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News :: Politics
Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
21 Jan 2005
Compiled from reports from Dave Reckoning, Petrina Vegan, and Cory from Boston Indymedia, as well as DC Indymedia’s Newswire.

Thousands of protestors converged on the inaugural parade route today, mixing in with the lines of other Americans who were able pass the homeland security screening and pay the $60 entry fee to get parade-side. At a dawn rally in Malcolm X Park, South West of the parade route, police estimated 10,000 people. Estimates during the day were more difficult due to the wide perimeter around the parade route.
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“The war in Iraq is kind of what pushed me over the edge to really act and to protest in any way I could." Said Laurel, of Dickenson College in Pennsylvania, while participating in the permitted protest march before the inaugural parade.

"I think for me [it was] the day I heard that our president was supporting an amendment to ban gay marriage and put an act of discrimination not just into our legal system but into our constitution,” said Maureen, 21, a DC Local.

At Bush’s inauguration speech before the parade, Code Pink held up a banner that said, “Bring the Troops Home!” and chanted slogans. They were escorted out by police and at least two other groups of protestors erupted in succession until all were removed. Others in the crowd chanted “USA, USA”, threw snowballs, and on some occasions blocked mainstream media cameras from recording the protests.

On at least two occasions, according to DC-IMC reports, Bushes motorcade speed was altered to avoid the presence of large crowds of protestors outside the perimeter fence. The motorcade sped up at about ten after three in the afternoon when protestors could be heard chanting “Fuck Bush!” over cheering Bush supporters. This was clearly heard on CNN broadcasts of the parade.

Shortly afterwards the motorcade was radioed by police and told to slow down when it reached 5th and Pennsylvania to allow police time to control protests happening at 13th and 14th streets, just a few blocks from the Whitehouse.

“The protestors went up against this big metal fence and started ripping sections out of it,” said a protestor identified only as Alex. The fence, at 14th and Penn, was shaken back until at least two holes appeared in it. Police responded with pepper spray and moved out into the street to block off the area.

At 13th and Penn Anarchists confronted and shouted at parade goers who were lined up to get inside. Police again responded with pepper spray. Medics arrived and the crowd regrouped at 13th, competing for the crowds attention with drumming, chanting, and singing. There were also reports of either coffins or flags or both burning in the area, again prompting pepper spray. Several in the area were coughing, crying, pouring milk in their eyes or otherwise afflicted by the spray. DC Indymedia reported that mainstream journalists were sprayed along with others.

One seasoned protestor said the police presence was “the worst I’ve ever seen.”

Throughout all of this, protestors shared space on the streets with long lines of people trying to get into the parade. Some, who did not pre-purchase tickets and were not aware of that requirement, were turned away. The majority of those who did get in did appear to be of a homogenous nature and affluent, many wore fur coats.

A few incidents of fighting between protestors and parade going Bush supporters were reported. Arguments between the two crowds were widespread. In one argument, a man sandwiched in a signboard that read “Stop The Madman!” shouted “We have shackles for all of you!” to the crowd, eventually engaging several parade goers in a heated debate.

Anarchists continued to march around the city until the evening hours when police managed to pen them in fairly well at Union Station, the site of the inaugural ball. An altercation between a “Republican” and a protestor occurred, and the protestor was arrested. By 8:30 PM police radio had reported that Union Station was “cleared of the pedestrian problem.”

Later in the evening protestors again rallied, this time in the Adams Morgan neighborhood popular for its nightclubs and bars (popular with rats and humans alike). Their target was apparently a hotel. People at the scene reported over 100 unconfirmed arrests, brick throwing, smashed bank windows, and arrestees sprayed with pepper spray after being restrained.

