compiled by Dee Finney

FROM: http://www.rightmarch.com/images/parade_location.jpg


Security officers stand in front of demonstrators against US President George W. Bush  along the Inaugural Parade route in Washington, DC. Though the demonstrations were peaceful -- mainly booing of Bush's motorcade and marches and rallies -- about 50 anarchists tried in one incident to push past security checkpoints and advance toward the parade route, but were pushed back by police

(AFP/Leslie E. Kossoff)

Inaugural protests run the gamut

Click here
By PHILIP GAILEY, Times Editor of Editorials
Published January 16, 2005

The inauguration of a president is a solemn and high occasion, with enough grandeur and panoply to be worthy of a king. At its best, this quadrennial, high-noon moment, which belongs as much to the people as to the president, can be inspiring and uplifting. On the fringes, however, it can be anything but.

President Bush won't be sworn in to a second term until Thursday, but his inauguration already has spawned controversy (critics say it is too extravagant at a time of war) and sideshows (an atheist and religious conservatives are fighting over the event's religious trappings) that in some ways tell us more about the state of the nation than the president's State of the Union address.

The protests being organized around the Bush inauguration range from healthy expressions of dissent to utter silliness. Some of them could have been scripted by Michael Moore, the radical filmmaker of Fahrenheit 9/11 fame, or infamy.

One Christian conservative group threatened to go to court to overturn a Secret Service ban on, among other things, crosses of a certain size. Leaders of the group demanded in a letter to know why the Secret Service, which is in charge of presidential security, did not prohibit symbols of other religions, like the Star of David or the Crescent Moon with Star. The Secret Service tried to explain that it was not banning the Christian cross per se, just crosses large enough to deliver a good whack to someone's head.

On another front in the religion wars, Michael Newdow, the California atheist best known for trying to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, filed a lawsuit to bar prayer at Bush's inauguration, a practice that's been going on for more than 200 years without bringing down the wall of separation between church and state. On Friday, a federal judge threw out the lawsuit. Will Newdow now file another lawsuit to prohibit the House and the Senate from opening their daily proceedings with prayer, or to bar members of Congress from holding prayer breakfasts in the U.S. Capitol?

Newdow doesn't give up easily. More than two years ago, he filed a lawsuit to strike "under God" from the pledge that his young daughter and her classmates recited in school. A federal appeals court ruled in his favor, setting off a fit of national outrage before the U.S. Supreme Court cooled things down by ruling that Newdow lacked standing to file the suit because he did not have legal custody of his daughter. He refiled the lawsuit recently, this time adding plaintiffs who do have legal custody of their children. Supreme Court justices had better hold on to their robes if Newdow wins again in lower courts.

Newdow is said to be a smart man, so he should know that the Founding Fathers were a lot more comfortable with religious invocations at public events than modern-day liberals and secularists. He can blame George Washington, our first president, for making God a fixture at inaugurations. Washington added "so help me God" to the oath of office and then kissed the Bible on which he had placed his hand.

Succeeding presidents followed Washington's example and kissed the Bible until Franklin Pierce broke the tradition. Not only did he not kiss the Bible, but he "affirmed" rather than swore to uphold the Constitution, so help him God. As far as I can tell, the religious right of those days didn't go ballistic or try to impeach him.

I haven't heard anything to suggest that Bush plans to restore the Bible-kissing tradition, but can you imagine the reaction if he did? The cable television gasbags would feast on it for days.

Meanwhile, anti-Bush protesters, in the best tradition of political dissent, are planning a host of activities to show their disapproval of the president. Some groups are urging Americans not to buy anything on inauguration day - nothing, not even an order of freedom fries. Those who want to do even more are being told to cancel their cable and phone services.

In New Orleans, protesters are planning to hold a traditional jazz funeral to mourn the death of democracy, and in Washington, others will line the inaugural parade route and turn their backs as the president's motorcade goes by. About the only thing missing is staging a mock vote recount in Ohio and declaring John Kerry the winner.

Philip Gailey's e-mail address is gailey@sptimes.com


Protests in store for the big day
Cox News Service
WASHINGTON - Thousands of protesters are expected to descend on Washington this week in what could be an unprecedented level of inaugural discord.

   Groups angry about the Iraq war, the economy, President Bush's environmental policies and myriad other issues promise to put their mark on Thursday's celebration with several marches, rallies and acts of civil disobedience.
   One group plans to carry 1,000 coffins representing some of the soldiers who have died in Iraq and another is planning for hundreds to turn their backs on the president as he makes his way down Pennsylvania Avenue.

   All of the groups say their events will be peaceful.

   One anti-war group - the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition - will occupy bleachers along the parade route, an unusual concession that resulted from negotiations with the U.S. Park Police.
  The group is being allowed to occupy a 210-foot-long stretch in a 4,000 foot-long parade route.

   Several other protests will not be along the parade area.

   The D.C. Anti-War Network is planning a march and rally that will culminate with a ''die-in'' at Lafayette Park, near the White House, where people will lie on the ground - simulating deaths in Iraq - in addition to carrying
  black-draped coffins.

   Anti-war sentiment is only one theme in the counter-inaugural events. Thousands are expected to protest Bush's record on civil rights, abortion rights, environmental issues and health care. Others are angry about voting problems during November's presidential election and the influence of corporations in government.

   A group called the D.C. Anarchist Resistance is planning an anti-government
  march and rally in downtown Washington that will include music, dancing and large puppets, including one of a giant spider, meant to personify capitalism and its ''legs'' of poverty and exploitation, said a spokeswoman for the group.

Bush protesters rethink tactics
Critics hope to move beyond self-satisfaction of anti-war protests, gain wider voting base

Joe Garofoli, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, January 16, 2005

To show their disgust with George W. Bush's re-election, on Inauguration Day, his opponents will turn their back on his motorcade, "refuse to spend one dime," black out their Web sites, stage mock jazz funerals, wear black armbands and stage demonstrations from Palo Alto to Atlanta.

But four years of such Bush-bashing theatrics didn't produce a change in November. And with Republicans controlling Congress and the White House, some of the president's most vocal critics have spent the past two post-election months making plans on how to begin preaching beyond the choir box, starting Thursday.

Bottom line: less emphasis on mass demonstrations -- which Bush famously dismissed as "focus groups" -- and more on reaching out to Americans who oppose the war but haven't publicly shown it.

"We've got to start reaching out to people who don't agree with us," said Leslie Cagan, United for Peace's national coordinator. In its recent short- term plan, the 850-organization umbrella behind many of the nation's larger protests over the past few years conceded that "the anti-war movement must reshape its work."

While the Inauguration Day protest coverage will undoubtedly focus on made-for-TV flourishes and mad-as-hell gestures, some of the larger anti-war and progressive organizations say they have realized that just being against Bush isn't enough anymore.

"The resistance has to be issue-based," said Aimara Lin, national coordinator of Not in Our Name, another major anti-war organization that has done a lot of soul-searching since the election. "The movement needs to reach outside the normal groups of people we usually touch and bring in people who feel the same way, but are too fearful to say so."

That includes corralling the energy of the people behind the Inauguration Day protests.

"If they're going to go beyond the personal satisfaction of, 'I dissed the president and it made me feel good,' they're going to have to talk to many more people and give them something different to think about," said Shaun Bowler, professor of political science at UC Riverside and an expert on direct democracy.

"You can listen to Pacifica Radio, check out the Bay Area papers or the (British) Guardian, and watch 'Fahrenheit 9/11' and 'The Daily Show,' and that's great," Bowler said. "But after everyone whips themselves up into an outrage, all they have talked to is their fellow travelers."

In the most detailed way in its three-year history, United for Peace is committing to paper its organizing plans, using neighbor-to-neighbor connections reminiscent of how Republicans turned out their base in the presidential election. Its "Winter/Spring Organizing Drive" plan encourages its smaller member groups to "make three new relationships" with organizations and communities not previously involved in anti-war work. Big-city organizations should connect with a dozen.

The group just hired the Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, a Pentecostal minister in New York, to lead its outreach effort to places United for Peace believes will be critical to reaching a wider audience: the nation's churches, synagogues and mosques.

In the next few weeks, Sekou will release what he calls a kit to help religious leaders craft Sunday sermons against the war, form anti-war groups among their followers and preach to children.

"We need to break the monopoly on 'God talk' the religious right has in this country," Sekou said.

After the election, national organizers from Not in Our Name, an anti-war group with offices in Oakland, convened for a postmortem. Afterward, they acknowledged to members that "surely, the goal expressed by all was the need of resistance to break outside the anti-war 'movement.' "

The challenge: Of Not in Our Name's 10 chapters, only two are located in states that went for Bush in November.

"We've talked about getting into more of the red states, but right now, we don't have a lot of people on the ground there," said Lin of Not in Our Name. "But we've been hearing a lot more from them since the election. And when people from the red states call, they get special attention."

Two other constituencies will be actively courted, said United for Peace's Cagan and other anti-war leaders: returning Iraq war veterans and military families. Activists will help returning vets speak to military support groups, as well as to the media.

"They are key," University of San Francisco political science Professor Stephen Zunes, an expert on social movements, said of veterans and their families. "They can go into a lot of places where many activists can't go."

To expand the number of anti-war supporters, Zunes and other progressive writers suggest that activists make inroads to sympathetic politicians, particularly conservatives.

Writing in the progressive Web site Alternet, Erik Leaver, policy director at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, urged activists to "work with (anti-war) folks across the political spectrum, including Rep. Howard Coble." The conservative North Carolina Republican recently said it was time to start pondering a phased U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

But Coble might not be a totally sympathetic ear.

"The congressman never said he was against the war or that it was a bad idea to invade," said Coble's chief of staff Ed McDonald. "Sure, he'd be willing to sit down and talk with anybody, but he's not interested in working with any of the groups who are coming to Washington to say things against the president."

Some anti-war activists, however, such as San Francisco resident Marvin Feldman, have little time for politicians -- even liberal ones.

