News & Politics

Hang a Black Ribbon, Raise a Clenched Fist


It’s Bush’s party and you can cry if you want to. Or you can crash it. True to the left’s polymorphic ethos, there are plenty of ways to rain on the president’s parade, from anarchists hoping to reprise their egg-throwing assault on his limo in 2001 to more liberal-minded folk who are calling on people to simply “Turn Your Back on Bush” in silent indignation. Not to be confused with “Turn Your Cheeks on Bush,” a/k/a “Critical Ass,” an open call to moon Bush’s motorcade as it whips by.

But how do you get a spot on Pennsylvania Avenue without getting ambushed by Secret Service or squeezed out by the Freepers? Those unreconstructed Marxists of ANSWER have secured a set of bleachers to compete with the $125-a-seat viewing stands for Bush fans, and they’re still suing for more access. Currently ANSWER holds a permit for the largest protest spot en route—John Marshall Plaza at 4th and Pennsylvania—so many groups are heading there.

Among them is a group called 10,000 Jesuses, which is urging folks to spurn Bush in savior drag. There’s also an anti-inaugural rally in Malcolm X Park, and there are several mock funeral processions to mourn the “death of democracy,” if not common sense. One morbid activist has even designed a wound sticker to call attention to all those maimed in Bush’s war of choice. Perfect for sporting at the mass die-in called by the D.C. Anti-War Network (DAWN) to take place opposite the White House. “Bring fake blood, broken baby dolls, and flowers,” urges an e-mail adviso.

Or slap a wound on your shoulder as you navigate street closings in the Capital with D.C. Critical Mass. For those who prefer their satire dry with a twist, Billionaires for Bush will be auctioning the Social Security trust fund and the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. Not to be outdone by Republican extravaganzas, they’re also hosting their own “re-coronation” ball. If that’s not enough to drown out your tears, there’s a punk bash with Anti-Flag, an anti-inaugural Town Hall, and a “Noise Against Facism” blowout featuring Sonic Youth’s Thurton Moore and Kim Gordon and other loud acts. See for a complete list of D.C. actions and after-parties.

For New Yorkers who want to boo Bush but don’t want to get on the bus, there are options. Peaceniks will vigil outside the United Nations, Pax Christi will read off the names of those killed in Iraq opposite St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Women in Black will mourn in Union Square. Another group is hosting an anti-Bush skate at Rockefeller Center. If that doesn’t vent your spleen, join the primal scream during rush hour in Times Square.

Or just do nothing. A national campaign called Not One Damn Dime! is asking people opposed to Bush and the war in Iraq to show their collective spending power by not buying anything for 24 hours. You could also ditch work with, skip school with the National Student Walkout, or wear black with, which shouldn’t be hard for most New Yorkers.

But in NYC, it seems, most folks would rather get drunk than rage. There are several anti-inaugural parties to lift your spirits—including a ritual egg toss at a mock presidential limo in Williamsburg for those who couldn’t get their freak on in D.C. There are also some thought-provoking assemblies for those who want to talk about how we survive the next four years.

D.C. Events


  • Critical Mass

    Thursday, 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

    Union Station (50 Massachusetts Avenue NE), around the statue of Christopher Columbus


    A spirited three-hour ride through downtown D.C.
    There will be a second Critical Mass at 4 p.m. to buzz the inaugural balls and parties.



  • Rise Against Bush, Shine for a Peaceful Tomorrow

    Thursday at 9 a.m.

    Malcolm X Park, 16th and Euclid streets NW

    Sponsored by United for Peace and Justice and the D.C. Anti-War Network, this permit-holding event features a rally with Democracy Now radio host Amy Goodman, Stan Goff of Military Families Speak Out, Media Benjamin of Code Pink, Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Green Party candidate David Cobb, followed by a march at 11 a.m. to McPherson Square (15th and I streets), where other groups are converging.



  • DAWN Non-Violent Die-In

    Thursday at 11 a.m.

    Malcolm X Park, 16th and Euclid streets NW


    March to the intersection of H and 16th streets, one block from the White House. Bring names of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and flowers.



  • Women’s March and Funeral Procession

    Thursday, 9 to 11 a.m.

    Dupont Circle. March to McPherson Square, 15th and I streets

    “Accompanied by a New Orleans–style jazz band, diverse protest groups mourn the loss of American freedoms.”



