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California Gives a Patriotic Unwelcome to the Resident
By Natasha H. (age 10)

What do you do when you learn at the last minute that the Resident is planning to speak in at some out-of the way-place about an hour out of town? You change your plans, get your family together, and prepare to show him that his anti-American policies are unwelcome in your state.

About 100 to 150 Californians who learned at the last minute that Bush was speaking in Ontario, CA did just that. The crowd included kids like my brother and myself, college students and well-educated professionals, such as attorneys, doctors and engineers.

One thing that united us all was the knowledge that Bush lost the 2000 Presidential election and stole the White House. There were chants calling for an investigation of Bush's possible involvement in 9/11. Chants included, "1,2,3,4 Recount proves that Gore got more. 5,6,7,8 Resign right now. It's not too late.," "1,2,3,4 Dubya is a corporate whore. 5,6,7,8 Enron is his Watergate," "Bush lies. People die," and "CIA pushes drugs. Oil is what the Bushes love."

The event was kept secret until the last minute, was held some distance from the vast majority of Southlanders and many who would have wanted to be there didn't find out about it until after it was over. But that didn't stop Californians (big and little) from coming together to express their dissatisfaction with Bush and his policies.

We crossed to the side of the street where he was speaking (inside the Convention Center) and marched along the sidewalk there until the police told us that the public sidewalk was under the control of the federal government and that we could only exercise our right to free speech within the designated First Amendment Zone across the street.

However, members of the public who did not have signs were allowed to walk along the sidewalk without interference. My mom pointed out to the police that the First Amendment applied to the Federal Government before it applied to the states. However, the police insisted that free speech must be exercised within First Amendment zones. Last I looked, nothing in the First Amendment mentioned any zones.