December 31, 2000
Update from International Action Center regarding:
January 20 Counter-Inaugural Demonstration
NEW NEWS & MOBILIZATION UPDATE
We have distributed more than 50,000 flyers for the January demonstration. We have another 50,000 flyers and several thousand more posters that will be going out in the next week. The combination of mass organizing (directly outreaching to working class communities with leaflets, stickers, posters) and a high level of media coverage have contributed to a surge in this mobilization.
The IAC web site and linked sites (mumia2000.org) has experienced an unusually high volume of visits. People have been downloading the flyer (from the muimia2000.org site) and reproducing it with a local address and phone contact.
Official organizing centers that are arranging transportation for local people have now been established in nearly 40 cities.
We are also producing a new piece of literature in bulk entitled:
"Eleven Reasons to Protest Bushís Inauguration on January 20." This will be produced as a brochure for mass distributions and literature tables (see following email).
Update on tactics
We have applied for permits for January 20th in four areasalong the route of the Inaugural parade.
The reasons we have applied for the permits are to allow for the participation of the maximum number of people who agree with the demonstrationís goals. We have the right to assemble and exercise basic free speech prerogatives. The inauguration is a "public event" and Pennsylvania Avenue is not the private property of those who support the death penalty and admire George Bush and his right-wing policies.
It frequently takes weeks to be notified that a permit has been secured. Of course, the police would be glad to grant permits for areas far away from the inaugural route. But we know that thousands of people are coming to demonstrate AT THE INAUGURATION, not in some remote location.
The incoming Bush administration and the police agencies are functioning in tandem. They hope that a large number of people will not turn out to protest the president-select.
We are at the beginning or early stage of a new movement for social justice. The political establishment, over the past year, has embarked on a strategy of trying to sabotage this movement by means of physical repression and demonizing demonstrators in the mass media. The goal is to scare away and intimidate potential supporters of the movement.
The Bush administration and the police realize that the January 20 demonstration has enormous potential and that people are mobilizing all over the east coast and midwest to come to Washington.
The police are trying to create a climate of fear around the demonstration. Again, they are attempting to portray the demonstrators as "violent." Thousands of people who are angry about racism, the death penalty, Mumia Abu-Jamalís case and racist disenfranchisement should not feel like they are risking life and limb simply to express their First Amendment rights. We are telling everyone to repudiate this calculated scare campaign by the police.
Every profound social movement has encountered a similar problem, including the civil rights and anti-war movement of the 1960ís. The labor movementís efforts to unionize the unorganized always encounter the problems of intimidation, fear and disinformation. If the movement reacts with confidence, maturity and determination these problems can be overcome.
The best, and only, answer for our new movement is to mobilize larger and larger numbers from the population who reject racism, voter disenfranchisement, capitalist globalization, the US war machine, sexism, homophobia and the wanton disregard of the environment. The corporate elite has the money and police power behind them. But our movement speaks for the tens of millions of working people, of oppressed peopleof the disenfranchisedwho have no stake in the current system.
Can we do it? Can we make January 20th another stepping stone toward the creation of a genuinely mass movement? That is up to each and every one of us. The goal now should be to organize, organize and organize. Our power is in the people, the mobilized people! This is what imbues us with optimism and provides a compass for all of our strategies and tactics.
P.S. - We will keep people posted on the status of the permits, logistics, housing, etc. in the next week. In terms of securing our permits, we are being assisted by an extremely able legal team. are confident that our rights will be upheld. In the meantime, letís stay focused on mobilizing the largest possible number of people so that the January 20th counter-inaugural demonstration reaches its potential.
39 West 14th Street, Room 206
New York, NY 10011
phone: 212 633-6646
fax: 212 633-2889
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