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Protesters mob campus, Tempe

A mob of protesters who walked from Daley Park on College Avenue to Hayden Lawn Thursday afternoon surround two Bush supporters.

More than 1,000 protesters descended upon Hayden Lawn Wednesday evening, causing inconveniences for the CNN pre-debate telecast.

A CNN producer on the set asked several of the protesters to quiet down and turn off their megaphones because it was affecting the host's audio feed.

No protesters were arrested and no officers or protesters were injured, said Tempe police Sgt. Dan Masters.

The demonstration was organized by a coalition called the Oct. 13 Alliance.

The protesters began gathering under the watchful eye of a dozen bicycle police officers at Daley Park, several blocks south of Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium on College Avenue.

The group quickly made its way to the CNN stage chanting "Two more weeks," and holding signs that read: "My son died because Bush lied."

Protesters presented mixed messages, ranging from pro-Kerry to anti-government.

One group marched with 15-foot puppet effigies of both candidates.

Others were on hand to observe and assist those who marched.

Christie Craft, a history and women's studies junior, said she was there to respond to medical needs.

"Basically me and my team are here to help if someone gets injured," Craft said.

Eleanor Eisenberg, executive director of the Arizona chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union lead a group of objective observers in attendance to document the march.

"The ACLU has been criticized in the past for supporting groups on both [political] sides, but we are only here today to help protect the First Amendment," Eisenberg said.

The last group to arrive at Hayden Lawn was barely dressed at all.

Connie Engel, a justice studies graduate student and member of V-Day, a feminist organization, said her group was dressed in skin-toned outfits and provocatively placed pasties to draw attention to the beauty of the female figure.

"We want to get people out there thinking of activism that includes more than just marching," Engel said. "We want them to think creatively."

Accounting junior Jeff Meyers said he and his roommates had stickers and signs supporting Bush in plain view of the road at their house, and would wait the protest out.

"I don't think they will break down our house or anything," he said. "But never underestimate the power of stupid people in a large group."

Meyers said the protest never reached his house; it was diverted west onto 14th Street by eight police officers on horseback and nearly a dozen officers on bicycles.

The protesters crossed onto campus at the Art Museum and headed across Orange Mall without a police escort.

When the group approached Hayden Lawn, they were met by a small band of Bush supporters who brandished signs and chanted in opposition of the protesters.

"Xylen," a 28-year-old protester from Tucson, took a position on the left side of the stage inside a barricade and shouted into a megaphone.

At one point, security staff guarding the stage told her to leave or police would arrest her.

"You have blood on your tongue, Wolf Blitzer," she shouted in response.

Other heated moments occurred earlier in the day outside of the Memorial Union, some students said.

"A girl ripped a sign out my hands," said undeclared sophomore Erika Santa Cruz. "She put a Kerry sign on one of our signs."

According to undeclared sophomore Bethany Earnhart, Kerry fans were ripping Bush signs.

ASU alumnus Jeff Braeger said he witnessed several fights early in the day.

"There were people pushing each other and yelling," he said.

There were no police around when these fights happened, Braeger said, but he did mention it to some officers. About 1 p.m. some officers did arrive.

Reporter Katie Ruark contributed to this story.

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