Salem Protest Report

Myself and approx. 12 others were outside Salem State College in Salem, Massachusetts where Bill Clinton spoke last night. We were dressed as witches complete with signs "Stop the Republican Witch Hunt on Clinton - $140 Million and Counting" along with anti-Bush signs "Illegitimate Son of a Bush," etc. We were interviewed by People Maggie, the London Observer and numerous other television & print media. Keep up the fight!!!

Big Dog spoke to a sellout crowd of 3600 while our "Witches" chanted outside (STOP THE WITCH HUNT....HEY HEY HO HO, CLINTON WITCH HUNT'S GOT TO GO!..WE LOVE YOU BILL) and got lots of publicity. Jean spoke to People magazine, the London Observer, Boston Globe....very good coverage. The protest wound up right in front of the main entrance, where thousands of general admission ticketholders were filing in. There were barriers--someone who got there before me can explain this further--but it was great. Jean had a bullhorn, so the separation was no problem.

I brought a bunch of signs (GOP WITCH HUNT CAN'T ERASE FLORIDA.....GOP HOPE: BASH BILL, BOOST BUSH...PROBE POPPY'S PARDONS; LEAVE BILL ALONE.....CLINTON BASHING AN OLD GOP TRICK: DISTRACT, DISTORT, CONFUSE AND LIE), but people pretty much already had their own, and the witch motif was great. My wife and I also brought coffee for our 'witches,' along with stickers (REMEMBER FLORIDA: VOTE DEMOCRAT IN 2002....ILLEGITIMATE SON OF A BUSH...RECUERDA FLORIDA: VOTA DEMOCRATA EN 2002) to pass out and some copies of the Robert Parry article. It was a little difficult to pass things out due to the separation, but while I was there the stickers went over very well.

There weren't a whole lot of us, and some of us had to run over and get in line--we waited for over an hour in the snow--to get in to see the speech. But even this got some reasonable coverage on one local station, contrasting the few freepers with "3,600 supporters who gladly waited in the snow to hear Clinton speak." It was true, too--a lot of supporters were inside, rather than in the protest, which makes sense. But the rally was great, and Clinton made reference to the witch theme early in his speech, saying he could "identify with the plight of the witches at times....

" Good theater. Thanks to Jean, Cynthia, Robin and all the others who braved the cold and the snow. We got good shots on Channels 5, 7, 56, Fox (local), and I probably even missed a few. A lot of sneering, uncharitable stuff--they just can't help themselves--about the speaking fee and Clinton's attempt to "repair his reputation' (the speech has been sold out since early February), but still good coverage. Sorry for the spotty report--I'm hoping more people will fill in the gaps. Great crowd, very supportive....good night overall.

In response to the inevitable question--yes, there were a few freepers. They weren't really freepers though, I don't think....more lost souls standing one by one with their signs: Liar, Liar, pants on fire....Pardons for jerk walking around with a giant penis and a pair of lips (protests everywhere--Jean recognized him; he even came to DC with us in January). There was an "incident" earlier, but I hadn't arrived yet. Certainly not the organized protest LoudCitizen claimed. Mostly individuals or pairs hanging out by the media trucks--but they got no coverage anyway!

Yes, I know people will want to know about the penis guy. He's an idiot. Just a loose cannon who despises all politicians, blah blah blah. His penis trick really offended a lot of people, though. Gave me and my family a chance to talk LOUDLY in line about the interesting theory that the whole impeachment charade was soft porn for the right wing. Their stifling repressive lifestyle gives them no outlet, so they have to resort to talking about oral sex in public. Got a few laughs. Also, a lot of us were yelling sarcastic cracks: "Real good taste, buddy....that's the way to promote your agenda.....great idea, pal--just what everyone wants to see." Actually, he wasn't even a republican, but it works out great. These bastards never realized that the whole blowjob thing was a DEMOCRAT issue--by that I mean that no one wanted to have it forced down our throats (so to speak) by the republicans.

Feel free to share this account. I was reluctant to provide the 'definitive' account, since I was one of the "sellouts" who opted to be on the inside, but we did join in for a bit--and I heard the coffee was VERY much appreciated. My wife was putting up signs when a reporter commented: "It looks like you have more signs than people!" I wanted to say "that's because we're all in line, jackass!" but I didn't think fast enough. Some of the 'witches' may write more about the 'freeper incident' and their follow-up in press accounts, but I wanted people to know right away that things went well. Especially the part about the penis guy, that should get a few laughs. I wrote my e-mail on the back of the bumper stickers, so I'm hoping some people will contact me for more (can't afford to give them ALL away, now, can we?). Keep up the fight! It looks like the Clinton hype may be receding--for now--but I could tell from last night's spin that they will never give it up. I wanted to suggest to MA voters/posters/TV viewers that they write in to WBZ. They had this asinine "fast track" poll where they asked people whether it was "appropriate" or "inappropriate" for him to get such a large fee. Duh. Who here thinks $100,000 is more than they made last night? Aha! See, Clinton really is an jerk. Really stupid poll. Any idiot can produce negatives by manipulating the question. The problem is I don't think they did it just out of malice, but real stupidity and incompetence. Like a high school civics student struggling to get an A on a 'polling' project. What they could have asked was "Do you think Clinton's $100,000 fee was MORE or LESS appropriate than Reagan's $2 million junket to Japan when he couldn't even read a cue card." Now THAT's a fair question!

Take heart though, gut tells me we are winning this fight at the grassroots. Republicans once again seem unaware that their agenda is unpopular. Stuck in the belief that the people saw through Newt's Contract On America because he was fat and had bad hair, they can't grow beyond their one-trick ponies like Dan Burton and Arlen Specter.

Dan in Salem