Clevelanders Protest Bush Inaguration
by Mike McNeely
Sunday, Jan. 23, 2005 at 6:24 PM
No audio/video, just copy.
CLEVELAND -- A handful of cold-weather clad demonstrators took to Public Square late afternoon Thursday to protest the re-inauguration of George W. Bush as the 43rd President of the United States of America.
Organized by Not-In-Our Name, an anti-war activist group, Thursday’s demonstration brought-out close to 30 demonstrators who called for the removal American troops from Iraq, as well as recognition of women’s, labor, and gay-and-lesbian rights. They also called out for election fraud recognition
“All the actions of George Bush must be regarded as a legal limbo,” said South Euclid resident Jean Braun, who came to Downtown “to protest the fact that Congress has bypassed du-process. There are law suites on the election that have not yet been finalized.”
Some issues still in standing include the possible tampering of a Triad Voting machine in Hocking County, a missing shipment of Triad voting machines to minority communities, and the over casting of ballots in some voting precincts.
Braun challenged Ohio’s Democratic leadership, charging that they have handled the ballot recount inadequately. “There are many issues that they could have challenged legally, which they did not.”
During the demonstration, some protesters passed a bullhorn and read a list of Democratic campaign issues.
“The Bush administration turned its $436 Billion surplus into a $422 Billion deficit,” said one activist. “The Bush administration ended regulations that made millions of workers ineligible for overtime pay.”
Another activist urged America to withdraw its troops from Iraq. “Support our troops, bring them all home now,” he said. “The war in Iraq (is) a lie. There were no weapons of mass destruction. The war is unconstitutional. The war is unnecessary. The war created more enemies for us than we had when it started. Support our troops, bring them all home now.”
Lyndon LaRouche activist Nick Fedden, 25, Cleveland, grabbed the bullhorn and belted out a personal rendition of the Civil-Rights Movement’s anthem “We Shall Overcome”.
LaRouche, who has run repeatedly for U.S. President since 1976 – six of those times as a Democrat – ran for president in 2004.
The demonstration’s leader and Not in Our Name representative, Lee Thompson had a beef of her own.
“Here’s a couple of other Bush facts that people should know,” the 48-year old life long liberal activist said. “And, just one thing is we’re here because we’re saying that Bush is not our president. And, even though he was inaugurated today the will of the people was represented. Because thousands-and-thousands-and-thousands of people (went to Washington D.C) to protest the inauguration.”
Thompson was upset about recent workings of Congressional Republicans; Bush’s stance on gay marriage, and recent Kentucky law making that centered on the separation of Church and State.
She said: “Without hearing more debates the Republicans granted an abortion non-discrimination act, onto the Budget Bill. According to the (Los Angles) Times it legalizes discrimination, allowing any physician, hospital, or health insurer to refuse to perform or pay for an abortion, and to even tell pregnant women that the option exists.”
Thompson then reminded the demonstrators about where the Christian president stands when it comes to matters of church and state.
“Here’s another reason. In early December the Bush Administration filed a brief in a case concerning two Kentucky counties, urging the Supreme Court to permit the Ten Commandments in courthouses,” she exclaimed.
Thompson accused the president of flip-flopping on the gay marriage back in July.
“When Bush was asked in a July 30, 2004 press conference, ‘What is your view on homosexuality?’ Bush (replied): ‘I am mindful that we are all sinners. And I caution those who may try to take a speck out of our neighbor’s eye when they’ve got a log in their own. I think it is very important for our society to respect these individuals…On the other hand, this does not mean that somebody like me needs to compromise an issue such as marriage. And that’s really where the issue is headed in Washington. And, that is the definition of marriage. I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. And, I think we ought to call it by that one way or the other. We got lawyers looking at the best way to do that.’ This is one of the reasons we say that Bush is not our president,” she said.
At one point during the demonstration, the protesters turned their backs from the direction in which they were facing all day. They stood on Public Square Dr. facing Tower City as they addressed Clevelanders through the bullhorn
At the same time Washington demonstrators turned their backs on Bush, a main theme of Thursday’s protest, Cleveland’s demonstration turned around, facing the mall on Public Square.
While they stood with their backs toward Tower City, some demonstrators shook homemade noisemakers.