Counter-Inaugural protests update

A DC judge yesterday in DC ruled that ANSWER protestors can not use sign holders because they might contain razor blades and thus could be a Horrible Hideous Menace. Republicans of course will be allowed to carry umbrellas. Further, the linear footage on the parade route in the ANSWER area was lowered to 120 feet while the Inauguration Committee gets over 5280 feet, more than one mile. Barricades and 7 foot barbed wire fences sprouted around the ANSWER area Monday night. The forces of repression are doing their best to scare people off and make things difficult.

However, it matters not what the Bushies, who underneath their strutting bluster are terrified of the people and terrified their war is going badly wrong, will do to block dissent. They won’t succeed. There’s been huge media interest in the coming ANSWER counter-inaugural protests this Thursday, the whole world is indeed watching.

From the national ANSWER office

D.C. Emergency Fundraising Appeal
Logistical and tactical update

It is a great but partial victory that we have secured an area for a mass assembly protest right along the inaugural parade route. The permitted site at 4th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NW (north side) holds 10,000-20,000 people. We will be having a fired up, energetic event at the parade route, including music and a people’s speak out. This permitted demonstration space allows for a significant sound system as well as bleachers. There is no way that George Bush and the world media can ignore the antiwar movement right at the site of the inaugural parade route.

The National Park Service and the Secret Service have done everything in their power to stop this from happening, and even now they are imposing last minute restrictions and obstacles that have significantly increased the cost of our sound system and bleacher set up. At every turn the government has changed its story about what will be allowed. They have waited until the last possible moment to issue a permit. Since the permit is only obtained in hand now we have been forced to renegotiate the contract with sound and bleacher contractors.

We need to raise an additional $15,000 in the next 36 hours. We have been able to count on the generous contributions and donations of people who believe in the antiwar movement in the past. You can make a contribution through a secure server by clicking here, where you can also find information on how to contribute by check.

Here in LA, the ANSWER phone has been ringing constantly, and people are coming from several other states, something that has never happened before. We have permits for a rally and march at the Westwood Federal Building starting at 6 pm.

Some are calling for a do-nothing day in protest, others will turn their back on Bush as he travels the inauguration ruote. While these are laudable tactics, ANSWER believes more, much more, is needed. Get in the streets, get loud, and get vocal. The majority in the country now oppose the war. Indeed, the front page headline today in the LA Times says “Support of war hits new low.”  Let’s keep building on that and force the Bushies to end their vile wars for oil and power.

Jim Lafferty of the National Lawyers Guild said last night at the regular ANSWER volunteer meeting that he’s not sad that Bush won, because now imperialism, in all its arrogant ugliness, is out in plain view for the whole world to see. Even Ted Kennedy is using the term, and the Right wears it as a badge of honor. These may be dangerous times, however they also abound with opportunity to make a difference, a real difference.

But the change will only come by people getting in the streets. Be there.

The LA demo is 6 pm at the Westwood Federal Building. Volunteers, please be there by 5 pm.

And, you probably thought I was joking when I said a judge banned sign holders because protestors could put razor blades in them, right?