"We're not going to be working with the Democrats anymore," said Feldman, a coordinator with United for Peace and Justice Bay Area. "We feel let down that the Democrats ran such a wimpy campaign" and didn't more forcefully oppose the war, he said.

Instead, the organization will concentrate on reaching out to unions, religious congregations and organizations in communities of color.

Such disagreement among left-leaning organizations and interest groups isn't new.

Richard Becker, an organizer with International ANSWER, which is organizing an Inauguration Day rally in San Francisco's Civic Center, said, "The question is, can we find a way to look at each other and see that each of our particular issues is really deeply connected?''

As some progressives ponder how to unify their message during Bush's second term, others will begin the sniping on Inauguration Day.

Progressive leaders acknowledge that to some on the left, there is a cathartic benefit from such gestures as Turn Your Back on Bush, in which protesters will turn away from the president along the motorcade route.

One of the organizers of Not One Damn Dime Day, which urges people not to spend any money Thursday, acknowledged that there's no way to measure its effect.

Jesse Gordon, an activist in Cambridge, Mass., who has assumed the role of spokesman for the Internet-spread campaign even though he doesn't know who started it, said seeing a one-day dip on the country's economic output isn't necessarily the campaign's primary goal.

"People want a way to make their voices heard," Gordon said. He plans to use the thousands of e-mails he's received to begin a mailing list of like- minded souls that he can tap into for future political mobilizations.

Similar plans have been laid by the Detroit-based organizer of Black- Thursday.com, which is touting a no-work-on-Inauguration Day campaign, and Citizens Take Charge, which is organizing a one-day gasoline boycott out of Orlando, Fla..

"When people go out and do something like this, it feels good," said Elizabeth Morgan, co-founder of Citizens Take Charge. However, of the 10 boycott captains lined up for Thursday's inaugural boycott, only two are in red states.

"But after this, look," Morgan said, "we've got to reach out beyond where we're at."

E-mail Joe Garofoli at jgarofoli@sfchronicle.com.


Sunday, Jan. 16, 2005 9:32 a.m. EST

Inaugural Protesters Threaten Violence

While most groups traveling to Washington, D.C., to protest President Bush's inauguration next Thursday say they'll be nonviolent, an angry cadre of anti-American radicals has made it known that it intends to do everything possible to disrupt the event.

In a statement posted to its Web site, the D.C. Anarchist Resistance, for instance, sounds hell-bent on causing trouble:

The U.S. Presidential Inauguration is one of the grandest ceremonies of the ruling class in the land. As anarchists, it's a prime opportunity to shatter these illusions of grandeur by crashing this decadent display of arrogance and wealth."

The group continues:

"There's nothing left to salvage in this empire that is the U.S. government. It's time to bring it down. ... This January 20th, let's bring anarchy to the streets of DC - make resistance visible, and ring in the next four years with a smash!"

The anarchists boast that they have the endorsement of a coalition of other protest groups, including the Urban Guerrilla Liberation Front, the NYC Counter-Inaugural Cluster and the CrimethInc. Ex-Workers' Collective, Action Faction.

In its own inauguration protest manifesto, the NYC Counter-Inaugural Cluster declares:

"If the police again attempt to forgo their own laws and arrest demonstrators, we will defend ourselves against this unlawful state repression. A space will be made for people to exercise their First Amendment rights whether the police allow it or not. We will not submit to illegal arrests, unlawful searches, or checkpoints."

Other protest organizers, however - like ANSWER's Bill Hackwell - say their demonstrations will stay within the bounds of the law.

"Our protests are characterized by being large, loud and militant - but peaceful," Hackwell told the New York Daily News.

The D.C. Park Police say they have the situation well in hand.

"We don't expect too many problems with [these groups]. They are familiar to us," Sgt. Scott Fear told the News.

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2004 Elections
George W. Bush

Jan. 17, 2005, 10:11AM


All eyes on the capital

Control center, throngs of police and military bring most security ever

Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

Bush Inauguration 2005: Overview of the history of the presidential ceremony.

The 55th Presidential Inauguration
The U.S. Senate's Presidential Inauguration
Joint Task Force-Armed Forces Inaugural Committee
Schedule of events
President Bush by the numbers
Quiz: Inauguration speeches
Quiz: Bush trivia
Inaugural tidbits from Census Bureau
Q&A: Inauguration Day

Multimedia courtesy Associated Press

WASHINGTON - While thousands brave the chilly streets of Washington to watch the inaugural parade Thursday and catch a glimpse of President Bush, a select group of law enforcement experts will view the event in a more intense, different way.

At a new high-tech center several miles away in Northern Virginia, agents will stare at plasma television screens and computer monitors showing the oath-taking in front of the Capitol, the parade route and other critical areas. They will see satellite images, radar imagery and video from surveillance cameras on buildings and from fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. Others will study three-dimensional computer simulations of potential trouble spots and projections of where toxins would blow if released into the air.

The 55th U.S. inauguration, the first since the worst terrorist attack on American soil took place on Sept. 11, 2001, might be the most security-conscious event in the nation's history, relying on new technology and overlapping layers of law enforcement to protect Bush and other national leaders from a terrorist attack or other harm.

"This is the tightest security plan I believe we've ever been able to set up," said Bob Stephan, a special assistant to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. "We're going to have eyes on all the places (the president) is going to be, and a lot of other places besides."

A new joint operations center planned after the Sept. 11 attacks for so-called national special security events will be operational for the first time, placing all the federal and local law enforcement decision makers under one roof about 25 miles from the White House with instant access to every possible technological innovation, officials said.

A quicker response

"It allows you, if something bad happens, to look across the table at people from the other agencies involved and make instant decisions. It cuts down on response time," Stephan said.

That kind of coordination and communication is vital when combining the efforts of more than 50 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies into an interlocking web of security, officials said.

Planning for the safety of national leaders with a role in the inauguration has resembled a military campaign, and the people involved constitute a small army. About 7,200 military personnel will help with security and logistics at inaugural events, along with 6,000 state, local and federal law enforcement officers.

With the inauguration's approach, there has been an almost unsettling lack of "chatter" picked up by intelligence services that monitor threats, officials said.

Ridge said there was no specific reason to raise the national terrorism alert for the event.

"(But) the fact that the decibel level is down doesn't really mean that we would ever be less vigilant," Ridge said.

"This is the most visible manifestation of our democracy."

Visitors to Washington for the inauguration are likely to feel that they're inside a protective bubble.

Many visitors will encounter bomb-sniffing dogs or specialists in weapons of mass destruction filtering through the crowd with radiation-detection devices.

As in previous inaugurations, they'll see uniformed Secret Service sniper teams on roofs and phalanxes of District of Columbia police officers along the inaugural route. People driving in from hotels in nearby Northern Virginia may spot U.S. Coast Guard vessels patrolling the Potomac River to prevent any attackers from infiltrating the waterway.

That will be a tiny percentage of the security arrangements, which also encompass testing the food of those lunching with the president to controlling the skies over Washington for many hours before and after the event.

"There will be major enhancements to past security plans, but the general public will notice little of it," said Tom Mazur, spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, the agency in charge of inaugural security.

Security drills

The security measures have been unfolding for a year.

As the event neared, leaders of security teams met to drill on handling scenarios such as a suicide bombing or the release of a biological or chemical weapon.

Last week, representatives of all agencies involved in inaugural security met and went over plans a final time.

Sensors will be in place to detect the release of toxins. And the government's explosives experts in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives plan a robust response if a bomb threat materializes.

John Malone, the ATF's special agent in charge for Washington, said two of the agency's four national response teams, composed of chemists, investigators and other experts, will be at hand. Squads of anti-bomb technicians including agents from the FBI, ATF and local police will deal with suspicious packages, which can be X-rayed if necessary.

The security preparations made some unhappy.

D.C. officials protested the federal government's decision to bill them $17.3 million from homeland security grants to cover some of the security costs. Ridge said that was appropriate because the city got the federal money partly to provide security for federal officials and property.

Groups planning anti-Bush protests have grumbled that the tight security plan wedges them into seven designated areas along the inaugural route, diluting their impact.

Protesters restricted

At some inaugurations, protesters ranged freely along the parade route on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol.

"They are absolutely attempting to keep us away from public notice," said Mo Alem, a spokesman for the D.C. Anti-War Network, a group coordinating protests this time.

"It isn't about security — they don't want our message to be heard."

Alem said his group would cooperate with police and stick to designated areas. But he said he doubted all protesters will be compliant.

Some anti-Bush activists have called for an "Inaugural Charade" in which protesters filter into the crowd along the route and then turn their backs on the passing president.

Officials said all the overlapping security won't spoil the fun and historical significance of the day.

"A lot of it will be in the background," Maj. Gen. Galen Jackman, commander of the Military District of Washington, said. "I don't think people will feel an encampment mentality."



Published on Monday, January 17, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
Will the Anti-Inaugural Protests Be Covered?
by Danny Schechter

Some of us are old enough to remember that bright day in January 1977 when Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter got out of their limo and strolled down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. We remember it now with nostalgia because that more hopeful American moment is long gone. Now we have elections deemed "brief accountability moments" and a garrison state to insure the trains of social order run on time.

Homeland security? Homeland insecurity is more like it, as new state of the art police state tactics are introduced to protect the president from protesters who plan to try to give his Administration as hard a time as they can.

This year's re-inauguration promises to be more fun and games and who knows what repressive tactics will be introduced if somehow the event turns into a street fight or worse. Will there be another Chicago or Tiananmen Square or just mass arrests like at the RNC in New York?

The FBI uses a sports metaphor to describe its overkill approach even as it waves a stick bigger than any Teddy Roosevelt carried. They can't wait to test out their souped up contain and control strategies. The testosterone is pumping among the G-Men. They want to engage.

Reports the Washington Post:

"This is the Super Bowl for us,” said FBI Supervisory Special Agent James W. Rice II. “Everyone on every team is dressed up and playing in the game. And the bench is very, very deep.”

