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January 20, 2001
10:21 AM   Subscribe

Just as everyone suspected, the police are up to their regular anti-protestor hijinxs. DC.imc has an ongoing list, and I just heard on Inauguration Radio tear gas has been used.
posted by capt.crackpipe (33 comments total)

 
A “couple hundred” protestors from the Black Bloc are sitting on Pennsylvania Ave, effectively blocking the parade route

Mass arrests are about to start.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 10:53 AM on January 20, 2001


Viva la revolucion!
posted by rushmc at 11:12 AM on January 20, 2001


Hmm.. weird. I flipped on tv today, saw some guy throw a Gatorade bottle at a cop, and then cut to a bunch of people running and being arrested.
posted by tiaka at 11:33 AM on January 20, 2001


I'm all for protesting Bush but blocking the parade route? There are thousands of High School and College kids, many of whom either didn't vote for Bush or can't vote but don't care for him, who have travelled from all across the country to march in the parade. It's supposed to be a great experience - representing your state in front of the entire country and protestors are ruining it.

Protest in front of the Supreme Court, White House or other high profile locations - don't penalize the kids who have nothing to do with the election process.
posted by bkdelong at 11:41 AM on January 20, 2001


Turn on C-Span or NBC right now, you'll see protestors getting pepper sprayed.

It started as members of the Black Bloc replaced flags at a war memorial (Vietnam?) with their own.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 11:41 AM on January 20, 2001


It started as members of the Black Bloc replaced flags at a war memorial (Vietnam?) with their own.

What? Perhaps I had a total misconception of what protesting involves but this is ridiculous. Republican, Democrat or Independent......liberal or conservative....I think it's just WRONG to deface a memorial to American citizens who died trying to protect world citizens from tyranny.

What is going on?
posted by bkdelong at 11:45 AM on January 20, 2001


Protest in front of the Supreme Court, White House or other high profile locations - don't penalize the kids who have nothing to do with the election process.

Yes, we must preserve appearances at all costs!! You may protest, but keep it tidy and don't be too intrusive, will you?

(Perhaps one of the problems is that the kids have nothing to do with the election process. Citizenship involves more than getting to dress up pretty and march up a street in front of tv cameras...perhaps if we did a better job of teaching kids this, more adults would "get" it.)

posted by rushmc at 11:53 AM on January 20, 2001


Well, it was the Navy Memorial, but I fail to see how the Vietnam “War” was about anything more than American Imperialism. How is it, again that America was protecting itself, when the troops where in Indochina? That doesn't make any sense.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 11:53 AM on January 20, 2001


Point-of-reference: There are about 4,000 protestors in front of the currently vacant White House right now, and the Shadow Convention is going on the steps of the Supreme Court.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 11:55 AM on January 20, 2001


I thought it was about French imperialism. Didn't we only enter via the UN.
posted by thirteen at 11:55 AM on January 20, 2001


We should note that we should teach kids about the election process and democracy only if a republican is elected into office.
posted by tiaka at 12:08 PM on January 20, 2001


We should note that we should teach kids about the election process and democracy only if a republican is elected into office.

I was thinking more along the lines of teaching them how to value and operate a democracy so that all future presidents might BE elected into office.
posted by rushmc at 12:11 PM on January 20, 2001


aH, 1776! tAXATION WITHOUT TRUE REPRESENTATION...but do be polite and nice to the kiddies who are there to swallow the approved memes.
posted by Postroad at 12:16 PM on January 20, 2001


No, tiaka. There were issues with the election process regardless of who was elected - PERIOD. The election was extremely close and if it was to the point where the American public was questioning it then regardless of who won, it should be examined.

Florida wasn't the only state to report election improprieties - but since the status of the President-elect was in limbo there, it was closely watched while those in other states remained unexamined.

Not only that but it's been made clear that Bush wasn't elected President due to the will of the people, for if majority ruled Gore would be running the country. It's already been established that he won the majority vote - its the electoral process that took that right to vote away from the people and gave it to a handful of electors wo could have voted as they saw fit.

