Report: J30 Cheney protest in Yakima
No place is safe for Bush and Cheney anymore! Everywhere they go, everything they do, we'll be there...
First, many thanks to Yakima organizers for getting the word out and bringing so many people out to protest Cheney's visit. According to couple of independent accounts, there were over 150 people there (media reports varied from "two dozen" to "over 75"). Cops managed to break us into several smaller groups as they were "sterilizing" the area around the school. I was under impression that Yakima cops didn't themselves know when and where the VP was coming in. That resulted in a lot of confusion and some blatant abuses of our constitutional rights to assemble and voice our opinions. We were pushed around from one city block to another only to be ordered to go back where we came from. Of course, they were probably flexing their muscle as well. This was the biggest day in the life of your average Yakima cop - he was responsible for the safety and security of our entire nation (mad logic).
Two groups of protestors (one of which pushed their way back though "police lines") at two separate locations were able to catch a glance of the motorcade that brought the war criminal in. Yelling, screaming, chanting, and flipping-off ensued as Dick Cheney, looking dumb-founded and confused, wondered why people were not waving back at him. Cops and the party officials were noticeably frustrated with this unplanned reception gone amok. They were probably planning to fix the things on his way out of town as they literally swept the streets of any unpatriotic-looking person wondering around. Mysteriously, in place of protestors, we started seeing carefully positioned "patriots" waving "state-issued" US miniature flags stationed along the obvious "Cheney evacuation" route back to the airport. With our signs, banners, and megaphones hidden in our cars, we stood there with a group of crazed flag-wavers and cops ready for an "ambush." The motorcade was moving slower this time with Dicks on parade. Again, they didn't know what hit 'em as our signs and chants came out. Although Yakima cops at first wanted to keep us from pulling our stuff out, they soon realized that their hands were full just trying to prevent us from blocking the motorcade. They couldn't even make any arrests they were so confused (armatures!). I don't know what happened with other groups there after we were first separated. Apparently some ran into the pro-Cheney people waiting to get into the gym, others were stuck at the school parking lot, while others remained at some busy intersections (I can't confirm any of this).
Great turnout, in my estimation! All kinds of folks: young and old, white and Latino, some families, 2 or 3 unions, students, Democrats, some Greens and Socialists, UFW, and then a group from Ellensburg (25+ they had the best signs, see below) and perhaps another one form Tri-Cities (?). A lot of support from the community (commuters, people walking by, even some cops who obviously didn't want to be there, etc.). The vibe in the city was positive. I think people felt like we put up a fight and messed up their (Republican) pre-fabbed image. OK media coverage: a few articles and video clips and interviews on the local network affiliates...
-Pray by day, Bomb by night, That's the motto, Of the Right.
-There is a terrorist behind every Bush.
-Greed is not a family value.
-War is sweet to those who haven't tasted it.
-While you're watching war, Dick and Bush raped America.
-Other signs were mostly on education and "No child left behind" (we were at a high school), war and lies that accompanied it, "Patriot Act" and civil liberties...
-"Hey Dick, Whaddya say, How many kids did you kill today!"
-"Racist, Sexist, Anti-gay, Born-Again Bigots go away!"
-"What a Dick!"
-"Whose Streets? Our Streets!"
-"Not my President, Not my War!" etc.
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