"The agents and officers at the swearing-in and along the parade route will have access to the latest tools. Every piece of technology that exists will be a part of this,” said Rice, who oversees the National Capital Response Squad.

Underscore that line "Every technology that exists."

But this more than a boys with toys chasing the militant black bloc around Dupont Circle moment. It could be a turning point in the history of the republic since the "Sun King," as Marc Crispin Miller calls GWB, has already made clear that in his mind at least the election gave him a mandate to do whatever he wants to do.

Full Stop

Not surprisingly, the protesters will be out in force as they were in 2000. Back then, the press barely took notice of the biggest inaugural protest in American history. Writer Dennis Loy Johnson wrote a must-read little book called "The Big Chill" on "The great unreported story of the Bush Inauguration Protests..." (Melville House.)

The protests were ignored, he charges, "There seemed to be a determined and almost paternalistic effort by the media to soothe and assure the populace that everything was fine, that the democracy was running smoothly (as if that was the obligation of either print or broadcast journalists) that there was, in any case no dissent except from the usual suspects …"

That was then. That event signaled a new media paradigm for marginalizing dissenters.

Last year, the Post's ombudsman Michael Getler investigated complaints that the Post had been downplaying protests and minimizing their numbers. He concluded that the complaints were valid. And it was done as a matter of policy. The paper carried a mini-mea culpa about its prewar coverage. And then it was back to news business as usual.

So here we go again as David Admin wrote on RedefeatBush.com on January 15:

"The Post's coverage of the counter-inaugural in today's paper uses only 5 of its 1822 words to describe why anyone might wish to protest the inauguration of George W. Bush -- "Ohio is a battle cry." The rest trivializes the motivation of the protesters. An intelligent reader who wishes to discern the answer cannot grasp why they are protesting. The only possibility the post offers is that they do so to be cool.

"We look forward with great anticipation to the Post's ridicule of the Bush inaugural itself, since surely the pomposity of that event will engender a similar level of jocularity and arrogance on its part."

The blog at Democrats.com anticipates the worse: "the protests will be large but will be subject to a media blackout."

Some protesters fear the lack of coverage may be their own fault, that it is they who are turning off the press. Here is a comment by someone called "citizen" on the DC Indymedia site:

"How can we expect to be taken seriously without good typography…please I implore you, consult a trained professional graphic designer when creating any printed materials, particularly those that are to be seen by the press."

I wish that our media decided what to cover on the basis of typography. There is more going in here. The Washington Post works in the bubble of the beltway. It shares the values and logic of those in power. To them, protesters come from a different country, perhaps even a different planet, and as such have no claim on legitimacy or their attention.

So as media critics pounce on the Bush Administration for subsidizing the likes of conservative pseudo journalist Armstrong Williams to get its spin into the media, they ignore the way that our media has allowed itself to be co-opted. Many don't need to be bought. They are already on board, fully deferential to the Administration as has been seen over and over again,

Their stance reminds me of a ditty about journalists often cited in the media in the UK. I am not sure who wrote it.

"You cannot hope to bribe or twist, thank God. There's no occasion to."

No wonder many protesters don't feel they can't trust the press corps (or is it corpse?) . Activists feel they have taken sides even as they mask their agendas with the claims of objectivity. (Liberal Media, my a--) , In an age of information dominance, they are the ones being dominated when they are not just getting along by going along. Far too many in the corporate media world in the words of Senator Robert Byrd, "have bought it hook line and sinker."

Here is an example of how the reporters from the Post seek guidance from the Administration. As we know, the GOP and the Administration spends a great deal of time, with help from pollsters like Frank Luntz, in shaping the language used to popularize its agenda. We saw it clearly in the war when terms like "Iraqi Freedom" were on their lips every other second.

Now as the Administration promotes the privatization of social security, they depoliticize the issue by repeatedly referencing, "personal savings accounts" and avoiding unpopular words like "private." Recently Post reporters spoke to President Bush about this directly. This revealing exchange item in which a Post reporter explains that they have been arguing with the RNC over the proper language to use appease on the Democratic Underground site:

The Post: Will you talk to Senate Democrats about your privatization plan?

THE PRESIDENT: You mean, the personal savings accounts?

The Post: Yes, exactly. Scott has been --

THE PRESIDENT: We don't want to be editorializing, at least in the questions.

The Post: You used partial privatization yourself last year, sir.


The Post: Yes, three times in one sentence. We had to figure this out, because we're in an argument with the RNC about how we should actually word this. Mike Allen, the industrious Mike Allen, found it.

THE PRESIDENT: Allen did what now?

The Post: You used partial privatization.

THE PRESIDENT: I did, personally?

The Post: Right.


The Post: To describe it.

THE PRESIDENT: When, when was it?

The Post: Mike said it was right around the election.


The Post: It was right around the election. We'll send it over.

THE PRESIDENT: I'm surprised. Maybe I did. It's amazing what happens when you're tired. Anyway, your question was? I'm sorry for interrupting.


Someone on the site then comments: "What was that? We had to figure this out, because we're in an argument with the RNC about how we should actually word this. Why the hell would the WP bother arguing with the Administration about the language they choose to use? …They start winning the issue when they get to frame the issue. Here we go again."

This type of negotiating may be one reason why one of Washington's great reporters no longer can stomach working for newspapers like the Times or the Post. He doesn't ask the Administration how to word things. Seymour Hersh is breaking stories all by himself for the New Yorker magazine.

His latest--out this week discloses that a new war may be brewing. Reuters reports: "The United States has been conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran to help identify potential nuclear, chemical and missile targets,

The article, by award-winning reporter Seymour Hersh, said the secret missions have been going on at least since last summer with the goal of identifying target information for three dozen or more suspected sites. Hersh quotes one government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon as saying, "The civilians in the Pentagon want to go into Iran and destroy as much of the military infrastructure as possible."

Here we go again again.

So if media outlets can't or won't cover a major war in the making, is it any surprise that they won't cover the political war at home, right in their own backyard?

News Dissector Danny Schechter is the "blogger in chief" at Mediachannel and directed WMD (Weapons of Mass Deception) a film about the media coverage of the Iraq war. (www.wmdthefilm.com) WMD opens at the Village East in New York City February 4th.


Tuesday, January 18 2005 @ 12:41 PM PST

Protesters plan to turn their backs on Bush


DissentDisaffected voters can protest President Bush's second inauguration Thursday from the comfort of their own homes. Anger at Bush has inspired national calls to fast, pray, skip work, buy nothing and wear black.

Protesters plan to turn their backs on Bush

Mon Jan 17, 7:04 AM ET

By Jill Lawrence, USA TODAY

Disaffected voters can protest President Bush's second inauguration Thursday from the comfort of their own homes. Anger at Bush has inspired national calls to fast, pray, skip work, buy nothing and wear black.

Thousands of unhappy Americans are also expected to converge here, braving unprecedented security to protest and party. There's a tactic for every taste, from traditional rallies and marches to quieter plans to "turn your back on Bush" along the Inaugural Parade route.

The Florida recount energized protesters at Bush's 2001 inauguration. The primary motivator this time is the war in Iraq. Sgt. Scott Fear of the U.S. Park Police said authorities expect an activity level "very similar to last time." He said two of six protest permits went to groups supportive of Bush, the rest to opponents.

Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER), is putting up bleachers in a park along the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route. They'll be filled with opponents of the Iraq war, including veterans, elected officials, religious leaders and families that have lost relatives in Iraq.

Brian Becker, national coordinator of the protest, says 10,000 people will fit in the park and it is the first time the anti-war movement has had its own bleachers. But he calls that only "a partial victory," contending inaugural organizers have severely limited public access along the rest of the parade route. ANSWER filed a court challenge to the restrictions Friday.

Leaders of TurnyourbackonBush.org also are concerned about limited space for public viewing. National organizer Jet Heiko says the group expects thousands of people from 41 states to travel here for a silent protest along the parade route. They have been told to leave anti-Bush buttons, banners and signs at home. They will signal their opposition to Bush's policies by turning their backs as his motorcade passes.

The idea is to break through what they see as Bush's isolation from divergent views. Participants have been advised to stay calm and silent even if provoked by Bush supporters.

Unlike most protests, Heiko says, "there's no buffer" between participants and those who disagree with them. "This is a courageous action. It's a hard action," he says. "It's hard to restrain yourself when you're feeling angry."

Such restraint does not appeal to all. "We ourselves think that there should be loud, visible, boisterous protests that are equal to what the gravity of the situation is in Iraq," says Becker of ANSWER.

The day promises to be a series of contrasts between gentility and abandon. Anarchist Resistance Call to Action says it plans to "bring anarchy to the streets of DC" during Bush's "coronation." Bicyclists plan to gather at Union Station, near the Capitol, for a "counter-inaugural critical mass bike ride" to protest sites around town. The D.C. Anti-War Network (DAWN) is calling for "non-violent civil disobedience die-ins to draw attention to the dead at the hands of the Bush administration."

At the Jefferson Memorial, ReDefeatBush is sponsoring a question-and-answer session on democracy featuring Thomas Jefferson and Alexis de Tocqueville impersonators. At the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, the satirical cabaret group Billionaires for Bush ("activists for the corporate elite") will auction off Social Security, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and "other public properties that need to be corporatized."

As Republican revelers crowd Inaugural Balls, the loyal opposition won't be bereft. For the serious-minded, there's a screening of a new documentary on civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who organized the 1963 March on Washington. There's also a candlelight vigil sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee. It's part of "Eyes Wide Open," a traveling exhibit that uses boots, shoes and a 24-foot wall of names to symbolize troops and civilians killed in Iraq.

For the less earnest, counterinaugural balls run the gamut from the "Not my president!" punk rock ball to the Billionaires for Bush "Re-Coronation" ball ("dress to oppress"). A political action committee using its ball as a fundraiser advertises itself as "an exciting safe haven" for Democrats. ReDefeatBush, soon to become left.org, promises a "huge dinner buffet" and free drinks.

