Photos by, G. Dunkel, Deirdre Griswold and the Peoples Video Network
International Action Center Press Release, January 20

Tens of thousands converge on Washington, DC for Jan. 20 Counter- Inaugural protest against Bush administration’s right-wing policies

Activists protest racist disenfranchisement of voters and the death penalty and demand new trial for death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal

The International Action Center (IAC) reports that tens of thousands of activists from more than 40 cities braved inclement weather and police checkpoints to line Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, DC today to protest the inauguration of George W. Bush. Simultaneous IAC demonstrations in San Francisco and San Diego also drew thousands of protestors.

"Today we witnessed an energetic step in the rebirth of a nationwide movement for social justice as more protestors than Bush supporters lined Pennsylvania Avenue," said Larry Holmes, co-director of the International Action Center. "We saw the faces of this new movement—and they were young, militant, and multiracial. They included union activists, like those from UNITE Local 169, marching with workfare workers and other low-wage workers.

"This movement stepped up to challenge George W. Bush, who champions the racist death penalty," Holmes continued. "He is an enemy of women’s right to choose and control their own bodies. He is in the back pocket of U.S. corporations, and intends to carry out unprecedented levels of corporate welfare by expanding the National Missile Defense system—and today, thousands of activists turned out to say ‘NO’ to his right-wing agenda." A popular chant was, "Racist, Sexist, Anti-Gay, Bush and Cheney Go Away!"

On Jan. 19 organizers won an important court victory in D.C. against federal and local law enforcement authorities, providing assurances that demonstrators would not be obstructed from arriving at permitted demonstration sites. An earlier pressure campaign by the IAC and its allies against police agencies had won permits for several demonstration sites.

"We believe the police never intended to give us a permit or allow demonstrators to have access to Pennsylvania Avenue and the inaugural route," Holmes said. "They hoped to shield the Bush administration from the political embarrassment of having thousands of demonstrators lining the parade route—but they were overruled by the strength of the movement."

Read the report in the Washington Post, January 21

International Action Center
39 West 14th Street, Room 206, New York, NY 10011

Press Contact: Brian Becker, Larry Holmes
Tel: 212 633-6646 — Fax: 212 633-2889

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