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Re: Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
22 Jan 2005
Sounds like a wonderful party for the people: at least if you had the $$$ entrance fee and a fur coat, as the folks did in 2001 and yesterday, it would appear. too bad they can't be bricked into the Hotel the homeless advocates are taking over. Role reversal would be good for them,as materialistic and ignorant as they are.
Re: Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
22 Jan 2005
I don't agree with all your ideology or some of your methods, but I do strongly advocate your right to let your voice to be heard in a RESPONSIBLE manner. I understand the frusteration exhibited by protestors but I don't understand the destruction of personal/ commercial property, the meaningless arguements with other persons who do not see and respect your point of views, the assualts on police and other citizens and some of the poster's in this forum that glorify breaking the law and using there mob mentality to justifiy trampleing other citizens rights.

I would rather see more of what I had seen on Cspan2 . For those who may not be aware Cspan and Cspan 2 had full coverage of two elemants of the inaugeration experience (commercial free). Cspan had the events that focused soley on the President of our United States and his scheduled stops. Cspan2 was soley focused on the Protestors at the approved forum for A.N.S.W.E.R. (I think). Both were broadcast for hours on end. After the days events were over with as usuall with live events Cspan replays highlights of the event and cspan had edited the footage from both Cspan channels to several individual segments which in my estimation gave equal time to both protestors and the president.

I had forced myself to watch the protestors on Cspan to hear and look for bridges of understanding that could possibly be made between the various causes protesting and the so called establishment. The protestors who came to the stage that most impressed me where Nick berg's dad , Ramsey clark AG of pres. Agnews administration and one of the organizers that was admonishing illegal acts by protestors and asking protestors to focus on gettting the message out in a constructive manner.

I really can't say I have made any progress in trying to mediate issues after having heard the grievences made. maybe I am just inflexible in my own sense of civility and justice. I applaud those who intergrated themselves within the general crowd to stand peacefully and hold sign in view of the Pres and the Press. What I can't take very seriously even at the protestors stage was some speakers Circus sideshow hawking mentality that (IMHO) devalued their message.

Look you all have a message to get out to the public and hopefully address whatever issues you have. Well. I gotta say when protestors act like criminals the general public is likely to ignore them or worse laugh at them. Yes, you need to get attention but when the few bad apples are commiting criminal acts, disrespecting others rights and taking vital public safety resources away from those who really deserve attention by the police for crimes, medical emergencies etc... You do a disservice to the public and the public just writes you off as lunatics not deserving of consideration.

Those of you with a sense of responsibility and self preservation should admonish criminal and violent actors just as some of you admonish the adminstration for its acts in public policy and procedure. Those of you who do not will suffer at the hands of your own people, So clean up your act and get the criminal / violent anarchists (for one example) out of your direct action campaigns.

BOB Gorman
Retired cop
Re: Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
22 Jan 2005
The following laws are hardly ever enforced anymore but are still on the books. More than likely a judge would laugh it out of court.


CHAPTER 264. CRIMES AGAINST GOVERNMENTS

Chapter 264: Section 11 Promotion of anarchy; prohibition

Section 11. Whoever by speech or by exhibition, distribution or promulgation of any written or printed document, paper or pictorial representation advocates, advises, counsels or incites assault upon any public official, or the killing of any person, or the unlawful destruction of real or personal property, or the overthrow by force or violence or other unlawful means of the government of the commonwealth or of the United States, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than three years, or in jail for not more than two and one half years, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars; provided, that this section shall not be construed as reducing the penalty now imposed for the violation of any law. It shall be unlawful for any person who shall have been convicted of a violation of this section, whether or not any sentence shall have been imposed, to perform the duties of a teacher or of an officer of administration in any public or private educational institution, and the superior court, in a suit by the commonwealth, shall have jurisdiction in equity to restrain and enjoin any such person from performing such duties thereafter; provided, that any such restraining order or injunction shall be forthwith vacated if such conviction shall be set aside.

