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Nov 3: National Day Of Direct Action And Protest

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday November 2nd, 2004 10:30 AM PST

No Matter What Happens on Nov. 2,
30+ Cities Plan Nov. 3 Demonstrations:
Day of Popular Protest and Civil Disobedience Across the US to Demand:
Democracy Not Disenfranchisement! Education Not Occupation!
Health Care Not Warfare!

http://www.beyondvoting.org

San Francisco--- As a nation deeply divided on the war in Iraq heads to the polls today, anti-war and pro-democracy organizers in cities across the country are making preparations for demonstrations on Nov. 3, the day after the election. Emphasizing health care, education, the dangers of current US foreign policy, and drawing attention to mass-disenfranchisement and the flaws in the electoral system in the United States, “Beyond Voting” demonstrators will hit the streets in over 30 cities, including Washington DC, Chicago, Toledo, Pittsburg, Vermont and San Francisco. The demonstrations are designed to spark a grassroots dialogue on “The Day After” about the real meaning of democracy and the next steps for taking the country back post-Nov. 2, and provide a local forum for neighbors to come together and assess the outcome, or theft, of the 2004 election.

“Even though millions of people did not support the war in Iraq and marched in the streets to stop it, an antiwar candidate will not win the presidency in 2004,” said Shahid Buttar, an attorney and activist in Washington, where organizers plan a rally in Lafayette Park on the 3rd, and a march to the winner's home on Nov. 6. “ Today's election has already been stolen. As renewed reports of voter fraud continue to surface, and court decisions around the country undermine popular control over electoral results, the federal government finds itself confronting a crisis of legitimacy. Patriotic citizens will respond this week by demanding an end to puppet democracy – not only in Iraq, but here in the U.S."

Wednesday, the day after one of the closest races in American memory, will see civil disobedience from coast to coast. In New York, organizers with the War Resisters League plan to gather at Ground Zero at 8 AM and march to the New York Stock Exchange with coffins to mourn the loss of life in Iraq. In San Francisco, doctors and health care workers will call for "health care not warfare!" at the federal building. In towns like Columbus, Pittsburg, Burlington, and Baltimore, local coalitions plan rallies and demonstrations regardless of the results of the election, and are ready to raise their voices in case of fraud or disenfranchisement at the polls today.

“We are demonstrating on Nov. 3 to draw attention to the dismal state of health care in this country: While the U.S. spends billions on bombers we have 43 million uninsured, and pharmaceutical companies cashing in on the crisis,” said Dr. Michael Kozart, of Code Blue, the group of health care workers organizing civil disobedience at the Federal Building in San Francisco. “We are health care workers who are addressing the fact that neither Kerry nor Bush are putting forth sound proposals for universal access to quality, affordable health care, while both will continue the occupation of Iraq—and we feel it is time that we go beyond voting to expose this crime with nonviolent civil disobedience.”

The decentralized, grassroots, pro-democracy movement, coordinated via the website “www.beyondvoting.org”, has grown out of a year of organizing, from a strategy conference at the New Hampshire Primary, to the demonstrations at this summer’s Democratic and Republican National Conventions (DNC/RNC). The network is protesting the Bush administration’s empire-building policies of war without end, and is focused on building a real democracy through grassroots participation in the decisions that affect our lives, communities, and country. Beyond Voting, featured in last week’s Time Magazine cover story on “The Morning After,” aims to harness the collective outrage that may erupt in case of election fraud—or a ‘victory’ by the Bush Administration—and to project an anti-war message to whomever clinches the White House this year.

Beyond Voting events are still being planned, and the outcome on Nov. 2 will surely influence their tone, message and impact. Sister networks planning election protection efforts on Nov 3 also include “This Time We’re Watching” ( www.ttww.org) and No Stolen Elections ( www.nov3.us). For more info: www.beyondvoting.org

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