SAN DIEGO January20
Diego saw an angry outpouring
of hundreds of youth on January 20th.
Holding signs and banners raising all the issues ignored by the bigbusiness candidates during last yearís presidential election campaign, the demonstrators occupied the four corners of a major intersection in the heart of the Black community and chanted slogans denouncing Bush. Passing motorists honked, waved, and raised their fists in solidarity.Two large International Action Center banners and a huge canvas portrait of Mumia Abu-Jamal made clear the focus of this demonstration. The banners read, "Free the Black Vote! End the Racist Death Penalty! Shut Down the Prison Industrial Complex" and "Stop Police Terror! Free Mumia Abu-Jamal! Free All Political Prisoners!"
After about an hour, the protest became a march, which, turning onto the major Euclid Avenue thoroughfare, seized half of the street and continued in a loud procession to the Malcolm X Library.It was standing room only in the library auditorium as speaker after speaker vowed that the inauguration would not signal the beginning of a period of more intense reaction, but rather the birth of a new movement of resistance to racism and war and for social justice.
Bob McCubbin of Workers World Party read a statement written by Mumia for the January 20th protests. Tim Helsley of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee spoke on the failure of President Clinton to sign a pardon for Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier, falsely convicted of killing two FBI agents in 1975. Craig Mace, a participant in the second Iraq Sanctions Challenge, spoke on the need to continue fighting for an end to the sanctions that have killed so many Iraqis. Janice Jordan of the Peace & Freedom Party spoke on the prison-industrial complex. Cherry Mason, whose unarmed daughter was killed by the Border patrol a year ago, and Ben Rivera spoke for the Committee Against Police Brutality.
Following the rally, some of the crowd of multinational youth marched back to the assembly site to continue outreach to the community.
Earlier in the day, forces aligned with the Democratic Party held a march and rally in Balboa Park. Gloria Verdieu, a leader of the Mumia Coalition and the International Action Center, had earlier been promised an opportunity to speak at this rally, but then was told she would only be permitted to speak if she didnít mention Mumia Abu-Jamal. Of course she refused this outrageous, racist demand that she censor herself. She spoke, instead, at the Malcolm X rally and also co-chaired that rally. IAC organizers saturated the crowd at the Democratic Party rally with leaflets explaining the case of Mumia.
There was media coverage of the march and rally by one of the local TV stations.
International Action Center
39 West 14th Street, Room 206
New York, NY 10011
fax: 212 633-2889
phone: 212 633-6646