[News] Police Use Tear Gas at Bush Inauguration
News at freedomarchives.org
News at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jan 21 11:56:07 EST 2005
Police Use Tear Gas at Bush Inauguration, Mock Coffins and Anti-War Chants
as Bush Sworn In
Police Use Tear Gas at Bush Inauguration
Thu Jan 20, 2005 04:13 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Police sprayed tear gas to disperse demonstrators
who hurled debris and tried to break through a security fence keeping
protesters away from President Bush's inaugural parade on Thursday. Several
dozen protesters thronged toward the security fence, lobbing bottles, trash
and snowballs at police, witnesses said. More than 100 police officers were
at the scene where hundreds of protesters had gathered.
A small group of anti-Bush demonstrators overturned several of the metal
security barricades, and a handful of protesters broke through.
Witnesses said they saw police use tear gas against some of the protesters.
Also along the route toward the White House, protesters set a small fire
close to the barricades.
The motorcade sped up as it passed the commotion.
Mock Coffins and Anti-War Chants as Bush Sworn In
Thu Jan 20, 2005 03:07 PM ET
By Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
Flag-draped coffins and anti-war chants competed with pomp and circumstance
on Thursday at the inauguration of President Bush along the snow-dusted,
barricaded streets of central Washington.
As the president was sworn in for a second term amid the tightest security
in inaugural history, protesters chanted "Hell no, we won't go! We won't go
for Texaco" and other anti-war slogans. They carried hundreds of mock
coffins along 16th Street, a downtown thoroughfare leading to the White
House, to remind Americans of the mounting casualties in Iraq.
While some protesters played drums, others held signs such as "Iraq is
Arabic for Vietnam," "Down with King George," and "Your taxes at work
Jamie Dennis, a 22-year-old contractor from Silver Spring, Maryland, said
it was important for people to come out and protest Bush's policies. "This
is showing that he doesn't have as much political capital as he claims," he
Demonstrations were mostly peaceful during the first inauguration since the
Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Police sealed off 100 blocks around the White
House and parade route, barring all traffic except official security and
In one case, police scuffled with about 30 protesters about two streets
away from the inaugural parade route, using pepper spray and batons to
disperse the group. Some black-clad protesters also traded insults with
Bush supporters, many in fur coats. Others threw snowballs at police.
"Right wing scum, your time has come," read a banner at a march of about
200 protesters heading toward Pennsylvania Avenue, where the inaugural
parade was scheduled in the afternoon.
'DIE-IN' AND METAL DETECTORS
Just outside the White House grounds, 17 protesters staged a "die-in."
After shouting a chant of "Stop the killing, stop the war," they dropped to
the pavement one by one as one of them began reading a list of those killed
Some wore fake blood-stained bandages, and stage blood dribbled from some
mouths. One spectator apparently found the act so credible that he began
Others were less sympathetic.
"I hope you don't get up. I hope you freeze your ass off," said another,
who was among a group heading toward the grandstands nearest the White
House. Throughout the city, thousands of police and military troops were on
patrol with bomb-sniffing dogs, and spectators had to pass through metal
detectors before attending any inaugural events or before being allowed to
watch the parade from the street.
The demonstrations were due to continue throughout the day. Organizers said
they expected several thousand protesters to brave the winter chill to vent
opposition to the president and his policies at home and abroad.
Some protesters along the route of the inaugural parade say they planned to
turn their backs at Bush's motorcade.
Demonstration organizers had complained they were not being given adequate
access to protest, while Bush supporters were granted prime locations along
the parade route.
At the moment of oath-taking, several hundred demonstrators crossed 16th
Street a block away from the White House. "Abort Bush," read some signs,
referring to the abortion debate that is one of the country's more divisive
Becky Jones, a 20-year-old art student from Washington, she was upset the
president had led the nation to war in Iraq based on false information
about weapons of mass destruction.
"He still won, and I don't know why," she said.
(additional reporting by Deborah Zabarenko)
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