Sunday, October 24, 2010

ARCHIVES: Florida Fights Back - The Film

"Florida Fights Back" Resisting the Stolen Election, was written, produced and directed by Jeannine Ross and Bruce Yarock.

Featuring Greg Palast, Vincent Bugliosi, Bob Kunst and Lou Posner

"Florida Fights Back" shows you how a crime was committed against Democracy in Florida in the year 2000 and how the politicians, from both sides, took the path of least resistance. Through all of this you will see the need to stand up, speak out and take action.

This film is of, by and for the people - not the powerful!

Includes footage of the 2001 Academy Awards Protest and The 2001 Washington D.C. Voter March.

See Florida Fights Back

Sunday, October 17, 2010

ARCHIVES: Voter Rights March, May 19, 2001, Lou Posner, Voter March Founder and Chair

Speech of Lou Posner, founder and chair of Voter March at the Voter Rights March to Restore Democracy
at the West Capitol Steps in Washington DC on May 19th at 1:00 pm:

What of ELECTION REFORM? The greatest democracy on earth has the most
antiquated and UNEQUAL voting machines in the Western world, and some of the
most unequal and unfair voting practices in the entire world! How can we
fail to address our duty to preserve the tools that ensure the principles of
our founding fathers that are the very bedrock of our democracy, the tools
and principles that make us CITIZENS in this world, citizens of a great
shining democracy and NOT subjects in a dark tyranny.

What of these? How can we fail to address this matter NOW?

For years, experts have decried the antiquated equipment and practices, they
and government agencies recommending reform, but our legislation has not
acted on those recommendations. What are we waiting for that we ignore these
sacred obligations to the constitution's most fundamental guarantee?

Today, let us look at "America," where a government is now disconnected with
its country. Look at what has happened to this so-called democracy, in our
recent presidential race. The high court stopped a legal hand recount and
substituted their own votes to replace those of the electorate, the bedrock
principle of ANY democracy. In other words, they canceled our democracy.
They declared their winner as THE winner, vacating the votes of millions
because of an alleged unfairness to only ONE citizen, who was only ONE
candidate, in a regional state governed with an iron hand by that one
candidate's brother. As a final insult, the Court told the people - not to
worry, this is a one-time only deal - it will not be repeated.

One might ask, if the decision is so good and fine, why can it not be
repeated? Now, the court knows it has created a precedent, yet it pretends
it will NOT be a precedent, as if this election and hand count were "sui
generis," when elections and hand counts go on and have gone on ALL THE TIME
Indeed, the hand count is part of the WHOLE and NO LESS than the whole election. And all
the experts in many states know perfectly well that the hand recount is the
ONLY way to settle these things, being done routinely in the very state the
candidate hails from, signed into law by his own hand. Indeed, this
candidate, under the media radar, demanded and got a hand recount in another
state in the country, in a brazen example of hypocritical "privilege," and
"special rights." But the high court chose to ignore this inconsistency,
this inequality, and by so doing, gave aid and comfort to all the
irregularities and all the lawbreaking that accompanied this state's vote.
People who get away with committing crimes with impunity, passed over by the
highest court in the land, are only further emboldened to repeat them.

Ah, the beauty of possessing no conscience: Lie and then call your opponent
a liar. Demand hand recounts where they favor you and then call your
opponent a criminal for demanding hand recounts where they favor HIM. And
the final slap, GO AWOL and then accuse your opponent of despising the

But the Court seems to ORDAIN that it will not happen again, providing a
balm to the masses, a false sense of security that their democracy is still
alive, unchanged and unmolested. But it is not, my friends. Judges may rule,
but they can never ORDAIN. They cannot project their decisions and their
orders into the future, onto future courts and what they will do. The Court,
comprised of mere mortals, have wrested from the "demos" the one power
granted directly to the people in the government scheme known as democracy.
That is a moral outrage no words can adequately convey.

Oh, but there were such difficulties, some say. It was messy. Yes, democracy
is messy, which is why laws are created to ensure fairness, laws this high
Court criminally ignored. It is not a fast buck made in a bubble economy. It
is, as Winston Churchill said, the worst form of government except for all
the other forms of government. A real democracy is hard work. It is patient

It is NOT, as we have seen with our country, the perfect scam. Where we are
awash in evasions from officials who say, "I can't answer that, I refer you
to another official," and that official refers back to the first official,
or another official, or in the most egregious case, reporters are referred
to an outside, private company, which unilaterally disenfranchised thousands
of citizens of their right to vote, largely wrongly, it is later discovered,
but implemented without question in many areas of this one state. But when
some election supervisors, seeking to uphold their duty to the Constitution,
asked this company for information on their methodology and quality control,
they were told it was proprietary, commercial information and they couldn't
have it.

Think of that, my friends. The constitutional right to vote is outsourced to
a private company with no legal accountability. The privatization of a
citizen's right and duty to vote. It should strike fear in all our hearts at
the ease with which these "officials" dismiss this breach of government
trust and the social contract, as the state government refers you to the
company, but the company refers them back to the state, and in the end all
the accountability that an election is designed to be is lost forever in a
series of "I refer you to, I refer you to, I refer you to. . ." The perfect
scam. No democracy, no accountability, no blame. And all permitted to go
unpunished because of a high court's deliberate running out of an imaginary
and unnecessary clock, for the sake of "fairness" to only ONE of the
candidates, and to appoint that favored candidate a leader in a country
founded upon democratic principles.

WE MUST NEVER let this happen in our country.  A statement throwing down the
gauntlet, pledging that we will NOT let this illegality stand.   We will be
legitimately governed, but never ruled or overruled in this most important
of rights.  I used to fear the enemy, but today I fear my own corrupt
countrymen and their greed for power at the expense of people and democracy.

Elections are not merely a substitution of ballots for bullets, of this
candidate or that. An election in a Republic is the expression of the will
of it citizens; it is our franchise, our birthright, a viewpoint that is as
conservative as the Constitution itself. But in our country, it has been
trampled upon with mob actions by a party and pistol-whipped into
meaninglessness by a partisan court.

We must NEVER let this happen here. We cannot look away from our duty, in
constant need of recharging, to preserve the tools that ensure the
principles of our founding fathers that are the very bedrock of our
democracy and our republic, the tools and principles that make us CITIZENS
in this mortal world, citizens of a great shining democracy and NOT subjects
in a dark tyranny.

ARCHIVES: Voter Rights March, 5/19.2001, Speech by World War II Veteran

By Sergeant Joe Crisalli

"In World War II, to preserve our freedom, we had to hold back fascism from our shores.  We had to crush tyranny at the source in Germany and Italy. In the Pacific, we had to fight to guarantee that there would never be another Pearl Harbor attack.  Now, there is a new attack of tyranny and fascism – from within.  And it is time to fight again, a fight against the right-wing Republicans who attacked our freedom in their stifling of a fair election in Florida.

I am a veteran of World War II and proud to have served my country, and now I am part of a voters rights group in order to serve my country once again by insuring that
our freedoms are not infringed.

A government ‘of, by and for the people’ is what America is all about. We are now concerned with the ‘by the people.’ The right to vote and be counted is the way the people’s voice is heard.  The disenfranchisement of thousands of voters and the debacle in Florida proves that we must be vigilant.  The Battle for Freedom for a government BY the people must continue with the Voters March."

World War II veterans like Joe Crisalli lead the Voter Rights March in Washington DC on May 19th, Armed Forces Day, to restore the democracy they fought and died for. 


ARCHIVES: Voter Rights March, May 19, 2001, Speech by Michael Rectenwald, Citizens for Legitimate Government


Thank you. And thank you, Louis and the Voter March organization, for allowing me to speak today on behalf of Citizens for Legitimate Government.

“Election” 2000, in Historical ContextI have been asked why our group is called "Citizens For Legitimate Government." “Isn't the government already legitimate?" enquiring minds, most of them Republican, want to know. The question led me to consider what makes a government legitimate in the first place. Legitimacy of government, I reasoned, is judged by the fit between the existing government and the declared principles of that government. To understand a nation’s principles, one would turn to its founding charter, its written laws, and its political history.
If one does this review, the short answer to the question becomes quite obvious. The U.S. government has been rendered illegitimate by its own standards, the standards of electoral democracy.

