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Sunday Morning News

Bush Inauguration Marked by Protests

Aired January 21, 2001 - 7:11 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KRYA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: The biggest protest in 32 years marked President Bush's inauguration and thousands of protesters joined anti-Bush rallies in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and several other cities around the country.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: CNN's Stephen Frazier picks up the story from there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I, George Walker Bush, do solemnly swear.

STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's one of the hallmarks of democracy in the United States, the peaceful transfer of power. But as President George W. Bush's motorcade made its way down Pennsylvania Avenue there were symbols of frustration, an American flag set on fire, a police officer bloodied by a bottle hurled at the procession, the Presidential limousine itself struck by an egg, protesters clashing with police, others attempting to charge the motorcade. But the Secret Service was ready, speeding and slowing the limousine according to security plans arranged earlier. District of Columbia police arrested at least five people.

But organizers of demonstrations had said earlier their intent was not to confront police.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What made me come out here this afternoon was to protest all the racial injustice that happened in Florida and the Supreme Court decision and Ashcroft.

FRAZIER: In other cities thousands of Americans marched, expressing displeasure with the 43rd president. In San Francisco 10,000 gathered in opposition to an administration they said stole the election.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I find it outrageous that our president was selected and not elected and that nobody seems to be doing anything about it.

FRAZIER: In Tallahassee 1,000 marchers gathered for what they called a fairness in democracy rally. Not since 1969, said one presidential historian, when Richard Nixon took the oath of office, has there been such a flurry of demonstrations such as those seen this Inauguration Day.

Then protesters were angry about the war in Vietnam. This time demonstrators expressed frustration with the election process itself and called for reform.

KWEISI MFUME, PRESIDENT, NAACP: The contrast hearkens our attention to the need for a nationwide, uniform system of casting ballots and counting ballots that's the same no matter what state you're in, no matter what you might look like, no matter what the election is.

FRAZIER: George W. Bush won a majority in the electoral college but it was Al Gore who won the popular vote and many political groups did not want the incoming President to forget that fact.

Stephen Frazier, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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