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Protests

Boycott Florida

Inaugural Protests

Strategies for the future

The Future of Cuba US Relations

Protesters Sue Over Inaugural Parade Access, 1/16/01



Election 2000 Protests



Here we track the petitions, rallies, street protests, boycotts, and future strategies in the US in the wake of the Supreme Court's new Dred Scott decision.

Inaugural Day Protests Target Neoliberal Agenda of Both Parties, 1/11/01

D.C. police prepare for protests at inauguration
, 12/13/00

Protests

CounterCoup: Pro-Democracy Protests across the country
www.geocities.com/countercoup/
same site as http://countercoup.org

Background to the CounterCoup site

http://motherjones.com/reality_check/countercoup.html

Commentary on Protest to Possible Bush Win
Pacifica Network News commentator Karen Friedman proposes a "million chad march" to protest a Bush win.

Boycott Florida

Perhaps it is time to remember the mechanics of the 3 year Miami boycott in the early 90's, called after riots over the execution style killing of a black man by a latino police officer in the 80's and a number of other raw racist behavior, especially the Cuban Americans insult to Nelson Mandela in 1990. Attorney H.T. Smith was a leader of the Boycott Miami committee. Estimates of lost business spanned the gamut from $40 million to $3 billion and the boycott was settled through some old fashion patronage, particularly the construction of a black owned convention hotel in Miami Beach:

Miami Beach signs deal for new black-owned hotel, 3/5/97

The City of Miami Beach signed a letter of intent today with developer R. Donahue Peebles, who plans to build and operate a black-owned hotel at 15th Street and Collins Avenue on Miami Beach. Peebles won a bid last summer to develop the $59.9 million, 425-unit hotel, which was one of the goals established to end a black convention boycott that began in 1990. The hotel will be called the Royal Palm Crowne Plaza Resort.

We hear that the Nation of Islam and others are calling for actions to penalize Florida over its actions.

Inaugural Protests

Counter Inaugural - January 20th
http://headlines.igc.apc.org:8080/pnalerts/976653751/index_html
http://www.iacenter.org/012000_endr.htm

Stop the Death Machine - Jan 20th
http://www.iacenter.org/

Protesters Sue Over Inaugural Parade Access, 1/16/01

Tuesday January 16 5:24 AM ET
By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Activists said they were seeking an emergency court order to make sure they could organize sizable protests along George W. Bush (news - web sites)'s presidential inaugural parade route despite unprecedented security precautions.

The International Action Center, a coalition of protest groups, said it was filing suit Tuesday against the U.S. government and the Washington D.C. police in U.S. District Court here.

At issue, among other things, is a police plan to screen people approaching the parade route at check points for the first time on Saturday, when Bush is to be sworn in as the 43rd U.S. president.

More law enforcers than ever will be on duty for the inauguration, including 3,600 District police and some 1,600 from neighboring areas in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, plus Secret Service, FBI (news - web sites) and Park police, executive assistant D.C. police chief Terrance Gainer said Monday.

``We are prepared to deal with those folks,'' he said in a CNN television interview, referring to any protesters who might resort to violence.

The Action Center, at a news conference, alleged the check points had little or nothing to do with security for Bush or for the parade, which rolls down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.

Instead, the activists said, they were designed to unconstitutionally filter out those who want to exercise their First Amendment rights to protest.

FOr the rest of this article, see http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010116/ts/inauguration_protests_dc_2.html

Inaugural Day Protests Target Neoliberal Agenda of Both Parties, 1/11/01

January 11, 2001
By Frances M. Beal 
fmbeal@igc.org

From the moment of Gore's concession speech when he implored his followers to accept the election outcome in the name of respect for America's legal institutions and the good of the commonwealth, there has been a growing chasm among America's political leaders. On one side stand Republicans and Democrats alike who want to get on with business as usual. On the other side stand those who are outraged that massive voter fraud and the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of African Americans will result in anointing a right-wing president bent on the destruction of democracy as we know it.

