Resistance in the Streets While Bush Spoke at the UN

While Bush was speaking at the UN on Tuesday, deriding what he considers the “brutal regimes” of the world (while his that has made torture legal, invaded and occupied two countries with one million people dead, and is making plans to attack a third country), about one thousand people were outside the UN in protest. A sea of orange filled the plaza, with a contingent marching in wearing the orange jumpsuits and hoods that Guantanamo detainees are forced to wear everyday, as well as a plethora of orange bandanas, flags, clothes, etc. From the stage, speakers called attention to the growing threat of Bush launching a war on Iran and the urgent need for this to be stopped by massive resistance. The crowd consisted of a high number of youth and students from high schools and colleges in NYC who had (correctly) decided that showing the people of the world that we oppose this war criminal was more important than attending class.

 The protest was organized by The World Can’t Wait – Drive Out the Bush Regime together with War Resisters League, Code-Pink, Granny Peace Brigade, Students for Democratic Society, Iglesia San Romero de Las Americas, Movement for a Democratic Society-NYC.

The authorities clearly did not like this showing of resistance, cutting off the sound permit an hour early. When a dozen people sat down on a sidewalk just over the police barricade in an act of civil disobedience, police arrested them.

They also arrested three who have been active with World Can't Wait who weren’t part of the civil disobedience but protested the arrests and they were held overnight and have been slapped with more serious charges. The defense of these three will the focus of future postings.

After the rally, hundreds of people took off down the sidewalk for an un-permitted march through Manhattan. Flanked by a troop of police on motorcycle, on foot, and in vans, there was a spirit of defiance to this march. Marching all the way from the UN to Washington Square Park (about 45 blocks!), the busy streets of Manhattan were greeted by chants of “This country is too quiet / I want to hear you scream: / The world can’t wait – drive out the bush regime”, “Taser this: Fuck Bush”, and “Come out, resist, throw up your fist”. While the march never quite made it out into the streets (and maybe had more than hundreds come out, it could have), it did certainly bring a spirit of resistance to the streets of NYC that is much needed. A good time was had by all.

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