peaceful Bush inauguration protests planned
By Melissa Bland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Protesters planning spirited
20 at the inauguration
of President-elect Bush said Thursday that
any violence would
be the fault of
If there is violence that day it will be because, as
in so many demonstrations
in the past year, the police decided to engage
demonstrators, International Action Center Co-Director
told a news conference.
If you look through the past year, we have not been
sending police to
We have been sent to the hospital, he said.
police have said they are gearing up for
a major operation
to prevent disruption
of the ceremony, which includes the swearing
in of the incoming
president on the
steps of the Capitol and a parade through the streets
to the White House.
A variety of mainly left-wing groups intend to protest
this month's intervention
U.S. Supreme Court, which ended weeks of post-election
challenger Al Gore's hopes of occupying the White
They will also be airing charges that many black voters,
were stopped from voting. Many groups also oppose
the Texas governor's
the death penalty. Texas leads the country in the number
Becker's group, along with the Justice Action Movement
and others, said
it would demonstrate
at various spots along the inaugural route,
including sites near
the Capitol and
Demonstrators created havoc in the capital in April,
closing down many
and clashing on several occasions with baton-wielding
used pepper spray
to stop them from blocking meetings of financial leaders
from the world's
Although the protests next month are supposed to be
said a lot of emotion
would be on display.
What you'll see on Jan. 20 are people attempting to
carry out a lawful,
but yet very angry and militant protest, as the
we will not be stopped. That's our message, Becker said.
The groups said they would not back down if they had
any conflict with
We are not going to be scared away by police threats.
And we are not
going to be corralled
into an area that they designate, said Adam Eidinger
of the Justice
But he echoed Becker's insistence of nonviolence.