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Activists Disrupt Bush Inauguration Ceremony

StoryJanuary 21, 2005
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A few seconds before Bush was sworn in by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, a group of 3 activists from Eugene, Oregon disrupted the ceremony. One of the activists, Carol Melia, filmed their action. We spoke with her after they were escorted out of the ceremony. [includes rush transcript]

  • Carol Melia, activist from Eugene, Oregon.
  • Footage of activists disrupting President Bush’s Inauguration.

TRANSCRIPT
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, a few seconds before President Bush was sworn in by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, a group of three activists from Eugene, Oregon, disrupted the ceremony. One of them, Carol Melia filmed their action. We spoke with her after they were escorted out of the ceremony.

CAROL MELIA: My name is Carol Melia. I’m from Eugene, Oregon and I’m here with my friends Peter Chabarek and Willow Rose and we came to Washington, D.C. to see the President get sworn in. About last July, I decided I wanted to come here and protest the war, no matter who won the election. I was going to be here if Kerry won and I’ve got three draft-age kids. I’m here to make sure they don’t get drafted. So, in August, I called and got tickets from Senator DeFazio, and we ended up arriving on Saturday night. Today we showed up at 8:30. We waited three hours along with the other Republicans. We spent the time conversing, sharing stories about our families, and basically developing rapport. Then they started the festivities about 11:00. We decided we needed to wait for an opening. We didn’t want to interrupt any noise. We decided we wanted to shout, stop the war, at some point when people would be listening so as soon as we heard them introduce Rehnquist, we realized that they were just about to do the swearing in of Bush. We left, stood up, left our seats, walked out into the aisle and shouted, "Stop the war!"

THREE PROTESTERS IN UNISON: Stop the war! Stop the war! Bring home the troops! Stop the war! Stop the war! Stop the war! Bring home the troops! Stop the war! Stop the war! Bring home the troops! Stop the war!...

AMY GOODMAN: Three Eugene, Oregon, activists at the inauguration ceremony. One of the people who were sitting in front of them came up to them with a bottle of water and threw it over them, knocking two of them down. Eventually, they were escorted out of the ceremony. Meanwhile, some 10,000 demonstrators converged on Washington, D.C., to protest the Presidential Inauguration of George Bush amidst the tightest security in inauguration history. Protesters marched in a demonstration through Malcolm X park that ended in a die-in. Thousands more lined the parade route holding signs accusing President Bush of war crimes, calling for the end of the Iraq war, and turning their backs on the Presidential motorcade. Members of the Black Bloc also successfully blocked many Bush supporters from reaching their seats after they forced the police to shut down two entry points to the seating area. Police reported making 14 arrests during the inauguration celebrations, but targeted many more people with pepper spray.

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