This chasm was highlighted when the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) raised a ruckus and walked out of the congressional session called to rubber stamp the vote of the Electoral College on January 6th. The courageous action once again underscores the pivotal role that Black politics plays in advancing and protecting U.S. democracy for the entire nation. It is a lesson that was thrust before the American people and witnessed by millions in living color. And the fact that not a single senator had the courage to join the CBC to challenge the electoral votes from Florida due to massive irregularities and voter disenfranchisement, similarly exposed the impotence of the Democratic Party as an instrument for safeguarding the interests of its traditional constituency.

That abyss was further widened by dissimilar reactions to Bush's string of ultra-right appointments for his cabinet. The first words out of Sen. Biden's mouth, for example, on John Ashcroft's nomination as attorney general, were a blase comment that he would probably be confirmed because the Senate "traditionally" did not oppose its colleagues. On the other hand, the CBC and the entire civil rights community is outraged and determined to derail this choice that would give the extreme right its most cherished prize - the power to undermine decades of progress in civil rights, free speech and abortion rights.

More ominous for the Democrats is Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s recent attack on the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and bipartisanship based on "building bridges to essentially conservative southern Blue Dog, Yellow Dog, New Dog or DLC Democrats." This is the most overt and most profound critique of the DLC's move to the right and its neoliberal agenda that has yet come from within party ranks. It is a signal that some sections of the African American community are taking off their gloves in the fight against the reactionary politics that hold sway among Democratic leaders and the fight to take on the racist anti-people policies of the GOP administration.

The next battles in this war are scheduled for Inauguration week. Jesse Jackson and other liberal Black leaders have called for a rally in Tallahassee, Florida on Inauguration Day to protest the voter fraud and dis- enfranchisement of African Americans in that state. While all protests are to be encouraged, one cannot help but speculate about this inauspicious site. The entire nation and the international community will have their eyes focused on the nation's capital. No protest at all would further erode Jackson's standing in the Black community, but any mass demonstration away from the seat of power is strategically indefensible. This concession strongly suggests that Jackson and the Black liberal leaders are more beholden to the Democratic Party than to African American interests, and do not want to engage in any activity that will alienate them from the DLC leadership or their do-nothing, business as usual line.

There are other African American forces, however, that have seized the time and are joining hands with other progressive forces to descend on Washington, D.C. in record numbers. The Independent Political Action Network has called for a Pro-Democracy Week starting on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, January 15th, and culminating in massive protests and rallies on January 20th to protest the illegal coronation of Bush as president, to demand fundamental reforms in our electoral system and to provide a show of force against the reactionary policies of the incoming administration. The Rev. Al Sharpton and others are planning a march and rally to the U.S. Supreme Court and others will raise their banners at the Capitol and along the inaugural parade route.

Pro-Democracy Week activities have also been planned for Northern California. The traditional MLK day observance has been turned into a protest over the elections and the anti-people policies promised by the incoming administration. The evening of January 15th, the Black Radical Congress is sponsoring a forum on Electoral Racism in Oakland. On Saturday January 20th, the International Action Center with hundreds of endorsing organizations will gather at the Civic Center in San Francisco for a march and rally at Jefferson Park. In Sacramento, people will gather on the West steps of the state capitol to show their opposition to the electoral fraud and for a people's agenda.

This upsurge in agitation and mobilization is very encouraging. The problems we have been witnessing - the increasing polarization of wealth, the stolen elections, or police violence in our cities - are not manifestations of bad behavior, but rather manifestations of a parasitic system and resistance is essential. Among too many Blacks, the notion of organized, progressive resistance to oppression is often treated as old-hat. Yet, in the face of the November travesty, thousands of ordinary people have been mobilized in defense of democracy, often way ahead of so-called and actual leaders. This anger and willingness to act can be harnessed.

Inauguration Day is a good time to act. Black people cannot forgive and forget. It is not a time for so-called national unity, but a time to join with other people of good will and show popular resistance to the charlatanism of the political Right in both parties and their vision of the brave new world of the 21st century.

--
Frances M. Beal is a columnist for the San Francisco Bay View newspaper and the National Secretary of the Black Radical Congress. The views and opinions expressed in this article are her own.

Copyright (c) 2001 Frances M. Beal. All Rights Reserved.

