Truthdig salutes Rocky Anderson, the Salt Lake City mayor who spoke out against the war and reminded the world that “blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism.” Anderson welcomed Bush to his city with a fiery protest speech and these searing lines: “A patriot does not tell people who are intensely concerned about their country to just sit down and be quiet; to refrain from speaking out in the name of politeness or for the sake of being a good host; to show slavish, blind obedience and deference to a dishonest, war-mongering, human-rights-violating president.”
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the two-term mayor has been outspoken on a wide range of topics, including genocide in Sudan, nuclear-waste storage, marijuana laws, the Iraq war, President Bush, HIV testing, healthcare, abstinence-only education, gay marriage, living wages and sprawl. He has also been an outspoken gay rights advocate and has signed executive orders on behalf of the gay community.
Anderson recently announced that he will not seek a third term as mayor of Salt Lake City. Rather, he will pursue grass-roots organizing on human rights issues and climate change.
(Picture: Salt Lake City Mayor Ross “Rocky” Anderson at an anti-Bush rally Wednesday, Aug. 30, in Salt Lake City. Anderson, a Democrat in a city that is considered liberal by heavily Republican Utah’s standards, has accused the Bush administration of lying about the rationale for war.)