We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
On January 20th, over 5,000 people turned their back on President Bush at his Inaugural parade. This simple, direct action was taken by people from all walks of life: grade school students and ministers, veterans and artists, union organizers and single mothers, military families and environmental activists. People travelled from every corner of America - individuals by plane from New Mexico, three busloads from Wisconsin, and carloads from Louisiana, to take an action that lasted minutes, but which will reverberate for the next four years. We stand together against Bush's policies: he has turned his back on the ideals that we hold dear, and we're turning our back on him.
We started out ten weeks ago as two guys and a website. Since then, hundreds of you have made this action your own, and we're proud to stand with you. In the coming weeks we'll be telling the story of how these individuals helped turn Bush's parade into a true celebration of democracy. The sight was unmistakable: block after block of individuals and groups of hundreds turning their backs as the President drove by.
Thousands of articles have appeared in newspapers around the world. The day of the action, every major network, every major newspaper, and local TV news in at least 44 of the top 50 markets in America covered this action. Saturday Night Live included us in a segment, one of our founders was invited to be a commentator on the BBC on the night of the Inauguration, and talk radio came alive with people talking about our action. This idea is spreading quickly around the world.
All this was accomplished by hundreds of people (many of whom had never participated in direct political action before) stepping forward and spreading this grassroots campaign farther than anyone could have expected it would go. A volunteer staff of 15 moved to DC and worked day and night to coordinate the action and SmartMeme helped develop our strategy. Abernathy & Associates executed a media plan that brought our story to millions, and welcomed us into their offices and their homes. We're extremely grateful to all of them.
We all have our own reasons for turning our backs on Bush - join us, and together we'll make them heard.