This ConservativePetitions.com Alert is a special message from RightMarch.com 

ALERT: Remember last year, when the radical leftists marched on Washington, D.C., to protest against President Bush and conservative values? RightMarch.com got together with other conservative organizations, secured permits along their march route, and showed up in the streets to "protest the protesters" -- and we STOLE their thunder, with the largest counter-protest D.C. has ever seen!

Then, remember when the radical leftists marched in New York City during the GOP convention, to protest against President Bush and conservative values? RightMarch.com got together with other conservative organizations, secured stations along their march route and outside of their rallies, and showed up in the streets to "protest the protesters" -- and we STOLE their thunder, snagging 25% of the media coverage so the "silent majority" could see they weren't alone!

Well, guess what? THEY'RE BAAAAAAACK... and we're going to be right there at the Presidential Inauguration to confront their LIES with the TRUTH!

Radical left-wing groups like International A.N.S.W.E.R. (that led the protests against liberating Iraq), United for
Peace and Justice (that led the anti-Bush protests in New York), the DC Anti-War Network (DAWN), local MoveOn.org chapters, and others are planning protests against President Bush and conservative values at the inauguration and parade THIS THURSDAY, January 20th. They'll be having marches, holding rallies, staging "die-ins" -- some are even planning to have protesters along the parade route, who will all "turn their backs on Bush" at the same time.

RightMarch.com is going to be joining our fellow conservatives at FreeRepublic.com and ProtestWarrior.com in
holding PRO-BUSH DEMONSTRATIONS along the inaugural parade route -- and we need YOUR help to do it!

If you can be in Washington, D.C. this Thursday, keep reading below for details on where to meet for the big
counter-protest and demonstrations.

If you can't be there -- we STILL need your help with our costs for this event. We are devoting extensive time,
resources and energy to ensuring that the protests from the radical leftists are a public relations DISASTER for
them, and a complete success for the conservative cause.

We'll be there will signs and banners, ready to confront any liberal assault with the TRUTH. Can you help out TODAY with a donation of $1000, $500, $250, $100, $50, or even $25? Please click through with your most generous gift NOW:


Our home base will be at the Navy Memorial, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, where in 2001 leftists climbed the
masts and tore down flags and pennants, replacing them with "anarchist" flags. In order to help prevent a repeat of the leftist-led assaults and disruptions during the 2001 Inaugural parade, our friends at FreeRepublic.com have secured a demonstration permit for this key location along the Inaugural Parade route on Pennsylvania Ave.

Our goal is to give pro-Bush-Cheney people the opportunity to enjoy the parade and share fellowship with like-minded conservatives while holding demonstrations in support of the President and his conservative policies including pro-life, pro-second-amendment, pro-military and pro-war- on-terrorists. Along with groups like ProtestWarrior.com and FreeRepublic.com, we intend to protect the President from the character assassins on the far left that will be in the streets that day.

The plan is to gather at the Navy Memorial with the folks from FreeRepublic.com and ProtestWarrior.com. Issue-
oriented demonstrators will also be gathering at Freedom Plaza, between 13th and 14th Streets, NW; and Pershing
Park, between 14th and 15th Streets, NW, will be used as the FreeRepublic.com D.C. Chapter's base of operations.

There will be plenty of law enforcement officers all along the parade route. Security checkpoints will be established that all who wish to stand along the parade will have to pass through. The leftists will do their best to ruin the President's day, but by conservatives coming out in large numbers to these permitted demonstration areas we can deny them ground from which to operate from.

Come join us -- either in person, or in spirit!

TAKE ACTION:  We would LOVE to see you join us in Washington, D.C. this Thursday! But if you can't come --
could you still help us with a donation to help defray our costs in time and manpower, to stand up against the radical
liberal demonstrators? Please click through to give now:


The parade will run from about 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. However, people will be gathering along the parade route from early
morning on through the afternoon. Click here for a map of the parade route with the Pro-Bush Demonstration site
circled (red squares are pedestrian entry points):


We will have some signs protesting the radical left there for folks to hold, and feel free to make your own if you'd
like it to be more specific towards supporting the President. Law enforcement is prohibiting sticks and dowels,
so you'll have to just carry the board by itself. Also no backpacks, coolers or any large containers will be permitted,
so travel light. 

NOTE:  We recognize that not everyone agrees with every one of the President's policies, but we're asking those who stand with us to set aside those criticisms just for one day. There will be plenty of criticism from the radical
left that day. Our job is to represent the 61 million Americans who voted in record numbers to give the President
a mandate for a conservative agenda. The D.C. Chapter of FreeRepublic.com has been very generous in reaching out to RightMarch.com, ProtestWarrior.com and other conservative groups, inviting them to join them in common cause that day. Let's show our strength in numbers!

The rules for participating in this exciting demonstration are simple: No violence, no profanity, no racism, no
provocations, obey the law and treat all law enforcement officers with respect.

If you can join us in D.C., GREAT! And remember, even if you can't come in person, we still need your thoughts,
your prayers -- and your financial support! Click here to donate today:


If you prefer to contribute by check, please make it out to:

4850 Golden Pkwy., Suite B, #325
Dept. Code conpet
Buford, GA 30518-1712

Be sure to forward this Alert to everyone you know who might want to attend this GREAT anti-liberal, pro-Bush demonstration, or who might want to help defray our costs. Thank you!

          284 Shalom Road, Waynesboro, VA 22980

Protests planned for inauguration

By Matthew Cella

A series of protests — each attracting thousands of participants, organizers predict — is planned fortomorrow's presidential inauguration, despite a security perimeter likely to keep most of the demonstrators blocks away from the parade route.

    Four years ago, for the 2001 inauguration, authorities implemented checkpoints to screen spectators on the parade route in part because activists had promised vigorous protests of President Bush's contested political victory.

    But after September 11, 2001, concerns about homegrown political protests have been eclipsed by an all-out law-enforcement effort to thwart any terror attack.

    Conventional anti-administration demonstrators are struggling to find ways to express opposition in a city where security, not political speech, is the priority.

    Juliana Landim, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Anti-War Network (DAWN), says her group, an umbrella coalition mostly made up of organizations that oppose the war in Iraq, are planning an 11 a.m. permitted rally at Malcolm X Park in Northwest tomorrow.

    It also is planning an unpermitted march down 16th Street and a "die-in" on the edge of Lafayette Park at the end of the presidential parade route.

    "Certainly, we would like that the people have access to the parade route," Miss Landim said.

    A group called Turn Your Back on Bush promises that demonstrators from 49 states and all walks of life will line the parade route and turn their backs on the presidential limousine as it passes.

    Organizers say the event will be peaceful, and they have urged demonstrators not to respond to hecklers. They say they expect thousands of people to participate in the demonstration, although they would not be more specific in their estimate.

    "One of the things that makes Turn Your Back on Bush a unique action is that we won't know who is participating until the moment it begins," according to the group's Web site at www.turnyourbackonbush.org.

    One complication that the group has posted on its Web site is that the parade likely will consist of multiple motorcades with limousines.

    "To be safe, turn your back whenever a motorcade of black limousines and SUVs is in view and continue until they have passed," the organizers advise participants.

    A group called Act Now to Stop War & End Racism, or ANSWER, was the only protest group granted a permit for a space with an unobstructed view on the parade route. The protest site is on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue NW at Fourth Street, which is at the start of the parade route.

    The group, which plans to construct bleachers and set up a sound system at a cost of about $30,000, says the site can accommodate 10,000 people.

    "George Bush, as he rides in the inaugural motorcade, will be forced to pass a large bleacher set up filled with signs demanding 'U.S. Out of Iraq Now' ... and more," organizers say on their Web site, www.internationalanswer.org.

    A group called Anarchist Resistance has planned a demonstration on the Inaugural Parade route that they pledge will be "one of resistance to, not cooperation with, the authorities."

    The group's Web site, www.anarchistresistance.org, tells demonstrators to confront police or security personnel who try to screen them or stop them.

    "We will not submit to illegal arrests, unlawful searches, or checkpoints," the site says.

    The group plans to meet at 12:30 p.m. on the eastern side of Logan Circle at 13th Street NW between Rhode Island Avenue and P Street.

    Organizers originally planned to meet at Franklin Square, but the plans were changed when they learned that Franklin Square will be a police staging point.

WisPolitics: State Protesters Hope to Make Mark in D.C.

By J.S. Decker
For WisPolitics.com

His armored car is both bulletproof and soundproof, so President George W. Bush won't hear the chants of protesters along his inaugural parade no matter how clever they may be. Whether he'll read the signs or hear the shouts is not the point, say some of the Wisconsinites who leave Wednesday to protest the beginning of Bush's second term.

"I am not responsible for the president's actions but I am responsible for mine, and I want it to be on the record that I am not in support of this administration. That in itself is a success," said Ronald Kossik, a bus leader with Lakeshore Peacemakers, a group based in Manitowoc.

Their bus will leave Green Bay and make five stops along Lake Michigan before joining a bus from Milwaukee and another from Madison on the road to D.C. "This isn't sour grapes, this is just going forward," said Tracy Sperko, an organizer with Peace Action Wisconsin, based in Milwaukee. "I'm expecting we'll have 150 people from Wisconsin."

Most, she said, will coordinate with the "Turn Your Back on Bush" protest. "At the moment that we're notified that the limo is near we're going to turn our backs," Sperko said, "No signs, no slogans, nothing. We're the other half of the country that does not support him and we're not going to go away." That strategy could bypass the strict limits on protests along the parade route, with overt protesters corralled into a park at the parade's start.

"If we aren't wearing any offensive slogans, not shouting, how can they turn us away?" Sperko asks. Just in case, they'll be carrying small signs that read "Democracy: Access Denied." She said that's not uncommon, even in Wisconsin. "One time in Mequon some veterans and I had rocks thrown at us. I've been spit on, I've been called every name. To go to D.C., where the other people we'll see paid to see George W. Bush, yes I have some fears."

