at the steps of Beardshear Hall. The rest of First Amendment Day was filled with several other activities to remind people of the importance of the First Amendment.

(Posted originally on on April 20, 2012)

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