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State Street march will support Bush ouster
By Aaron Nathans
Can't wait until January 2009 to see a change at the White House? Activists throughout the country are taking to the streets on Wednesday to spread the message that they'd like to see change before the next presidential election.
Legally, of course.
Organizers of "The World Can't Wait" hope to see more than 1,000 people march down State Street to mark the one-year anniversary of the 2004 election. They will gather at 12:30 p.m. at Library Mall, and walk to the Capitol.
The Madison event will be one of dozens on campuses throughout the nation.
"There is no exact blueprint for doing something like this," said national coordinator Debra Sweet, originally of Madison. She cited Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974 as a blueprint for the group's goal. Nixon was re-elected by a landslide in 1972, only to resign under threat of impeachment two years later.
Things were different then. Namely, there was a Democratic Congress, as opposed to a Republican Congress now.
Nevertheless, the group hopes to inspire a movement to change even the makeup of Congress.
"The only way to do this is to build a movement of millions and millions of people who didn't want him the first time, and a significant numbers who didn't want him the second time," said Sweet, speaking of President Bush. Sweet lives in New York, where she will march. She said her parents will march in the Madison rally.
Rachel Friedman, the local organizer, said the idea is for people to walk out of school and work, bring people with them, and make a statement about their feelings on the government.
"That's what November 2nd is all about. There's a lot of people that feel paralyzed. I don't think it's truly apathy, although there's certainly an element of that. It's more a feeling of being so disempowered and disenfranchised in a country that's supposed to be a democracy, that they're not sure what they're supposed to do," Friedman said.
She said she hopes the event will inspire people to call or send e-mails to their members of Congress, send letters to local newspapers, and to speak up in general.
"I talk to so many people, they say they're embarrassed to be American. People are angry, upset, tired of being lied to," Friedman said.
There are many organizations behind the movement, including the Progressive Democrats of America, the After Downing Street Coalition, several smaller peace groups, as well as "our share of religious people, Communists, anarchists, academics," and celebrities such as author Gore Vidal and actor Ed Begley Jr., Sweet said.
The Revolutionary Communist Party "was very helpful in initiating this, bringing a lot of people into it," Sweet said.
"In July, this was a crazy idea for a lot of people. Going into November, with...the delegitimacy of this regime, about what they've done in Iraq in particular, people are seeing a real possibility you could see Bush leaving office before 2009," Sweet said. "2009 is too late."