The standard of electoral democracy was eliminated when the vote counting for the Florida electorate was abandoned, and judges selected a president. Contrary to the Constitution, Dale Reynolds writes in his poem, “These Five Against Us All,”
[They] decided "Republic" meant Republican,
though conflicts of interest they hadn't disclosed
hadn't pre-empted the candidate they chose,
and outside journalists reported it was Bush by a nose.
Bush by 5 to 4, The United States Supreme Court said.
The standard for electoral democracy was eliminated when state officials and party operatives broke laws in key posts, spoiling the real electoral results. Reynolds continues, the Supreme Court “would not hear the protest of black Americans stopped outside the polls, / or stricken, curiously, from the voting rolls.”

The standard for electoral democracy was violated by the takeover of government by corporate interests--and we now have the epitome of that takeover in the white-collar criminal who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

In terms of the letter and the spirit of the law, then, our current government is illegitimate--its establishment runs contrary to our nation's constitution, which expresses our dearest principles of representative, democratic government, and equal rights.

Against these principles, we saw government officials, party operatives, and a federal judiciary, along with their media mouthpieces, use every means possible to suppress the truth of the voters' expressed will, and to install their own will in its stead. The list of these crimes is long, starting with an illegal purge of tens of thousands of voters, and ending with the Supreme Court Injustices, and I refer you to for the complete record.

The violation of voting rights in the millennial year brings back the long history of struggle for representation against oppression and vote suppression. A complete history might start with suffrage for propertied men in England and the Americas from the 15th century; continue with a centuries-long battle for lowered property requirements for adult male voters; go on to the eventual inclusion of most white working men by the late 19th century; detail the exclusion of African Americans from voting until the late 19th century, along with a series of reversals and victories thereafter, including the Civil Rights movement; entail the exclusion of women from the franchise until the early 20th century; and include the barriers of racial profiling, property ownership, voting tolls, and literacy requirements lasting well into the 20th century, especially in the southern states.

The long battle for voting rights brings us to Selection 2000, when the United States was driven far afield of its historical goal--universal adult suffrage. In the year 2000, we were set back to a fate worse than that of pre-1832 Britain, when, before the first Reform Bill, only thousands of propertied men out of millions of British subjects could vote. In 2000, we were reduced to having three white patriarchs, one token black male, and one white woman determine the outcome of a presidential election--by, as Dale Reynolds puts it, a “majority of one.”

The millennial election brings back the 1940s in Florida, when the votes of African Americans were called “little jokers." Made of tissue paper, these ballots fell apart and were thrown away by laughing vote-counters; the ballot was a "little joker" played on the African American "voter." In election 2000, over 180 thousand little jokers were dealt in Florida. At least 20,000 voters were purged in advance in a Jim Crow-like manner, never even making it to little joker status. Six million Floridian votes were thus rendered little jokers as well. One hundred million votes thus turned to little jokers. These were considered by a Supreme Court, whose Chief Justice laughed scornfully and dismissed as ludicrous the idea of counting all the little jokers--in Florida, or anywhere else for that matter! The whole idea of an election had been an expensive joke played on the country--the vote wasn't required at all, the Chief Justice scoffed, it was always already a little joker!

The Selection and its aftermath is a nightmare of history come back to haunt us, in new, monstrous proportions. Our little jokers cast, the punch line of the bad joke was delivered: GW Bush, that Big Joker's face and his policies mock our expressed will. Bush's policies are an extension of the antidemocratic grab for power by which he seized office. The litany of these policies is familiar by now, so I will not repeat it. But a few adjectives will do: anti-women, anti-labor, anti-worker safety, anti-affirmative action, anti-public-health, anti-public education, anti-separation-of-Church-and-State, anti-consumer, anti-child, anti-environment, anti-end-of-the-Cold-War, anti-human, anti-other-species; Polices that benefit only one species--that species of Big Business Animal that wrecks the habitats of other species, like Exxon-Mobil, who junks Global-warming science while raising the Global temperature. Bush raids the national treasury and the national forests for one group only: Big Business Owners. He throws a few crumbs to the reactionary religious ideologues that delivered their lambs for the slaughter.

In light of this fraudulent and dangerous outcome, we say "Nevermore." Nevermore can our votes be little jokers. Nevermore can we be purged from the voting rolls--under the guise of justice, under the pretense of “equal protection,” to “protect the interests” of the heir apparent!
At this point, what do we do? We say “Nevermore.” But when complicity is tantamount to treason, and the consequences are literally world threatening, true patriots must say, too, “NOT NOW, NOT EVER!” We must explore every avenue for exposing and prosecuting the election theft, and for countering the Bush Occupation. We must continue to protest Bush's every appearance. We must oppose his every executive act with activism. We must boycott Bush's contributors, starting with Exxon-Mobil, the biggest polluter in Texas, the second biggest energy industry GOP contributor, and the force driving US policy against the Kyoto Treaty. We must register voters, starting with our neighbors. We must vote into Congress representatives and senators expressly opposed to the Bush coup and Occupation. (This expressed opposition should be a litmus test for their election). We must call for investigations! We must work for impeachment! We must turn these jokers into wildcards to trump the kings. We must work to bring democracy to this stacked deck. We must work to bring down this precarious house of cards called the Bush presidency. We must undo the coup! That is what we must do.
Join us at or any of the other activist groups you find here -- join all Citizens for Legitimate Government, in our long haul quest to undo the coup, and redo democracy.

We must undo the coup!!

Thank you!!!

Michael Rectenwald, CLG

ARCHIVES: Voter Rights March, May 19, 2001, Speech by Ronnie Dugger

The New American Democracy
By Ronnie Dugger

It is an honor to be among you again.

On December 9th and 12th last, as the second millennium was easing to an end, our 212-year-old American Republic was stolen from us.
After the secret four-month constitutional convention in Philadelphia, a matron of the city asked Benjamin Franklin what they had produced.  "A Republic, if you can keep it," Franklin said.

Well, we haven't kept it--we've lost it.

George W. Bush, his lawyers led by the crafty James Baker III, Bush's operatives in Florida led by his brother Jeb the Governor and Secretary of State Harris, and five members of the Supreme Court, inventing a new constitutional right for the occasion, usurped from the people the right to choose the President of the United States.  The judges overthrew the government by selecting the President themselves, 5 to 4, rather than letting events take their constitutional course.   When Governor Bush was sworn in as President by Chief Justice Rehnquist of the Court that had stolen it for him the government itself was seized in a judicial and presidential coup d'etat.  Bush gave James Baker the dog's assignment of seizing the Presidency in
Florida as if it were a bone.  The resulting compound crime was one clear line of events, each one pressed for or performed pursuant to a determined and relentlessly prosecuted scheme to abort the voters' will in Florida.  Bush was guilty from the outset as an originator and throughout as the principal beneficiary, moving on many fronts to stop the vote recounting in
Florida, refusing to agree to a total manual recount of the entire state,  accepting the Presidency from Rehnquist after the Court had stopped that recount, selected him, and thereby stolen the office for him.  As James K. Galbraith perceived, by obstructing the election of the President, the Bush people prevented it, causing democracy to miscarry.  Taking the oath, Bush
knowingly accepted the keys to the White House from the man giving him the oath and the four of his fellow judges who had stolen them.   Together they denied the people of the United States the right to elect our President,  whether it would have been Albert Gore or George W. Bush, for the four years 2001 to 2005.

Congress and the Presidency had already been delegitimized across the past 20 years, for most of us, by the triumph over the common good of uncontrolled campaign finance corruption and bribery.  Now, in Bush v. Gore,
the Supreme Court delegitimized itself and therefore the court system arrayed
below it.  These are the only three branches that we have--this is no longer
a respectable government.  We have lost our entire government to a corporate
oligarchy that now governs us without our permission.

Permit me to repeat what I said to you on January 20th.  The only basis
for democratic legitimacy is the consent of the governed.  That was the deal.
The Presidency has been seized.  The government has been seized.  The
covenant is broken.

