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Show the right wing that we're not backing down
Let's crash Bush's party

December 17, 2004 | Page 4

Dear Socialist Worker,
"Hail to the thief!" was the slogan of the thousands of protesters who lined Bush's inaugural parade route to give him the finger in the freezing rain of his first Inauguration Day in January 2001.

This time around, the election wasn't stolen, but Bush has amply demonstrated over the last four years just how right we were to protest his selection, and why we need to be in Washington, D.C., again this coming January 20 to give him the kind of inauguration "celebration" he deserves.

Activists are making the initial preparations for this year's inaugural protests, including submitting applications for rally permits in open spaces throughout the downtown area. Plans are also in the works for a march through town to the parade route on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Organizers hope that antiwar committees and national organizations, pro-choice and gay rights groups, campus clubs and every Bush hater across the country will make it a priority to mobilize for this day.

As a measure of intimidation, D.C.-area law enforcement agencies have announced they will have an unprecedented level of "security" for this inauguration, including 2,000 out-of-town cops (D.C. cops will be lining the parade route with one cop every six to eight feet), FBI agents, SWAT units, snipers and--for the first time since 1973--up to 4,000 active-duty combat personnel.

If the 2001 inauguration is any indication, they will seek to keep the parade route "safe" for the anti-choice, homophobic bigots who will come out to celebrate Bush's victory and cheer him on. In a city that voted 90 percent for Kerry, the Bushies won't exactly be welcomed with open arms here.

Our protests four years ago were a sign of the widespread opposition to Bush and his agenda and should have been an indication what was to come. Our movements have since been derailed by September 11 and, more recently, by months of campaigning for a pro-war Democrat.

We need this January 20 to be a new statement of our resolve to beat back Bush and rebuild our movements.
Ben Dalbey, Washington, D.C.

For information on protest plans, go to www.counter-inaugural.org.

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