Lou Paulsen wwchi at SPAMenteract.com
Tue Jan 9 13:07:49 MST 2001

Remember a few days ago I wrote alerting people to be ready for a campaign
to force the US government to grant permits for the January 20
demonstrations?  Well, sometimes just the threat is enough.  Not an EMPTY
threat, of course, but a threat which they know we can execute.

Lou Paulsen

-----Original Message-----
From: iacenter at iacenter.org <iacenter at iacenter.org>
To: j20action at egroups.com <j20action at egroups.com>
Date: Tuesday, January 09, 2001 1:33 PM
Subject: [J20action] MAJOR VICTORY for Jan. 20 Counter-Inaugural Protest

>International Action Center Press Release
>January 9, 2001
>[Check out new C-SPAN coverage of January 20 organizing.  C-
>SPAN will be broadcasting a press conference that took place
>today in Washington DC.  Press conference participants are
>Brian Becker and Larry Holmes representing the International
>Action Center, and Mara Verheyden-Hilliar and Carl Messineo
>representing the Partnership for Civil Justice.  See the C-SPAN
>web site for schedule.]
>Today, demonstration organizers have scored an important
>victory.  We have forced the police to reverse their position--
>which they announced earlier to the media--that no permits
>have been granted.  We have always asserted that we had
>the permits in accordance with existing DC law and regulations.
>Even though we submitted our permit applications more than
>two months ago, we had never heard officially from the
>responsible police agencies.  We believe the police were
>consciously dragging their feet to try to create a climate of
>confusion, uncertainty and fear so as to dissuade the general
>public from attending the demonstration.
>Our attorneys, the Partnership for Civil Justice, sent a detailed
>letter on January 4 to the Metro Police Chief in DC, the Chief
>of the Capitol Police, the Interior Department, and the Chief of
>Police for the National Parks Service asserting our right to
>these permits and asking for clarification and information on a
>detailed list of questions regarding permits, access to
>demonstration sites, police plans regarding demonstrations and
>public access to the inaugural route and the area around the
>inaugural route.
>Today in a meeting held at the National Parks Service but
>including other police agencies, the various police agencies
>acknowledged that the IAC does in fact hold a permit for a
>Counter-Inaugural demonstration at Freedom Plaza (14th St.
>and Pennsylvania Avenue NW), the Justice Department (10th
>St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NW) and at McPherson Square
>(15th St. and I NW).
>the IAC, other demonstration organizers and all of those who
>want to demonstrate against racist disenfranchisement, the
>death penalty, in support of a new trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal
>and other issues in contrast with the right-wing policies of the
>incoming Bush administration.
>This victory was a consequence of public pressure, political
>mobilization and legal efforts.  Although this is a significant
>victory, there are other outstanding issues that remain to be
>clarified, and if the various police agencies are not forthcoming
>with an adequate response guaranteeing the rights of the
>public to express opinions and demonstrate against George
>Bush's polices, the lawyers for the IAC are prepared to take
>legal action.
>The most important outstanding issue concerns the access of
>demonstrators and the public to the inaugural route and even
>to the permitted sites that the IAC holds for demonstrations
>and rallies. The metropolitan police force, in tandem with the
>secret service, has announced that they are establishing
>check points that could affect the flow of people into these
>areas.  At the meeting today with the police agencies, neither
>the National Parks Service nor the Metro Police would tell
>demonstration organizers where the check points will be
>established, when they will be established, whether
>identification would be required to pass through the check
>points, whether people would be frisked, whether materials
>would be subject to confiscation, whether people will have to
>pass through a metal detector, and other details.
>Given the conduct of the police in the Washington DC area in
>the past year--including  arrests of demonstrators in mass in
>an act of preventive detention (678 arrested at an IAC-
>sponsored demonstration on April 15, 2000), the illegal raid of
>the convergence center for the anti-IMF protesters in
>Washington DC (April 15, 2000), the systematic demonizing of
>demonstrators in the media by police officials and the
>calculated effort to create a climate of fear for those attending
>the demonstration--the issue of access to the demonstration
>sites and police conduct is vital to the upholding of the First
>Amendment rights of the demonstrators.
>The second outstanding issue has to do with the disparate
>treatment accorded the applicants who are seeking to protest
>and the presidential inaugural committee.  The latter has been
>accorded bleachers seating 42,000-plus people along
>Pennsylvania Avenue.  It is entirely in the discretion of the
>inaugural committee as to who is entitled to tickets for those
>George W. Bush's corporate and banking donors access to a
>constitutionally-mandated event while depriving equal access to
>those who oppose the death penalty and Bush's right-wing
>In summary, the January 20 organizers have secured a significant victory.
>those who want to come and demonstrate on January 20 should feel that they
>come and participate in a legal, orderly and disciplined protest.  This
>give further impetus in Washington DC and in cities around the country.  We
>know of more than 40 organizing centers where buses and car
>caravans are being organized to bring protesters to
>Washington DC.  At the same time, important outstanding
>issues must be clarified to the satisfaction of the
>demonstrators in accordance with the constitutional
>guarantees of free speech or further legal action will be taken.
>Most important, our message to all January 20 mobilizing
>centers is organize, organize, organize.  January 20 will be
>remembered as a historic next step in the construction of a
>new movement for social justice in the United States.
>International Action Center
>39 West 14th Street, Room 206
>New York, NY 10011
>email: iacenter at iacenter.org
>web: http://www.iacenter.org
>   http://www.mumia2000.org
>phone: 212 633-6646
>fax:   212 633-2889
>*To make a tax-deductible donation,
>go to
>  http://www.peoplesrightsfund.org
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