What does it mean, to admit, and to say, that your government is
illegitimate?   According to the Oxford English Dictionary it means the
government is "not in accordance with, or authorized by, law."  What Bush
ravaged when he accepted the stolen Presidency was much more than our
politics, more even than our self-respect as a democracy--he made a mockery
of our most fundamental agreement to respect and obey the laws the government
passes, to cooperate with the government because it's ours.  This is what he
has done to the country that we love, he has undermined the authority of law
here.  That is what we have lost, the very authority of law for our everyday

Going about his first 100 days, he cuts funding for international family
planning groups.  He cancels new rules to prevent repetitive-stress injuries
for millions of new workers.  He cancels a tightening of the standard for
arsenic in drinking water.  He abandons his campaign promise to cut carbon
dioxide emissions from power plants.  He reinstates the federal subsidy for
roads into our trackless forests for corporate logging.  He moves to
weaponize space, under the cover of star wars, so that we can destroy any
nation's communications from space and thereby dominate all the nations and
peoples of the world.  He puts a man over the Energy Department who wanted to
abolish it.  He refuses to slap price controls on power and gasoline
profiteers.  He shoves through the supine Republican-and-Democratic Congress
an insane $1.3-trillion-dollar tax cut that further enriches the already rich
on a ten-year set of assumptions that nobody, nobody at all, can accurately
make, and which rises in the second decade to a four-trillion cut which will
destroy Social Security and Medicare.  He tries to "fast-track"--that is, to
deny Congress the right to amend in any way--the corporations-first trade
agreements, NAFTA, the WTO, the FTAA, that will destroy our local, state, and
national sovereignty over our own environment, commerce, and working
conditions.  He calls protecting workers and the environment in these
agreements "protectionism."  He and his allies in Congress have crushed all
talk of election reform because of the obvious fact that it insults him for
stealing the Presidency.  And everything he's doing, everything, has no color
of law, is illegal, is illegitimate, is done in our names though not we, but
five tyrannical judges gave him the power that he is so tyrannically abusing.

If he had not stolen the Presidency we would have to accept it when he
and the Congress and their corporate paymasters abolish the estate
tax--abolish the tax that curbs, just a bit, the relentless tendency of
hereditary wealth to destroy democracy and economic justice--

But he did steal the Presidency, and when and if the Congress abolishes
the estate tax--or does any of the legions of other things akin to it that he
and the corporate lobbyists he admires are demanding--why, then, the hell we
will accept it.  That will be just the action of a gaggle of thugs in our
house at night dressed up as hereditary aristocrats.

How, now, with a straight face, without provoking outcries of contempt,
can the man in the White House, trying perhaps to deal with some crisis of
order or rebellion here or abroad, invoke respect for the law having himself
stolen the Presidency?

He is no President of ours.  Our Presidents in this free country are
only elected, they are never selected, never appointed.  Only we elect our
Presidents and George W. Bush is not one of them.

I see from the signs among you that you know this next:  Having seized
the awesome power of the Presidency to which he is not entitled, he uses that
power only as a tyrant.  He feigns law-abidingness as did the tyrant
Peisistratus in sixth-century B.C. Athens, who won over the lawgiver Solon by
"shows of obedience" to Solon's laws except, of course, to the one against
tyranny.  Although the President of the United States has absolute power only
in some momentous areas, such as control of our foreign policy and the use of
our military might, including our hydrogen bombs, Bush, having seized the
office, fairly well fits the Oxford English Dictionary definition of a
tyrant, "One who seizes upon the sovereign power in a state without legal
right; an absolute ruler; a usurper."

Looking back we should, and at least some of us will, label this four
years of the Bush illegitimacy as the Lawless Years, the Tyranny in American
history, the Tyrannical Interlude.

We trust that George the Second will not be succeeded by George the
Third--throwing us right back where we were in 1775--because we are men and
women and students on fire with controlled anger and we refuse to consent.

We refuse to cooperate.

We refuse to accept.

We reject the Bush Presidency totally, altogether, in every
particular--we will not forgive the theft it rests on, we will not forget
that all its acts are "not in accordance with, or authorized by, law," and we
will work to turn back on these four years and all the preparatory associated
betrayals of the people's good since the early 1970's and cancel the damage
to the extent we can.

One idea for something that can be done now to limit that damage--an
idea from Professor Bruce Ackerman of Yale Law School--is a firm resolve among the
Senate Democrats to confirm none--none--of Bush's Supreme Court nominations,
just letting the high court drop low to seven justices, or six, leaving those
remaining to ruminate on the trust which their institution has forfeited.
The Senate Democratic leaders shy, of course, from this, as from any bold
idea, but Professor Ackerman has proposed an appropriate remedy.
The Constitution permits impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors.
Seizing the Presidency ranks among the highest crimes ever committed in the
United States.  Bush should be impeached, but it's not going to happen in
such a Congress as this one.

A milder, but equally effective remedy is available, however, for the
crime committed by Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, and O'Connor.  Scalia
told us all about Article II of the Constitution, that the people don't have
the right to elect the President, but he failed to tell us about Article III.
Article III provides that "the judges, both of the Supreme Court and the
inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior."  The five
judges who stopped the election and chose the President they preferred should
be removed under this clause in Article III.  Resolutions should be
introduced in Congress to remove them; perhaps we will elect a President and
Senate who will throw out as many of the five as still dare to sit up there
in 2005.

Obviously this is a time, these are four years, when we citizens must
stand forth as citizens.  How about some citizens' indictments?  For purposes
of discussion, I propose that we draw up and inscribe our names en masse, on
the Internet, to a citizens' indictment of George W. Bush, Richard Cheney,
James Baker III, Katherine Harris, Jeb Bush, William Rehnquist, Antonin
Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Sandra Day O'Connor, and Anthony Kennedy for the
high crime of acting together to steal the people's right to elect the

Democracy without the people controlling the counting of their own votes
is no democracy.  Yet it goes unremarked in American elections that in most
of the precincts of the country the votecounting is done invisibly in
computers.  Computers are not adding machines, they are machines that obey
orders.  Computer votecounting codes are prepared by computer programmers in
the pay of the private election-business companies, which jealously guard the
codes as "trade secrets."    Elections can be stolen by the computer
programmers, for themselves or for their companies, without leaving a trace.
Democracy itself has been privatized--that is, corporatized--and our
elections are subject to the tyranny of machines that conceal the counting of
our votes from us.  As votecounting specialist Dr. Rebecca Mercuri wrote
recently, "a government that is by the machines, of the machines, and for the
machines can scarcely be called a democracy."

To get our country back into our possession I believe that we should
count our own votes again with our own hands and eyes in our own precincts on
election night across the country--we are dumb to trust the election
corporations' computerized systems, run by often computer-illiterate local
election officials relying heavily on assistance from the companies, to count
our votes in secret.

I believe, and challenge you to consider deep in your soul and in your
body, that we should now go into nonviolent rebellion against the theft of
our democracy last December in all its forms and manifestations--

And that the first step in this revolt is to agree that we will not call
Bush President.

Don't Call Him President.

Although I am fond of the idea of calling him George the Second, most
people will probably feel better just calling him Governor Bush.  That's OK.
It's civil, and acknowledges he was a governor.

But can we agree never, in any context, written, spoken, or even in our
thoughts, to call him President Bush unless and until we elect him?  In all
our references to him let's call him, civilly but noncooperatively, Governor
Bush.  Let's write letters challenging reporters and TV for calling him
President.  Let's amiably, but seriously tweak our friends over a cup of
coffee or at dinner if they call him President.

This is one unmistakable symbolic way we can nod to each other across
political parties, recognize each other across colors, and join together
across this beautiful continent as the free Americans who will not accept an
appointed President of the United States.

Second, how about a Back to Texas Movement?  Bush and Cheney, Back to
Texas.  Rove, Armey, and Delay, too-Back to Texas.

We should refuse to acknowledge the authority of any judge whom Governor
Bush appoints and the Senate confirms.  Every federal judge he appoints is
illegitimate, whether confirmed or not, and can have no lawful authority to
sit in judgment looking down on us from those high federal benches.  On the
door of any judge Governor Bush gets confirmed should appear the word,
"Illegitimate."  And when we get a President and a Congress with the courage
to do right by the United States every one of them, including especially any
of his people who may make it onto the Supreme Court, should be impeached as
unlawfully appointed by an unlawfully appointed President.  When you steal
our country, "Let bygones be bygones" is out, and out for life.

Unless the Democrats in Congress stand tough against the illegitimate
President all of us must demand to know, Why not?  One main reason the
American Republic is in terminal trouble is the fact that most of the
officeholders of the Democratic Party, up at this level, have sold their
souls to the major corporations and the very rich.  Now our collective civic
disaster has gone far beyond the tumults of party politics.  This is the
country we love and would die for and millions of our fellow citizens have.
We must, I believe, ask Al Gore, too, why, when the Supreme Court announced
that it had stolen the Presidency from him by a 5 to 4 vote, he said that he
accepted it.  This was his moment as a leader to say, "No--this is our
country--we love it--you cannot have it--I am not the issue here, the United
States is, and your decision is judicial tyranny."  I believe Gore has to get
right on this if he wants to continue to lead.