The Electoral College worked great back in the 1700s and 1800s but frankly it's outdated at this point. I also believe we need to have a state-wide or even nation-wide standard means for electronic balloting. A solution that prompts people to check their vote ala a software "Are you sure?" pop-up would be perfect.

Things need to change.
posted by bkdelong at 12:19 PM on January 20, 2001


Due to massive protestor turnout Bush will not follow the tradition of getting out on Pennsylvania and 15th, because there simply aren’t any supporters there.

Great sign!
posted by capt.crackpipe at 12:34 PM on January 20, 2001


Well, it was the Navy Memorial, but I fail to see how the Vietnam “War” was about anything more than American Imperialism. How is it, again that America was protecting itself, when the troops where in Indochina? That doesn't make any sense.

Well, the theory was that if America didn't stop the continuous spread of communism (Soviet/Chinese imperialism, essentially) that sooner or later it would spread to the Western Hemisphere (beyond Cuba) and we would suffer our own revolution.

Not that they were right, or that the Red Scare didn't have bad consequences at home, etc. etc. But that was the theory.
posted by daveadams at 12:42 PM on January 20, 2001


capt., protest a war that happened decades ago all you want. But don't protest or deface the memory of those that went, fought and died in the action. Many went without choosing to and they lost their lives in doing so.
posted by jbelshaw at 12:49 PM on January 20, 2001


The Electoral College worked great back in the 1700s and 1800s but frankly it's outdated at this point.

Do you think this election would have been less contentious if we had to worry about the vote everywhere?? The nationwide popular vote was just as close as the Florida vote's first count. We would have had lawsuits, accusations, complaints, protests, and questions in every single state and city.

The electoral college could use some changes (e.g., apportioning electors proportionally instead of winner-takes-all), but eliminating it isn't going to help.

I also believe we need to have a state-wide or even nation-wide standard means for electronic balloting.

Absolutely, but the money has to come from somewhere (usually county governments pay for and administer elections...), as are the standards. I think the federal gov't should require the states to come up with workable statewide solutions. I don't think the feds need to be deciding for everyone.
posted by daveadams at 12:50 PM on January 20, 2001


Ah, yes, the Domino Theory. A country doesn't have the right to self-detrimination if it goes against the US government's prinicples. Forgot about that.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 12:51 PM on January 20, 2001


Contention is healthy. Lack of resolution is not.
posted by rushmc at 12:58 PM on January 20, 2001


Is it me or does this reporter look scared to death ?
posted by bkdelong at 1:09 PM on January 20, 2001


Now I'm VietNam generation (they stopped drafting people 2 months before my year of eligibility). I'd like to point out that South Vietmam was a member of SEATO as was the US, and that technically we were just as obligated because of that to get involved militarily as we would have been at the time had Germany or some NATO member been attacked. Also, while most of the foreign troops fighting on the side of South Vietnam were American, some were from South Korea and some were from Australia. There may have been others as well, but those I'm sure of.

I'm not trying to defend it, I'm just trying to point out that the issue is more complicated than the simplistic explanations being proffered here. If you're really interested in finding out what happened, try this book.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 1:37 PM on January 20, 2001


Is anyone seeing a channel where protests are being taken seriously? MSNBC, ABC and CBS seem to all be downplaying them, aside from occasional comments about the boos along the parade route as Bush's limosine drove by. The police presence is enormous.

CSPAN at one point came upon a man in camoflage pants surrounded by police and spread-eagled on the ground. As the camera was turning to get a better picture, it was either intentionally or accidentally disconnected.
posted by rcade at 1:39 PM on January 20, 2001


Steven: Were we technically obligated to fake the Gulf of Tonkin incident too?
posted by rcade at 1:41 PM on January 20, 2001


Why is Tony the Tiger in the Inauguration Parade? Why am I seeing this right now?

A good protest overall. Mostly non-violent, and I think that tear gas item turned out to be a rumor.

Nader will be on Inauguration Radio ~5pm.

Many went without choosing to and they lost their lives in doing so.

Yea, totally. A lot of people were killed using napalm and state-sanctioned violence. A lot of Vietnamese people.

