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Protests and advocacy groups from across the nation descended upon Washington, DC this weekend to protest the inauguration of George W. Bush as President of the United States. Rallies were held throughout the city, including the VoterMarch protest in DuPont Circle which attracted several thousand; and joining in was a small but enthusiast crowd of American Atheist members and supporters, speaking out on behalf of civil liberties and the separation of church and state.

On Friday, American Atheists began the Washington leg of its "Defending the Wall" campaign with a media conference at the National Press Club. The real action was on Saturday, though, as signs reading "Separate Church and State" and "No Faith-based Partnerships" began appearing at our rendezvous point near DuPont Circle.

Illinois American Atheists member Jim Senyszyn braved canceled flights and bad weather to join the protest, and stole the show as "Reverend Bush." We loved the George Duhbya mask, the fake gold cross chain, and his Bible with dollar bills protruding from the pages. Jim was a big hit with the media and protesters from other groups.

Dave Silverman, National Youth & Family Director joined in along with wife Hildy. Kudos also to Wayne Aiken (North Carolina State Director) and Daryl Hicks who made the 12-hour round trip from North Carolina; Liz Burcin (Pennsylvania State Director); and Charles Kress; Arpad Toth, Rhode Island; Richard Crossman, Indiana.

Also, Tim Mitchell, Daryl Kight, Ray Terhorst, Jenny Grisock, Christopher Arntzen, Stan Brown, Marvin Lindroth, Noel Scott, Kevin Giles, Rice O'Dell, Todd Kusteror, Jason Goldsmith, Nathan Schiffer, Stacy Irwin, Corey Hoelscher, Mandy Farber, and Stephen Pike.

Special thanks to American Atheist Maryland State Director John Obst, who together with fiance (congrats, guys!) Melanie Dawson spent over two frantic weeks helping to organize this historic demonstration.

We missed some names, but we thank you -- and everyone else! -- who braved the unfriendly weather, and answered the call to speak out in our nation's capital!

Below are more photos from the protest.

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