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A look into who organixed the LA J20 March

by enoch light/journalist collective Sunday, Jan. 21, 2001 at 2:31 PM

An investigation into who was behind the organizing for todays J20 march, individuals and organixations. Article in a disembodied outline form with a short analysis at the end

The immediate results of the Los Angeles Counter Inaugeration Coalition were witnessed today on the mysterious non space in downtown LA. Though several organizations have been claiming credit for birthing this event, as always, the true heros are those people who marched out of passion.

All this said, I will breifly outline some of the organizations that backed the march and why these organizations put their time and effort into this project.

While doing this research, certain points of tension became apparent, though it is clear that the coallition managed to surmount these issues. After a brief out-line of some of the major participants, I will discuss this fact and other information in the analysis section.

section 1 Setting

I attended the J20 collective meeting on January 16th after speaking to several other members of the Los Angeles IMC. As is ussual with big-tent progressive meetings, this final pre march organizational meeting was held in the Basement of a Church on Wilshire Blvd in KoreaTown. I entered the same room where previously, I'd been to a Bus Riders Union Meeting and a press conference for the Homies Unidos. If only these walls were constituents.

My fellow IMC folk were outside conspiring and analyzing, pushing the radical critique amongst ourselves. They gave me the lowdown, and I stepped in to the back edge of the circle.

100 or so earnest liberals talking in a corrupted spokescouncil format. Corrupt because as I was told by the facilitator, though all decisions are made in the open where everyone involved can speak, the group used a democratic vote, not a concensus model. The meeting broke up and my fellow IMC informants pointed out the three main players to interview.

2 The Players

a.Brian Jones of the Campaign to end the death penalty. He had been moderating the meeting.

He stated that he had begun the Counter Inagural Coalition after attending some of the ongoing protests at the Federal Building in Century City. He realized some horrible fraud was going on and it needed to stop. Through a list serve, he and others came together to plan a towards this coalition. At first there were no more then ten or so people. He said that the coalition was able to grow so much because, as the reader might expect, people were energized.

Brian stated that he had been involved in the Democratic (D2K) protests and saw how certain organizations did not participate. He said that the individuals and organizations who did participate in D2K were teaching everyone else that it was allright to criticize the Democratic Party, that you could open your mouth and say what you think.

I asked him what he hoped would come out of tomarrows march.

He referenced a conversation that occured earlier in the meeting, that people wanted to have the coalition morph into an ongoing coalition. I asked him what he saw as the agenda of the coalition, and he said it could be something akin to a "Bush Whatch-dog group." He said that the coalition could force the Bush people into passing good laws that helped people, and cited the Nixon addminostration under which some of the most progressive laws in history were passed..

When asked if there were alternative views to the "Bush Whatch Dog group", he pointed to a member of the Green Party and said that that man has another less direct idea, "to start an amourphous pro-democracy movement."

b. Alix-Green Party. He was doing logistical work for the J20 group.

Alix appeared to be a little nervous while speaking, as if he was unaccustomed to media interviews.

I asked Alix why he was involving himself with this mobilization and he said that "Something needed to be done.There is an assention to the top of the country an illigitamate ruler and we need to organize for a true democracy. Gore was the last to go, he has no guts."

Alix spoke for the need of building a movement for electoral reform. .

He mentioned that the Greens stand by a consensus form of DemocracyHe Mentioned that he and the other Greens were protesting during the convention.

c. Suzzi- Americans For Democratic Action.

Suzzi was busy planning the logistics of the march, working with the police to get permits and seemed to have an important roladex. She was surrounded at all times by several other ADA members.

She Stated that she nor the ADA were involved in the D2K protests. They saw these events as devisive. She and the ADA were now putting much of there resources into this event and were gearing for four years of activism. This organixation has many mainstream political ties and seems to work out policy with the National Lawyers guild.

The ADA hoped that through this march, people would be fired up to write letters to representatives to stop Bushs apointees.

She said that she personaly got involved with planning this event because of her experience working with crowds. She refrained from telling me some information regarding the ADA's policy stands because she was not sure as to whether the info was clearly defined enough to be released to the press.


From this meeting, I came to understand how otherwise radical people with anarchistic ideaologize get drawn into more mainstream movements like the ADA. They have an organization that aims to get things done, to deal with the allegedly apathetic masses. I am amaxed that I am in a room discussing an event with these folks.

There is a broad swath of the liberal and progressive left planning this march. A moment of tension arose when a proposal was made to concense around the fact that this would be a nonviolent march that would do no direct action. Most agreed openhandedly, while a few people grummbled and asked for clarification. They wanted a clause in that statement that if the LAPD responded in stereotypically brutal ways to a peacefull march, that protesters were justified to respond with nonviolent tactics. The motion carried.

The split between Democrats and the Greens and other nontratitional left groups was appearent. At times, statements about Al Gore being the Man (in a good way) were pointed towards the Greens, but I would imagine that the traditional Greens are learning something to. There is a lot of talk about the corruption in both parties and the pointing of the finger towards big business.

A woman from the "U" group that is affiliated with the Rainbow Push movement was energized by what she saw in this first meeting, the invocations of "what we learned in Seattle" and where we need to go. Somehow through this mainstream wing of something, this is what democracy looks like.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 11 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
On consensus Tom Louie Sunday, Jan. 21, 2001 at 11:25 PM
the "players" in the J20 Coalition Jamie Murray Monday, Jan. 22, 2001 at 2:01 PM Rules! Edwin Johnston Monday, Jan. 22, 2001 at 2:51 PM
CounterCoup - Grassroots Trump Pros elbop Monday, Jan. 22, 2001 at 3:48 PM
Shoddy Journalism better than No Journalism? Elderbear Monday, Jan. 22, 2001 at 5:03 PM
relax dibble Monday, Jan. 22, 2001 at 7:22 PM
NO MORE BUSHIT! revolution NOW Monday, Jan. 22, 2001 at 9:13 PM
PS to ElderBear re; shoddy journalism dibble Monday, Jan. 22, 2001 at 9:46 PM
over reaction Scott Galindez Friday, Jan. 26, 2001 at 6:29 PM
A little kindness goes a long way john kawakami Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2001 at 4:39 AM
bull s*** joe williams Thursday, Feb. 01, 2001 at 10:21 PM

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