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J20 Mainstream Media Blitz

Getting through to the mainstream media about the J20 general strike and Bush inauguration protest is essential. Not one damn dime day seems to be breaking through already but we can and should do more. Find allies and true journalists in the mainstream corporate media and continue to forward messages to them in newer, less conventional ways.
If the mainstream press ignores this movement everyone will know it because we are successfully spreading the word via the web, email, and through a variety of (relatively) mainstream progressive media outlets. This time around any lack of coverage will be glaring because we are building so many alternative information networks that are spreading the j20 general strike/protest message in an historically unprecedented manner. Even through word of mouth (over talk radio) we can literally call Bush's "mandate" into question if enough people are ready to stand up, speak out, and strike -- and many obviously are.
The viral idea may be coming into it's own. Cut, paste, forward, and repeat the best of everyone's ideas with minimal effort and everyone can make a difference. Just the volume of protest information will be a story and then the protest will be too.
In closing, more time-tested cliches may be in order...
If not now, when?
If not you, who?
If you don't foment revolution you can't complain.

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UPI Feature: Protests line up for Bush inauguration 09.Jan.2005 17:59

A start? Forwarded & reposted in solidarity

Feature: Protests line up for Bush inauguration

By Glynn Wilson

Democratic and independent activists from across the United States are planning protests to coincide with the inauguration of George W. Bush on Jan. 20.

Several Washington-based groups will lead the protests, including United for Peace and Justice and D.C. Anti-War Network. While spokesmen for both groups were reluctant to talk about specific numbers, some activists on Internet weblogs, discussion forums and e-mail message boards have been calling for as many as 10 million people to descend on the nation's capital. Few demonstrations have pulled as many as 1 million people to Washington.

"We are urging people to go to Washington," said Bill Dobbs, media coordinator for United for Peace and Justice. "We also encourage local protests and the white ribbon wearing" campaign for peace.

The goal, organizers said, is to show the world that people in the United States are just as fed up with the U.S. electoral process as many people in Ukraine are with theirs, he said.

Tens of thousands supporters of opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko maintained a round-the-clock vigil in Kiev's main square for 12 days, laying siege to official buildings. The Supreme Court then declared the results of Ukraine's disputed presidential run-off election invalid and set the date of a new election for Sunday.

In an opinion column that ran in the Chicago Sun-Times Nov. 30, Rainbow Coalition leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson complained about the lack of a similar protest and media coverage of voting problems in places such as Ohio, where a recount-the-vote movement is under way with the support of the campaign of Democrat Party nominee for president Sen. John Kerry and third-party candidates.

"In the Ukraine, citizens are in the streets protesting what they charge is a fixed election," Jackson said. "U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell expresses this nation's concern about apparent voting irregularities. The media give the dispute around-the-clock coverage.

"But in the United States," he wrote, "massive and systemic voter irregularities go unreported and unnoticed."

Determined not to let the issue go unreported and unnoticed, activist groups are trying to mobilize their bases and even recruit disgruntled citizens and average supporters of Kerry who had never before participated in protests.

United for Peace and Justice, which helped bring about a half a million protesters to New York for the Republican National Convention this year, issued an action alert Dec. 2.

"For the millions of us who stand for the values of peace and justice, it is a moment to renew our commitment to resist the Bush administration and its deadly policies of war and greed, and to show Bush, and the world, that our movement is energized, mobilized, and determined to keep fighting back," the alert said.

"We urge everyone who can to converge in Washington on Jan. 20," it said. "We encourage you to participate in the creative, powerful protest activities."

A companion release by DAWN said: "Our world is plagued with war, poverty, environmental destruction, and attacks on many of the liberties that so many of us hold dear. The darkness over our world has grown yet darker with the election of George W. Bush to another 4 years in office. If we are to see a new dawn, we must take action now."

"Bush stole the 2000 election and took us from peace and prosperity under Bill Clinton to war and austerity," Bob Fertik of Democrats.com said. "We cannot let Bush steal another 4 years if his 'victory' was based on disenfranchisement and fraud."

The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition -- Act Now to Stop War and End Racism -- out of Los Angeles, has also obtained permits for the counter-inaugural demonstration.

"On the day of George W. Bush's inauguration for this second term in office there will be thousands of people all along the inaugural route in Washington, D.C. demanding an end to the occupation of Iraq and to bring the troops home now," a spokesman said.

A Web site has been started to try to coordinate protest activities around Bush's second inauguration, located on the Web at counter-inaugural.org.

According to The Washington Post, an unprecedented level of security will frame President Bush's second inauguration, with officials planning to use thousands of police from across the country, new screening technology for inaugural guests and a military contingent that could include a combat brigade of up to 4,000 troops.

In addition to protests in Washington, activists are planning events around the country.

In New Orleans a coalition of groups is planning a "jazz funeral for democracy." It is being called "a wake for peace" and a Web site is being launched this week called jazzfuneralfordemocracy.com.

According to the Talon News out of Albuquerque, Citizens For Legitimate Government, "a radical anti-Bush activist group that has never accepted the legitimacy of the Bush administration," is also joining the anti-inaugural protest in what it is calling "The Grand Refusal."

In Florida there is to be a protest in Miami Jan. 20 at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, according to Fozzie Alexander. "We need to get our country back and we need to make our voices heard," he said, on the Democrats.com weblog.


(Please send comments to  nationaldesk@upi.com.)