AIDS protestor slugs student

College of Arts and Sciences junior Daniel Suhr was punched by an AIDS activist Wednesday morning on the floor of the Republican National Convention.

Suhr, one of 155 young Republicans chosen to work as a page, was on the convention floor for White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card's speech. As Card began to speak, 10 AIDS activists began blowing whistles and yelling "Bush kills" and "Bush lies."

Despite Card's attempts to continue with his prepared remarks, he was drowned out by the yells and gave up as protestors began to brawl with young participants. Police dragged and carried demonstrators from the floor. At least one protestor was arrested.

Suhr was injured by a punch to the head. He sustained a cut at the temple and redness on the side of the face.

WTMJ-TV Channel 4 interviewed Nick Boerke, the only other Wisconsin page and a student at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, just after the incident.

"It's not something (positive) when you start hitting college kids just here having a good experience," Boerke said in WTMJ's 10 p.m. Wednesday newscast.

When reached for comment, Suhr said he was not allowed to divulge any information about the event until the New York Police Department could sort out the incident.

The AIDS activist group ACT UP claimed responsibility for the disruption. The group, which has been holding a variety of protests in New York City, wants President Bush to help stop AIDs by forgiving the debt poor countries owe the United States.

"Right now, sub-Saharan African nations are pouring $15 billion a year into repaying debt to wealthy nations. That money could and should be used to provide treatment to the millions of people on the continent living with HIV/AIDS," said ACT UP's statement. "The Bush Administration must move to save the lives of people in the world's poorest countries by supporting 100 percent debt cancellation now."

Hours after the event, Rick Graber, chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, issued a statement about the event.

"The use of violence in an attempt to advance an agenda is absolutely inexcusable," Graber said. "This ugly and dangerous behavior clearly crosses the line. The world is watching as the positive, optimistic message of the Republican Party is contrasted by the extreme, thuggish behavior of the GOP's ideological opponents."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.