[Hpn] S.F. counter-inaugural one of many in U.S.
David and Deb Ward
Sun, 21 Jan 2001 20:20:36 -0500
I somehow think his presidency will not be that easy for him I also do nothing
he will be in office more than one term.
chance martin wrote:
> Sunday Jan 21, 2001
> S.F. counter-inaugural one of many in U.S.
> By Johnny Brannon
> Of the Examiner Staff
> As President George W. Bush delivered an inaugural address urging
> Americans to "be citizens, not spectators," thousands of protesters took to
> the streets Saturday and angrily labeled Bush everything from a thief to a
> chimp. In San Francisco, which awarded Bush few votes in the November
> election, the words were vicious, the sentiment vitriolic.
> "He stole the damn election, that's all there is to it," said Walnut
> Creek resident Jesse Mackinnon, who marched through the city carrying a
> hand-lettered sign that read "Hail To The Cheat." "If democracy was working
> here today the way it should be, Bush wouldn't be president," Mackinnon
> snapped at a noon rally that drew several thousand demonstrators to Civic
> Center Plaza.
> San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Tom Ammiano exhorted the
> crowd to send Bush a message: "We are the people! Kiss our collective ass!"
> "We are going to give him all the aggravation he deserves," Ammiano vowed.
> "Bush will not get away with it."
> Elizabeth Martinez, director of the Institute for MultiRacial Justice,
> urged Americans of all colors to form a broad coalition to resist any slide
> to the political right by the Bush administration. "We should stop competing
> and form alliances," Martinez said. "The future is scary indeed, it's
> horrible indeed, but it's a time of great opportunity."
> Others displayed signs that painted Bush as a "Knucklehead Corporate
> Puppet," and a "Drunk Drivin,' Crack Smokin,' Chimp."
> Besides blasting the conservative president, protesters pumped a
> smorgasbord of liberal and leftist causes. They demanded an end to economic
> sanctions against Iraq and Cuba; freedom for death-row inmate Mumia Abu
> Jamal; abolition of the death penalty; no U.S. involvement in Columbia's
> drug war; land for Palestinians in Israel; and a halt to U.S. military
> practice bombings of Vieques Island, Puerto Rico.
> The demonstrators marched down Van Ness Avenue in a parade that
> stretched four blocks, and rallied again at Jefferson Square Park. "I think
> there's a dark cloud over the country as long as Bush is president,"
> Berkeley resident Steve Mardeusz said as he viewed the parade from the steps
> of City Hall.
> A few bystanders jeered the crowd or grumbled about traffic snarls it
> caused. "Best coup I ever saw. Wonderful," a man walking into the main
> library said sarcastically of Bush's ascent to power. "Go in there and read
> a book," a protester responded.
> A few hundred protesters converged at Powell and Market streets at about
> 4 p.m., and several blockaded the front door to a GAP store. One man staged
> a sit-in on the cable car turnaround while clutching a flower and a placard
> that read "Republicans Suck."
> A dozen police officers in riot gear responded to the scene but by 5
> p.m. had made no arrests. Capt. Alex Fagan said he was not eager to haul
> anyone to jail, despite taunts from some in the group.
> "I went to [UC] Berkeley from '68 to '72 so I know what this is all
> about," Fagan said. "I think we'll just wait them out." He said no
> protesters had been arrested in the city so far.
> Elsewhere in California, it was much the same. In Los Angeles, more than
> 2,000 people shouted anti-Bush slogans and waved handmade signs that read
> "One Nation Under Fraud" and "Remember Florida" at a downtown rally. "It's
> time to have an inauguration of our own," said former state Sen. Tom Hayden
> of Los Angeles. "We begin here and now. This will be a season of storms ...
> when we begin to turn the tide."
> Another protest drew about 300 people from more than two dozen civil
> rights, labor, and women's groups outside the state Capitol in Sacramento.
> They sang songs such as "George Bush Ain't My President" that lamented the
> Supreme Court decision finishing Florida election results.
