PROTEST IN WACO

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/politics/AP-Bush.html

Hello all- Just got back from protesting Bush in Waco today. We left early this morning, and were surprised to hear at 4:30 am on NPR that Bush had already been to Waco this morning to help build a house for Habitat for Humanity (another example of the press reporting something before it happened?).

Since we doubted that he could have done any construction work in the middle of the night, we continued on to the Waco Hilton where all the press were staying. From there we followed the media whores to the construction site. At first, the four of us were the only people there who weren't invited for the photo op. Only those with special passes could get into the 60 block area surrounding the event. There were police everywhere, many imported from neighboring communities.

Soon they approached us and told us we had to move out of the 'exclusion zone' (translation: highly visible area) and into to a free speech zone several blocks away. They insisted we couldn't stand next to the busy street 50 yards from ground zero, where Bush could easily hear us. Despite their repeated attempts to intimidate us, we wouldn't leave. After all, I noted, there were soon a couple dozen more people who had gathered near us standing right next to the road. They were not, however, voicing any opposition to Bush and they were left alone. I guess one only needs a free speech zone if one has something to say.

Later, several anti-abortion zealots showed up with visual aids - the usual idiotic slogans on signs and a giant picture of a mutilated fetus. They were upset that Bush hasn't been conservative enough to push for a repeal of Roe v. Wade, but they also seemed intent on ridiculing our little group of Democrats. The cops did not even speak to them.

After all the police had cleared out, we drove around to find the free speech zone. It was an abandoned convenience store three blocks over and one block north of the house Bush was pretending to build for the benefit of the underprivileged. He stayed about thirty minutes, including sound bites and photo sessions with Governor Perry, which means he probably spent about fifteen minutes swinging a hammer.

It was extremely satisfying to see the Shrub's entourage look around, shocked, when we were yelling "SELECTED! NOT ELECTED! and of course"JAIL TO THE THIEF!" This brought no less than six officers over to try and move us. They succeeded in backing us up about four feet from the curb. I heard one of the cops say nervously into his phone "We've pushed them back as far as we could." I couldn't agree more.

Ron - Dallas, Texas

Well, just got back from Waco. Phony is not the word for it. We were across a four lane road and about a house length away. We were told we had to leave and go to another area. We send two members of our group to see where this other area was. Well, you guessed it, far away from tater. We stood our ground. They had bleachers set up down the other end of the street. A reporter I befriended told me that there was a majority of white faces in the crowd and a few, very few minorities. This was a multiracial neighborhood.

Just, PR and the press is not fooled. I spoke to several of them. They are tired of the puff pieces, that their editors are sending them out on. "Why do you do it"? I asked. " Gotta eat", was the reply. "Do you read your own newspaper?", I asked. There was a chuckle. "Personally, I read the New York Times", I was told by one reporter. I asked , "Why don't you ask the hard questions"? They told me, "Do you see those reporters over there with the President, they are INVITED, they get to ask THE pre-arranged questions"." Why do you think they are standing with us, instead of across the street with the other media reporters? They were not invited"!!!! I thought maybe because we were there protesting. LOL Now I know why the bus left from the Hilton and was there, guest reporters and Shrub extras needing to look like neighbors. Ron, one member in our group was at the Lincoln Memorial in D.C when the SS came up and asked the tourist to leave. Than they were replaced by Shurb extra's. The news reported that the Shrub and MS. Weed greeted tourist at the Lincoln Memorial.

I miss the good old days of the Big Dog and Big Guy. They would let the people in and let them shake hands, there were never extras brought in to stage an event. Not this pResident, even the people that lived across the street from the house were standing with us. I was told they were asked to leave or stay in their homes while the pResident was there. I asked them how they felt. "Honey, we are accustomed to being used, but he will not abuse us anymore come November 2004". But I also must say that I talked to residents in the neighborhood who did not vote in 2004 and don't intend to vote, if things don't change with the system. Their comments ranged from: "Why should we, they (politicians) do nothing for us, they don't count our votes no how". I promised them that they will have their voices heard and that we would fight for all Americans and their right to vote. I told them that if we didn't speak up and often it would be business as usual. I registered two voters. It's a start. Every time you go to a rally or to protest tater when he is PRing, bring voter registration cards!!!

Cheryl

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e-mail correspondences with our group:

Anna , Ron & Monicia; Y'all left too soon. The reporters came back and I was still talking to Richard. One of them came up to me and talked. He was with our little cameraman. They told me that there was a stand set up at the corner of Morrow & 13th. All the faces in the stands were majority white, being that they were in a multi-racial neighborhood he thought that the residence should have invited, but they were told to stay in their houses or they could leave the safety zone before Shurbs arrival. I told him that this is just a PR ploy and nothing else. As we were talking, who shows up but our little officer who blocked the street we stood on. That conversation was priceless.

Anna, you were heard!!! The SS was told by one of Shrubs PR boys to handle the disturbance across the street. When was holding a sign a disturbance. Was I absent the day that law was passed The SS, told the Commander in charge of the multi-police force to move the protesters to a safe distance, ( five blocks away) and to take what ever means necessary to get it done. I asked him what saved y'all. THE CAMERA and the fact that they were told to only remove the protesters, which you know left about 30 people!! When were our rights to free assembly taken away, I missed that law going in affect too!!!!!! Our little reporter was waiting too ,for some action to be taken against us , because he agreed with us, we have the right to free speech and assembly..

The police officers said that I made a point ,that if we had to go so did everyone. That is why the SGT. radioed back that if they had to remove us, than shouldn't they have to move everyone, that would take them away for their assigned task? The police officer said they are also tired of baby sitting the Shurb while he is in Crawford. The cameraman said they are getting a little tired of the staged news!!!! I asked him if we were going to hear the same old puff story, that there were only a handful of protesters and we need to get over it I told him that everyone of us had a common issue, the election, and we had individual issues. I said "Lets face it the man did nothing in Texas and he's undoing in Washington. How do you like the cut back in the police force?" He nodded , smiled and said," I may not like the man, but I had to do my job today".

I told him we did too, our job was letting the Shurb know, where ever he goes we will be there too. So, the moral of the story. Have the brave out front and they sly one working behind the scenes and Anna scream!!!!! You were heard. We need more numbers next time, just don't sit there and whine about what the man has done. If he is coming to your neck of the woods get out there!!!!!. I saw some footage on CNN Headline news. It show Shurb playing dueling hammers with one of the only African American volunteers there.

Oh Yeah, the Shrub hurt his finger while hammering the all but 15 minutes he was there. Imagine if he had actually worked!! LOL Maybe that is why the Ambulance was there!!!

Cheryl

E-mail concerning WACO protest:

Cheryl - They mentioned Anna's screaming in the NYTimes - one of our Austin Cats sent the link to coupcats. Also, we drove by there on the way out of town - you know that orange and white awning - they were on OUR side of that. We asked some nice Habitat people what went down and the bleachers were a couple of blocks further down where he did his press conference. The house that he was "building" was there just our side of the awning - so we were across the street and 1 lot away from him! We figured that was why they got so freaked out! When we saw that we KNEW they had to have heard us! We also drove by the "1st Amendment Zone" which was a good 4-5 blocks from where they had the press conference. All in all, a huge success! Be sure and post your report on the neighborhood reaction, etc. on HotB and I'd like to include it (of course with your by-line and permission) and post on other groups like Al-Gore-2004... If you can videotape any local news coverage you see, could you please send me a copy - or send me the original and I can make a copy if you don't have 2 VCRs. Thanks!

Monica

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