Michael Rectenwald's report
from the New York front, as told to Lori Price
"Drop Bush Not Bombs!" was the tone of the tone of
thrilling protest in Manhattan on February 15th, as Michael Rectenwald
braved a Pennsylvania snowstorm to travel eight hours to express his
displeasure with the Bush junta's plans for W-ar
in Iraq. Eighty blocks of New York's East Side were filled with protesters.
According to the NYPD, seven thousand people fill a city block in New
York City, and that's no fuzzy math.
Citizens for Legitimate Government (http://www.legitgov.org/)
Founder and Chair, Michael Rectenwald, was booked to speak in front
of the United Nations at the 10 AM rally, but a significant snow event
in Pennsylvania delayed his arrival until noon. Mike was part of the
"sea of humanity" (an estimated 400 to 500 thousand anti W-ar
demonstrators) that showed up in Manhattan to protest the Bush push
for war in Iraq. His last appearance in New York was as a speaker at
the "Not My President's Day" rally on February 18, 2001 (Click
here to read
Mike's "Not My President's Day" speech --entitled, "Not
My President (Not anyone's)".)
Mike noted the raging anti-Bush sentiment, expressed in pithy slogans
and clever signs. "Drop Bush Not Bombs!" was the cry
of the people, along with "Hey Hey, HO, HO! Bush and Cheney
Have Got to Go!" Tremendous anti-Bush opposition was punctuated
by the presence of numerous "Impeach Bush!" signs.
The Manhattan demonstration was three avenues long, converging on 47th
Street. Approximately sixty-seven "feeder marches" fed into
the primary protest area. The main stage was at the intersection of
First Avenue and 49th Street.
Every block had barricades
up to hold in the people, to try to compress dissent, and prevent demonstrators
from getting to the head of the stage. Police
were barricading people at Second and Third Avenues --the official demonstration
was at First Avenue between 51st and 72nd Street (changed from 49th
Street). Police were not allowing tens of thousands of people get to
First Avenue. Protesters were funneled all the way from Third Avenue
up to 67th Street and First Avenue, and then all the way down to First
Avenue, instead of being permitted to go directly down 49th Street to
get to the stage.
"Since I was alone,"
Mike notes, "I was able to quickly winnow my way through, from
3rd Ave. to 67th street, across to first Ave. and then ahead on 1st
all the way to 52nd Street, where I was, by the end, able to see the
stage at the very front edge of the 'second tier' of protesters. I went
through the entire crowd, and my estimate is 500,000 people. I saw most
of them first hand."
Large video production screens,
approximately thirty-by-thirty feet, were available for those to view
the stage proceedings.
The amazing turnout in New York City was replicated across the country
and world, as the global population expressed their vehement objections
to the Bush dictatorship's plans for W-ar.
On Saturday, February 15, A.N.S.W.E.R. announced at the New York City
rally a plan for a March 1, 2003 protest, wherein the White House will
be encircled by people to stop the W-ar...
spring will truly be on the way.
Lori R. Price
February 16, 2003
Throng: Demonstrators gather outside UN
headquarters in New York
Anti-war protesters demonstrate near the
United Nations headquarters, Saturday, Feb 15, 2003 in New York to protest
a possible U.S. - led attack on Iraq, part of a day of global protests.
(AP Photo/Shawn Baldwin)