Tickets for bleachers on Pennsylvania Ave. are selling for $400. There's 22 access points to the parade route, which will be an intensive security zone rivaled only by the Green Zone in Iraq. The Lakeshore Peacemakers may not be allowed through 20 of those entries with their T-shirts that read "No War." Had Bush lost, Kissik would not have gone. "I wasn't happy with having to choose between two pro-war choices, but I think Kerry was not as enthusiastic for the war as President Bush was. I probably would not be going to protest until we had a chance to see how his policies on Iraq would be."

His group is non-partisan, and both he and Madison organizer Anita Singh say it's a political mix on their busses. "There had been three busses (out of Madison)," said Singh, a UW student, "but as of last week we only sold tickets for half a bus, so we decided to cancel the other two. But now we've got a waiting list. We had told people to purchase tickets early. It's really unfortunate." The Madison trip is sponsored by Stop the War, the Multicultural Student Coalition, Madison Area Peace Coalition and Veterans for Peace. Speaking dissent can be as important as yelling support, said Singh, "It can have a rippling effect."

Progressive Dane and Madison Area Peace Coalition will be trying to ripple more civic involvement by bringing Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and author John Stauber to an open mic at 6 p.m. at Cafe Montmarte. That's preceded by a picket and march from the corner of Blair and Williamson Street at 5 p.m. A funeral procession starts in Milwaukee at the same time at the corner of Water and Wisconsin. "They'll be wearing black and will gather to mourn the impact of the Bush agenda on the needs of people here at home and the people of Iraq," said Peace Action organizer Julie Enslow. "We plan to do a corner-to-corner funeral procession," she said. "One coffin represents 100,000 people who have died in Iraq and the other will represent the U.S. troops who have died in this war. Bush thinks he has this huge mandate when he barely won the election."

One person who doesn't say how she voted is Molly McGrath, a.k.a. Miss Wisconsin. She'll be escorted to the swearing-in ceremony and an official ball by a member of the inaugural committee and will attend another event with tickets from Representative Obey. "I'll be able to use it in my presentations on government involvement," she said. McGrath has championed voting and civic awareness, and she says there's a place for protests. "It's important to show your opinions and express yourself, but it's important to remember the time and place and be courteous about it, because the inauguration is a time to celebrate."

Groups that dismiss courtesy outright are the anarchists who advocate revolution and ANSWER, which is preparing to block traffic with a "die-in." Already 100 blocks of traffic are sealed off, and another have restricted access. Six thousand law enforcement officers and 7,000 soldiers will be on hand to thwart attempts at violence, but protesters are sure to feel their stare as well. Everyone who nears the parade route will be searched. A similar system was erected at the 2001 inauguration, but blockades were overwhelmed.

Security organizers say that was a warm-up and they're eager to show what technology and resources can do. The city estimates it's spending more than $17 million on security and logistics, and the federal government has yet to release a firm figure.
Will Pitt Blog
The crowd
Thursday 20 January 2005 @ 12:47
The crowd here is an interesting mix. Abortion and gay rights defenders are here in strength, but by and large this is an anti-war crowd. It is also a young crowd, which is heartening.

I got a kick out of the Bush supporters I saw on the way here. A large portion of southern Red State America is here, and the mild cold looks to be taking its toll. The snow, too, was a mystery to them. Good thing this event isn't happening in Boston. Most of them would not make it out alive if that was the case. Wimps.
Bad directions
Thursday 20 January 2005 @ 12:33
ANSWER needs to learn how to give directions. The protest gathering is actually at 3rd and D. Big, loud crowd waiting to get through the checkpoint to the parade route protest spot. No soldiers to be seen.

The crowd would be a lot bigger if people had been told the proper place to go. I saw hundreds of protesters wandering around looking for the place they'd been told to go. Hopefully the noise will draw them here.
Thursday 20 January 2005 @ 12:19
4th and Pennsylvania, the alleged big protest site, is empty except for some dog-walkers. Annoying. I am now at 7th and D, and there is a huge crowd of Republicans and protesters bottlenecked at a parade entrance here. A chant of 'Let us in!' has begun.
Fortress D.C.
Thursday 20 January 2005 @ 11:51
I am walking down Pennsylvania Avenue, alongside the parade route. The crowd is divided into three groups. There are the nattily dressed white men. There are soldiers, and soldiers, and soldiers. And then there are the protesters. Wherever there is an entrance to the parade route, there are people holding signs and American flags, shouting down the smiling white men in suits.

The helicopters fill the sky. This city is a fortress today.
On the move
Thursday 20 January 2005 @ 11:35
Leaving the park and heading to 4th and Pennsylvania, where the ANSWER rally is taking place along the parade route.
Tough as nails
Thursday 20 January 2005 @ 11:21
Granny D is just as tough as nails. In her 90s, she is out here in the cold and wind to give a speech. She just went back to the van to get warm. A truly inspirational person.
Jumpy cops
Thursday 20 January 2005 @ 11:11
I was coming back to the park a few minutes ago, and stopped to check my email on this little machine. I happened to do so standing next to a police cruiser. I got about ten steps away, and was stopped by an armored cop who demanded to know what I was doing near the cruiser. I showed him my press ID, and he growlingly let me pass. The boys in blue are jumpy today.

In the park again, and the crowd has grown. Granny D is warming in a nearby van, and will speak sometime soon.
The big fence
Thursday 20 January 2005 @ 10:59
Took a walk over to the White House, and found it buried behind a massive black fence that encompases Lafayette Park and stretches all the way out to H street. No soldiers are visible, but there are hundreds of cops everywhere. The White House is barely visible behind a four story viewing stand.
Marchers coming
Thursday 20 January 2005 @ 10:54
My mistake. The small crowd here is waiting for two separate columns of marchers to arrive from different parts of the city. The air is filled with the sound of sirens.
A sparse turnout
Thursday 20 January 2005 @ 10:40
Here in McPherson Park, there are maybe thirty people. A singer croons at the podium to an empty field of snow. I will wait a while to see if more show up.
Thursday 20 January 2005 @ 09:29
Coltrane's 'Equinox' is floating through the room here as I prepare to deal with the cold DC air, the soldiers, the cops, and all the happy neocons flooding the streets. Why am I reminded of Rome during the rule of Honorius? Someone check what's lurking behind that seventh hill, please. I thought I heard something.

Hat. Gloves. Sweater. Scarf. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. And away we go.
Sound and fury, signifying nothing
Wednesday 19 January 2005 @ 06:48
A few minutes ago, I was staring out the window of the apartment where I am squatting here in DC, thanks to the kindness of friends. All of a sudden, the sky above the District erupted in a firestorm of light and thunder that glittered off the windows of the buildings and lit the underside of the low-hanging clouds. It was the fireworks display taking place in front of the White House, marking the opening of the inauguration festivities. Not long after, the Marine One helicopter bumbled across the sky like a pot-bellied bee.

The real fireworks will begin tomorrow. The whole display tonight put me in mind of some lines I once taught to my students, back when I was an English teacher a million years ago.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Winter in Washington
Wednesday 19 January 2005 @ 04:12
It snowed pretty heavily here this afternoon, with more forecast for tomorrow. It is cold. Not hard cold, not Boston cold - it was four degrees when I got to Logan airport this morning - but cold enough to make me wonder if any protests planned for tomorrow will be understaffed, shall we say, for fear of frostbite. This is a southern town, after all; one flake hits the ground and everyone loses their mind.

The events I will be reporting on tomorrow will be taking place at three different locations. From 9am EST to noon, I will be covering the protests at McPherson Park, the closest venue available to the White House. At noon, the show moves to Senate Park, close to the Capitol Building and right near Union Station. Starting at 7pm EST, there will be a CounterInaugural Ball at a club called Dream, location as yet unknown. I will also be reporting throughout on the security situation, the troops in the street, the sights and sounds, and whever else seems worthy of note.

Keep an eye on this page starting around 9am EST tomorrow. You won't want to miss the show.
Leaving for D.C.
Wednesday 19 January 2005 @ 05:41
I am leaving this morning for Washington DC to blog the inauguration on Thursday, so updates on this page will likely be few and far between until later this afternoon. Tomorrow, of course, will be a whole different story. What I see and hear on the DC streets during the big show, I will report here throughout the day.

It should be interesting, to say the least.


Thursday, January 20th, 2005
Lockdown in DC: Unprecedented Security For Bush Inauguration and Protests

Washington DC is in a state of lockdown for the most heavily guarded presidential inauguration in history. Along with the customary inauguration address and parade, a number of protests are being planned in Washington and around the country. We speak with Shahid Buttar, a member of the Guerilla Poetry Insurgency affinity group for the anti-inauguration protests and Mark Goldstone, of the Demonstration Support Committee for the National Lawyers Guild.
Washington DC is in a state of lockdown amid unprecedented levels of security. Fences, barriers and roadblocks have been erected across the city and 7,000 law enforcement agents from more than 100 federal, state and local agencies are on patrol. Heavily armed Coast Guard boats will patrol the Potomac River. Snipers have taken up positions on rooftops, bomb-sniffing dogs are on patrol and so-called Patriot anti-missile batteries are stationed near the Capitol.

The entire area around Capitol Hill and the White House has been cordoned off, and more than 100 streets will be off-limits to traffic with the inauguration designated a national special-security event.

Flight restrictions over Washington for private aircraft have been expanded, and pilots are being warned that they risk being shot down if they stray into restricted areas and don't respond to warnings.

The so-called nerve center for the most heavily guarded presidential inauguration in history is in a futuristic command post in Northern Virginia. Inside a gleaming steel-and-marble complex, the Secret Service and 50 federal, state and local agencies will monitor action in the sky, on the ground and in the subway system. Giant plasma screens will beam in live video from helicopters and cameras at the U.S. Capitol, along the parade route and at other areas. Officials will be able to track fighter jets patrolling the skies and call up three-dimensional maps of downtown.

