This is probably one of my favorite articles regarding the OSCE festivities.
“The last landlocked colony,” :-) I had to throw that geographic reference in there!
D.C. voting rights wins international support
By DAN RASMUSSEN
After a weekend of rallies, news conferences, art displays and even a
protest boat ride, D.C. voting rights activists got their reward
Tuesday when the 55-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe called on the United States to give D.C. residents equal voting
rights in Congress.
Proposed by D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, one of the United States.
12 congressional delegates to the assembly in Washington, the
resolution requested that the U.S. government .adopt such legislation
as may be necessary to grant the residents of Washington, D.C., equal
voting rights in their national legislature.
After the resolution’s passage, Norton sent a letter to the delegates
thanking them for their support. “Armed with the Washington
Declaration, we hope you will become messengers to the world,” she
It was not the first time that the international organization has
taken up the cause of D.C. voting rights; it included a footnote about
D.C.’s lack of a vote in Congress in its report on the 2004 U.S.
The passage of the resolution was another step in a campaign to use
international pressure to force the United States to give D.C. voting
rights equal to that of a state of comparable size.
The campaign, led by the political advocacy group DC Vote and the
international human rights organization Worldrights, “has as a goal the
United Nations General Assembly eventually passing a similar
resolution,” said Kevin Kiger, a spokesperson for DC Vote.
The efforts to convince the Organization for Security and Cooperation
in Europe delegates, who were meeting at the JW Marriott on
Pennsylvania Avenue, were marked by colorful displays, enthusiasm and
On Friday, a diverse group of protesters and political activists stood
in the sun on Freedom Plaza to rally public support for Norton’s
resolution and heckle members of the Bush administration as they
entered the hotel.
Norton encouraged the crowd at the rally to make their cause visible.
“The eye of the world will finally be focused on you, you who have no
vote,” Norton yelled to the crowd
Worldrights executive director Tim Cooper declared that “America’s era
of impunity is over. We will humble the most powerful nation on
Cooper later added that he believed “our victory is inevitable.”
The costumes and signs were no less forceful. One DC Statehood Green
Party activist seeking full statehood was holding a sign that read,
“voting rights = 1 vote in the house = continued racist neocolonial
Two activists arrived in colorful 18th century Colonial garb to drive
home the point. Nikolas Schiller, dressed in a three-cornered hat and
purple waistcoat, said his dress “represented that D.C. is still
America.s last landlocked colony.”
The protests were also rife with allegations of contrasts between the
Administration’s international policies and its policy regarding D.C.
“The administration is receptive to democracy internationally,” said
shadow senator Paul Strauss, “but not here.”
To make their message even more clear to the international delegates
meeting across the street, organizers held up five banners reading
“OSCE: Equal Voting Rights for DC,” one in each official language of
DC Vote also unveiled what organizers called a “political art
display,” which constituted four voting booths surrounded by a
barbed-wire fence featuring signs reading “DC Residents Keep Out! By
Order of Congress.”
A rostrum was set up to the side of the art display. Following
Norton’s speech, D.C. Council members Kwame Brown (at-large) and Kathy
Patterson (Ward 3), as well as shadow senator Strauss, made remarks.
After the last speaker, activists crossed the street and swarmed
around the hotel and prepared to heckle House Speaker Dennis Hastert,
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Secretary of State Condoleezza
Rice as they entered the building.
The next day, as delegates took a boat ride to Mount Vernon, Va.,
Strauss put banners on his motorboat and drove alongside the delegates.
boat, in an effort to further raise awareness.
(this article is not on-line because the Northwest Current does not publish their news on their website)
Related OSCE Entries:
- A New Strategy For Full Representation in Congress: Have the District of Columbia Government Sue State Legislatures
- The D.C. Colonist receives a warm welcome from Senator Joe Lieberman at today's Business Meeting of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
- The Organization For Security And Cooperation In Europe Continues To Press The US Goverment on Full Congressional Representation for D.C. Residents
- OSCE Finds US Government Violates Human Rights
- I am mentioned in the Northwest Current
- International Body Backs Vote for D.C.
- OSCE Parliamentary Assembly adopts Washington Declaration
- Examiner Coverage of our OSCE Maritime Lobbying Effort
- The first DC Democracy Naval Battle
- Out of Committee
- Liberté, égalité, fraternité - OSCE
- Sway with me
- OSCE Rally Friday!
- DC City Council Passes OSCE Resolution