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Monday, January 30, 2023

Monday's Tasering did not mark the first time Andrew Meyer has been surrounded by controversy.

On Sept. 11, he protested with a giant sign on Turlington Plaza that claimed President Bush was responsible for the terrorist attacks of 2001.

On March 11, 2005, he wrote a column for the Alligator detailing his love of being confrontational.

"I absolutely love the thought that some nonsense I wrote irritated people enough for them to take time out of their day to let everyone know how much they disliked what I wrote," the column said.

Monica Alvarez, a UF telecommunication alumna, was one person he irritated.

While Alvarez doesn't know Meyer personally, she said she is not a fan of his writings. She thinks he tries to get people riled up.

Alvarez defended Meyer's right to question Sen. John Kerry, but she thinks he should have left when UPD asked him to.

"It's unfortunate it came down to that," she said. "But UPD didn't know what his intentions were. They were just trying to protect Sen. Kerry and the crowd."

Meyer's friend, Ricky Cuellar, doesn't think his buddy is too over the top.

Cuellar, an events management junior, thinks that Meyer, or The Andrew Meyer as he calls himself online, simply wanted to ask Kerry some tough questions.

"That's just how he is," Cuellar said. "He's really into asking the difficult questions, and he loves conspiracies."

Cuellar called UPD's tactics "a little more than ridiculous."

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"It made me think of when someone speaks out at an assembly in high school," he said. "They would get sent to the principal and get a referral. But he got tackled by six officers and Tasered."

Meyer, who celebrated his 21st birthday Sept. 15, runs a Web site - www.theandrewmeyer.com - where he airs his views on music, movies and politics. The site has had more than 45,000 hits since the arrest.

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