  • One Thousand Coffins

    Thursday at 11:15 a.m.

    Malcolm X Park, 16th and Euclid streets NW; march toward the White House

    “An alliance of military families, vets, Muslims, Christians, and Jews will parade over 1,000 coffins in ceremonial formation—in outrage at the combined loss of more than 100,000 lives in the brutal and bloody war in Iraq. Pallbearers needed.”



  • Billionaires for Bush

    Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

    FDR Memorial, west side of the Tidal Basin


    In tuxedos and ball gowns, Billionaires will auction off the Social Security trust fund and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.



  • 10,000 Jesuses

    Thursday at 11 a.m.

    4th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue

    “Dress as Jesus (or other character from the New Testament) and carry signs to indicate Jesus’ disapproval: ‘Who Would I Torture?’, ‘Who Would I Bomb?'”



  • Anarchist March/Anti-Authoritarian Bloc

    Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

    Logan Circle, 13th Street between Rhode Island Avenue and P Street NW

    “All-out for an anarchist mobilization against centralized power.”



  • Turn Your Back on Bush

    Thursday, 2 to 4 p.m.

    Parade route (see website for access points)

    Arrive early to get a spot. Dress neutrally; leave signs and buttons at home. Turn your back when any motorcade of black limos and SUVs passes.



  • Billionaires’ Re-Coronation Ball

    Thursday, 8:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.; VIP reception at 7:30 p.m.

    Platinum Nightclub, 915 F Street NW



  • Not My President! Punk Rock Ball

    Thursday, 6 p.m.

    Sanctuary Theater, Calvary Methodist Church, 1459 Columbia Rd. NW

    With Anti-Flag, Q and Not U, 1905, Del Cielo, and speakers from Iraq Veterans Against the War, Empower DC, and Positive Force D.C.




  • Noise Against Facism

    8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

    Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW

    Brutally loud sound from Mirror/Dash (a Kim Gordon/Thurston Moore duo), Magik Markers, To Live and Shave in L.A., Buzzardstain, Nautical Almanac, Metalux, and more.




  • Deliver a Spine to the DNC Headquarters

    Friday, 11:30 a.m.

    Folger Park, 2nd and D Streets SE


    The Backbone Campaign will deliver a 70-foot puppet of a human spine to the Democratic National Committee to demand new, progressive leadership.



  • Progressive Democratic Summit

    Friday to Sunday

    The David A. Clarke School of Law Auditorium

    University of the District of Columbia

    4200 Connecticut Ave., NW


    A three-day conference with NOW President Kim Gandy, Amy Goodman, Green Party leader David Cobb, Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, Tom Hayden, and others.



  • “United We Stand” Rally

    Saturday, 7 to 10 p.m.

    Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ

    5301 North Capital St., NE


    With Rosie O’Donnell, Leslie Cagan, Rev. Graylan Hagler, Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, Damu Smith of Black Voices for Peace, Adele Welty of September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows and more.



  • ANSWER Counter-Inaugural Demontration

    Thursday, 9 a.m.


    Converge at 4th St and Pennsylvania Avenue on the north side of the parade route as close to 9 am as possible.


Basic Info

The Inaugural Parade begins at 2 p.m. and is expected to last 3 to 4 hours. See for a detailed map of the route and public access points, or click here. All those entering the parade route will be searched. Download a list of security checkpoints here.

Prohibited items: backpacks, bags exceeding size restrictions (8 by 6 by 4 inches), bicycles, coolers, thermal or glass containers, and “any other items determined to be a potential safety hazard.” Signs and banners should be made of cardboard, poster board, or cloth and can be no larger than 3 feet wide, 20 feet long, and ¼ inches thick. No wood or handles.

Getting There

1. Ride board.

2. ANSWER has buses departing at 5 a.m. from 14th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. Tickets are $35, $30 for students and fixed incomes. 212.533.0417,

3. has open buses leaving at 5:30 a.m. from NYU. Tickets are $25 ($27 using PayPal). See or e-mail

4. Cheap Chinatown buses: Go to or for buses leaving from both Chinatown and Midtown, starting at 7 a.m. $35 round-trip/$20 one-way.