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D.C. police prepare for protests at inauguration, 12/13/00
This in from the Mooney newspaper...

December 13, 2000
By John Drake
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

     Anti-establishment activists and liberals are planning to flood the District with massive protests on Inauguration Day, prompting city police to brace for the deluge with an unprecedented level of security.
     Many of the groups that demonstrated against the World Bank here in April intend to return to the District with their puppets and mantras, regardless of who takes the presidential oath of office on Jan. 20.
     And supporters of Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore, led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, are planning a "civil rights explosion" if Republican George W. Bush is officially named the winner.
     "We're not planning civil disobedience, but we are planning to fill the streets of Washington with thousands of people," said Brian Becker, co-
     director of the New York-based International Action Center, which is coordinating the protests.
     Meanwhile, law enforcement officials said they are preparing on an even greater scale than they did in April for the anti-World Bank/ International Monetary Fund protests.

For more, see: http://www.washingtontimes.com/metro/default-2000121322282.htm

Petitions

New Vote Petition site
http://63.236.1.169/index.cfm

Count our Votes
http://www.countourvotes.com/
Financed by the Dems, likely to shut down

Strategies for the future

Rainbow Push
http://www.rainbowpush.org/

Black Radical Congress (BRC)

For Immediate Release
January 9, 2001

Contact: BRC National Co-Chair, Manning Marable; mm247@columbia.edu or jdj16@columbia.edu; 212-854-1489 or 212-854-7010

RACISM AND THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY

The biggest loser in the presidential election of November, 2000 was the principle of democracy. The electoral contest between the two major candidates of the capitalist parties, George W. Bush and Al Gore, was essentially decided not by the people, but by the Republican-controlled Florida State Legislature and by five conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. In effect, Gore was elected by the voters, while Bush was selected by the courts.

Evidence of massive voter fraud and the deliberate disenfranchisement of Black voters continues to mount. Hundreds of African-American voters were turned away at various polling places, when sheriff's deputies checking voter IDs falsely asserted that the race indicated on the card did not match the race of the person trying to vote. In predominantly Black Florida precincts, roadblocks were set up only a few hundred yards from voting places, where police demanded that African Americans get out of their automobiles and show identification. Over 8,000 voters in Florida were denied the right to cast ballots because they were erroneously listed as ex-felons, who are not permitted to vote in that state. In at least four minority schools in Miami that had been used as polling places, ballot boxes full of votes were left behind, and only discovered by school employees a day after the election. Similar instances of Republican inspired voter irregularities and "dirty tricks" once made infamous by the Nixon administration have also been documented. In Michigan, Virginia, and Florida, for example, thousands of black households received telephone calls the weekend before the election from people claiming to represent the NAACP, urging them to vote for George W. Bush. Since the NAACP is officially nonpartisan, such calls obviously were orchestrated by the Bush campaign.

Despite such illegal tactics and widespread racial disenfranchisement, African Americans turned out to vote against the Republican agenda in record numbers. Black voters supported Gore over Bush by 90 to 8 percent. Bush's dismal performance with African-American voters was the worst in recent history, with the sole exception of Barry Goldwater's puny 6 percent of the Black vote back in 1964. And African-American voters in Texas, the Black folk who knew Bush better than anybody else, gave their governor only 5 percent of their votes.

In many states, African Americans were the core constituency that led successful struggles to defeat conservative Republicans. Whites nationwide favored Bush over Gore by 53 to 42 percent, and generally voted for Republicans in senatorial and gubernatorial races.

But in race after race, Blacks represented the critical margin of victory. In Maryland, for example, white voters favored Bush over Gore by 51 to 45 percent. But Black voters endorsed Gore by 90 percent, and their overall turnout surged to 22 percent of Maryland's total vote. With this crucial Black support, Gore won easily by 17 percent. The identical pattern occurred in Michigan, where whites supported Bush 51 to 46 percent, but African Americans endorsed Gore by 90 percent, thus giving the state to the Democrats. In Florida alone, African-American turnout increased from 527,000 in 1996 to 952,000 in 2000.