When the world's superpower ceases to be democratic it's the world's
business, too.  We should get together into a movement in order to invite a
small group of distinguished former officials abroad, comparable in stature
to our former President Jimmy Carter, to form a small international
commission to investigate the 2000 presidential election--the outrages
against African-American voters in Florida, the standing of an election when
the Supreme Court aborts the votecounting, what we Americans are supposed to
do about the fact that the President of our country was appointed by five
judges who preferred his election, how we have come to let private
corporations take over our votecounting and do it secretly, invisibly, in

Governor Bush's people become indignant when the United States gets
thrown off the UN body on human rights--as if his seizing the most powerful
and the most dangerous office and military in the world leaves our government
with the same standing we had before that happened, in the eyes of democratic
civilization.  --As if when the people in the rest of the world, told that
he, himself, has decided that we will violate the ABM ballistic missiles
treaty and the Kyoto treaty on global warming, should meekly accept this
world-convulsing tyranny with what Governor Bush calls civility.

We citizens fighting to save our country not only from injustice,
but now from illegitimate injustice, should demand that the Senate ratify the treaty
establishing the proposed international criminal court not despite the fact
that some Americans might get indicted, but because they might.

Finally, it is time, oh, it is time, for us to form now, among all our
organizations, with all the sad, drifting citizens looking for hope for our
country--it is time for us to form one national people's movement,
independent of any political party, the Independent Allies, to demand and
fight, for example, for--

Public funding of our elections.
Single-payer national health insurance.
The restoration of the corporate taxation system and the
progressivity of the income tax, replacing the Social Security payroll tax with the increased
Limits on the size of corporations, the cancellation of their alleged
"personhood" and their alleged personal constitutional rights, a stiff
criminal law taking them completely out of our politics, and the confirmation
of their original nature as our artificial creations totally answerable to
and totally subordinate to democracy.
Limits on personal wealth, and a guaranteed annual family income.
Free education as high as any student can make the grades.
First-home building subsidies and the opening of some public lands as
trust lands for homesteading to redeem the American dream of a home for every
Equal rights and equal pay for women.
A living wage by law for every working person.
Repeal of the Taft-Hartley law and criminal prosecution of corporations
that bedevil union organizers.
That's just for starters.
And it is far past time that such a new national people's movement
should link up with the citizens' movements abroad that are in nonviolent rebellion
against the corporatization of human life, to work together worldwide for
such attainable goals as--
Clean energy, wind and solar, and the as-rapid-as-possible phasing down
and out of oil, coal, and nuclear power.
For international trade for people and the environment everywhere, not
just for the rampaging transnational corporations.
And for world citizenship, and an international democracy with a
constitution worthy of the human race.

None of this can we get just because our government has been stolen.
Some of this we can get fairly soon only if we rebel and organize and
mobilize, as independent allies for communication, education, and action, in
coalitions of coalitions, and then in one confederal, interacting coalition
of independent organizations, all together.

Let's start with a bumper-sticker rebellion.

Don't Call Him President.
Governor Bush/Is Not the President.
The Supreme Court/Is Not Supreme.
Bush and Cheney-Back to Texas!

Much of the work of building the movement is not high-profile--it's
demonstrating, registering voters, teaching people about instant runoff
voting and proportional representation, marching and rallying as we are
today, confronting our representatives, getting out the vote--it's day-in,
day-out dutifulness.

More and more of us will move gravely into nonviolent civil
disobedience, too, as history requires--direct civil revolt--risking ourselves, peacefully
putting our bodies where our patriotism is, facing handcuffs, locked doors,
frozen faces, tear gas, police phalanxes.

The time has probably come to quit going where they go, Seattle,
Washington, Davos, Quebec City, Qatar--and to go where we want to go to do
what we want to do.  To mobilize and to go meet in small numbers and large,
to act for and plan the society we want and organize to get it.

Whatever we do, let's do it nonviolently.  Only nonviolently.

Let's have a rule among all the people we agree to work with that we are
against violence against persons and will not enter into coalition or
cooperate with anyone who reserves the right to engage in any kind of

At Seattle, the only people who committed violence against people were
the police.  But at Washington last year, as policemen charged crowds on
horseback and idly knocked over young people armlocked together blocking
streets, demonstrators threw rocks and other objects at police--I saw them do
it.  At Quebec City last month, the police gassed the protesters, and people
from the Alliance saw some in the crowd throw rocks and other heavy objects
at the police.

Learning from Gandhi and King, if the police attack us we will not
respond physically--we will not oppose them--we will not touch them.
Violence against people?  No.  Violence against the police?  No.
Violence against property?  No.
You won't pledge not to be violent?  Then you're off on your own.

Learning since Seattle that the municipal police forces in major U.S.
cities and in Canada are trying to repeal the freedom of assembly, we will
assemble when and where we wish in crowds as large as we wish--always
nonviolently, anti-violently--and we will morally overpower the marching,
militarized, pepper-gas-firing police by the simple fact that we are the
peaceable people.

We need the leader for all this.  God, we all know, we need her or him.
We don't have this yet.
So I have a proposal.
Let's bring back Martin Luther King.
Let's join our African-American brothers and sisters in their just call
for reparations for slavery.  Slaves worked to build this nation.  They
helped build this Capitol in front of you.  They hoisted Lady Liberty up to
the top of that dome.  For this their pay rate was $5 a day.  The United
States government cut the checks for their work not to them, but to their

Let's go with the slaves' descendants and with every other oppressed
group to renew, to revive, Dr. King's great project, which he was raising
money for just before he was murdered, to have a vast encampment for peace
and economic justice in Washington, to end poverty, and stop the Vietnam war.

It was bad then, people in poverty, blood in the streets, people
dying on TV every night.  But it's bad now--we know the world's great misery is within
our reach to ease--the corporate oligarchy has stolen our government from
us--and they are blowing up the ABM and Kyoto treaties and reaching to
control the world from space.

We are not going to just stand quiet for this.
We are, after all, Americans.
Let us declare ourselves, here and now together, the Democracy and
Justice Movement.
We are Democrats, we are Republicans, we are Greens, we are
we are progressives, conservatives, populists, moderates, libertarians,
everyday Americans, we are whites, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans,
Asian-Americans, men, women, workers, students, we are straight, gay, bi, and
God knows what else, and what we are all is free, standing whole in the same
dignity, self-respect, and power of being persons, just as our forebears did
when they launched the American Revolution.

We are patriots--we are patriots--we all want to be just, we all want to
participate in governing our own town and our city and our country and our
world, and we will not be cooperative and obedient as usurpers make over the
United States into dominator of the world.

Let's pay more heed to the likes of Scalia, William Buckley, Tom Delay,
and George Will when they instruct us that the American Republic is no
democracy and we should be grateful for the chance to serve our betters.

Through the past two centuries by our many struggles we have been
realizing the promise of the American Revolution, step by step.  We have
added, to the Republic, with one citizens' uprising and movement after
another, freedom from slavery (though not yet from penury) for blacks--the
legal right to form labor unions--an effective revulsion and rebellion
against an unjust war that we were waging smack dab in the middle of that
war--the vote and legal equality for blacks and women--equal treatment for

But our persecuted labor unions are still ravaged by laws written
for the corporations that are now exporting our industries and raging out of control
all over the world, and the disparities of wealth and poverty among us, and
between us and the rest of the human race, are becoming morally unbearable.

If Bill Gates stopped to pick up $100 bills all over the street, he'd
lose money.   The assets of the 450 billionaires in the world are equal to
the assets of half of humanity.  Two billion people have no toilets, and no
schools, but they do have anemia.  The sales of the 200 largest corporations
are 18 times the combined annual income of the 1,200,000,000 people, one in
every four of us on earth, who live in absolute poverty on $1, or less, a day.

Perhaps finally now, taking all this and the theft of the Presidency
into account, we have to square our shoulders a bit and just let the old American
Republic go, they've ruptured it, so let's just let it go, and get about the
work of forming, how we don't yet know, but together, and sooner, not later,
a new American democracy,--
      --wherein we accept each other in deepest equality,
      --where everybody's vote is counted and every material body of
opinion is represented proportionally in the government,
      --where our President is the one who gets the most votes,
      --where the members of the Supreme Court must stand in a contested
election every eight years,
      --where the fairness of democracy has come to mean, also, a democratic
distribution of the goods and services that everyone has a right to in order
to have a fair chance to realize his or her best self.

Let's come together here in Washington--next fall?--next spring?--let's
decide when and how together--and occupy the place, after all it's ours, and
stop the government.  Just stop it.   Make the Capital the epicenter of a
national nonviolent revolt, for full citizenship for the citizens of the
District and full citizenship for us all.  Stop the crimes against democracy
here in the Capitol, and over there at the White House, and over there at the
Supreme Court, stop them just by being here, peacefully, eloquently,
honoring, remembering, and reciting from, Martin Luther King.  An encampment,
speaking out, picnics, singing, dancing, sleeping on the grass! And, when
we're ready, we'll start things up again as the New American Democracy--the
American Revolution--Democracy, and Justice--at last more nearly realized
among us,

And then, we whisper, to each other, and to ourselves,
The New American Democracy.