GENERAL LAWS OF MASSACHUSETTS
PART IV.
CRIMES, PUNISHMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS IN CRIMINAL CASES

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TITLE I.
CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHAPTER 264. CRIMES AGAINST GOVERNMENTS

Chapter 264: Section 16 Subversive organization defined

Section 16. The term ""subversive organization'' as used in sections seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty-one, twenty-two and twenty-three of this chapter shall mean any form of association of three or more persons, however named or characterized, and by whatever legal or non-legal entity or non-entity it be established, and whether incorporated or otherwise for the common purpose of advocating, advising, counseling or inciting the overthrow by force or violence, or by other unlawful means, of the government of the commonwealth or of the United States.

GENERAL LAWS OF MASSACHUSETTS
PART IV.
CRIMES, PUNISHMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS IN CRIMINAL CASES
Re: Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
22 Jan 2005
actually two kids from marshfield who were suspected of a bomb plot at their school were charged with 'promoting anarchy'. one got two counts and the other got one.
Also, New York enacted the Criminal Anarchy Act abuot 100 years ago and it's probably still around. Also technically professed anarchists are barred from immigrating to the US.

But Bob, what is your point? We don't believe in manmade laws anyway. To hell with your rules.
bob, i am confused
22 Jan 2005
why is it okay to be 'violent' if it is sanctioned? for example, why is war, police brutality, and state violence okay, but say, tearing down a fence, throwing snowballs (oh no!) or smashing a corporate store window is somehow a huge tragedy?
"The greatest form of violence is poverty."
-Gandhi
"The greatest purveyor of violence in the world... my own government."
-Martin Luther King Jr.
Re: Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
22 Jan 2005
"actually two kids from marshfield who were suspected of a bomb plot at their school were charged with 'promoting anarchy"
- Eric, how could you cite this particular example without mentioning the ironic twist involved; that one of the kids, the supposed mastermind of the plot, was the son of Patrick Nee, head of of Boston Police Union. (who those of you may remember that prior to the DNC, he was an extremely vocal activist caught up in the spirit of direkt-action when it came to issues related to his pay) Mr. Gorman must at least know who Mr. Nee is, I would assume. Oh and also, not to be nit-picky Bob, probably just a mistake but there was never a "pres-Agnew" and Ramsay Clark was Lyndon Johnson's AG. I know that even though I agree somewhat with your point about getting the message out more constructively, (Though I also say that while underscoring Zack's point below as well) if R. Clark or any other ANSWER/WorkersWorld organizer ever said that to me I would proably laugh because i'd just think of how 'constructive' they really are when it comes to building huge, influential front-groups for Stalinists and cozying up to dictators like Milosevic and Kim Jong Il. It's sad that Nick Berg's dad and so many other genuine anti-war activists have been duped but ANSWER and IAC because of how large and powerful they are and because the leadership is deliberately not upfront about what's really at the core of the organization.
Re: Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
22 Jan 2005
Quote Eric: Bob, what is your point?

Eric, ... A point? more like a point of view which is I see some validity in some of your greviences and in this society there are elements of social control that are tempered by the specific enumerated rights in our countries founding documents. Use of the current societal mechanism are the best way the whole world (although not perfect) to address your causes. BOB gorman

Quote Eric:We don't believe in manmade laws anyway. To hell with your rules.

Eric, Look I see your frusteration with rules that you were born into (i am asuming you were born in the US) and had no say in, but consider how much worse you would be in any other country in the world.

Eric,
BTW if you don't like any rules than why do the anarchist groups themselves have meetings and rules about direct action protests? True anarchy is individual irrisponsibility and selfish (IMHO)

Respectfully ,
bob gorman

Quote Zack:
bob, i am confused
by zack
(No verified email address) 21 Jan 2005
why is it okay to be 'violent' if it is sanctioned? for example, why is war, police brutality, and state violence okay, but say, tearing down a fence, throwing snowballs (oh no!) or smashing a corporate store window is somehow a huge tragedy?
"The greatest form of violence is poverty."
-Gandhi
"The greatest purveyor of violence in the world... my own government."
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Zack, I appreciate and respect the Quotations by those great men, But if they where alive I think they would admit they didnt have all the answers and not all that they had said was infallible. Zack you make good questions to which I do not have satisfactory answers that would advance a solution to your grievences.

