Protest Reports, Plainfield, NJ: 3/14/01

Protest Report, by Susan

This morning I drove to Plainfield to meet people who were coming in from Manhattan. We walked to Grace Episcopal Church and stood right across the street from it. There were many local people. There were people there for homeless causes, Planned Parenthood, and local people. Some asked to borrow extra signs we had brought along. A local woman led us in some chants. "Bush go home! Get out of Jersey!"

As Bush got ready to leave, we were moved a little further off. But right in front, behind the yellow tape, where he couldn't miss it, was a huge banner saying "ILLEGITIMATE." We greeted him with boos and chants.

Then part of our group moved on to the East Brunswick Hilton. When we got there, Bush was already inside and there were already groups there protesting- environmental, Sierra Club, people from unions, a group protesting the tax cut. We joined in with our signs and the large ILLEGITIMATE banner. Fox interviewed one of our group (let's see if it airs).

NBC and ABC five o'clock news showed the protests. There was a nice shot of the ILLEGITIMATE banner.

Thank you to all who came. We had people come from South Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. I know how hard it is to get out during the work week.


Protest Report, by Leah Faerstein

About 15 of us met at the train station in Plainfield, NJ. Paulette, Maya and I came by bus. Susan from NJ lead the way to the Episcopal Church. People were carrying big signs that read, "Gore Won," "Illegitimate," "tax cut for the rich." Three more women joined us on the way: "We want to hang with you guys! We are from Planned Parenthood."

As we approached the church we were directed to the opposite side of the street where we were delighted to see at least 50 locals, signs and all. "Where have you been?" someone greeted us. "I thought it would be just us." A woman had a tiny shaggy dog whose saddle said, "No Bush."

The local Courier filmed and interviewed us. I am told someone from Faux news was there. Good luck with that! About then (10:45 AM), we were having a good time, reminiscent of Dupont Circle. We revived classics like: "Aw, my God, Gore's ahead/Better call my brother Jeb," and, "Racist, sexist, antigay/bush and Cheney go away!" My voice, barely recovered from the NYC NMPD rally, is gone now.

There was a silent crowd too, sitting by the cross street. I would not call them bush supporters because the whole group seemed very contrived. I believe the church called in some favors. These people were not wearing furs--a lot of minorities among them who showed a minimal reaction to our chants. Once in a while someone would call: "Monica" or Mark Rich," which were pale next to our "Thief" and "Illegitimate."

By 11:15 we were all "shepherded" to the curb, next to the silent ones. I guess the SS decided we were too close to the church (across the street). The silent ones got a bit miffed when pushed behind by our presence. "I didn't come here to look at your sign," one said to Cheryl. "So, don't look," I obliged. The local smart ass was trying to bait us with the pardons. "Cheney has been doing the very same thing Rich got nabbed for," one of us informed him. Taken aback, he tried a lame, "maybe a long time ago." "NO! LAST YEAR," we all shouted. One down, not many more to go...

I'll give Smirk this: he is punctual! So is the fouling of the weather as he approaches! On J20 it started to rain at 11:45 AM. Today, a beautiful day was fouled by a chilly wind at exactly 11:15! Five minutes later the black car (convoy, really) passed by, slowly, since it was a curve. "Booo!" "Go Away Bush!" 'THIEF! THIEF! THIEF!" Some poor high school girls playing the fife were completely drowned out. The entire crowd looked like a protest thanks to our signs and chants. A local woman commented: "He has black windows. It's illegal in New Jersey." What else is new?.