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Home  » Actions  » Nov 3 Beyond Voting   »  National Day of Action November 3

For Immediate Release: October 27th, 2004
Contact:    Shahid Buttar, Washington: 202.316.9229
RaeAnne Young, San Francisco: 480.734.8327
Doyle Canning, Burlington, VT: 802.860.1155

National Day of Action November 3

Day of Popular Protest and Civil Disobedience Across the US to Demand:
Democracy Not Disenfranchisement!
Education Not Occupation!
Health Care Not Warfare!


San Francisco -- As a nation deeply divided on the war in Iraq enters the
homestretch of the 2004 presidential election this week--and the prospect of
massive confusion and re-count scenarios seems more and more likely—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 direction of 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 next Wednesday from Baltimore, to Chicago, to Pittsburg, Vermont and
San Francisco. The demonstrations are meant 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.

“Even though millions of people did not support this war 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. “Sadly, our votes will
not be enough to save lives and end this unjust war. In order to end the US
empire’s occupation of Iraq, we must go beyond voting on Nov. 2 and engage
in the honorable American tradition of civil disobedience to restore
justice, peace, and real democracy.”

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 protests the building of a US empire and a war without end, and
insists that real democracy is more than voting on Nov 2 and requires
citizen involvement at the grassroots level to shape the decisions that
affect our lives, communities, and country. Beyond Voting, featured in this
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.

“We are demonstrating on Nov. 3 to draw attention to the dismal state of
health care in this country: While we spend 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—and we feel
it is time that we go beyond voting to expose this crime with nonviolent
civil disobedience.”

“In the rural state of Vermont, where farms are disappearing and the only
jobs for young people are in the service sector, we have suffered among the
highest per-capita casualty rates of US soldiers in this quagmire war.
That’s because we are feeling the chill of a back-door draft in this
country, when the only way that poor kids can go to college is by killing in
the oil fields of Iraq,” said Nicholas Parrish, a social worker from
Burlington, with Direct Action Resisting Empire, VT (DARE). “We are marching
to tell our congressional delegation to stand up for fair elections, and
that we want education, not endless war and occupation.”

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.