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Angry mob chases would-be flag burner off LSU campus

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A mob of angry counter-protesters numbering in the hundreds chased grad student Benjamin Haas off the campus of Louisiana State University yesterday, after Haas read a statement in lieu of burning an American flag. (He'd actually gotten permission from the school to burn the flag, but lacked a local burn permit.) He was speaking up for a fellow student previously arrested for burning a flag at the school's War Memorial.

The counter-protest was led by student-government president Codey Wells, as a crowd comprised of students, veterans, and other onlookers gathered around an area on campus known as "free speech alley" and chanted "USA, USA, USA" and "GO TO HELL HIPPIE, GO TO HELL!" The assembled hurled water bottles and balloons as well as invective at the communications student as he described freedom as meaning "standing with those who express their constitutional rights in ways that may be unpopular, especially the accused and the marginalized, no matter the consequences."

Haas needed a mounted police escort to get him to a squad car and out of there lickety-split before he got injured. Perhaps they dropped him off at an unofficial witness-protection barbecue with Terry Jones. This flag issue doesn't seem like it's going away anytime soon.