Michael Rectenwald's report from the New York front, as told to Lori Price



"Drop Bush Not Bombs!" was the tone of the tone of thrilling protest in Manhattan on February 15th, as Michael Rectenwald braved a Pennsylvania snowstorm to travel eight hours to express his displeasure with the Bush junta's plans for W-ar in Iraq. Eighty blocks of New York's East Side were filled with protesters. According to the NYPD, seven thousand people fill a city block in New York City, and that's no fuzzy math.

Citizens for Legitimate Government (http://www.legitgov.org/) Founder and Chair, Michael Rectenwald, was booked to speak in front of the United Nations at the 10 AM rally, but a significant snow event in Pennsylvania delayed his arrival until noon. Mike was part of the "sea of humanity" (an estimated 400 to 500 thousand anti W-ar demonstrators) that showed up in Manhattan to protest the Bush push for war in Iraq. His last appearance in New York was as a speaker at the "Not My President's Day" rally on February 18, 2001 (Click here to read Mike's "Not My President's Day" speech --entitled, "Not My President (Not anyone's)".)

Mike noted the raging anti-Bush sentiment, expressed in pithy slogans and clever signs. "Drop Bush Not Bombs!" was the cry of the people, along with "Hey Hey, HO, HO! Bush and Cheney Have Got to Go!" Tremendous anti-Bush opposition was punctuated by the presence of numerous "Impeach Bush!" signs.

The Manhattan demonstration was three avenues long, converging on 47th Street. Approximately sixty-seven "feeder marches" fed into the primary protest area. The main stage was at the intersection of First Avenue and 49th Street.

Every block had barricades up to hold in the people, to try to compress dissent, and prevent demonstrators from getting to the head of the stage. Police were barricading people at Second and Third Avenues --the official demonstration was at First Avenue between 51st and 72nd Street (changed from 49th Street). Police were not allowing tens of thousands of people get to First Avenue. Protesters were funneled all the way from Third Avenue up to 67th Street and First Avenue, and then all the way down to First Avenue, instead of being permitted to go directly down 49th Street to get to the stage.

"Since I was alone," Mike notes, "I was able to quickly winnow my way through, from 3rd Ave. to 67th street, across to first Ave. and then ahead on 1st all the way to 52nd Street, where I was, by the end, able to see the stage at the very front edge of the 'second tier' of protesters. I went through the entire crowd, and my estimate is 500,000 people. I saw most of them first hand."

Large video production screens, approximately thirty-by-thirty feet, were available for those to view the stage proceedings.

The amazing turnout in New York City was replicated across the country and world, as the global population expressed their vehement objections to the Bush dictatorship's plans for W-ar.

On Saturday, February 15, A.N.S.W.E.R. announced at the New York City rally a plan for a March 1, 2003 protest, wherein the White House will be encircled by people to stop the W-ar... spring will truly be on the way.

Lori R. Price
February 16, 2003

New York City: Stop the W-ar!

New York City: Stop the War!
Throng: Demonstrators gather outside UN headquarters in New York

New York City: Stop the W-ar!
Anti-war protesters demonstrate near the United Nations headquarters, Saturday, Feb 15, 2003 in New York to protest a possible U.S. - led attack on Iraq, part of a day of global protests. (AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin)

 

  

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