From the vantage point of Black radicalism, this remarkable political response by the African-American community in the 2000 elections did not represent an endorsement of the political agenda of "New Democrats" like Al Gore and Joe Lieberman. It was not a sign of approval for the devastating policies of the Clinton administration, such as the 1996 Welfare Act. It was the unambiguous and clearly recognized act of self-interest and self-preservation. It was the defeat of the politics we oppose the most, rather than the triumph of the politics which we truly want. Black people understood that the parade of black and brown faces at the Republican convention last summer was a farce, the "illusion of inclusion." Most knew that Bush opposes affirmative action, and presides over a state that has a minimum wage of only $3.15 an hour. They knew that he had picked a running mate who had voted against releasing Nelson Mandela from prison, and who had opposed sanctions against apartheid. The Republican ticket was the symbolic party of white supremacy, and that's why millions of our people waited patiently on long lines, from St. Louis to Harlem, from Jacksonville to Oakland, to vote our own interests.

In an honest election, the Right would have been easily defeated. But because we do not live in a genuine democracy, the minority reflecting the interests and "lifestyles of the rich and shameless" used the courts to steal the election. Nationwide, 4.2 million American citizens, including 1.8 million African Americans, have been disenfranchised for life due to prior felony convictions. Institutional barriers and electoral restrictions make it difficult for millions of other citizens to vote. Several million ballots are routinely discarded, not counted or even destroyed in presidential contests, and the media and major capitalist parties do virtually nothing about it. Our winner- take-all election system makes it virtually impossible for third parties that reflect the real interests of African Americans, Latinos, working class and poor people to have any meaningful impact on national and Congressional races.

For these reasons, the Black Radical Congress believes that the Black Freedom Movement and our progressive allies must ground our political struggle against the illegitimate Bush regime around the fight for democracy. This is the fundamental political division that confronts the American people. The Far Right and the corporations hate and fear real democracy. This is why there remain so many institutional barriers to ballot access, and the undemocratic disenfranchisement of millions of poor and minority voters.

The Black Radical Congress endorses and supports efforts by organizations such as the Independent Progressive Politics Network to promote a "Voters' Bill of Rights," and a national campaign for democracy. Our first demand in such a campaign must be the strong enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. Section Two of that Act makes it illegal for any state or local government to use election procedures that in effect disenfranchise racial or ethnic minority voters. The provisions of the Voting Rights Act that require federal observers and complaints examiners to investigate widespread cases of racist voter fraud should be immediately instituted in Florida and other states. Local elections officials who have been found to intimidate and exclude Black voters must be vigorously prosecuted.

The Black Radical Congress calls for a ban on all "soft money" contributions in elections, the billions of dollars that routinely control the outcomes in most races. We support the extension of full voting rights to every citizen-to every prisoner currently incarcerated, and to all ex-felons. We believe that voting should be made much easier. Moving elections to weekends or making them national holidays would encourage greater voter participation. State laws should be liberalized to permit smaller Third Parties to gain ballot access. We also need to move away from the anti-democratic winner-take-all system toward the goal of proportional representation voting. The only way that minority groups will gain their fair share of seats in a city council, state legislature or in Congress is through some form of proportional voting.

The Black Radical Congress believes that the most blatant and indefensible violation of democracy in the U.S. today is represented by Washington, D.C. The District of Columbia has more voters than several states, but has no voting representation in Congress. We say D.C. must have complete home rule and statehood!

The Black Radical Congress joins with other progressive organizations, including all racial, ethnic, gender and class groups, who are committed to the struggle for democracy. The time for action is now. We must demonstrate in Washington, D.C. on January 20th, to tell the world that Black America will not tolerate the dismantling of our hard-fought democratic rights. The BRC declares that the Bush regime is illegal, fraudulent, and based on the rampant racist exclusion of millions of Black voters. We are committed to building a broad-based pro-democracy movement that has the capacity to achieve real democracy in the U.S.

Black Radical Congress National Office 
Columbia University Station P.O. Box 250791 
New York, NY 10025-1509 
Phone: (212) 969-0348

Email: blackradicalcongress@email.com
Web:
http://www.blackradicalcongress.org

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