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Counter-inaurgual is a festive carnival as D.C. Police abandon raid and riot tactics, corral agents provocateurs and discard riot gear

Tens of thousands of protesters descended on the nation's capital to voice their disapproval of the election crime wave that installed a mentally and morally challenged Redneck as president of the United States
The media reported that the size of the protest crowd was the largest anti-inaugural outpouring since Nixon's inauguration in 1973. Anti-Bush activists appeared to equal or outnumber Bush well-wishers, a ratio demonstration organizers could hardly have dreamed would happen. Protesters weathered the cold, rain and sleet to mock and disrupt the proceedings. A short hail storm seemed to indicated Mother Nature's concurrence with one of the main themes of the protesters: "Hail to the Thief!" Street theater, signs, chants, music and individual entertainers sent a strong message and entertained protesters while perplexing Bush supporters.

Seasoned demonstrators knew the brutality, violence and damage that characterized the Seattle demonstrations in Nov.-Dec. 1999 and the Washington, Philadelphia and Los Angeles protests in 2000 would not be repeated at the inauguration. The truce was announced by Washington D.C. police chief Charles Ramsey when he stated that police would not be in riot gear, but would wear Class B uniforms. Veteran activists knew this meant the police had taken provocation out of their action plan and were not going to raid, riot, provoke incidents or make mass random arrests. Consequently, the anti-inaugural became a peaceful, festive carnival.

About a dozen arrests were made. The message that the police were removing violence from their arsenal of tactics does not mean they suddenly became enlightened. It means that tactically using force would have been a nightmare. Rich Republicans, many in cowboy hats, cowboy boots and gaudy animal furs were everywhere and would have been caught up in the melee. The primary job of the police is to serve and protect the wealthy.

The courts did allow restrictions on signs and puppets. However, the protesters proved to be resourceful. Many defied the ban. At least two large puppets were at the 14th and Pennsylvania protest site.

The Disgruntled Delegation of Concerned Caribou appeared in elaborate costumes to raise concern about the new administration's contempt for the wilderness and its ecosystem. Several caribou assisted by Polar bears surrounded another pretend president George Bush and banished him from the wilderness.

Joan Roney and Matthew Power from Rainforest Relief in New York, got around the sign bans and sent their message from the reserved seats near the Capital steps, a few yards away from where Bush took an oath. Needless to say, they were not invited by the Bush campaign team. They had acquired tickets from friends. Forbidden to carry or wear signs of any type in the guest area, they painted their bodies with messages such as: "Hail to the Thief" and "No democracy ?" The DC IMC site has a photo of Joan's back. As Bush was taking the oath of office, Joan and Matthew rose, disrobed, and there for all to see were the messages. The human sign boards were removed immediately, taken to the police station and interrogated. They were forced to disrobe again for photos for evidence. They were asked if they held any animosity toward George Bush or wanted to hurt him. They responded in the negative. Typical of the protest movement, they are not violent people and wish no harm to anyone or any living thing.



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