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Bush Administration Seeks to Squelch State of the Union Protest at Capitol on January 31
from Bella Ciao
Entered into the database on Tuesday, January 24th, 2006 @ 19:22:16 MST


Untitled Document

World Can’t Wait Capitol Hill Office: 511 ‘C’ St. NE Washington DC 20002, Stanton Square DC PRESS CONTACT: Don Spark, 202-536-4310, donspark@worldcantwait.org

Press Conference: Monday, January 23, 9:30 a.m. National Press Club, Edward R. Murrow Room 529 14th Street, NW Washington DC

The Bush administration has expanded the special security zone around the Capitol, effectively denying a meaningful public space for a protest called by World Can’t Wait-Drive Out the Bush Regime during the State of the Union address on January 31, 2006. This action, one of many held simultaneously that night at 8pm EST in cities and towns across the country, calls for symbolically “drowning out Bush’s lies” and demands “BUSH STEP DOWN.”

At a meeting on January 10 with the National Park Service Police, Capitol Police, and National Parks Department, the World Can’t Wait was offered the area surrounding the Capitol Reflecting Pool for the January 31st gathering. This was accepted by World Can’t Wait. However, on January 19, the organization received word that this area had been reclassified as part of a “secure perimeter” for that day.

In addition, the grass areas of the National Mall have been closed for “turf renovation” up to 7th Street. Thus, the proposed demonstration area is restricted to the “gravel and concrete walkways of the national Mall between 3rd and 4th Streets.”

Travis Morales of World Can’t Wait-Drive Out the Bush Regime responded: “This so-called permit would have the effect of dispersing and disrupting this First Amendment protest by preventing a large, cohesive gathering anywhere near the Capitol. We’d have to go a mile away to 7th Street to even have a stage. We’re mobilizing people to challenge this outrageous prohibition, and we’re pursuing legal action.”

World Can’t Wait has already received a permit for a national demonstration at the Ellipse on Saturday, February 4.

Both the January 31 and February 4 actions were announced in a full-page ad in the New York Times published January 20, signed by Edward Asner, Harry Belafonte, Michael Eric Dyson, Niles Eldredge, Eve Ensler, Jane Fonda, Martin Garbus, Paul Haggis, Jonathan Kozol, Jessica Lange, Lewis Lapham, Tom Morello, U.S. Rep. Major Owens, Sean Penn, Harold Pinter, Susan Sarandon, John Sayles, Richard Serra, Rev. Al Sharpton, Cindy Sheehan, Serj Tankian, Studs Terkel, Kurt Vonnegut, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, Cornel West, and Howard Zinn.

World Can’t Wait-Drive Out the Bush Regime