Washington officials are upset that the federal government has told them to use homeland security grants to pay costs associated with the inauguration. Mayor Anthony Williams estimated the inauguration would cost the city over $17 million.

More than half a million people are expected to attend the ceremony today and along with the customary inauguration address and parade, a number of protests are being planned in Washington and around the country.

Along the parade route, thousands of people will "Turn Their Backs on Bush." An anti-war march through Malcolm X park will conclude with a "die-in."

Military families and veterans will speak out at an "Eyes Wide Open" exhibit. The exhibit includes a pair of boots honoring each U.S. military casualty in the Iraq war and a wall of remembrance to memorialize the Iraqis killed.

A "Black Gold and Boots" event will be held outside the official "Black Tie and Boots" inaugural ball and a "Got Freedom?" Ball, outside the official Freedom Ball. Across the country, a campaign called "Not One Damn Dime" is calling for a 24-hour national boycott of all forms of consumer spending.

More than 100 counter-inaugural events are planned in communities throughout the country - from Omaha to Fresno to Atlanta to New York City. They range from picnics against the president to funerals for the American Dream to drumming circles for peace.

  • Mark Goldstone, chair of the Demonstration Support Committee of the Washington DC chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
  • Shahid Buttar, a Washington DC-based lawyer and a member of the Guerilla Poetry Insurgency affinity group for the anti-inauguration protests. He also is a member of the Resistance Media Collective in DC.

To purchase an audio or video copy of this entire program, click here for our new online ordering or call 1 (800) 881-2359.


Protests to counter Bush fete
Area's biggest likely at S.F. Civic Center

Joe Garofoli, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Bay Area progressives will stage a buffet of counter-inaugural events today, from book parties and poetry readings to demonstrations.

The largest is expected to be a 5 p.m. rally at Civic Center in San Francisco, organized primarily by International ANSWER. Nearly two dozen speakers will take on the Bush administration on everything from the Iraq war to its plans for partial privatization of Social Security, after which demonstrators will march down Market Street to the Embarcadero.

"We feel that it's imperative to show how deep and wide the opposition is to this ridiculous inauguration," said International ANSWER organizer Marina Drummer, referring to President Bush's backers staging a $40 million celebration while the nation is at war.

"And, of course, we also want to bring the troops home now," Drummer said. Organizers are urging sympathizers to wear a white ribbon of mourning for those who have died in the Iraq war.

Bay Area protests will begin at 7 a.m. with banners unfurling from highway overpasses and prominent buildings declaring, "Not Our President," a brainchild of Not in Our Name, a national anti-war organization with an office in Oakland.

At 9 a.m., timed to coincide when Bush is taking the oath of office, members of Artists and Writers for Peace will read the Langston Hughes poem "Let America Be America Again," at the BART station plaza in downtown Berkeley. And then they'll read it again. And again, until, as organizers say, "anyone who wants to join in will have a chance to come to the microphone -- the reading will continue until everyone has had a turn or the light has dimmed."

At 10:30 a.m., Not in Our Name Sonoma County will be protesting outside the Federal Building in San Francisco, conducting a mock inauguration.

At 11:30 a.m., in San Francisco's Four Seasons Hotel, the liberal organization People for the American Way will host a counter-inaugural event honoring four Californians for their contributions to activism.

The honorees are Joan Blades and Wes Boyd, who started MoveOn.org, the online hub that raised millions for progressive-based causes in the last election; U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson, who temporarily blocked Proposition 209, the 1996 California initiative banning race and sex preferences in state and local affirmative action; and Robert Klein, mastermind of California's stem cell initiative.

From 5 to 6:30 p.m. in Lytton Plaza in Palo Alto, the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center will protest the administration's domestic and foreign policies.

At 7:30 p.m. at the Make-Out Room in San Francisco's Mission District, there will be counter-inaugural party to promote a just-released collection of post-election essays, "What Do We Do Now."

At 10 p.m. in the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House, 953 DeHaro St. in San Francisco, the Progress Party -- a group of San Francisco progressives hoping to promote left-of-center energy forged during the election -- will toast to future successes with the help of several bands. An e-mail advertising the party says, "Bitterness is passé and moving forward is the way to go. And we might as well have some fun with it."


1-20-05 - 

While President Bush's supporters celebrate his inauguration today, many protesters across California plan to hit the streets to rally against the returning administration.

Speeches and rallies are planned in San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities. In Santa Cruz, former Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern is the keynote speaker at a planned demonstration there.

A Palo Alto woman says she plans to display huge panels of photographs of soldiers killed in Iraq. Carol Brouillet says she believes Bush used the September 11 terror attacks as a pretext for an illegal war.

In Los Angeles, a protest is planned this evening outside the Federal Building near the U-C-L-A campus.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press.


Anti-Bush Protests

1-20-05 - 

An anti-Bush protester displays a sign on January 20, 2005 near the presidential inaugural parade route leading from the Capitol building to the White House in Washington DC. Protesters converged on the US capital seeking to persuade President George W Bush that "51 per cent is not a mandate," as he basked in the glow of his Inauguration Day festivities after winning a second four-year term in November election. Bush secured 62 million votes, or nearly 51 per cent of the ballots, in the 2004 presidential race, while his challenger, Democratic Senator John Kerry, garnered some 59 million votes (48 per cent). Protesters were of every age and background: families, children, students, retirees, artists, and accountants. Many were anti-war protesters but some had economic complaints or joined the demonstrations to support gay marriage rights or environmental protection.

FROM: http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/625_0019000100173295,1.htm


Anti-Bush Protests
Sarah Clark holds a sign with a mask of President George W Bush during a protest denouncing Bush's inauguration on January 20, 2005 in San Francisco.


Anti-Bush Protests
A protester bows his head on a mock coffin draped in an American Flag during a counter-inaugural march on January 20, 2005 in Washington. US President George W Bush was sworn in for his second term in ceremonies earlier 20 January at the US Capitol.


Anti-Bush Protests

Steve Frasier (R), of Centerville, Virginia, debates politics with an unidentified man along the Inaugural Parade route on January 20, 2005 in Washington, DC. Though the demonstrations were peaceful, mainly booing of Bush's motorcade and marches and rallies, about 50 anarchists tried in one incident to push past security checkpoints and advance toward the parade route, but were pushed back by police.


Anti-Bush Protests
Demonstrators hold posters and chant slogans against US President George W Bush on January 20, 2005 in Washington, DC, after Bush took the oath of office for a second four-year term. Though the demonstrations were peaceful, mainly booing of Bush's motorcade and marches and rallies, about 50 anarchists tried in one incident to push past security checkpoints and advance toward the parade route, but were pushed back by police.


Scattered anti-Bush protests as president is inauguarated


As President Bush was sworn in for a second term, protesters around the country marched, carried banners and chanted the names of the war dead.

A few miles away from the Capitol, about 500 marchers rallied in a park. Some carried boxes meant to symbolize the coffins of dead soldiers.

In San Francisco, the sign draped in front of City Hall read "To Party Big While Our Troops Die is Obscene."

Protesters in New Orleans planned what they call a jazz funeral for democracy, with copies of the Constitution and the U-S-A Patriot Act carried in a horse-drawn mock coffin.

A protester at an Akron, Ohio courthouse said, "War is not the way to come to peace." About 20 people demonstrated there.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved


Local anti Bush protests


By Josh Comer


January 21, 2005

Bearing placards criticizing the current administration's actions both domestic and abroad, Bowling Green citizens gathered at City Park to march in opposition to Thursday's Inaugural proceedings.

Braving freezing temperatures to make their feelings known, more than a dozen protesters made their way down Main Street. Mere hours after President Bush was sworn in to his second term, Jodi Wyant related her concerns regarding the current administration.. "He should be impeached," said Wyant. "I don't know if he made a law saying that he's not allowed to be impeached, but he lied, badly."

The war on terror was a clear point of contention among the protesters. Signs pleading for the President to be tried on charges of war crimes were displayed.

"He killed thousands of people because of his lies," said Wyant.

Single-issue voters were blamed for reelecting the President without fully weighing the consequences. Wyant addressed the contradictions she felt were present in the moral majority's pro-Bush argument.

"They voted for Bush because he's against abortion," Wyant said. "How can he say it's okay to kill people in other countries but not here?"

Another war, the war on drugs, was also of great concern to the demonstrators. Lia Ricci spoke avidly of the harm which this conflict has inflicted in the United States.

"We're throwing people in jail for nonviolent drug crimes," Ricci said. "We're ruining families and killing people because we won't give them a syringe that costs a half of a cent to make, and then we have no health insurance for them, either." "If they really want a global economy, a united world, we have to treat people the same in every country," said Wyant.

Bush protests draw thousands in NW
By Associated Press
Jan 21, 2005 - 07:50:15 am PST

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- At least 2,000 activists marched through downtown Portland on Thursday -- the day of President Bush's inauguration -- to protest the Iraq war and the administration's economic and social policies.

Police detained at least one protester.

Clusters of Bush supporters got into shouting matches with protesters as they marched by.

When a middle-age protester of Bush was confronted by Bush supporters, he shook the American flag he was carrying in their face.

"I've got mine, where's yours?" he yelled at the Bush supporters.

There were some tense moments as a group of marchers splintered off from the main body. Riot police jumped out of a truck, formed a wall and told the group to join the main party.

One protester set fire to an American flag in front of the federal courthouse.

Protesters ranged in age from high schoolers to elderly Oregonians.

Among the latter was Billy Ray Jones, 75, a retired public school administrator who lives in The Dalles.

Jones, who held a sign reading "Facism has come to America," said the Bush administration has cracked down on civil liberties and he is worried about the level of fear nationally.

"I'm concerned that our government is beginning to look a little like the government of Benito Mussolini," Jones said.

Small protests were held throughout the day in Portland, including a march across a downtown bridge by about 100 people, many of them middle-age women with the activist group "Code Pink." They chanted "not our president, not our war."

