In New York, the day before Republican delegates gathered at their convention site, a half a million people tried to get their attention. Over the flight path that brought those delegates to New York City, New Yorkers posted huge signs on their rooftops to let them know that they did not want George W. Bush to be nominated for another attempt at winning the presidential election.
They gathered together in such numbers that their protest became the largest group of demonstrators against a presidential candidate in history. Every day of that Republican convention, thousands were in the streets of New York spreading their message. Almost two thousand arrests were made, kept under arrest for days without benefit of charges being filed or being released courtesy of the Bush Patriot Act.
State Supreme Court Judge, John Cataldo, issued an order to prosecutors to either release or proceed with arraignment by 5 p.m. that Thursday. When the city’s prosecutors failed to comply with the order, they were found in contempt and finned $1,000 for every person not released. The police used orange netting to sweep up people on the street; in clear violation of the First Amendment, it also swept up innocent people, movie production companies, and anyone else in their path. Some still remain in jail in spite of the contempt order.
In spite of what was called a peaceful and orderly demonstration by all those people, authorities chose to harass and detain those demonstrators not surrounded by masses of those half million people in New York.
And yet, with all the Republican security guarding their convention, harassment of the very recognizable Michael Moore (who was present as a representative of the press) two demonstrations of protest during the convention -- including the interruption of George W. Bush’s acceptance speech -- none of those 4,000 plus people charged with the duty of nominating a candidate to represent ALL OF THE PEOPLE seemed to notice.
To every member of that Republican convention WE, THE PEOPLE, voicing our concerns of Bush’s leadership failures, WERE INVISIBLE!
They chose to spend their time admiring the “purple heart” band aids that mocked the sacrifices of the veterans of ALL Our wars to doing the hard work of choosing a leader to represent all of the People of this nation.
And one of the reason We, the People were invisible is because the Republican party and the Republican biased “media” chose not to acknowledge us or our attempts at having our grievances addressed.
It has been said that Bush’s record suggests two presidencies; one before September 11, 2001 and after September 11, 2001. I see his term in office that way also, but the two “presidencies” are divided between the wealthy “elite” of his “base” and We, the little People who do not dwell in his world. We, the People; his bosses ultimately responsible for keeping Our government safe and strong; have been shut out of the process.
BUSH SEES WE, THE PEOPLE, AS THE ENEMY. IT IS US HE FEARS. NOT BIN LADEN. NOT SADDAM HUSSEIN.
And We can no longer see or speak to our leader. His few forays into the public eye are closed to everyone except those willing to sign a “loyalty” oath. We, the People, who do not show obsequiousness by bowing to his will are tormented and tortured by his representatives who refuse Us admittance to his speeches and guards who physically manhandle us, or by the powerful reaches of his “base” who take away our jobs; or Our freedom of speech violated by being thrown into razor wire detention centers, covered with ankle deep water, toxic chemicals, surrounded by armed guards.
In the proverbial ivory tower where Bush lives, surrounded by his faithful “base”, We, the People are not allowed entry. An 83 year old woman in Nashua, New Hampshire was physically carried away by the police for refusing to take her sign “BUSH IS BAD FOR AMERICA” to one of the notorious “free speech zones” far away from Bush’s eyes, while those praising his leadership are allowed to stay.
Fortunately for Betty Hall, her state still believes in their motto, “LIVE FREE OR DIE”, because the judge threw out her case -- but her arrest DID succeed in keeping Bush ignorant of her grievances... just one more INVISIBLE person!
IF we are not allowed to express our grievances with George W. Bush brand of leadership as his motorcade rolls by, iF we are not allowed to attend his speeches unless we sign a loyalty oath, iF gathering together in large groups are ignored, or played down by “the media”, what is left to for us to do? How can we focus such a remote leader’s attention to our disapproval of his leadership? What will it take?
Those who came together under the umbrella of United for Peace and Justice brought their separate grievances to New York City. It was proof that there is power in numbers. Although that huge gathering of almost half a million counted demonstrators and hundreds, perhaps thousands more, of uncounted New Yorkers who joined them shows that united we are a powerful force.
In 1764, as one history book put it, We walked the road to war. It was a time of protest, of spoken and written words, of protests against a leadership that ignored its duties and responsibilities to those they governed. There was deep division among the people inhabiting those 13 colonies that would become the United States. They too, mirrored the haves and the have nots. Those with the most to loose wanted to maintain the status quo. Those with nothing to loose but their lives chose to fight.
We are the benefits of that revolution. That Bill of Rights and that Constitution we hold so dear was written in blood. We can not let it go lightly. This “president” never truly elected, daily rips at the fabric of that Constitution. How many of those who sacrificed their blood, their sons and daughter for it, would approve of what he has done in Our name? No, they would be assembling, speaking, working, uniting to reclaim what they had lost. Patrick Henry inspired a divided people to rally behind his cry, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”
Where are the inspiring voices lifted in protest against what George W. Bush has done in our name? Where are the Thomas Paines, the Mercy Otis Warrens, The Samuel Adams, the Abigail Adams of our country? Where are those willing to sacrifice their lives as freely to save Our government from tyrants as those who were sent to die on the battlefields of Iraq in Bush’s name?
What this country needs is a demonstration so great that it can not be ignored. We need to surround Our White House with a sea of faces so numerous that nothing but Our faces can be seen. We need a Unity of Peace and and Justice that will drown out the voices of the lobbyists and special interests forever. We need millions of We, the People to come together on one day, before the election in November that could possibly never come, and let them see that there are no detention centers large enough to hold us, no place to hid accountability, no acceptable lies from the Bush administration or the “media” that enables him.
Only then, will We the Invisible People, be seen. Only then, will government bend to the Will of the People, as it was meant to. Only then will we once again be truly free. Danger lies not in the fear of terrorist attacks. It lies within the bosom of our own government.