L.A. Protest of Bush Inauguration Draws Thousands

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Several hours after George W. Bush was inaugurated Saturday, about 2,000 people gathered in downtown Los Angeles for a raucous protest dubbed "The Mourning of the Inauguration."

Among the speakers at the rally, staged at Pershing Square and put on by a group of liberal grass-roots organizations, were actors Ed Asner and Ed Begley Jr., Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) and former state Sen. Tom Hayden.

They charged that Bush is president only because of a fixed Florida vote and a U.S. Supreme Court that helped him steal the election.

"I won't reconcile myself to them," Asner boomed. "They lost the election, then they arranged to obstruct the vote. They don't deserve to be there."

Most speakers pounded away at traditional Democratic themes, focusing on environmental issues, civil and abortion rights, and warning of the dangers of a conservative Supreme Court.

The crowd, which eventually marched to the nearby Edward R. Roybal Federal Building, was made up of the elderly shouting their disdain for Bush next to youthful supporters of Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader and others clamoring for the release of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the black activist on death row in Pennsylvania for killing a police officer.

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