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Burk protest will be muted in event of war

Martha Burk plans to tone down her protest at the Masters if the United States is at war with Iraq.

"It's likely to be something that we would deem inappropriate at that time," she said Wednesday at a news conference at Bowling Green State University.

Burk, chairwoman of the National Council of Women's Organizations, has said she will seek a permit to demonstrate at the Masters about Augusta National's all-male membership.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition has requested an application for a permit to demonstrate in support of Burk at the Masters in April.

Burk said her group is not working with Jackson's and that an effective protest might include 100 people in a small area near the front gate of Augusta National.

She expressed concern that too many other organizations will attach themselves to the protest at the Georgia golf club and cause trouble.

"I don't want a cast of thousands down there," she said. "I think it will get chaotic and we won't get our message across.

"If I parachuted into the first tee, they wouldn't show it. If you want to get on TV, stay outside. That's why I'm staying outside."

Burk, however, thinks her request for a permit will be denied. She has not ruled out an illegal demonstration.

"We're not planning to do anything illegal. We're not planning to do anything disruptive," she said. She quickly added, "It won't kill me to get arrested."

Col. Gary Powell of the Augusta-Richmond County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday he received requests Tuesday from Jackson's group and from an unidentified man from Maine who supports Augusta National.

Powell said he would e-mail applications Wednesday to both parties. They must be signed at the sheriff's department or in the presence of a notary public.

Burk was invited to Bowling Green State University to speak to students Wednesday night about gender-equity issues and women's rights.

A lone male protester briefly interrupted the beginning of her speech, shouting, "Keep Augusta private."

Burk seemed amused by the outburst and said it was good to see that college students aren't apathetic.

She spent much of her speech talking about wage gaps for women and glass ceilings in the workplace.


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