Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Protestors Revving Up for Inauguration

CNN reported today that a guerilla radio station broadcasting in the DC area has been calling for protests to occur during the week leading up to the January 20th inauguration of President Bush. According to the report, ANSWER (who else?) is planning to hold a protest along Pennslyvania Avenue, with another group planning to literally turn its back to the President during the ceremony.

Thanks to the Internet, the word is certainly getting out. I know that the Tufts Coalition Opposed to the War in Iraq (TCOWI) is going to take a bus down here for the protests, in which they plan to lob a few eggs at the source of their disdain.

I'm all for the freedom of speech and the right to assemble, but I have to say that this idea troubles me. From the standpoint of the Secret Service, these protests will bring with them additional security concerns for an already high-profile event. This is especially true for a ceremony that is not only going to be watched around the world but that takes place in a setting more exposed than the events a President typically attends, like a press conference (though those must be dangerous for other reasons because Bush tends to avoid them altogether).

Seriously, call me a pessimist, but I'm afraid that this could turn ugly. All it takes is a few crazy egg chucking college students for the event to turn into another strike against American liberalism in the public eye. I'm not saying that liberals have to stop protesting because we might look bad. I'm only expressing concern that too often certain people who join the protests commit acts that are not constitutionally protected, to put it kindly. And when that happens, it only gives fuel to the chorus of conservatives who are trying to paint Democrats as anti-American / unsupportive of the troops / anti-government etc. Now I know certain people do feel that way, but they don't tend to call themselves Democrats. The only problem with a protest like this is that everyone else will.

I don't know what one does about this, but I do know that it troubles me.


At 3:57 PM, Blogger Chris said...

And it troubles me that it's run by ANSWER. I bet most of the people going to the protest don't even know who ANSWER is or who they have supported (Milosevic, Kim Jong Il, Hussein, etc.)


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