"I personally don't acknowledge George Bush as my president," said Rabia Yeaman, the chief organizer, dressed all in pink. "We felt we needed some kind of cathartic event to be able to have some closure on these last horrible four years."

They and other activists met at a rallying site, and then marched together through downtown.

Police at the scene said at least 2,000 people took part in the march, and there may have been as many as 5,000.

The protesters included high school students who had gotten permission to miss class to take part in the demonstration.

Among them was Mike Schaefer, 17, a senior who said one reason he participated in the protest was that he was too young to vote in the last election and he wanted to make his voice heard.

"I couldn't vote, but my mom voted for Bush," he said.

Another high school student, 17-year-old Colleen Kenny, said: "I'm mostly really concerned about pro-choice issues and gay rights."

Jesse Hannon, 19, said he was protesting the war in Iraq and the Bush administration's economic policies: "The economy is in the toilet."

The Portland protests were part of demonstrations held in scattered places across the county to coincide with Bush's inauguration.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved


Protests as Bush vows to end tyranny

ANOTHER shouts his protest - Protestor hit with baton 

GEORGE Bush made a resounding call for worldwide freedom but did not mention Iraq once in his second inaugural Presidential speech.

As he was sworn in for a second four-year term in Washington, Mr Bush warned that for as long as whole regions of the world simmered in tyranny, violence would gather and raise a mortal threat.

ut in the first wartime inauguration for more than 30 years, he did not specifically mention the war that has cost the US £80billion and killed at least 1300 American people.

s the ceremony took place, there were many protests, mostly about the war in Iraq.

hen the President's motorcade made its way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House amid the tightest security in inaugural history, some protesters turned their back as Mr Bush's car drove slowly past.

thers yelled, "George Bush, you can't hide. We charge you with genocide."

ne group carried hundreds of mock coffins, while an American flag was also set alight.

n one area, police used pepper spray and batons on demonstrators who hurled bottles at officers while trying to break through a security fence holding them back from the parade. Police said there were 13 arrests.

n his 2000-word speech, Mr Bush - who has the lowest approval rating of a second term President for more than 50 years - acknowledged the war in Iraq had caused splits in America.

owever, he called on people to heal divisions and move on.

r Bush also spoke of his hopes of bringing "freedom" to other countries.

e said: "There is only one force of history that can break the reign of history and resentment ... and that is the force of human freedom.

he best hope for freedom in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. We do not accept the existence of permanent tyranny because we do not accept the possibility of permanent slavery."

hen, in a reference to Iraq, he said: "Because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved their freedom. And as hope kindles hope, millions more will find it.

"The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands."

e used the word "freedom" 27 times and tried to define his second term as a fight with the "ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

owever, in a less combative tone, Mr Bush said that spreading freedom did not necessarily mean military action.

 Large, Often Raucous Protests Greet Bush at Second Inaugural

January 21, 2005

by Brendan Coyne and Ariella Cohen  

TNS correspondents capture the spirit of a day full of “counter-inaugural” events, including large marches, clashes with police and colorful interactions between the president’s supporters and protesters.

Washington , DC , Jan. 21 - They came to express outrage at President George W. Bush and his administration and, with few exceptions, protesters attending the counter-inaugural events in Washington , DC yesterday said they were happy with the turnout, including the number and variety of demonstrations. 

From morning onward, demonstrators encountered the same dilemma as journalists trying to cover them: the schedule was jam-packed with competing events. Some expressed wishes that organizers from the numerous groups hosting or leading actions and other affairs had better coordinating their efforts.

Still, participants were happy to blow off steam and have what little say in the event that they were allowed by a massive security force and the media focused almost exclusively on the main spectacles: a colorful parade, the official swearing in and numerous gala happenings attended by the rich and famous.

Meanwhile, attendance at protests and other "counter-inaugural" events topped most participants' expectations, with impromptu marches occurring throughout the day and continuing well into the evening.

One of the largest events was a permitted rally and march hosted by the DC Anti-War Network (DAWN) and supported by Code Pink, Mobilization for Global Justice, and several other anti-war groups. At around 9 a.m. people began assembling at Meridian Hill Park in Northwest DC -- renamed Malcolm X Park by locals -- to hear speeches, put together hundreds of cardboard coffins, wander about chatting with like-minded people or hawking buttons and other anti-Bush and anti-war merchandise. By ten, the number of rally attendees had at least tripled, with one DAWN organizer estimating the crowd at over 3,000.

While the "1,000 Coffins" contingent went about covering each with black cloth or an American flag, a crew of about 50 people dressed in black with their faces mostly obscured gathered nearby around an orange banner reading "No More Presidents" as they eyed District police cars parked on the grass. Requests for comment on what they planned were met with "no thanks" from one member of the group, who seemed generally disinterested in talking to the media.

People working on the coffins were more open to press queries. Michael Berg of Columbia , South Carolina and Silver Spring , Maryland resident Jim Preston both spoke about the importance of protesting the president's second inauguration.

"I'm here to voice my opposition to this administration's policy of war, occupation and destruction," said Berg, the director of the Carolina Peace Resource Center . "Pretty much everything this president does and stands for, I'm against."

Berg rode a train into DC specifically to attend protests and said he would have been disappointed in himself had he not attended. Preston 's take, if not the commute from his home in a DC suburb, was similar.

"I want to voice my opposition to the Bush agenda," he said as he folded the sides of a cardboard coffin effigy. "I think these coffins are a meaningful component to the protest march. We're actually talking about people dying. I'm sure 

CNN and Fox and the other networks are kind of laughing at us, but just because Bush won the election doesn't mean he's right. You don't get to vote on the truth."

The park was filled with a variety of people. There were signs protesting war, the president and the election. There were others showing support for gay rights, abortion rights and the populations of other nations, especially Iraqis. A handful of people wandered about with orange flags as a reminder of what a determined populace recently accomplished in the Ukraine .

One of the larger demographic groups represented was that of college students. Some drove with friends, others came with student associations or other campus groups, and one -- a group 200 strong -- came on four busses rented by the university they attend.

"We just hate Bush more than anything in the world," explained Lisa, a University of Michigan student. "I think this rally is pretty good and I can't wait to see the coffins carried down the street. Most of all, it's great to see people in my age group doing something."

Lisa said the university sponsored the trip. And though it was to be a bi-partisan journey, she said only a few Bush supporters chose to take the twelve-hour ride. They arrived at five in the morning and would be leaving at five that evening.

While many of the protesters were not tied to one specific issue, a group of four local African American teens, who said they had never attended a protest before, showed up to express concern about the president's plan to partially privatize Social Security.

"I think his [Social Security] plan is the same as robbery," said Scott. "By the time I'm old enough to retire, there won't be anything for me." His friend Josh agreed, adding "it's really hard to find out the facts."

Josh said he liked the feeling of unity at the park and thinks it is a good thing he and his friends came to check out the protest.

Meanwhile, organizers of "The Cost of War: the Price We're All Paying" forum at the Foundry United Methodist Church said they were overwhelmed by the turnout. According to Debbie Churchman of Northern Virginians for Peace, only a handful of people were expected. Instead, several extra chairs had to be brought into the second floor room as well over 200 people came to hear speakers talk about the effects of war in economic and personal terms. Among the speakers were Celeste Zappala and Sue Neiderer, both mothers who have lost sons in the Iraq war and members of Military Families Speak Out.

As the panel discussion wound down, the march toward the inaugural parade route began, heading down 16th street from the park. Several smaller "feeder marches" joined in along the route.

"I'm surprised at how large this is," said Boston , MA resident Sean Healy. "I've never personally been involved in anything this big."

His comment was echoed by Caroline Guier, a fellow Bostonian who drove down with Healy the night before. "It's so cool that so many people took the time to come out and have a say," added Guier.

Others involved appeared a bit concerned that the march was too disorganized, with gaps of fifty or more feet appearing at times throughout the trek to McPherson Square . Edward H., an Indiana resident who declined to offer his last name or the city he lived in for fear of being disciplined for calling in sick to work, said it looked like there was not much communication between the various groups.

"When I was in New York for the Republican [National] Convention [in August/September 2004], the march was better ordered," he said. "But, I guess it doesn't really matter. I mean, look behind us; there are a lot of different people and a lot of different ideas here. That's got to be a good thing."

As the main march turned toward McPherson Square , a much smaller group broke off and headed toward H and 15th Streets. There, seventeen members of DAWN held a pre-planned "die-in," covering parts of their clothes, faces and hands with fake blood and lying in the intersection. A circle of protesters and picture-takers formed while curious onlookers walking by stopped to see and walked on. Fifteen minutes after the action, District police had yet to move in and make arrests.

At McPherson Square , speakers orated from a stage and various groups gathered together with banners, signs and other paraphernalia.

With speakers recounting what they term the crimes of the Bush administration from the stage, several smaller groups wandered away from the park, some followed by police cruisers or bicycle cops, others apparently left unhindered.

"We're anarchists, socialist, all kinds of people," a woman going by the name "Blood Red" said of the two to three hundred people gathered on the corner of 7th and H streets, right at the entrance to Washington 's Chinatown neighborhood. "Everybody over here wants liberation. It's not just about Bush, it's about the whole system."

According to Blood Red, whose scarf covered most of her face, police had routed the group of demonstrators from Logan 's Circle and the scattered protesters were regrouping closer to the parade route.

She declined to say they planned or what she wanted to see happen from further demonstrations that day, but at 2:30, as police in riot gear appeared on the opposite corner, the group took off on an unruly, unpermitted march toward a line of police standing behind portable metal fences. The first several rows had their arms linked, and a male in black with a red bandanna over his face remarked, "We're going as far as we can," when queried about the group's plan.

That turned out to be not too far. Police began closing in from the group's side and back, forcing the 250 or so protesters to turn right onto F street , parallel to the parade but several blocks and some rather large fences away. With police in slow pursuit, several in the group employed wooden pallets and overturned orange construction barrels as barricades while one young protester ran along the side of the street spray-painting red swaths on several cars and sports utility vehicles. At one point they received an approving honk from Nashville , Tennessee native Neil Love, a tractor-trailer driver.

