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(en) US, Vermillion SD J20 Protest - Counter-Inauguration Demo for Peace

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(stan-A-riseup.net)
Date Sat, 22 Jan 2005 11:00:14 +0100 (CET)

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After the success of the Election Day protest, hopes were high for a big
turnout and rowdy counter-inaugural celebration of resistance in
Vermillion. We gathered to show the strength of the local activist
community and to rally the town and campus to battle Bush’s agenda. The
demo was held at the same location as September’s-the corner of Cherry and
Pine, on the University of South Dakota campus.
The weather was perfect. After a week of subzero lows, the sun came out
and the temperature crept into the forties. At noon a dozen people set up
a volleyball net from which we hung numerous colored banners and signs. A
four-foot long picture frame outlined a message: “Iraq Was Framed! The
real terrorists are in the White House!” A giant cardboard skull draped
with a flag displayed the American body count from Iraq.

For almost five hours, there were about thirty to forty participants at
any time. Some came from as far as Pierre, SD- a four-hour drive. Also
present were members of the South Dakota Peace and Justice Center, Great
Plains Anarchist Network friends from Omaha and St. Louis, at least one
USD professor. It was a good mix and numbers were decent for a town of
10,000, although the turnout seemed a bit lower than on Election Day.

Bucket drums, a banjo, and an accordion kept our spirits high during the
inevitable confrontation with police. “Hightower” and another local cop
claimed to have received complaints that demonstrators had been disrupting
traffic by crossing Cherry St. They eventually left, but not before
ticketing anyone that had parked at the nearby Burger King or on campus
without a permit.

Unfortunately, we witnessed another car collision (the first time was in
Sioux Falls on Feb 15, second time was in Pierre in 2003, none have been
serious). A woman was honking support for us, but not watching the road,
and slammed into another car. It was decided that at the next demo we need

Public reaction was varied. The town of Vermillion voted overwhelmingly
against Bush, so it was not too surprising that we had more supportive
honks than jeers. There were still a lot of idiots who demonstrated their
Christian or Republican respect for our right to free speech by showing us
their middle fingers. It seems like Bush supporters, like the Texan tyrant
himself, are becoming even more arrogant and reactionary than ever.

We were asked many times for an explanation of our protest, as if it was
“too late” to stop Bush! One man shouted “The elections were three months
ago!” This was nonsense to us-it is never too late to stop torture and
murder, rape and war, poverty and oppression!
Are we really supposed to lie down and die just because Bush continues his
reign of error? We demonstrated publicly our refusal to do so-and a pledge
to escalate our resistance in demonstrations and direct actions.

Most participants thought the demonstration was a big success and a lot of
fun. Vermillion once again put itself on the map as a rural community
vocally opposed to the American Pillage of Iraq and the domestic
repression of the White House. The demo drew media attention from as far
away as San Diego; Radioactive Radio checked-in during their day-long J20
Counter-Inaugural program. It was also hinted that there would be a big
article in the local campus press.

In solidarity with comrades worldwide, radicals in South Dakota reject
Bush’s second term agenda, and encourage all people to join in PERPETUAL

An SD Radical

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