PPRC "Friday the 13th" Rally condemns Bush’s slasher attacks on the Bill of Rights, gutting of social programs, views drop in polls as good sign for the nation.


Date: Friday, February 13th, 2004
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Pioneer Courthouse Square

The Portland Peaceful Response Coalition 5:00 p.m. "Friday the 13th" rally and march for peace at Pioneer Courthouse Square draws some parallels between slasher films and Bush’s approach to the Bill of Rights and public education. "It's a scary state our nation is in," said Lila, a local high school student and regular Friday rally marcher. "We have to write letters to our local government to 'alert' them about the horrible 'free-speech zones' we are submitted to, our president declares our country is on the rise when in the years he has been in office he has started two wars, put the Patriot Act into motion, our schools cut teachers and programs and a small class is 32 people." Lila said her worst nightmare (on Elm Street, perhaps) is that Bush could be reelected in November. "We have to work even harder to make sure that doesn't happen and that this downward curve is reversed," said Lila. "Many are starting to lose hope that we can make any change but we have to keep trying or it will just get worse!"

The prospects that George "Jason" Bush might yet be defeated in November seem to be improving daily. Polls indicate his approval ratings are falling, very likely the result of arms inspector David Kay’s recent declarations that there were no WMDs in Iraq, along with renewed scrutiny given to Bush’s Air National Guard service record.

Few of the Friday rally regulars were impressed with Bush’s recent performance with Tim Russert, agreeing with columnist Robert Scheer who asked "Is it just me, or is President Bush's demeanor a bit Napoleonic these days?"1 In an Los Angeles Times column, Scheer observed that in the interview Bush referred to himself repeatedly as a 'war president' as if his trainers had assured him that the phrase was a talisman that would ward off all charges of ineptitude and bad-faith leadership. Jody Heatlie, another Friday rally regular, agreed. "We can't let them get away with these lies while the real purpose in Iraq now is privatizing and stealing all Iraq's resources for the multi-national corporations," said Heatlie. "They are even preventing unions from forming."

Heatlie also scoffed at Bush’s statements that the economy is improving. "The truth is that millions of jobs are being lost, going to other countries for cheap labor, and people are hurting all over this country," said Heatlie.

1. "War as an Excuse for Everything", Robert Scheer, Los Angeles Times, February 10, 2004.


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