In pictures/video: Protesters march at WhartonMarch 24, 2013
Ahmedabad, 24 March 2013
Text from The Daily Pennsylvanian
About 200 protesters from across the America rallied to march at Wharton at 11:30 a.m. Two buses from New Jersey and one from Queens, N.Y. came to deliver people to the protest. Chants of “We want Modi!” were heard all along the Street.
A group known as Americans for Free Speech marched to protest the removal of Gujarat chief state minister Narendra Modi from the Wharton India Economic Forum this afternoon.
The march, followed by a series of speeches from guest speakers, was held across the street from the conference, which took place in Harrison Auditorium at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
Members of the press were denied entrance to the conference.
The march is “carrying the funeral of free speech,” Narain Kataria, a speaker at the event, said. During the march, a sign was posted outside of Fisher-Bennett Hall by the protesters that read “In memory of Free Speech 1776-2013. Killed at Wharton by the English Department.”
Protesters held up signs that read “First they came for the Hindus…”, “End McCarthyism against Hindus…”, “Stop Academic Jihad” and “Fire Ania Loomba” among others. One organizer shouted to the crowd that the march was as important as that of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Since they have rescinded their invitation to Modi to speak at the conference, Wharton and WIEF have received much attention from news outlets throughout India. Cameras and reporters from Indian news organization ITV attended the event as well.
Several police officers were present to direct the protesters through traffic. People on stilts and a jazz band marched with the protesters to “push the excitement,” said musician Devon Taylor. Bystanders watched as the crowd of protesters slowly moved their way to Franklin Field.
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