To communicate with Dugger or for further information about the Alliance for Democracy, email him at
Afternote: In this speech Dugger was expressing his own opinions and was not
speaking for an organization.  He wishes to thank, for ideas which one way or
another are included in this speech, Marcus Raskin of the Institute for
Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., Professor Steve Russell of San Antonio,
TX., Nick Seidita, Northridge, Ca., and colleagues of Dugger's on the Council
of the Alliance, especially Ted Dooley, St. Paul, Minn.; Nancy Price, Davis,
Ca.; Sue Wheaton, Tacoma Park, Md.; Stefanie Miller, Indianapolis, Ind.;
Vikki Savee, Sacramento, Ca.; and Dolly Arond, Northridge, Ca.

ARCHIVES: Voter Rights March, May 19, 2001, Protestor Accounts

Voter Rights March, May 19, 2001, Protestor Accounts
From Washington, D.C.
It was the best! Unable to sleep the night before, (kinda' like as an alter boy, the first time I had to serve mass (I am a "recovering Catholic"). With 10,000 loose ends tie up, I got to Lafayette in time to hear the speakers, carrying with me the flag. As we started, I had to quickly learn how to keep the flag out of the trees on its 15-foot pole (sorry everyone, about the extra stops at the beginning). Thank God for Les Reiske,(a vet), who helped me with the flag, and stood with me (and the flag)
as we finally got out to 15th Street.
Pedestrians looking on our march with startled response at first, quickly melted in to looks of "of course you're right." We began calling out in unison, "Join the March!...Join the March!"
and as anyone who was there will tell you, many did.
Chants of Solidarity abounded, I kept yelling out to people who started, "Bush is NOT my President" almost caused an accident as we passed one Diamond cabbie (I drive Diamond too).
The police escorted us "around John's Barn," detouring us from the permitted route, around a street fair/chili festival, which was not advised during the permit process. The peak, though, was at the Supreme Court: as we approached, we saw that there was a gang of protestors waiting to join us. We circled on three sides of the Court, shouting "Shame! Shame! Shame on the Supreme Court," "Jail Scalia" and "Impeach Rehnquist!" As we rounded the last turn, to head past the Senate, we yelled, "Bush is NOT my President! Join the March!" to some dumbfounded people in front of the Senate buildings.. They froze in terror, caught between a reaction, a smile, or worry that their thoughts might escape.
Arriving at the Capitol steps, I was relieved to unload the giant flag, and the joy surged within me. We carried the flag right-side up in the march because, together in solidarity, we are NOT distressed. We ARE Democracy. We are the spirit of America, the "America, the beautiful."
Since I did not have to perform 'til the end, I relaxed and met many people that I had only "seen" in E-mails: I hugged so many people that I had just met. I was so happy to feel renewed with hope that we are on the path to restore democracy. We are developing ties to new networks of people, and we have the whole world on our side. Lou Posner, Bob Rogers, Chris Acosta, and I were at home with all this! I really think we are getting familial ! A wise Sufi from ancient times said something like,"Your family is not necessarily just what you are born to; you acquire a family as you live." (it was the same guy who said "Love your neighbor as yourself").

As to the vets, they are the greatest bunch of guys! They are heroes to me. I, personally am a veteran of war protests. They can tell you (like my mom says) what the problem really is, "It's the Oil Mafia, stupid!" (and if you figure that Exxon, alone, is more than 100 times the size of the U.S. Navy, in manpower, and ships (when it was its largest) and that our Energy Department couldn't even begin to audit even one oil company, it really puts it in perspective). All the little stuff, like NRA, so-called "christian Coalition" (small "c" intended) are minor puppets in the big picture. It all comes down to money, our subservience to it (their intention) CHEMICAL (which includes prescription drugs), OIL, and DEFENSE industries (just like old Eisenhower said). They sell us fear and racism: they try to keep us separated.
Everyone's speeches and performances were beyond my anticipation. I missed Rose--I had to go get my taxi off of the cab stand at Lafayette). I was proud to stand with Marc Ginsberg, holding up the "Citizens Against Bush" banner behind Juliet Stewart (my long-time "comrade in arms," and incidentally, her daughters have the earmarks of our future heroes) as she gave her brilliant speech. I am gonna' stop here, many of you "fighters for freedom" know that I love you all dearly, and I am just gonna' get mushy.
Heck, after all that flag carryin' and waiting, I even surprised myself, ad-libbing my songs, straight from the heart. Thanks to "Radio Left" our speeches, performances, and background enthusiasm, was broadcast to the whole world. We let them know that the "Heart of America" is still beating.
Peace with Justice,
Les Souci

From Pennsylvania--
Five thousand who believe democracy is worth the struggle rallied and marched from Lafayette Park, facing the White House, to the West Capitol steps in Washington on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 19, 2001.
The Voter Rights March to Restore Democracy - East Coast sponsored by and co-sponsored by over 50 different pro-democracy groups, gathered activists from as far as Connecticut, Florida, Illinois and of course, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware.
Organized by Louis Posner, a New York attorney and leader of the group of volunteers, Voter Rights March produced the successful Anti-Inauguration Rally, and, via an internet call, created this Rally and its West coast twin that contemporaneously took place in San Francisco.
Led by an American flag, the March--peppered by protest banners ranging from the satirical through the clever to almost reverent statements of Democracy--moved past the Justice Dept. and the Supreme Court on its way to the West Capitol steps.
At the Court it was met by the Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania
contingent. It had bussed in to first protest against the five who had sullied the Court by ignoring the law and the will of the voters and by appointing the Governor of Texas to sit in the White House. Forming a round rosy single-file picket line in front of the Court building, the 50 Southeast Pennsylvanians chanted and raised their banners until
they were met by and joined the March on its way to the Capitol.
Posner led off the speakers at the Capitol. Hundreds of tourists who had come just to visit the building stood and listened to electrifying statements of the meaning of Democracy. Frequently applauding the speakers they heard what our "public servants" who we elected and pay
to occupy the Building are failing to do.
Other well known progressive leaders speaking included Robert Borosage, Washington labor movement veteran and Co-founder of the Campaign for America's Future; Ted Glick, National Coordinator of the Independent Progressive Politics Network; Ronnie Dugger,  Founder of the Alliance for Democracy, Michael Rectenwald, Founder and Chair of Citizens for Legitimate Government;. Phil Berg,  the attorney who filed the Florida class action to overturn the Presidential Election, and the Rev. Sekou, on behalf of the Democracy Summer Coalition (NAACP, IPS, IPPN, Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Global Exchange, etc.)
Tears were brought to the eyes of many participants with the appearance of a group of WW2 veterans. Ranging in age from 76 to 92 they came from as far as Texarkanna, Texas to remind us, on this Armed Forces Day, that 14 million young Americans had fought, and many died, to protect what the Supreme Court, the amoral Florida and Texas twin governors and the Republican Party are destroying.
The day was just a day. But it was a rejuvenating and inspiring day:
A day in which we promised to refer to the occupant in the White House by his only legitimate elected title, "Governor"
A day in which we promised to continue the struggle for progressive causes.
And a day in which we promised to work to elect a President of the United States at the end of this four- year hiatus.
   ---=Hal Rosenthal

From Texas
At Lafayette Park we mingled, talked and looked at the wonderful placards and banners people had made for this march. Many people recognized me because my placards were like the stickers on my web page. Several people told me they used my stickers on all their mail. A group from Tennessee told me they left those stickers in cafes and every where. They ask me to make one for Tennessee. I photographed their placard and will make one like it.
There were several speakers and some anti-bush music.
At 11:00 the march started. The WWII veterans lead the parade with other veterans of wars and conflicts of the last half of the 20th century. May 19 was Armed Forces Day. I'm a WWII veteran and marched with the veterans.
All along the march, we chanted, such chants as "Selected, not elected", "We'll move on when bush is gone" and other protests. Many people gave us a thumbs up and cars would honk to show our support.
Some pedestrians would turn their back to us. With many of those, I left the parade and got in front of them and exclaimed loudly, "There's a thief in OUR White House!"
We marched to the west steps of the Capitol, where we heard some very inspiring speeches and some great entertainment. At one point the veterans were honored. Some veterans were unable to be there and their pictures were enlarged and place on placards.
I wore pants with large pockets on the side with a bottle of water and some granola bars in my pockets. I also carried a placard the said, "Not elected, selected against the will of the voters" on one side and the other, "Toxic Texans are raising the price of YOUR gasoline as and excuse to drill in the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."
At 6:00 p.m. I walked to a Metro station and caught the train back to Rockville, walked to my son's house.
The march was a wonderful experience. Let's do it often for the next four years.
Joe Forgy
Texarkana, Texas

