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Report on Bush Protest
December 1, 2020
East Hanover, NJ

by Joe Zamecki


Joe Zamecki here to tell you about the Bush Protest from December 1 in East Hanover, NJ. Here's the pics/report page: American Atheists Protest, Whippany NJ - 1-Dec-2003

It went very well for the kinds of Bush protests we hear about these days, with protesters being kept far away from the president and ensuing press. We were in a designated bullpen around 500 feet from the hotel where President Bush was speaking. Not bad. We just didn't get close to passing traffic on nearby route 10 though, which is something we wanted. Oh well, we got some good press:

New York Newsday: - Bush counts on New Jersey _ for cash, at least

The New Jersey Star-Ledger Newspaper: N.J. visit nets Bush $1M for re-election

New Jersey's News 12: President Bush makes campaign fundraising stop in Whippany

Also a live tv camera remote from Univision, "the Spanish Channel" did a live tv report from our front line, with our banners right up front, in the picture: "Separate church and state!" and "Their Religion-Our Money-No Way!" along with several of our picket signs. CBSNews did the same on the other side of our bullpen.

I counted 9 of our people, and the papers all say around 75 protesters in total. The other groups represented were the Sierra Club, the National Organization for Women, and NJ Peace Action. Clearly, the NJ Peace Action folks were loudest and most energetic. That made it more of an anti-war protest than anything else, but we made clear in interviews with the press and in talking to the police there that there were other issues to protest over.

There were 3 - 4 counter-protesters as well. They were all white men chanting into a bullhorn pro-war slogans like "War saved the Jews! War freed the slaves! Anti-war racists, go home!" and various other things. I looked for a sign of racism in our bullpen, and happily found none.

Overall the weather was cold, windy, and we even got snowed on for a few minutes, but it was well worth the effort. I think the police also deserve mentioning. They were so friendly and cooperative! They sometimes get a bad rap, but in our case, they were incredibly patient. Their only real bother was the counter-protesters, and the handful of protesters from the anti-war group who got a bit worked up over them.

I got some good video of the protest and I'll be putting clips of it on the Atheist Viewpoint TV show, probably episode #427, for those of you fans of the online version.

Thanks everyone who endorsed the online petition.

Now onto planning the next protest!

Joe Zamecki
Office Manager
American Atheist Center
New Jersey


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