Zack,
I would not go back to police work In part becuase of the violence I had experienced some at my own hands of which I am not comfortable. The fact is Violence enacted in the name of the State performed within policy and procedure approved directly or by proxy by representative gov't is permissible in this society, whether I am comfortable it or not.

Zack,
As a cop our action are often second guessed not only by the public but by ourselves as well. A reality is that sometimes actions must be taken in relative split seconds and judged for months or years later. A cops job as well as a governments is thankless, sometimes impossible and will never satisfy everyone. \

I don't have all the answers. All I can do is contribute to the dialogue.

respectfully,
Bob gorman
Re: Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
23 Jan 2005
Hey guys, remember that its ok for the state to commit horrible acts of violence! As long as you're not a brick throwing anarchist, you're totally justified in committing violent acts!

God forbid that some of the people who were smashing things were citizens of that city, a city that is mostly below the poverty level but forced to deal with the parade of rich assholes in furcoats almost on a daily basis.

But hey! Voting solves everything! Right? I mean, look at the good we did in electing Reagan, Bush Senior, Clinton, King George the Second, the Third Reich....!
Re: Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
23 Jan 2005
Thanks to all y'all for keeping it civil.

In my humble opinion you all have good points, but none of them provide true answers to the dilemma we face as activists. What do we do when the powers that be, when we are law-abiding, shut is into corners where we cant be heard and the mass media (outside of c-spans converage of the stalinist front group ANSWER) is complicit in ignoring us?

What do we do to make ourselves heard and more importantly, what do we do to change the course of history?

We are so overpowered by police technology it is rediculous, so cut out of the political system it is a joke, and we're being slowly strangled by a inequal economy that most activists get the short side of the stick on.

When we organize unions we are fought by a coalition of govt and business powers, when we organize neighborhoods the same, and when we try to protest we are silenced or dutifully ignored and even "laughed at" by the corporate press.

I think the answer is in changing institutions fundamentally. Working locally and building our own world here. small battles, little victories but victories nonetheless. Of course the counter-inaugural protests did not topple bush, but that many people could have taken over an abandoned building, or started a cooperative, stopped a privatization of a city service, organized some service workers, or changed a local city planning department.

Too much time is being spent taking protest vacations, people want to yell and scream but what we really need to do is work hard on these new institutions.

Indymedia isn't perfect, yet. But it can and will be if people start donating resources and the collectives themselves continue to evolve. Who is supporting it other than the volunteers? Next to no one....

The Lucy parson center gets by, they have the beginnings of a building fund. If people patronized it more and held more events there we might have Boston's first collectively owned public organizing space.

The Free skool is a radical educational tool that could be incredible, but it needs more volunteers.

And there are many more groups like these in town, in all political and apolitical stripes.

People would rather travel to washington DC twice a year than donate a dollar to any of these organizations. Anarchists are wasting their collective economic power.
Re: Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
23 Jan 2005
I agree with what you have to say, but I will make these brief points:

1. people DID occupy a few buildings in DC. it was a really sweet action to call attention to the recently closed homeless shelters and the many abandoned but still dwellable buildings that lay scattered in DC. I'm really proud of everyone who worked on that project and its really great to see people took the initiative to work on local issues in DC even though they're not from around there.

