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Burk Concerned About Jesse Jackson

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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- Martha Burk thinks someone might try to disrupt the Masters, but it won't be her. 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.
 
But Burk expressed concern that too many other organizations will attach themselves to the protest and cause trouble.
 
``I don't want a cast of thousands down there,'' Burk said at a news conference at Bowling Green University's student's union Wednesday. ``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 thinks her request for a permit will be denied, and she has not ruled out an illegal demonstration.
 
``We're not planning to do anything illegal. We're not planning to do anything disruptive,'' Burk said. She quickly added, ``It won't kill me to get arrested.''
 
Col. Gary Powell of the Augusta-Richmond County Sheriff's Department said he received requests Tuesday from Jackson's group and from an unidentified man from Maine who supports Augusta National.
 
Burk was invited to Bowling Green 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.
 
Burk's plans for a demonstration at the Masters could change if the United States is at war with Iraq. Burk said she would be at Augusta during the tournament, but her message would be toned down.
 
``It's likely to be something that we would deem inappropriate at that time,'' she said.
 
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.
 
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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