imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

by Mark Drolette Thursday, Sep. 02, 2004 at 9:13 AM

American democracy is up off the canvas. Come November 2, it will knock the power punch-drunk Crawford Chump so far out of the ring, he won’t know what hit him. Copyright © 2004 Mark Drolette. All rights reserved. Commercial use prohibited.

I have some good news to report: Democracy is not yet dead in America. Try as they might, George Bush and pals have not quite hammered into place the final nail of the Constitution's coffin.

There was a march in New York City on Sunday. People, signs, puppets, banners, music, costumes, shouting, cheering, dancing - it was all there. I heard no official crowd size estimates during the day, but judging by the three hours I spent watching the proceedings on C-SPAN, here's my best guess: Lots.

The First Amendment was fully on display, and it was a grand and glorious thing. The streets of the Big Apple were full of the usual suspects who appear at such events: Americans. Old ones, young ones, white ones, black ones, brown ones, gay ones, straight ones... but best of all, all patriotic ones.

It must have pretty disheartening to the ideologues in charge of the GOP. No doubt Dubya himself was safely ensconced in his usual truth-averting bubble in which his handlers have always kept him, but the handlers themselves surely noticed the goings-on.

And naturally, when they are asked, they will grit their teeth, give their best little tight-lipped smiles, and dutifully report: "Ah, yes, Paula/Brit/Sean/Bill, this is what America is all about," all the while knowing in their dark little shriveled hearts (or the balls of ugly black muscle where their hearts used to be) there are obviously a lot of citizens out there who have done a little independent thinking over the last few months and years.

Folks who think for themselves pose the greatest danger to the Bushies, whose number one concern is control: control the image, message, and environment. The Bush White House is like a giant information transmogrification machine - something goes in, gets an extremist makeover, and emerges looking nothing like the original (sort of like Michael Jackson). Anyone deemed the least bit likely to upset the communication applecart is highly unwelcome. Just ask Richard Clarke, Paul O'Neill, or Joe Wilson.

This paranoia now even touches everyday citizens who attend personal appearances by Dick Cheney and the Bubble Bush, manifesting itself in the form of loyalty oaths people are required to sign before being allowed to enter such events.

That's right, loyalty oaths. Steve Larese of the Boston Globe reports that on July 31 in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, "several people who showed up [to attend a Cheney speech] complained about being asked to sign endorsement forms [for Bush]." Larese also writes that 64-year-old Nick Lucy "was turned away from a May 7 rally in Dubuque, Iowa, at which President Bush spoke." Lucy "was denied access because he is not a registered Republican," and though no one requested he sign an oath, the police were summoned to remove him from the premises.

Republican National Committee spokesman Yier Shi, according to Larese, explains logically that "everyone is welcome at the rallies as long as they support President Bush." I guess you really couldn't get more American than that - that is, if you're talking about the old separate-but-equal parts of America where everybody was welcome to sit in the front of the bus or at the counter as long as they were white.

It's not just someone's party affiliation or refusal to swear fealty to the imcumbent and his sinister sidekick that gets the GOP all in a dither at its wing-dings; apparently, apparel appears able to also activate apoplexy.

The Saginaw News (Michigan) reports Marvin, Barbara, and Theresa Miller were evicted from Saginaw's Wendler Arena while awaiting a speech there by Bush. It seems Barbara "had carried in a rolled up T-shirt emblazoned with a pro-choice slogan." She explained to the News she uses the shirt for running, hadn't pondered the garment's wording, and had only brought it to put on in case she got cold.

That mattered little to the campaign worker who took it from her, stating: "We don't accept any pro-choice, non-Republican paraphernalia." Sheer confiscation wasn't enough for the young man, however, because, obviously feeling his newly-unleashed power, he returned later with a couple other folks and, after charging the Millers with "smuggling in T-shirts," gave them the old heave-ho. (I'm so out of touch: I honestly had no idea the black market T-shirt gig at GOP rallies was so huge.)

Defending the Millers' inglorious ejection, a mouthpiece - er, sorry - spokeswoman for Bush, Jennifer Millerwise, said, "These events are put on for people of an open mind who are interested in hearing (Bush's) positive message and his vision for a future." She didn't specify, but by "open mind" I assume she means those who have had their craniums lifted and brains sucked out.

