SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) – Documentarian and liberal rabble-rouser Michael Moore railed against the Bush administration and the war in Iraq and implored a sellout crowd of 10,000 people to vote in the Nov. 2 election.

“You can’t sit out this election. You must vote,” he said.

Moore also encouraged his audience to quit complaining about Bush and take up the cause of defeating him. He asked them to travel to neighboring states – especially battleground states like Pennsylvania and Ohio – and volunteer for Democrat John Kerry’s campaign. The Slacker Uprising Tour, as Moore calls it, is concentrating on 20 swing states in the presidential election.

Although New York is expected to go to Kerry, Moore visited the Carrier Dome anyway for a two-hour-plus performance that was part political stump speech and part standup comedy.

Moore is the director of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” a documentary about the Bush administration’s actions after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The film has drawn strong protest in the United States.

It received the Best Picture Award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival but

Moore criticized Bush for starting an “illegal and immoral” war on the basis of lies – a war Moore said could not be won.

“Wars of liberation have to be organic. The people have to rise up,” Moore told a decidedly receptive audience. “This war is so wrong. This is Vietnam again.”

As one of the nation’s best-known leftist activists, Moore has become a prime target of right-wing activists. David T. Hardy and Jason Clarke, released a book this year called “Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man.” He’s also the subject of a new documentary, “Michael Moore Hates America.”

Moore said the right was angry because it realized that it espouses a minority perspective and that Moore represents the feelings of the average American.

“The majority of Americans want strong environmental laws. The majority of Americans don’t want assault weapons. The majority of Americans want health care. The majority of Americans believe the war is wrong,” Moore said. “The reason they are angry is because they know the game is up. They can stay in power only if we stay in bed on election day.”

A small group of about 15 people protested Moore’s appearance, which originally was scheduled for the campus student center but was moved to the Carrier Dome to accommodate a larger turnout. University officials cut off ticket sales at 10,000.

“Michael Moore has a long history of misrepresentation and creative editing,” said protester Jon Alvarez. “It’s no surprise that “Fahrenheit 9/11′ was an anti-American piece. At a time of war, Michael Moore is actively working against America.”

Moore’s other documentaries include the Oscar-winning film, “Bowling for Columbine” and the film “Roger and Me.” He has one book out, “Stupid White Men … and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation,” and another scheduled for release in early October entitled “Will They Ever Trust Us Again? Letters from the War Zone.”

Moore read an excerpt from one such letter. He also showed two clips from the added minutes that will appear on the DVD version of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” scheduled for release next month. Moore is trying to cut a deal to show “Fahrenheit 9/11” on television before the election.

“I want Americans to see the human costs of this war,” he said.

Later in the evening, Moore read “My Pet Goat” – the children’s book President Bush read to a group of elementary school class after he heard about the 9/11 attacks. He also showed a parody campaign commercial he made up for Bush.

Moore had advice for the Kerry campaign, saying the Democrats had let themselves become “a party of failure” by not challenging the Republican Party head-on. Moore said Kerry had to do more to distinguish himself as a candidate worth voting for.

“It’s not enough to say, “I’m not Bush,”‘ Moore said.

As for the charges that he is a traitor, Moore responded: “What could be more American than questioning those in power?”



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