Transcript from IAC Interview on CNN (12-21-00)

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Wed Jan 3 18:29:48 MST 2001

From: "Gery " <wwpaz at>
Sent: Monday, January 01, 2001 11:51 AM
Subject: [J20action] Transcript from IAC Interview on CNN (12-21-00)

This Bernard Shaw interview of Rev. Walter Fauntroy and the IAC's
Brian Becker appeared on CNN on Dec. 21, 2000


SHAW: The Republicans are planning a big party to celebrate George W.
Bush's inauguration. The guest list is long and distinguished.
However, thousands of uninvited guests are also expected to be on

We're now joined by Brian Becker of the International Action Center,
and the Reverend Walter Fauntroy, who's part of a so-called shadow

Mr. Becker, first to you: Why you are coming to town?

thousands of people coming to Washington on January 20th to
demonstrate against the death penalty, which George Bush is a fervent
supporter of and George Bush, as you know, has on his watch executed
more people than any of the governors of the states combined.

We'll also be demanding a new trial for the famed broadcast
journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal and thirdly our demonstration will focus
on what we believe was the racist disenfranchisement of mainly
African- American and Haitian voters in the state of Florida, which
we considered to be a conspiracy by the Republican Party to
disenfranchise black people -- a tradition in the South that has been
revealed not to have been from the ages past but lives on today.

SHAW: How are you are organizing this effort?

BECKER: We have car caravans, bus loads of people from unions, from
civil rights groups, from student organizations coming from Maine to
Florida, as far away as Chicago. On the Internet, passing out flyers,
phone banking. We have in the last 10 days, a massive mobilization.
We believe this will be the largest counter-inaugural demonstration
since Richard Nixon was confronted by 100,000 demonstrators in 1973,
when they demanded that he sign the treaty to end the war in Vietnam.

SHAW: Reverend Fauntroy, you live here in this capital. You've seen
every inauguration, I think, since FDR, '45. What statement are you
planning to make here, in effect, your home town?

going to lend my body to millions of Americans who are really
outraged at what happened on November 7th in terms of the suppression
of the votes first of African-Americans, and then the deprivation of
the will of the people as expressed in the majority of the votes.

We're going to assemble at the scene of the crime, the Supreme Court,
for a Shadow inauguration in which we're going to give an oath of
office to people who will be deputized to protect voting rights over
the course of the next four years. The fact is that we were there on
the date the Supreme Court first considered an ill-considered
decision to bring the Supreme Court decision out of the state of
Maryland up to Washington.

We said then that this is more about Selma than it is about Florida
or about Bush or Gore, and it is. We are embarrassed in the state of
the world that before the very eyes of the world, it has listened to
us espouse the virtues of democracy around the world. We've seen
voter suppression tactics that take us back now as far as 1876.

SHAW: These people you call protectors of voters rights, who are
they? What will they do?

FAUNTROY: They will be people who will do four things over the course
of the next four years. First, we're going to turn on to politics and
we're going to say to the young people who perhaps voted for the
first time, register now as never before because you now know why
they killed Medigabras (ph), why they beat Jamie Schwarnan Goodman
(ph) to death, and therefore, we're going to choose the 15th of
January, Dr. King's birthday, as the time when we're asking every
person of conscience to give them a present, a birthday present by

Then, we're going to go through litigation over the course of this
time to bring to justice those who in governmental lawlessness denied
hundreds of thousands of people their right to vote.

SHAW: I suppose that my summary question to both of you, starting
with you, Mr. Becker, after you've come and gone, then what?

BECKER: Well, this demonstration is more than a single event. A
movement started last year in Seattle; it was a movement for social
justice. It was mainly young people and it went to Washington, D.C.
for protests against the IMF and then to the conventions of the
Republican and the Democratic Party.

Now, that movement is taking its next step. It's not only protesting
globalization, it's protesting the war against poor and working
people here and around the world. It's got a special focus on racism,
which is alive and well in the United States. So we believe this will
be, on January 20th, not the beginning of the Bush period of racist
reaction, but the period of a new civil rights movement which this
demonstration on January 20th will signify.

SHAW: And you, Reverend Fauntroy?

FAUNTROY: Of course, it is a commencement. We're going to get people
registered all year long beginning on the 15th of January. Secondly,
we're going to see to it that court cases get the support of those
who will be testifying at Civil Rights Commission hearings over the
next few months.

Third, we're going to develop education programs designed to tell us
where we need to register and where we need to vote in 2001 in states
legislative races, and then finally, we're going to put together a
voting rights reform package that will correct these things that
happened on November 7th.

SHAW: And both of you intend your protests to be peaceful?

BECKER: Well, our demonstration will be peaceful. We demand that the
police give us permits, that they not demonize and criminalize the
demonstrators as they're attempting to do and we have you -- asked
the media. Have the media ask the police, will there be violence
because it's the police who have the guns and the clubs and the tear
gas and who have acted lawlessly in the past demonstrations in the
past year. For our part, our demonstration will be legal and orderly
and disciplined and loud, but we insist that our First Amendments
rights be upheld.

FAUNTROY: The Reverend Al Sharpton is in a tradition of the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference, and it's movement for nonviolence
and social change and for demonstrations that raise consciousness and
prick the conscience of enough people in this country that I think
they're going to join us in following the leadership of those who are
inaugurated in the shadow inauguration before the Supreme Court on
Inauguration Day.

SHAW: Reverend Walter Fauntroy, Brian Becker. Gentlemen. Thank you.

BECKER: Thank you.

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