5. Greyhound: $35 one-way

6. Amtrak: $76 one-way coach ticket

NYC Events


  • The World Is on Thin Ice With Bush

    Thursday at 11:15 a.m.

    Rockefeller Center ice rink, 601 Fifth Avenue

    “At noon, when Bush is getting sworn in, we will display our ‘The World Is on Thin Ice With Bush’ T-shirts. Make your own, or we will provide.”



  • Inauguration Day Peace Vigil

    Thursday at 11:30 a.m.

    Ralph Bunche Park, 43rd Street and First Avenue, across from the U.N.

    “To mourn the inauguration of George Bush and to give the message to the United Nations and international community that Bush has NO MANDATE from the American people.”



  • Solemn Reading of the Names of Those Killed in Iraq

    Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

    Fifth Avenue between 51st and 52nd streets, across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral


    To honor soldiers and civilians killed in Iraq. “No banners, signs, chants, etc. We do hope to sing Peace, Salaam, Shalom, but only that.”



  • Inaugural Primal Scream

    Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

    Times Square, 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue, outside the Gap

    “Come share the pain and release the frustration in a group scream during rush hour in Times Square!”



  • Counter-Inaugural Vigil With Women in Black

    Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

    Union Square, 14th Street and Broadway

    “Join us as we stand in opposition to the Bush Administration and their corporate and military cronies.”



  • UnAugural Ball

    Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

    The Tank, 32 West 42nd Street

    Hosted by the Hell’s Kitchen chapter of Drinking Liberally, a Democratic drinking club


    “Guest speakers, festive dress, dancing and liberal libations to illuminate a very dark day for America.”




  • Bring Your Own Inauguration

    Thursday, 8 to 11 p.m.

    Galapagos Art Space

    70 North 6th Street, Brooklyn


    Shake off your inaugural blues with Zero Boy, political satirist John DeVore of, Jamie Smith, the Georgettes, and dance music by the Rare Bird Rumba Ranch.

    $8, all proceeds go to aid tsunami victims



  • Counter-Inaugural Rally

    Friday, 7 p.m.

    Cooper Union, Great Hall, 30 Cooper Square


    Greg Palast, Esther Kaplan, John R. MacArthur, Danny Schecter, and other contributors to the instabook What We Do Now (Melville House) offer advice and courage for the battle ahead.




  • Anti-Inaugural Ball

    Friday at 9 p.m.

    Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South


    A “carnival of resistance” with disco, satire, and blue-state-vs.-red-state wrestling. With performances by Lois Weaver of Split Britches, Lucy Sexton of Dancenoise, the Wau Wau Sisters, and sexy burlesque by Julie Atlas Muz.




  • And So Forth: A Post-Inaugural Assembly

    Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    OfficeOps, 57 Thames Street, Brooklyn


    Artists and activists brainstorm skills and strategies for changing the world, with panels, workshops, and performance. Participants include Theaters Against War, Music for America, Blackkat, The Onion, Gigantic Art Space, Prometheus Radio Project, Paper Tiger TV, Soft Skull Press, Globalvision, WITNESS, UnionDocs, Peter Kuper, Stephan Smith, Dread Scott, and more.

    $10 advance/$12 at the door



  • Inaugural Ball

    Saturday, 9 p.m.

    347 Maujer Street, Brooklyn

    Come “dressed to kill” at this mock inaugural party hosted by the young zinesters at Propaganda 101. Bring your throwin’ eggs for the 1 a.m. procession led by a “satin limo” carrying a dummy president, which will circle the streets of East Williamsburg. DJs and cheap drinks.

    $5 cover before 11 p.m. or with RSVP; $10 after


National Actions


  • Not One Damn Dime!

    A nationwide boycott of the American greenback

    “Send a message to the White House: no more ‘investment’ in this unjust, unfair, no-win war. Bag your lunch, walk to work, read a book . . but whatever you do, DO NOT spend one damn dime on January 20!”



  • Black Thursday

    Dress in black or wear a black ribbon or tie to mourn the re-inauguration of Bush and his dangerous policies.



  • Black Thursday

    Call in sick, don’t buy anything, and write to your newspaper and congressperson to tell them why.



  • Bush Blackout

    A call for people to black out their website or blog on January 20 and display a message of protest against Bush.





  • National Student Walkout

    College and high school students will stage walkouts against the inauguration on both the 19th and 20th.


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