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Richmond IndyMedia Live! Every Tuesday, 12:30 - 1PM on 97.3 WRIR LP-FM, and streaming online from wrir.org!

LOCAL News :: [none]

Security Lockdown Squelches Inaugural Dissent

A busload of 45 Richmonders, along with dozens of other independent travelers, joined the tens of thousands of people in the capital to jeer the president’s $40 million celebration. The day was spent marching along with the D.C. Anti-War Network’s Rise and Shine rally and march that swelled to more than 10,000 protesters. Flag-draped coffins moved along with the protest to symbolize the deaths of U.S. service people in Iraq.
You won’t read about it in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, but many Virginians traveled to D.C. on Thursday as part of the counter-inaugural to president George W. Bush’s re-coronation.

A busload of 45 Richmonders, along with dozens of other independent travelers, joined the tens of thousands of people in the capital to jeer the president’s $40 million celebration. The day was spent marching along with the D.C. Anti-War Network’s Rise and Shine rally and march that swelled to more than 10,000 protesters. Flag-draped coffins moved along with the protest to symbolize the deaths of U.S. service people in Iraq.

Other protesters broke away from the protest procession to take the streets with 500 anti-authoritarians. A few Richmonders awoke at the wee hours of the morning to drop three banners along northbound I-95 that read: “Fight for Justice, Not Just U.$.? “No More BU**SH**,? and “No W.AR.?

As Bush swore to “end tyranny in the world,? and called on the "force of human freedom" to "break the reign of hatred" and "expose the pretensions of tyrants" in the world, thousands vowed to make the next four years of Bush’s life as difficult as possible.

Protesters hungrily waited for the moment to have Bush as their audience as his motorcade led the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. Rows of people packed into spots along the parade route to scream, give one-finger salutes or turn their backs.

Tom Cleary, 76, of Chesterfield chose to turn his back on Bush and chant with hundreds of others on 13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

“I wanted to show that we are not in agreement with all of this stuff that is going on, this war, all of the lies we’ve been told and the bad election campaign,? he said. “I’m very dissatisfied with this government. (Bush is) a criminal and he should be taken to court for the crimes he’s committed.?

Richmonder Tyla Matteson, 50, said she attended Bush’s last inauguration in protest. “It was duty as a citizen to come out today,? because of Bush’s attacks on innocent people in the world, the working class and his harmful policies on the environment she said.

The inauguration’s $17 million police force maneuverd quickly to squelch manifestations of dissent. As the first anti-authoritarian march neared the parade route’s security zone at the 700 block of D street, baton-wielding cops entered the foray to break up the march by batting protesters down and shooting streams of pepper spray.

A standoff ensued on 14th Street between E and F streets when a U.S. flag was burned and protesters attempted to knock down the security fences. The anti-authoritarians' usual cat and mouse tactics with the police continued throughout the night. Following a show at Casa del Pueblo, hundreds took to the streets again, smashing windows to corporate franchises and hassling fur-coat adorned inaugural ball-goers. Sixty-five people were arrested from that action.

 
 


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