Jon Bexell Reports on the NYC Coaltion Protest of Bush, July 10, 2001.

  

For great pics check out sites like democrats.com, etc... Some good pics
there of the main demonstration.  Thanks all!
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And let me tell you it was great.  Two blocks full of protesters a half
block from the event!  Proof once again that coalition efforts are the way
to work these things successfully!!  We shouted in unison all of the themes
and issues of our protest.  And there was one binding thing about it too, we
were all against one thing:  George W. Bush.

To me, our voices are only louder when we all join forces and fight against
the right wing misrepresentation and fraudulent president.  Let me tell you,
today's protest was a resounding success as a result of this unity!!
To start the day a few people had gone out to Battery Park which was good.
I left early with a few others to pick up some banners from the other
coalition member org's... We got to the park around 11:45AM, but Bush had
already left Ellis Island to head out to the Waldorf in midtown.  Well, we
made tracks to the Waldorf Astoria hotel to protest a little bit out there
before heading off to the main event.  The big one.


I couldn't believe what I saw upon arriving.  Instead of putting us some
distance away on 52nd Street, they actually let people start gathering on
51st which is, let me say, less than one full block to the Cathedral.  I
arrived early and already many groups (the IAC and American Atheists, and
some stragglers) had set up shop, and were passing out signs, setting up
banners, and chanting protest chants that represented a wide variety of
issues - including more prominently the stolen election.


This group was quickly followed by a much larger group of protesters
including NOW, Refuse and Resist, Housing Works, anti-Star Wars
demonstrators.  All the groups and people began to arrive!

Things started getting pretty packed in our area.  The police set up
another block between 52nd and 53rd for extra protesters and we quickly
filled the surrounding area with our voices and our signs.  It was
impossible to miss us.  We were all there together for quite some time
chanting about the stolen election, among other issues.

There was one consistent theme in all the chants though - they were all
against one man.  Against one extremist agenda.  It was great!

The large body of protesters finally decided to break the First Amendment
Zone and move out.  We weren't about to be quarantined like some kind of
virus, so we began to spread out in search of Bush's exit on 50th Street.

We went out chanting and walking, with people stopping and honking.  It was
great.  People on the streets were supportive too.  I mean hey - it's New
York!

But the police didn't want us to get too close.  They set up a spot for us
two blocks down.  Some of us continued further down only to be met by the
final police barricade which prevented us from going any further.   We ended
up taking over three corners out of four on that earlier block, chanting
loudly, with our signs in the air and our first amendment tape around us.
The protest was a great example of how New York can throw one hell of a
welcome party, that's for sure!  And we stayed there until the end.

I can't wait to hear more about what happened to others who broke off and
went to other areas around the Cathedral and other places.   Although, those
in my group didn't get to see Shrub, some protesters did see his car.

No matter what, it was probably one of the best protests in New York
that I've been too, in the top 3 for sure.  Congratulations New York!

Make sure you watch the nightly news to see what kind of coverage, if any,
we receive!

Signing off for now, but may add more later though!


Jon Bexell
New Yorker





The 10 O'clock News:

Channel 11 (WB) - slammed Bush (because he couldn't remember if you put your right hand up or on your chest when you get sworn in) right off the bat. They also mentioned the protest and had video coverage of it. And... And... And... They mentioned Democrats.com as one of the participants. Bob Fertik (one of the co-managers of Democrats.com and coalition member of the protest) was on TV being quoted, as well as Billionaire's for Bush! And let me tell ya they were both great! (Billionaire's quote was "He was a great investment!" Lol!!!) Great work Bob! Great work Billionaire's! Keeping everyone up to date as reports come in, Jon Bexell Helen Ginsburg: on 11pm news, coverage on these two channels were not as GOOD as channel 11's WB at 10pm, but they covered it with their spin attempt of making Bush still look good. Channel 7 showed the protestors but praised BUsh. Channel 4 did not but mentioned them and praised Bush. Channel 2 did not do it to my knowledge. Anyone else see more? Helen Leah Faerstein:
Democrats.com on WPIX! The protest was shown - about 5 seconds - Bob Fertik interview was played "We will not get over it until he gets out" I even saw my democratic flag for a brief second! They also showed the Smirk trying to lead the new citizens on Ellis island into a pledge of allegiance "Right hand up' until someone cued him on the hand on the heart thingy. They also profiled the selected new citizens as "not exactly the huddled masses" - a business consultant, a farmacist, some other executive - obvioulsy all selected

Lee Schaefer:
I arrived at the protest on 5th Avenue at 1 pm and found the avenue block (for those outside of NY, an avenue block is LONG) halfway filled and within 10 minutes the police were scampering around adding more and more barriers....and in within a short time the throngs of protesters had filled the area from 51st street clear up to 52nd street. Hundreds of people.
There were banners, signs, leaflets, chanting and even someone beating a tom-tom like drum.....the passersby grabbed leaflets and gave us the thumbs up sign....there were snide remarks made by some, but very few.....some people stared at us surprised that there were people out there doing and saying what they were doing and saying among their friends....not realizing that there is a real protest movement afoot. I was struck again by the diversity of the protesters....black, white, hispanic, old, younger, MUCH younger, different backgrounds and types.....warm, friendly and positive people.....Protesters from many, many activist groups....NOW, the Sierrra Club, Fair Housing, Democracy March, American Athiests, etc. (I did say diverse) It was a beautiful thing to experience. So you ask, why am I bummed out? The local news on the major networks begin at 5:30 to 6:30 pm EDT. These programs normaly cover everything they can get to fill the hour besides the weather and sports....every minute protest is covered even if it's to preserve a victory garden with 15 protesting people trying to save it from becoming a parking lot.....want to guess what kind of media coverage we received.....zip, zero, nada.....Just photo-ops of the pResident and warm and cozy interviews with our 2 NY Senators ,both famous Democrats. Schumer and Clinton. Well, we must persevere and keep on.....that may be the only link we have to the public at large....so, when do we do this again? Lee --------------------------------------------------------------------------------