Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, December 17, 2004

Turn Your Back on Bush

For the last few years every major Republican event (the convention last summer, any public appearance by Bush) has been fully equipped with a First Amendment patrol. All demonstrators, anyone carrying a sign – move over here to this tiny corner that’s 900 yards away from the stage. But during the inaugural parade next month, demonstrators will unveil a new stealth tactic.

www.turnyourbackonbush.org is urging protesters to leave their placards and zany costumes at home and just attend the parade. Just blend right in with the other thousands of parade watchers. And then, as the Bush motorcade is passing by, turn your back.

What could be simpler or more foolproof? No signs, costumes or shouted slogans to label you as sickocommiedevilworshiper who hates America. No worries about being relegated to the protesters’ ghetto 17 blocks away from the parade route.

Now, let’s have a little pool: On or before January 20th, 2005 (the date of the inauguration), there will be a federal law making it a felony to turn your back during a parade. True or False?

Don’t laugh, zanier things have happened. During the 1999 anti-globalization protests in Seattle, police indiscriminately teargassed hundreds of peaceful demonstrators. When word got out that some protesters were planning to bring gas masks to the next day’s demonstration, there was suddenly a new law against “unauthorized” possession of a gas mask. Seriously!

So, let’s see what happens. Will there be a law against turning your back during a parade? Will the Taliban, er, Republicans plant thousands of plainclothes, uh, “henchmen” in the audience to “deal with” those pesky backturners?

It should be interesting.


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