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! --- 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
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