Thousands Protest Bush Inaugural
Waving signs and chanting "Hail to the thief," thousands of angry protesters turned out for George W. Bush's first day as president on January 20 and streamed through the city streets of the nation's capitol.
Minutes before Bush took the oath of office, protesters formed on all four corners of 14th and K streets, just northeast of the White House, as a police helicopter hovered overhead.
Demonstrators waved signs reading — "Supreme Injustice" "Legal Not Legit Bush Presidency Justice Won't Quit" "Selected Not Elected" "Democracy BUSHwhacked" "George Bush the Illegitmate President."
More than a dozen law enforcement agencies greeted demonstrators with about 7,000 officers, miles of steel fencing and security checkpoints. Along Pennsylvania Avenue, as spectators came in through security checkpoints, protesters were restricted to a small area about eight blocks from the Capitol.
Police said the demonstrator turnout could be the largest since tens of thousands marched against the Vietnam War at Richard Nixon's second inauguration in 1973.
It was a "judicial coup d'etat," said prominent attorney Vincent Bugliosi in his lengthy and well- documented feature story "None Dare Call It Treason" in the February 5 edition of The Nation.
"The Court stole a federal election disfranchising 50 million American citizens. ... These five Justices [Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist, O'Connor, Kennedy], by their conduct, have forfeited the right to be respected, and only be treating them the way they deserve to be treated can we demonstrate our respect for the rule of law they defiled, and insure that their successors will not engage in similarly criminal conduct."
In Tallahassee, Florida thousands of union, civil rights, religious and community activists marched to the state capitol calling for "Fairness and Democracy" and an end to unequal voting practices in Florida.
On January 10, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney applauded the NAACP and the civil rights legal community for their efforts to investigate serious voter disenfranchisement of African American voters in the presidential election which resulted in the filing of a major lawsuit on that day, citing widespread voting rights violations that occurred in Florida.
"We saw that in America where ‘every vote counts' is a proud part of our national identity, every vote indeed did not count," said Sweeney. He declared that the "AFL-CIO together with civil rights, women's groups and other allies, will press for reform this year at both the federal and state levels to ensure that the right to vote is a right guaranteed to all, not a privilege reserved for the well-educated, the affluent, or the well connected."