It's a bit narrow minded to honor the dead of a disgraceful war without acknowledging that it was totally immoral for the US to oppress another country’s soverignity — regardless of the help it got from foreign troops. The US has a long history of foreign oppression, disguised as “defending democracy.” They’re even restarting a campaign of Latin American terror with Plan Columbia.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 1:49 PM on January 20, 2001


CSPAN was the only channel I could find that broadcast the feeds unedited, without commentary, and with raw sound. That's about as close as you can get to taking protests seriously.

For about a third of the parade route, there were boos drowning out the cheers, if I flipped to ABC or NBC, you didn't hear that, and instead the commentators were talking about what the first lady was wearing or details about the new limo.

I saw the camo guy get taken down too, this AP photo could be the same guy, but there was a lot of camo in the crowd, so it's hard to say.
posted by mathowie at 1:51 PM on January 20, 2001


I saw the Camo guy on NBC, along with a PETAlyte.

Yes, we must preserve appearances at all costs!! You may protest, but keep it tidy and don't be too intrusive, will you?

I know it was dripping with sarcasm but you are right. This IS a democracy and therefor you must win over the minds of the populace. The sophomoric protests and misguided angst has little or no chance of changing anything.


posted by Mick at 2:43 PM on January 20, 2001


rcade, so far as I know the Gulf of Tonkin incident was more a case of mistaken identity than a case of deliberate deception, which was seized on by some to further their own goals. That's happened before: USS Maine was sunk in Havana harbor and started the Spanish American War. It's now thought that the Spanish had nothing to do with it.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 3:02 PM on January 20, 2001


<OFFTOPIC>Steven, if you've read any of the essays on the Spanish-American War by Richard Hofstader, you'll know that the sinking of the USS Maine and a continuing wave of yellow journalism served as propaganda tools to generate support for a war that the great majority of Americans -- isolationism being the order of the day -- did not support. Regardless of who sunk the Maine, it was politically convenient to assume that the Spanish did it; the Navy of the time actually behaved commendably in investigating and producing a report which didn't blame at the Spanish, although Hearst's newspapers showed no such restraint. You may draw parallels to the American experience in Vietnam as you see fit, although the (imho) credible claims that the Gulf of Tonking incident was manufactured for American foreign policy purposes make the parallels unsatisfactory at best.</OFFTOPIC>
posted by snarkout at 4:08 PM on January 20, 2001


Mick, the best possible way in this country to garner support for a grassroots cause is public demonstrations. It works so well, in fact, that the ability to do so is in the Bill of Rights.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 4:35 PM on January 20, 2001


Yeah, well, it also works real well for reducing support for a grassroots cause if you screw it up. Which is probably also a reason it's in the Bill of Rights.
posted by kindall at 4:54 PM on January 20, 2001


I wasn't saying not to partake in public protest, I was suggesting they be done in a more organized and civil way.

That the problem with anarchists, they can't follow directions ;P
posted by Mick at 9:58 PM on January 20, 2001


I was at the opposite end of the parade, around 14th and Pennsylvania, about a block from the White House. The conservative Ben Stein (of "Win Ben Stein's Money fame on Comedy Central) was on the loud speaker, quizzing people with presidential trivia while we waited for the parade to get to our end.

This area seemed to be a center for protests. There was even a set of bleachers set aside for the protesters (as opposed to the $50 a seat variety, right next to it). You could tell the protesters from paying customers: lots of cowboy hats and fur on the latter.

After going through security, where all bags were searched and oversized signs were reduced to acceptable widths, I moved closer to the parade route. It was wet and cold and not even the body heat of those around you helped warm you.

By the time I got there, it was about 10-12 deep. For most of the parade Bush rode in a limo. I heard afterwards that the Secret Service had practiced going faster through high protest areas.

I couldn't see the street but knew the prez was coming closer by the proximity of the circling helicopter and the number of single finger salutes that went up around me. Gargoyle-looking guards stood atop the buildings that surrounded us.

And then it was over. Well, the parade lasted about 3 more hours but who we came for was now safely ensconced in the presidental reviewing stand, so the crowd dispersed.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 6:47 AM on January 21, 2001


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