From New Jersey--
A couple notable moments during the march:
 As we were marching, a young woman and her father were watching us from the sidewalk. The father was holding a museum guide. His daughter, who appeared to be in her early twenties, grabbed him by the elbow and the two stepped off the curb to join us in the march. She said, "Dad, I know we were going to see another museum but this is more important."
Everywhere we went, people in the streets would honk their horns when 
they realized what the march was about. They would lean out their windows and give us the "thumbs up" sign. There were some blocks that were solid, back-to-back car honking.
My favorite, however, was the driver of one of the many sightseeing buses that traveled around the area. Everytime he would see us he would toot his horn and often his passengers, too, would wave and shout their support.
I picked up this gem of a story from a fellow protestor whom I will call Mary. Mary has an in-law in Texas state government who used to work with governor bush. When bush sewed up the republican nomination, Mary challenged her relative, "Give me one good reason why I should vote for bush." Her relative responded (OK, at this point I must ask you to please sit down): "Why should you vote for George? Oh, he's a HOOT!"
Yep, that's what I want in a president. A hoot.
Just another example of the fine critical thinking skills employed by republicans.

From Pennsylvania--We all went to D.C. It was GREAT. Much better march than January 20th mainly because we were in a visible part of D.C. and  were given the street(not just the sidewalks) all the way from the White House down Pennsylvania Ave. to the capitol, plus orbiting the Supreme court. That was the best, chanting right into the supremes with "Impeach Rehnquist!" The march started in Lafayette park on the north side of the White House, our jeers sailing over the heads of tourists along the fence in front of the White House (across Penn from the park)..."This is what Democracy looks (sounds) like!" We had a five-hour rally on the West steps of the capitol: great speakers (both the human kind and sound system kind). I met cyber-
acquaintances personally (you know what they say about those web meetings) as well as Lou Posner (Voter March chairman), Phil Berg (plaintiff lawyer on a civil action against the election
results in Florida), Bob Kunst (the "Bush stole your vote" aerial banner dude), Rande Harris (awesome folk singer), Mike
Rectenwald ( and the "hey, don't push (hit) me, I'm not trying to count votes here!" dude), and many more.
Bottom line, I had a blast and it boosted morale to know I'm not alone. The biggest controversy this time around is how we are not receiving any media attention, nada, zippo, nothing. For a march that took up 5 city blocks (or more) in central D.C., there's only 1 word for it: scary.

From Texas--A busload of mostly Houston area patriots toughed out the 24-hour one-way bus trip to DC, arriving at Lafayette Square at 10 a.m., in front of the White House, occupied by the illegitimate resident. We celebrated our arrival with greetings to cyber-friends from across the country we finally got to meet, like Rose of Fringefolk. As we visited, our spirits soared as we saw our numbers grow at this gathering. We heard speeches from the Voter March leadership and some of our new cyber-personalities/leaders with whom we are in solidarity in the counter-coup movement. Our Houston contingent then raised our Texas Flag and mounted our banners and protest signs and embarked out a three-mile march on a gorgous parade route, with access to major DC streets as the center of attention to onlookers and tourists along the way. As the sun came out and blessed us with a beautiful day in our nation's capitol, we were joined spontaneously by tourists on the sidewalks, inspired to express their outrage at the coup and trashing of our former democracy. Those in cars along the route honked in a symphony of encouragement, causing cheers to erupt from our ranks. Our chants for freedom and democracy were heard in neighborhoods, government offices and the
Supreme Court as we made our way to the Capitol building and Mall area. We were led by a coterie of veterans who were moved to express their rage at a court and Republican conspiracy to dishonor their sacrifice for our country.
An estimated 4,000 freedom fighters arrived at the West Capitol steps, daily traversed by a mostly timid and pathetic corp of representatives who have so disappointed us in their failure to resist the Coup. Our rage was expressed by a cadre of Voter March allies who,like Ronnie Dugger, Bob
Kunst, the leadership of the Oral Majority and Phil Berg (voter fraud attorney) laid out our plan of non-violent but aggressive resistance to neutralize and defeat this coup, hopefully giving courage to our cowering Democratic congressional representatives (Black Caucus and Progressive Caucus excepted) to awaken to our lost democracy. We celebrated our cause with music and
fellowship, reinforced our commitment to our growing movement with gestures of love and solidarity. We Houstonians did ourselves proud, appearing to have the largest single, unified delegation of Dems, Greens, Socialists, other Radicals and ACORN community activists, a rainbow of ethnicity and ranging in age from 18 to 75+. We were greeted warmly by our colleague-leaders, Suzie Dunlop from Austin and Monica from Dallas, both superb organizers of local protest against the coup and its agents. On
conclusion of this historic gathering, totally ignored by the complicit national media who are sucking up to the Coup to avoid loss of their access to The Power, as did the diminished free media in the early days of the Third Reich, we hit the road to return to our families and friends in Houston.
We reinforced our solidarity and commitment to resist, warmly supported oneanother and began the process of building a coalition of Resisters who will stand for restoring our Democracy.
--Stan Merriman

ARCHIVES: Voter Rights March, May 19, 2001, Contributors & Sponsors

On May 19th the Voter Rights March to Restore Democracy was held in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. Thousands of individuals from across the nation came to demand electoral reform and express outrage at the disregard for voter rights during election 2000.


To defray the expenses of our stages,  professional sound systems, sound engineers and technicians, advertising and promotion and portable toilets for the Voter Rights March to Restore Democracy in Washington, DC and in San Francisco, we have sought voluntary contributions.   
Individuals or organizations contributing  $100 or more to the Voter Rights March to Restore Democracy are listed below as "Endorsers,"   $250 or more as "Contributors" and $1,000 or more as "Patrons."

Ron Delsener - legendary producer     New York, NY
Jacqueline Schneider                        Millbrae, CA

Barry B. Schwartz & Kristy Brown    Roseville, MN
Janet Gassaway                             Apple Valley, CA
Philadelphia Voter March                 Phila., PA
Auntie Fashions web site                 Internet
James Senyszyn                             Peoria, IL 


Jonathan Inskeep                            Crofton, MD
Helen Hancock                               Riverview, FL
Jean Cirak                                     Neu-Isenburg, Germany
Heiderose Kober                             Efland, NC
Vilma Fox                                      Miami, FL
Barbara G. Harley                           Pennsburg, PA
James H. Thomas                           Hyde Park, VT
Dale Howey                                    Saint Paul, MN
Jan Oxenberg                                 Los Angeles, CA
Maia Cowan                                   Michigan
Susan & Myron Smith                     United States
Pamela Dore & Linda Fane              Seattle, WA
Ron Fussell                                    St. Paul, MN
Hugh Karraker                                 Redding, CT
Anthony Bertucci                             United States
Sherry Padgett                                Charlotte, NC
Carl E. Whitmarsh                           Houston, TX
Arthur Halenbeck                             Ventura, CA
Eric D. Goren, M.D.                          Colton, CA
Jack Neefus                                     College Park, MD
Jo Ann Vogt                                     Columbia, MO
Julie Lawell                                      Seattle, WA
Sandra E. & Donald P. Callard           Ann Arbor, MI
Berkshire Management Co.               Monterey, MA
Cheryl Warner-Bates                        Grand Rapids, MI
Paul M. Barby                                  Woodward, OK
Mary Elizabeth Nelson                      Bethesda, MD
Stephen Philbrick                              Baldwin, MD
Richard Bogue                                  Richton Park, IL|
John & Betty Tignor                           Carrollton, TX
Martin Freed & Ruta Vaskys              Quinby, VA
Steven Tangherlini                             Moorpark, CA
Stan Merriman                                  Houston, TX
Clarence Brown                                 Tumckhannock, PA
Cark Page                                         San Francisco, CA


SPONSORSHIPS:  Organizations that supported the Voter Rights March to Restore Democracy are listed as "Co-Sponsors" below.  