"Hell no," Love said when asked if he approved of the president. "I'd wished he wouldn't have drove up the fuel prices. 
Good for these guys. I'm glad they're raising hell."

Tony Cocco, an Ohio bicycle messenger who was in town for a bike race and decided to stick around for the protests said he was unsure how he felt about the near-violent outbursts from marchers and police alike.

"I hate Bush as much as anyone," he said. "But I wasn't really part of this. I'm more of an opportunist -- I saw the march and joined. Now I'm not so sure it was a good idea."

, NY
residents Kathy Castania and Peter Debes both said they were generally happy with the day's events. Additionally, Castania said it was important for people to be in the streets protesting consistently. Both said they have attended demonstrations regularly since Bush took office, and they hope the anti-war movement grows as strong as it became during the US invasion and bombing of Vietnam .

"It feels like we need to be doing things like this," Castania said. "It keeps the momentum up. We need to create chaos in the streets, just like we did during the Vietnam War."

Ron Immanuel of Chicago had a chance to see Bush's speech for himself and was unimpressed. "It was scary, he used the word 'freedom' about 100 times," Immanuel exaggerated. "It was that and the same old crap and sound bites. The guy still can't put together a sentence that actually says something."

Along the Inaugural parade route, thousands of demonstrators mixed with Bush supporters, wielding protest signs and chanting at the passing festivities. Lines to enter the parade snaked entire city blocks in the city's northwest quadrant, demonstrators standing cheek in jowl with Bush supporters as all vied for a fleeting opportunity to get their message out to Bush.

"I spent between a half an hour and 45 minutes at each checkpoint, said We went through 3 and then got caught behind a fence," said Andrea Smith, an intake coordinator and investigator at Legal Aide Society of DC. "At times I thought about turning around but once we were there and Bush went by it felt good to be there, with him, booing directly at him."

A Washington resident, Smith left the Inauguration glad that city residents had come out together, even if most of that together time happened in line.

"It's been weird the past few days to see Bush supporters come in. You see them wearing fur coats and tuxedos on the metro, clearly outsiders here to support a President who the city largely disapproves of… even the cops were imported for the day," she said.

A full 91 percent of Washington , DC residents voted against George W. Bush in 2004.

Cops were not the only imports who made it to Pennsylvania Avenue for the day. Mike Potter came to the Inauguration from Traverse City Michigan with a sign reading, "Bush is to Christianity what Bin Laden is to Islam." Potter, a Christian and father of two, said he attended church regularly before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but now he feels uncomfortable there.

"I was brought up a Christian and I believed it right up until the point when I saw it become a vehicle of war," he said. 

"The Right has created a religious war since 9/11 and I am flabbergasted that we are a nation of sheep following it."

While the Inauguration and its attendant street barricades shut down the vast majority of governmental offices, many federal employees weathered the traffic and made it downtown for the day's actions.

Thursday morning, Betsey Menshew left her Silver Spring home at around the same time that she usually leaves for her job as a nurse with Department of Defense -- today in order to spend her day off protesting the chief executive.

"It's important for those of us who didn't vote for Bush to show here and let people know that he did not have our mandate," Menshaw said. "To see people protesting here reaffirms my belief in democracy."

Following the appearance of Bush's motorcade, demonstrators lit two American flags on fire and incited a noxious hose-down of chemicals as city police emptied canister upon canister of pepper spray and Bush supporters rained ice down on them from a neighboring balcony.

"I didn't vote for Bush but I came here to see the parade and the protest is making it a hassle," said Brianna Berlin, a high school senior on a school field trip from California . "We saw a monument here. I wish I could see the inauguration better."

Legal observers clad in bright green hats labeled with the emblem of the National Lawyers Guild threaded the day's wool-coated crowds. They stood on hand all day at the checkpoints where police were searching people and barring the entrance of all bags over a certain size.

"My understanding of the checkpoints is that they are for security, but it's up to public debate to decide how reasonably or unreasonably they are being managed," said Bill Repsher, a retired lawyer from Reston , VA who was trained by the Guild earlier this week.

On a number of occasions, police brutally attacked demonstrators with pepper spray and batons, as described by several witnesses at various scenes around the parade route and depicted in wire service photos.

Later in the day, protesters gathered near Union Station, DC's major junction between Metro and Amtrack rails, to crash an inaugural party. The counter-party, dubbed the "Got Freedom? Inaugural Ball," organized by CodePink: Women for Peace, The Ohio League of Pissed Off Voters and a group known as The Ronald Reagan Home for the Criminally Insane, eventually overwhelmed police, who gave up trying to corral the demonstrators onto a sidewalk area across from the event.

A dancing troupe of five people dressed in sweatshirts reading "Torture U" and wearing masks depicting Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, President Bush, Secretary of State nominee Condolezza Rice, arch-conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh and Attorney General pick Alberto Gonzales all partook in the festivities as Jeff Grubler of The Ronald Reagan Home for the Criminally Insane led chants and spoke out against torture at the US-run Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq.

Those attending the sanctioned event were forced to enter through throngs of protesters jeering and taunting them along the way. But not all the protesters thought the verbal abuse was a good idea.

"I wish they'd say something constructive," said Jeannie Milner, a Dallas , Texas resident. "We look as bad as them if all we do is swear and yell. Maybe someone should try and actually talk to them."

Grubler apparently agreed. After the behavior had gone on for a while he took the microphone and pleaded with the crowd to ask intelligent questions of the gala-goers, not just castigate them. The appeals largely fell on apparently deaf ears.

"Go to hell," a shaven-headed man told a NewStandard reporter for inquiring how effective he thought accosting the attendees was. The man declined to give his name.

Police told Reuters that they arrested at least thirteen demonstrators.

According to Rae Abileah of CodePink, the group's co-founders, Medea Benjamin and Diane Wilson were among those arrested. Police apprehended them at the inauguration after seven members of the organization managed to obtain tickets for the event, unfurl banners and interrupt proceedings.


 © 2004 The NewStandard.


A band portraying President Bush as a marionette controlled by Satan performs at a protest against the inauguration of President Bush and the war in Iraq  Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005, in downtown Seattle.

 (AP Photo Ted S. Warren)


U.S. President George W. Bush  (R) and his daughters Jenna (L) and Barbara (C) sing along at the Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC January 19, 2005. The event is part of celebrations leading up to the second inauguration of President Bush  for his second term January 20. 

REUTERS/Brian Snyder



U..S. President George W. Bush and his wife Laura gesture to audience at Commander In Chief's Ball honoring the inauguration of the president in Washington, January 20, 2005. The ball is being held for all members of the United States armed forces and is the last of many stops the President and his wife will make throughout the night. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton



A protester sits hooked to a gasoline pump with a bicycle lock as police prepare to arrest her during an inaugural protest in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005. At least 2,000 activists marched through downtown Portland, to protest President Bush 's inauguration, the Iraq war and the administration's economic and social policies. (AP Photo/Don Ryan )

Police arrest a protester during the Inauguration of U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C. January 20, 2005. The arrest caused several small fights to break out between the police and the protesters along 13th street in Washington. REUTERS/Scott A. Miller

A protester burns a United States flag as the Bush inaugural parade passes by on Pennsylvania Avenue, several blocks from the White House in Washington, January 20, 2005. Anti-war chants competed with pomp and circumstance as the inauguration of President George W. Bush for a second term took place amid the barricaded streets of central Washington. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Police officers fire streams of pepper spray into a crowd of protesters after demonstrators threw objects over the fence, as the President Bush inaugural parade passes by on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, January 20, 2005. Anti-war chants competed with pomp and circumstance during the inauguration of Bush for a second term as president took place amid the barricaded streets of central Washington. Photo by Jim Bourg/Reuters


Protest Links for Inauguration Day in Washington, D.C.

CounterCoup.org supports the massive protests in Washington, D.C. for the Inauguration on January 20, 2001.
As a service, we are providing a list of links to help you get involved in this historical event.

Washington, D.C. protests:

VoterMarch.org website CounterCoup.org member.
Main protest organizing site. Tons of info. Click here to see local organizers list to get people to DC.

Justice Action Movement's InaugurAuction.org website CounterCoup.org member.
Another great info site.

CounterCoup.org Upcoming Nationwide Protests and InaugurActions Page
D.C. and beyond

International Action Center website
Large national group. They've been planning for months. To be joined by the Revolutionary Anti-Authoritarian Bloc.

Washington, D.C. IndyMedia website
Good unfiltered news update site. Local to D.C.
List of Organized Teach-ins and Counter Protests (to date)

National Organization for Women website
NOW Inauguration Protest press release. Powerful organization.

Other groups in D.C. on J20

http://www.democracymarch.org CounterCoup.org member.

Oral Majority Florida Freedom Ride to DC! Well organized group. CounterCoup.org member.

Kensington Welfare Rights Union

Z Magazine's "Call to Demonstrate" Featuring highly distinguished signatories.

Free-Radical.org Inauguration Special and the update

Nationwide protests:

Independent Progressive Politics Network website
National Pro-Democracy Week protest info. Events from Jan. 15 (MLK Day) through Jan. 20 (Inauguration Day.)

Rainbow/PUSH website
Jesse Jackson's Inauguration Protest press release. Similar to above, but with greater outreach.

CounterCoup.org Los Angeles J20 Rally and March
This is where you should be if you are on the other coast!

The Nation Magazine's Counter-Inauguration Calendar

Send your supporting organization's link here

Return to Fair Vote Pro-Democracy Page

Return to CounterCoup.org

Return to Upcoming Nationwide Protests and InaugurActions Page

Go to National Flyers and Posters Page


updated - 9-14-04 - ANTI-BUSH PROTESTS



updated 10-5-04 - THE DEATH OF THE PRESIDENT
... An eloquent and energetic chieftain, Tecumseh, with his religious brother, the Prophet, pronounced a curse on all Presidents elected in a year ending with a 0