Meanwhile, over in Missouri, the John Kerry/John Edwards train tour in early August stopped in Sedalia, where no oaths were required and, thumbing a nose at Republican sartorial sensitivities, people could wear whatever they damn well wanted. It still didn't prevent some right-leaning locals from heckling the Democratic ticket and their wives who accompanied them.

Perhaps some were just leaning, period, as the Globe's Patrick Healy reports, "one woman swore at [Kerry] and then added, 'I hate you!'" Inside the train later, an unperturbed Kerry said, "She was so drunk. Did you see how drunk she was?" Upon reading this, I had a flash and thought it could actually explain a lot of things many of us have wondered about Bush supporters for a long time.

Say what you will about Kerry and the Democrats (and I know a lot of what can be said 'cause I've said a lot of it myself), but at least they're not picking and choosing what Americans they'll address or get near. The Bush administration from day one, starting with its furtive national energy policy meetings right on into the present, has embraced secrecy with an ardor that would make even Dick Nixon envious. Access is allowed only to those on a need-to-know and want-to-pay basis, even including at rallies and speeches. The Constitution, transparent government, and the American people themselves be damned.

I've honestly wondered if Bush has ever even read the Constitution. His incuriosity is no secret. His arrogance is obvious, and he wears his religiosity on his sleeve as if it were some sort of bona fide substitute for real humility. He gives no indication of understanding that, by law, he works for us and not the other way around; on the contrary, his remarks and actions show he clearly luxuriates in his power, from his issuing of extensive executive orders to declaring American citizens "enemy combatants."

And then, of course, there is the ever-present matter of his ineloquent speech (which really is an undeserved maligning of ineloquence). The very few times he has stepped outside of his safe havens he has always exposed himself for the malapropism machine he is. But it's not only his embarrassing misspeaking that is eye-popping and ear-crunching, it's also his startling lack of knowledge about things a man in his position simply must know. (His "answer" to a question about "tribal sovereignty" at the recent Unity Journalists of Color Convention was, even for Bush, astounding - and I don't mean that in a good way.) Hence, the super-protective field around him.

Having been so shielded from the very beginning of his presidency, I think it's a safe bet to say he truly is unaware of how much he is despised around the world and in his very own country. Because Bush's inner circle (his "praetorian guard," O'Neill called it in Ron Suskind's book “The Price of Loyalty”) has been largely successful in isolating him from hearing almost any opposition to his screwy ideas, Bush almost assuredly would have been surprised to read (or have read to him) the signs at Sunday's uplifting march in New York City: "The True Patriot Act: Dump Bush," "Quagmire Accomplished," "Neither Compassionate Nor Conservative," "Re-Defeat Bush." I'm sure "Let's Start a Democracy" and, my favorite, "Let's Evolve Already," would have gone right by him, too.

It doesn't matter anymore, though, what Bush or any of his henchpersons think. They've taken their best shot at keeping their dirty deeds private and burying our rights, and they've failed - miserably. Pulsating throngs of Americans proved Sunday they know what democracy is all about, and they demonstrated it proudly and peaceably. There's more of that energy and power to come, and on November 2, it will concentrate and sweep George Bush and his rotten crew right out of the White House. Dubya will have plenty of time then to catch up on the Constitution if he is so inclined.

In addition to all of the signs held aloft and various activities taking place during the march, there were, of course, plenty of chants. The following call-and-response sums up best, had Bush somehow mistakenly been allowed by his watchers to take a peek, exactly what was on full display Sunday in America's streets:

"Show me what democracy looks like!

"This is what democracy looks like!"

Published originally on Democratic

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
hey Sheepdog Thursday, Sep. 02, 2004 at 10:09 AM
Ha! Mark Drolette Thursday, Sep. 02, 2004 at 3:49 PM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM

TheMilitary of Yemen IN In The 1990's A26 5:42PM

The Shortwave Report 04/27/18 Listen Globally! A26 4:03PM

Federal Bank Examiner FDIC recalls year long 1999 robbery in 2017 A26 3:24PM

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy