With U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor (R–Va.) traveling to campus today, one party’s line will be the picket line.

Students and members of local organizations who oppose the House majority leader’s political and economic stances are expected to protest Cantor’s presence on campus. His visit is sponsored by the Ford School of Public Policy.

Cantor has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2001 and was elected House majority leader in January. Cantor was originally scheduled to give a talk in February but didn’t make it due to inclement weather.

Organizations formally involved in the protests of today’s event include the Washtenaw Community Action Team, a local labor rights group, and the University of Michigan Planners Network, a campus group of progressive-minded students from the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Participants from the Occupy Ann Arbor movement are also expected to be present.

According to the Washtenaw Community Action Team’s website, the protest will be Halloween-themed and will feature a theatrical “funeral for the middle class.” The group is encouraging protesters to come dressed in costume. Architecture and Urban Planning student Elias Schewel helped organize the protest, which will take place in the Michigan League, where Cantor is scheduled to speak.

Schewel, a member of the Planners Network, said he and others are united by their “distrust and dislike” of Cantor’s policies, one of the most notable being the House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators. The plan includes reductions in federal spending and revisions to the tax code and patent system.

“Right now, the Republican Party is an economic nightmare for this country, and Eric Cantor is number two leadership in the Republican Party,” Schewel said. “… He has a very large megaphone with which to spread his misinformation about the economic policies that he’s proposing around the country.”

LSA senior Amanda Caldwell, chair of the University’s chapter of College Democrats, said her group hasn’t been involved in planning the protest, but some members of the College Democrats will be participating.

“We’re supportive of protesting Eric Cantor’s political ideology and his inability to lead any sort of movement to get bills passed or get people working,” Caldwell said.

LSA junior Brian Koziara, external vice chair of the University’s chapter of College Republicans, said the organization is making efforts to support Cantor’s visit.

“We’re encouraging (our members) to go and get tickets,” Koziara said. “We’d like the audience at the event to be friendly, and we really think that a lot of Republicans can get fired up by what he has to say.”

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