Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Students thrown out of Harper rally

Toronto Sun: Tories sorry after student turfed from rally
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered an apology Monday to a local teen who claims she was turfed from a Tory rally here over her Facebook picture with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.

Awish Aslam, a 19-year-old University of Western Ontario student, said she wept after getting the boot.

"I've never voted in a federal election before," she said. "We just repeated we were only there to listen."

Aslam and a friend registered online to attend Harper's Sunday rally - part of the restrictions the Conservatives place on such events.

About 30 minutes after arriving and signing in, the two girls were asked by a man to follow him out of the rally, Aslam said. Though confused, they complied.

In a back room, Aslam said he ripped off their name tags, tore them up and ordered them out.

"We were confused. He said, 'We know you guys have ties to the Liberal party through Facebook'. He said ... 'You are no longer welcome here.'"
The university student said she has clicked "Like" on the Facebook pages of each of the three party leaders, so she said she can't figure out why she was excluded.

"First, I was really discouraged. People are always talking about how they want youth to vote and we are disengaged but when we want to go and get informed, this happens," Aslam said.

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