At Bush Inaugural Parade, over 10,000 antiwar protestors gather at ANSWER Mass Convergence site

Thousands of other protestors blocked at Secret Service Checkpoints

It is because of the support of so many people from around the country in the last few weeks that the A.N.S.W.E.R. antiwar mass rally on the inaugural parade route today was so successful. The rally was broadcast live on C-Span 2 for 4 hours and 25 minutes.

Over 10,000 protestors from around the country converged on John Marshall Park in Washington DC today bringing a powerful antiwar message to the presidential inauguration of George Bush. Demonstrators filled the sidewalks in front of the park between 3rd and 4th Streets. The first thing that Bush saw as the presidential motorcade began the parade route was antiwar protestors lined 10 deep along the side walks and in antiwar bleachers.

Atop the bleachers was a giant banner that said, "Iraq is Bush’s Vietnam, Bring the Troops Home Now." It was the first time in inaugural history that the antiwar movement was able to have bleachers, a stage, and a sound system for a mass antiwar demonstration right on the parade route.

Thousands more demonstrators stopped at the A.N.S.W.E.R. rally site and picked up signs and were able to line both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue from 3rd to 7th Streets.

Although the parade route filled up with anti-Bush demonstrators, many thousands more protestors were stopped at security checkpoints and not allowed into the A.N.S.W.E.R. rally. North of the check point at 3rd and C Sts. (the closest check point to the A.N.S.W.E.R. rally) a full block-and-a-half of people were held back. A similar scene was repeated at other check points. People held spontaneous demonstrations at the check points, chanting and holding banners.

Our partial victory in attaining a space for a mass assembly protest along the inaugural parade route was the result of a year-long political and legal struggle. Attorneys from the Partnership for Civil Justice and the National Lawyers Guild filed litigation that played a vital role. There will be a future update on this work.

Washington, DC
January 20, 2005

ANS_J20 bleachers   ANS_J20 telephoto of penn 
Antiwar bleachers at 4th St. & Pennsylvania Ave. On the sidewalks at 4th St. & Pennsylvania Ave.

Speakers included: Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney from Georgia; former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark; Michael Berg, father of Nicholas Berg; Brian Becker, National Coordinator of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition; John Boyd of the National Black Farmers Association; Brenda Stokley, President of District Council 7017 AFSCME; Zack Wolfe, chair of the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Committee of the National Lawyers Guild; Macrina Cardenas, Mexico Solidarity Network; Vanessa Dixon, DC Health Care Coalition; Sue Neiderer, mother of a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq; Celeste Zappala, mother of Sherwood Baker, National Guardsmen killed in Iraq; and Nathlie Hrizi of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five and others. The program was chaired by A.N.S.W.E.R. youth and student organizers Peta Lindsay and Eugene Puryear.

January 20 antiwar protests were also held in other cities throughout the United States, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Austin, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Atlanta, Phoenix, and other cities. There were also demonstrations in South Korea, Germany, Japan, Australia and Puerto Rico.

At the rally in Washington DC today, organizers from 30 cities took the platform to announce their plans to organize local demonstrations on March 19, 2005, the second anniversary of the start of the U.S. "shock and awe" invasion of Iraq.

To endorse the March 19 Global Day of Coordinated Actions on the 2nd Anniversary of the "Shock and Awe" Invasion of Iraq, initiated by antiwar organizations worldwide including the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition in the United States, click here. Antiwar actions in Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles and in other cities around the country and around the world will take place on March 19.

We have been able to succeed in these important efforts because of the continuing support of everyone who wants to help the antiwar movement. We could not and cannot do this work without the generous donations from people who share this commitment.

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