[Hpn] KWRU Protests Bush Inauguration

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Sun, 21 Jan 2001 20:49:07 -0800 (PST)

FWD ***** Circulate Please ***** Reply-To: "KENSINGTON WELFARE RIGHTS UNION" <kwru@libertynet.org> KWRU PROTESTS BUSH INAUGURATION [01-21-2001] [pictures coming soon] Over 100 members of KWRU and our supporters gathered at 6 am at the KWRU office in North Philadelphia this morning. Filling two buses, we spent our trip participating in an Economic Human Rights School. We taught our newer members and supporters about the rights guaranteed to us all by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the rights to housing, jobs at living wages, and health care. We traveled to DC to protest the inauguration of George W Bush and his nomination of Tommy Thompson to head the department of Health and Human Services. We want the world to know that George W Bush and Tommy Thompson are human rights violators. Their agenda is to privatize what's left of welfare and put it in the hands of companies like Lockheed Martin, so they can profit off the backs of the poor. All of the roads around the Mall had been closed. The buses took us as close as they could to our destination. We then walked through 10 blocks of deserted streets in the heart of the capital. The only people on the street were military police in combat fatigues at each corner. The only sounds were distant sirens and the hum of helicopters, hovering motionless nearby. We started our march at the Organization of American States, where we have filed a petition charging that the 1996 welfare reform law is a violation of basic economic human rights. We marched through the streets, lifting our voices in chants and songs in the freezing rain. We came upon the throngs of Republican faithful, there to witness the inauguration. We were greeted with jeers, taunts, and shocked looks. We ended our march at the Department of Health and Human Services, where we set up a tent city, called Bushville 2001. We carried two large American flags as well as our signs and banners. We sat down on the wet ground that we covered with plastic sheets and sang our freedom songs. What the media didn't report was that there were literally tens of thousands of other protesters there. We could hear their chants from many blocks away. With chants like "Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Tommy Thompson has got to go!," and "What do we want? Human Rights! When do we want them? Now!," we attempted to enter the Health and Human Services building to deliver our grievances in person. We were literally pushed out the door by the police inside. We stayed outside, blocking entrance to the building, and announced that we will be back. That so long as children are going without basic nutrition and mothers are forced to live without homes in the richest country in the world, we will continue to press our cause for economic human rights in America. The KWRU dedicate today's actions to the memory of Bob Kasen, on his birthday. The memory of this great leader of the labor movement and friend of the poor lives on. --- CONTACT INFO: Kensington Welfare Rights Union NUHHCE, ASFCME, AFL-CIO PO Box 50678 Philadelphia, PA 19132-9720 Phone: 215/203-1945 Fax: 215/203-1950 email: kwru@libertynet.org web: http://www.kwru.org To subscribe to KWRU list, send blank email to: kwru-announce-subscribe@topica.com END FORWARD On NPR, CALL Cheri Hankala, Executive Director, Kensington Welfare Rights Union: HOMELESSNESS MARATHON RADIO TALK-SHOW / CALL IN PHONE numbers are: 1-877-533-8478 for those who were, are or might become HOMELESS 1-800-213-9367 for all OTHERS http://www.homelessnessmarathon.org/ LINKS to Guests, Hourly Themes & Stations Tune in to the "Fourth Annual Homeless Marathon" on some NPR Radio Stations from 7 p.m. on January 24 to 9 a.m. on January 25. Or visit the host site -- where Alderson will set up an open mike -- at the Old Cambridge Baptist Church, 1151 Mass Ave, in Cambridge. 6 - 7am EST THURS 25 Jan / RIGHTS: DO HOMELESS PEOPLE HAVE ANY? Co-Hosts: Laurel Weir, Policy Director National Law Center On Homelessness and Poverty and ** Cheri Hankala, Executive Director, Kensington Welfare Rights Union Visit HPN for CONSTANTLY UPDATING NEWS on Homeless People: *************************************************************** Over 10,000 articles by or via homeless & ex-homeless people Been Homeless? Then JOIN! EMAIL Tom Boland <wgcp@earthlink.net> Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy ***************************************************************