Progressive Challenge - Institute for Policy Studies
Center for Constitutional Rights - Pro-Democracy Convention
The Alliance for Democracy
NAACP -  Baltimore City Chapter
National Lawyer's Guild  Trust The People
DC Vote
Citizens for a Legitimate Government

Democracy March
Friends of Bill Online / Citizens Against Bush
The Oral Majority
Fringe Folk
The Committee for a Unified Independent Party

Restore Democracy
USDemocrat Network

Trust The People - Dallas
DC Alliance for Democracy
Quantum Leap

Stand Up 4 Democracy
Democratic Underground

Utica Citizens in Action
American Liberal

Liberals Like Christ
Musicians & Fine Artists for World Peace
Mad Grandparents for Justice

Grannies Against George
Democratic Talk Radio

Bush Brothers Banana Republic

A First Amendment Center
We Will Not Forget
Third Wave Foundation

California Democratic Council
Coastal Convergence Society, Huntington Beach, CA

Sacramento Area Black Caucus (SABC)
Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club, Orange County, CA
San Francisco Bayview Newspaper

Marin Center For Peace and Justice
Global Exchange
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights

Maine Women Online
Democratic Talk Radio

Stop the Madness
Gender Justice Action Group, Park Forest, IL
Youth Leadership Support Network

Radio Left

ARCHIVES: J20 Protestor Accounts (Washington D.C, Dupont Circle, January 20, 2001)

J20 Protestor Accounts (Washington D.C, Dupont Circle, January 20, 2001)
"The crowds (ours) were tremendous! On the  route, in Dupont Circle, in front of the Supreme Court - we were all  over the place...We overwhelmed the repukes - I don't care what the  media reported. I gave an interview - to a kid from NJ who is doing a high school show on WGBH - a public radio in NJ. I watched 3 woodoo  priestesses - garb + painted faces putting a curs on W at the swearing moment. (pictures tomorrow). I sang "Amen" with Al Sharpton (+ thousand of demonstrators)- videotape to follow. It was a joyful, energizing experience seeing all these good people - many of them very young. I  feel I accomplished something today and I had all of you on my mind.  The repukes avoided looking at us and were intimidated."

"It was a blast! There was a huge crowd in the morning at Dupont Circle, bright an early. There were so many creative slogans. Each speaker did an excellent job especially Granny D. and Mr. Greenberg! It got everyone fired up. Some people left prematurely and went to the parade route, so the crowd thinned out a bit. We all marched at 1:00 p.m. and headed along our "not so direct" parade rout to the Ellipse, where we booed Bush as he passed to enter the White House. It was great we were at the rear and kept the chanting going. The weather was messy, but spirits were bright, and the VoterMarch group was an extremely organized and vocal group." 

"Without VoterMarch and other organizations helping bring together a wide spectrum of people, it would have been very easy for the protestors to have been labeled radical left extremists. As the latter I want to thank the moderates for coming out. We gotta hang together - united we stand, yadda yadda. Pity it took such an awful situation to bring us all together."
"From what I saw and experienced at the protest, it was a HUGE success! It was cold and damp weatherwise, but that had no effect on the energy and enthusiasm at Dupont Circle and on the parade route. I'm sure you'll get more details over the next few days, but as far as I could see, this struck a massive blow for democracy. DO NOT BELIEVE MOST OF WHAT YOU SEE ON CORPORATE MEDIA REPORTS. From what I've seen on TV (except for C-SPAN), they are completely disconnected from what really happened. There were radical groups clashing with police, but that was only a fraction of what was going on in DC. There were blacks, whites, gays, straights, old, young, atheists, nuns, punks, mainstreamers, the whole gambit, and we were all up for this thing. Much more than what I saw among the Shrubbies. [.] This was a success! Let's keep the momentum going." 
"On Thursday my 74 year old Aunt passed away. My mother who is 89 was/is devastated. She wanted me to take her to the wake 40 miles from her home TODAY, funeral tomorrow. Last night when I received an RSVP from Louis Posner re: the NYC/DC March. I had to reply that I would not be able to make it. I spent the day crying - not for my Aunt, who I love - she lived a long and healthy life. I'm a realist, we'll all die someday. I cried buckets because I couldn't be with all of you who went to DC. I had been looking forward to this for weeks. I wish I could have been there!!!!!! Going to DC was a way to get the anger out over the campaign and the voter fraud in Florida. Now it'll just keep eating away at me. God Bless all of you who went and those who sent emails with updates - I'm going thru them now. I understand there is a march planned for April or May. I don't care what happens - the only way I'll miss another march is if I die."  
"Dear Lou, I just wanted to congratulate you on an incredible job well done!! Our group was so pleased with the way thing were done and how organized everything was - it was an incredible task to take care of so many people and you did a fantastic job.  I was on bus 198 and I also wanted to pass on kudos to Jim(?) who was in charge of our bus - he did a great job - staying calm when we couldn't get to Dupont Circle and being very organized getting us there by Metro. Please keep me on your mailing list and keep me informed of other events that you are coordinating." 
"Dear Friends, 
This is just a little note to say thank you for all the work you have done in setting up such a tremendously successful demonstration in Washington. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to talk with you [Louis Posner] yesterday because all of us were so busy. I did get to shake hands with Les [Souci]. Today we got the snowstorm on Long Island that was predicted yesterday for Washinton. All of my Long Islanders got back safely, no injuries or arrests. Not only that, but because you provided a safe organized spot for them to demonstrate, most of them went to Dupont Circle, started to walk toward Pennsylvania Avenue and made it to the bleachers area. Unfortunately our group got to 1400 NW L just as the police were getting ready to sweep people off due to some trouble that had happened previously in the area. I called the legal numbers that your e mails had provided and they explained what was happening. I also called the Washington Post and reminded them of the legal case that allowed people to be at the sidelines and walk in groups of twenty five. I called New York News and the internet live coverage as well and let them know that something was happening there. All of them had people already on the scene. As a result of the quick, efficient work of you and your team, the interactive media, and the beautiful non-violence of the protesters the massive sweep was not made and the massive arrests did not happen. I credit the way everything was handled by Votermarch and many other people who were not going to be instigated. I can't tell you how grateful I am to every beautiful person who went. It really makes me love this country even more. The Bushes et al are not America. The powerful are not our country. The beautiful essence of why we love this country was marching with us in the streets of Washington in the rain. I look forward to bringing even more people to Washington next time to keep telling Bush that he may have the power but like the Vietnam debacle, he does not have the hearts and minds of the people. The people on our bus like Eileen Brenner of South Shore Peace group and those from the East End Helen Fitzgerald, the fifteen year old tenth grader and ninth grader from Easthampton, the eighty something novelist, the several teachers, four philosophy professors (amazing what discussions they must have had), the two IRS employees, numerous church people, Black and White, and mom with her seven year old son, I am sorry I am not mentioning all these beautiful people, felt that they were very heartened by being on this demonstration. They are enthused to continue working for a fair election system. Everyone went home feeling that there was hope and they were energized to continue organizing people to keep trying to make it better. I know I am being long winded as usual. The best of regards to you. Get much needed rest, and know you represent many numbers of people who you will never meet. Both teenage boys are going to share with their social studies classes their experience. We drop little pebbles in the pond and we never even see the ripples that generate from our little toss. Much Love" 
--Susan from Suffolk

"Louis: Many thanks for organizing the protest; in addition to being a catharsis, I think we accomplished something important. The  alternative was unthinkable in the face of the electoral abomination."  --Bill 
"I just wanted to say to all of you that protested in DC or locally that I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! What a sight you made! At first I was worried that there may be some attempt at a media blackout of the protests - after all it wouldn't look good for the country or world to know there were unhappy Americans out there, you know. But as soon as the Shrub headed down the parade route you could see protesters and their signs very clearly. Pictures of "Hail to the Thief", "The Emperor Has No Clothes", "Gore/ Lieberman" and "W" with a big red slash through it beamed their way around the world! C-SPAN and MSNBC in particular weren't afraid to pick the camera shots that showed the full extent of the protests. One memorable shot on MSNBC showed around one hundred protesters at a particular site who, almost to a person, raised their hands in the one finger salute when Bush went by - not too subtle but very eloquent. ;) And one newscaster reported that the protesters and the police outnumbered the Bush supporters in most spots along the parade route. YOU DID GOOD FOLKS!" 