> Nancy Price, national vice chair of the Alliance for Democracy, came
> dressed in a white sheet and paper crown. "I'm Democracy. You might not
> recognize me," she said before launching into a tirade against voting
> One of the protests even drew some of Hollywood's star power. Actor Ed
> Asner was the master of ceremonies in Los Angeles and was joined by
> entertainer Ed Begley Jr. Asner told the crowd he was "the West Coast
> response to Ricky Martin," referring to the Latin singer's performance on
> the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington during pre-inauguration
> As Asner introduced a litany of speakers, hundreds of people passed out
> fliers, signed petitions and pranced around in homemade costumes that would
> humor any political satirist. Protester Sally Marr wore a Statue of Liberty
> mask with a black veil draped over it. She said she was mourning the demise
> of democracy and fears the new Bush administration will do more harm than
> good. "This is a test to see if America is awake or sleeping," she said.
> "People will start waking up when they start losing their rights."
> Peace activist Jerry Rubin -- no relation to the late 60s activist --
> publicly ended his two-week fast to protest by eating a non-Florida orange
> and implored protesters to continue the fight. "Let's work on a new movement
> to bring back our democracy," he told the crowd. "What you do between these
> rallies is what really counts."
> In Washington, thousands hurled insults, bottles and an egg to mock
> Bush's big day. The tensions forced the new president's motorcade to lurch
> along the parade route. Protesters clashed briefly with police clad in riot
> gear at a few flash points while Bush remained inside his armored stretch
> car for most of the parade up a soggy, cold Pennsylvania Avenue. A couple of
> protesters threw bottles before the presidential limousine arrived, and one
> hurled an egg that landed near the motorcade.
> But the protesters managed little else to interrupt the festivities in
> the face of a massive show of 7,000 police officers. Police Chief Charles
> Ramsay strode alongside his men, wielding a nightstick.
> As the day grew darker and colder, authorities had arrested only four
> people and activists began to disperse. "If he had won clearly, I wouldn't
> have troubled to come here," said Mack Wilder, a construction worker from
> Greensboro, N.C., who joined more than 100 others from the state for a
> five-hour bus journey through fog and rain.
> Bush remained in his limousine for most of the traditional parade route
> up Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House. The new
> president finally exited for a brief walk outside only after he reached a
> secure zone near the White House filled with inauguration ticketholders and
> no protesters.
> The protests were the largest since those during Richard Nixon's 1973
> inauguration during the Vietnam war. Those protests drew about 60,000;
> organizers of the Bush protests anticipated 20,000. Predictions of sleet and
> snow did not materialize, and the protesters -- as well as the celebrants --
> faced little worse than mild drizzle and fog.
> Though protesters had many disparate causes, most said they were
> motivated by the Florida election controversy. Bob Rogers, one of the
> organizers of the "Voter March," said the fact that Bush captured the White
> House even though Al Gore won the popular vote by 500,000 guaranteed
> busloads of demonstrators. "These are moderate, working people, motivated by
> anger, embarrassment, that kind of sentiment," he said. "They're wondering,
> 'We put a man on the moon, why can't we count the vote?'"
> On the Capitol steps where he was sworn in, Bush exchanged smiles and
> pleasantries with Al Gore -- a civility that at times extended into the
> streets. Pro- and anti-Bush protesters joked with each other, and jostled
> each other on crowded subway trains. At some junctures, the sides exchanged
> insults. When pro-Bush people chanted, "Help is on the way," protesters
> countered "Hell is on the way." At one point, protesters took over a section
> of inaugural parade bleachers set aside for ticketed guests. Earlier, a few
> officers were hurt after protesters threw bottles at them. One officer was
> seen bleeding from the eye, but none required hospitalization.
> Two streakers jumped barriers while a cowboy in underwear sang to the
> crowd. The streakers were detained by police. The marchers faced stringent
> security measures, including a first: Checkpoints along the parade route.
> There were miles of steel fencing, and Secret Service agents in long black
> overcoats jogged alongside the motorcade.
> The Associated Press contributed to this report.
> END FORWARD
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