Getting on the Bus: Chicago minireport

Lou Paulsen wwchi at
Wed Jan 17 21:41:07 MST 2001

I haven't had much time to follow recent discussions.  I spent last night
making a spreadsheet trying to account for 200 people going from Chicago to
the counterinaugural protest in DC, and for their money.  I spent my lunch
hour carrying thousands of dollars over to the bank and buying cashier's
checks for the bus company.  For about an hour I had ten thousand dollars of
paper in my possession.

This thing has, of course, taken off.  In November we were thinking a few
carloads might go.  In December we were thinking we could maybe send a bus.
Then the whole left in Chicago became excited about it, and we started
working in what you might call a coalition or a collective or something.
Sectarianism has been really pretty much absent.  Last Thursday we decided
we needed to reserve two buses.  Two days ago we concluded we needed four
buses.  We are now in the nerve-wracking stages of trying to sell the last
few tickets and wind up having made firm arrangements with 200, NOT 180, and
NOT 220, but exactly 200 people.

While we have permits for protest sites, the next phase will be to find ways
to circumvent the police checkpoints whose purpose will be to stop us
several blocks away and prohibit us from ever reaching the sites for which
we have permits.  I lived in DC from 1971 to 1976, and I can tell you that
the Clinton administration's policies on protest are making Richard Nixon
look like a wild-eyed apostle of free speech.  We are trying to force the
government to allow our buses to drop people off at the protest sites, not
on the other side of the city.  It will be a struggle.

Good luck to all of you who are coming!

Lou Paulsen

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