PROTEST SIGNS AT DUPONT CIRCLE FOR THE INAUGURATION OF GEORGE W. BUSH, JAN. 20, 2001: (1) Bush selected, not elected (2) George the Usurper (3) The Day Democracy Died (4) George Washington - the father of our country; George W. - defrauder of our country (5) Stolen election - American disgrace (6) SNUB THE SHRUB (7) The People have spoken - all five of them (8) Hail to the Thief (9) Heil to the Thief (10) Shame! (11) "GWB" - Good White Boy (12) Gotti for Chief Justice (13) NO MORE BUSHIT (14) Bushwacked by the Supremes (15) "No Count" election, "No count" President (16) America flunked Electoral College (17) Democracy amBUSHed in Florida (18) Don't blame me - I voted with the majority and my favorite: (19) Clarence Thomas - the only black vote that counted
"Berg spoke at Dupont Circle. I heard him before we marched. I heard a woman speak at Dupont Circle from Tennessee who spoke of massive violations of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 et al. Profoundly disturbing problems in Gore's home state. I am so proud to have been a part of the protests yesterday in DC with Voter March, and will continue to work hard for justice. yours in North Carolina, " --Nancy
"Hi, Mr. Posner, I just wanted to thank you for all the hard work you put in to make sure all of our buses got to Washington and back and had people in them.  I was one of the folks traveling with the Zen Buddhists (although not directly "with" them) and I very much appreciate the trouble you went through with us. I'm glad I went to this and was glad to have the opportunity." 
"just got home and I'm reading the posts to the board. I am so proud that I went to D.C. and made the yutz's day one that he will never forget. we all did good whether we were there or not. I thank the people who encouraged us from home - they were there in spirit. Each one of us counts and each ballot should have counted. We will continue to rock the house while the imposter is in it. let's hope that may march is even better (and hopefully a little warmer and drier , please!! :-) )" 
"Hi Lou & Bob, I have to thank you both for giving me the opportunity of my life....the march and activities were better than even my wedding. Dave and I had a group of 55 from Michigan....and we're already working on May. Three of us ended up in the altercations at 14th & L in the front line.....have face to face video of the police then the riot police. We saw a flag burned (or something burning) and heard glass breaking though not loud and I'm not sure what it was. As this was my first protest ever I'm surprised at how brave I was to not back off from the police but the rage of this rape of democracy burned so strong in me that I stood my ground... Thank you again so have given me a priceless gift in my life....our entire family, including kids and Grandma, will see you in May with a much larger group from Michigan."
--Cheryl Warner

"The protesters this Saturday were amazing! Wherever you went, you were not alone. We were everywhere. I hope to see more of folk's pictures and videos! I was upset to get back to Dallas and search through the Dallas Morning News though. There was very little mention of the protests. Most news centered around the flag burner, nude people, and black Panthers. Ironically, I was not even aware of these incidents during the day yesterday- yet I still was keenly aware of our numbers as we moved from road block to road block until I settled just up from 14th on Pennsylvania. I felt like part of a river- a force of Nature that would not be stopped. It was awesome! Thank-you folks who helped to organize this. You are wonderful. Thank-you everyone who could go to Washington, or who protested closer to home. You are so wonderful! Now we must tell all of our friends about our trips so that it cannot hidden and forgotten!"

"I LOVE EVERY ONE OF YOU WHO WENT. And, Louis Posner and staff, you are simply the greatest. I've heard so much about how well-organized, thoughtful, safe, and elegant this protest was. You did it. Best to you, " 
"My wife, her sister and I went to DC for the counter-inaugural protests. While it was cold and wet, we had a great time. We left Boston after 11:00 p.m., and got into DC at about 9:30 a.m. We took the Metro to Dupont circle, where thousands had already gathered and speeches and chants were going on. The signs and individual comments were fantastic--I wish I could remember more of them. There were flags with $ signs in the canton, lots and lots of "the people have spoken--all FIVE of them!" At 1:00, the march began to the Ellipse. It was a somewhat confusing, exhilarating, wet and exhausting day.  There were, indeed, tens of thousands of us in DC; but we were spread out at many different sites. No matter where you went in DC, there were protestors everywhere. It was uplifting to see so many people so fired up about the theft of this election. The chants were moving: BUSH, CHENEY, GOP, THIS IS NOT DEMOCRACY!! and the more mundane WE'RE WET--WE'RE COLD--DEMOCRACY'S BEEN SOLD." 
--Dan in Salem

"Just got home from DC a while ago!  What an inspiring experience!  It was great to be surrounded by people I knew felt like I do about the election, which is not a common experience where I live!  It was wet and cold, but that didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirit! My husband I got to Dupont Circle at about 10:15, and spent a lot of time just walking around trying to see all the great signs.   We heard someone announce that we should start marching soon, and then a few minutes later people started towards P Street, so we followed along!  We all went along in the middle of the streets, chanting and waving at supporters in the buildings along the way. The protestors were really great.  I just loved the feeling that we were really working together to show that not everyone was satisfied with the result of the election.  It was funny to me to read stories later about people saying the protestors were scary or seemed dangerous.  There were older people with us, and families with their children. What an experience, I'm so glad I went, and I can't wait to go back in May! Hope to see you all there!"  

"Up on the stage, the view showed the circle full, and every side walk from 6 streets intersecting Dupont Circle was almost full for a block...crowd estimate, then at 15,000. When I got up to the mic, I felt a momentary terror, but as I started to speak, I felt at home, when the crowd responded to "We The People, and continued repeating it, so I could add the lyrics...."Whose got the power?" "Who really has control?" "Bush Cheney don't have it...the Partisan 5 Supreme Court Justices, they don't know" "We the people, must exercise control" "'Cause we the people...sharing..the same soul" : they were still doing it (singing): I knew I was at home and our hearts were beating as one. I may never have this experience again, so I will not forget it." 

- Les Souci

"The rally at Dupont Circle was wonderfully arranged and managed.  It fired me up, particularly Michael Collins!  The march itself was a positive experience too.  I had my 10-year old daughter with me and she was moved by it.    Part of me, particularly since I had my daughter with me, is glad that everything went so smoothly."

"Just wanted to say thanks for organizing the bus transportation. Everything went as planned -- our bus got there in plenty of time and left on time in the afternoon. Good job! I imagine we will be doing this trip several times in the next four years. It's nice to have a reservation system that makes it so easy. Could you arrange better weather next time? The hail did fit in well with the "hail to the thief" chant, but still ... Thanks,"  

"Just wanted to say what a fantastic experience this was for me!  If there is a million voter march, I will definitely participate.  Dubya really did prove to be a uniter after all--he united a  myriad of different groups of people who would never agree on a lot of other issues.  He united us against his theft of the Oval Office.  He united us enough to get us all out in the rain to protest his reign.  We may disagree on a million different things, but we all agree that in a democracy you are supposed to count all the votes.  So he united us after all.  I pray that we  all stay united in this goal of returning democracy to our nation.  As we chanted on the march, "The people, united, will never be defeated!"'

Our Crowd: Welcoming Bush as he Sneaks in the Back Door 
By David Lytel of

"Despite an attempt by some media outlets to dismiss the protests on January 20th, I believe that the message was heard by all. I was unable to make the trip, much to my dismay, but I did spend the day watching the TV and coverage of the event. While some of the media tried to dismiss the protest and diminish the actual numbers of protesters, the live coverage of the parade could not be edited. On all the stations covering the parade, the protest was very loud and visible along the parade route. The media was forced into showing it and at some points even expressed concern for the safety of the Shrub. It was quite evident by the speeding up of the motorcade at several points along the route, that the protest was making an impact. I have been watching politics since the days of Nixon. No President in my memory had to endure what the Shrub did on the 20th. I also like to observe and listen to peoples reactions about politics without soliciting a response from them based on my beliefs. I have not encountered one person that did not mention the protest when speaking of the inauguration, liberals and conservatives alike. I believe the message got out loud and clear and it will always be remembered when this inauguration is mentioned in history. The key now, is not to let up. The fight must continue on. If not, the Shrub wins and we will be dismissed by him as simply disgruntled voters left over from the election. By staying focused and united we can help shape the destiny of the next four years and see to it that he is replaced by a candidate chosen by the people." 
"This is a belated thank you for all your effort in getting the inaugural protest off the ground and getting a permit for us to march, a direction in which to march, an identity and a recipe for a safe passage through the day of January 20.  I am writing on behalf of the hundred or so North Carolinians who  followed my lead to DC on Jan.20, and I think I can speak for all of them in extending our thanks to you and Mr. Bob Hawk and probably a number of other individuals whose names are not known to me.   I simply want you to know that there were no complaints from our group;'  we had a great experience; every single one of us wants to participate in the next protest in DC; it was an exhilarating and fulfilling experience for all of us.  And, as far as I am concerned, it was a feat to pull it off, given the short amount of time and the limited resources that were available to mount such an effort.  So, we thank you sincerely and hope you will follow through on your plan to do a great big unforgettable, history-making march in May."