2. There's another radical space in the works that actually has a space, it just needs to be worked on. If this place and LPC get their shit together, it would be an unstoppable resource for boston activists. But they can't do it alone! People need to get more involved period. The DNC is long over, new projects are starting, a new year and a new term have begun.
Re: Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
23 Jan 2005
I would like to disagree, from an anarchist viewpoint, with Eric's dismissal of all manmade laws--sort of. Certainly, I don't regard the laws made by a capitalist state (or any other state for that matter) as legitimate. But, as I once heard it put, "Anarchy means no rulers, not no rules." Perhaps they would not best be called laws, but I think most anarchists would agree that certain community norms are necessary for a society--basic things like no murder and no rape, if nothing else. The difference is in how we think such rules should be agreed upon and implemented. Rather than being decided upon by a group of elite, they should be settled on through extensive dialogue by all people affected by the decision in question. And rather than appointing a small group of people to enforce them (namely, the police), the entire community would have responsibility for seeing that these rules are followed. Such rules would, of course, be open to revisions and violations of them dealt with flexibly, considering the circumstances of the people involved. Rather than focus on punishing people, the justice system would be based on reconciliation--what is now becoming increasingly embraced as "restorative justice". If all else fails and someone is persistently anti-social, rather than being imprisoned, they would be exiled.

Forgive me if I sound padantic, but I really don't want anyone to get the idea that anarchists actually support chaos or oppose organization. Anarchists oppose hierarchy--and you can organize people in a non-hierarchical, egalitarian way, i.e., direct democracy. Historically, many tribal societies worked more or less on these principles, and many social movements do so today. The vast majority of anarchists support organization (there are always excpetions)--we're just really picky about what kind.
Re: Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
24 Jan 2005
It seems to me like this was a total waste of time and nothing was accomplished. It is as if anarchists are just a bunch of self-congratulatory misfits with their own internet cheering section. I watched the inauguration. It didn't seem to me like any of the anarchists did anything of significance. Maybe they got on tv for a bit, but that is also true of those people who jump up and down behind news reporters and make faces.
Re: Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
24 Jan 2005
Oh wow Zoltar, you've really changed everything about my whole outlook on life. I'm going to give up on everything I thought I believed in and just be another useless person in this world who ignores homeless dudes, drives an SUV, and slaps lots of happy yellow support our troops stickers on my fender. And then i will just die knowing I've lived a truly fullfilling life.

Thank you so much!
How Terrible! Protecting the President!!
24 Jan 2005
How terrible it is that our government would even think about protecting the president against the multitudes of the unwashed. What is this world coming to?
Thanks from a Conservative Republican
24 Jan 2005
On behalf of Republican attendees everywhere and as one who took his family to see the President speak and attend two inaguaral funtions, I must congratulate all who disagree for your behavior during our celebration of democracy.

Although I was all over Washington D.C., I noticed a total of three protestors the entire time I attended the spectacular event. My children were invigorated and got to meet their congressman and one of the their senators.

All in all, it was a great experience for them and although I mentioned to them that might on occasion see bad people who do nasty things to our flag and berate our form of government, I did not see this and nor did they and I am grateful to all who choose to obey the law and protest peacefully.

Again Thanks from a Grateful, American Loving Family.

Sincerely,

The Ryans
Re: Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
25 Jan 2005
i don't want to build bridges with the "establishment". i want to see it, its wars and everything else it stands for, in the dustbin of history.

chapter 264 apparently specifies that advocating "the killing of any person" is a crime. does this include capital punishment, police use of lethal force, military force, or any of the other excuses the state uses to kill people?
Re: Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
05 Feb 2005
www.pfaw.org>>for more information on gov't policies, such as the notorious Patriot Act.
Re: Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
07 Feb 2005
I have to admit, that with all the hype surrounding the inagural, I was worried that my children would see alot of hatred directed at their country. I have been to Washington just shy of 100 times in my life for celebrations and lived there the rest.

I for one can say, that the left behaved extremely well and for the most part went unseen throughout the weekend. Sure I saw a few turned backs etc. but nothing at the Balls, or in the finer Hotels in Washington. I presume most of the nasty stuff took place inside of aroung the bus station. Can't say I have ever been there nor would I know where it even is in Washington.

Again Congrats to the left for their behavior and for the lack of presence duing our celebration of our nation.

Jack