President Bush bound for RI

UPDATE: Here are the details on tomorrow's planned protest:

Peace activists from around the state are planning to hold an antiwar rally at 11:00 AM near the rotary on Connell Highway in Newport at Admiral Kalfbus Road. The rotary is close to the main entrance to the naval base where President Bush will be speaking that morning.

Demonstrators will be gathering near the Newport Towne Center shopping plaza at 11:00 AM and proceeding to the rally site. This is planned to be a peaceful and nonviolent protest. There are no plans for civil disobedience at this rally. 
If access to the shopping plaza/rotary area is blocked by the authorities, we will gather at the Gateway Visitors Center in downtown Newport and select another rally location. However, we view this development as very unlikely, because the rotary is close to a major shopping center, and the President will be speaking a few miles away in the midst of a heavily protected military base.

Speaking of President Bush, he's slated to visit the Naval War College in Newport tomorrow, in case you hadn't heard. Critics of the war plan to be in the area. While the Phoenix and ProJo, among other media, have reported on this, peace activist Mark Stahl says via e-mail that the White House is doing its best to keep things quiet:

Wondering why there hasn’t been any more media coverage since Saturday?

The answer:  the White House has a technique called “taking out the trash” where they hold up stories they want to bury and then release them during the late afternoon on Friday, with minimal details, so that the story will be buried in the Saturday editions with their low readership. Then they refuse to issue any more details!

Neither the Journal nor the Newport Daily News has received any further details from the White House since Friday evening.  However, the “speculation” that the NDN has heard from local sources is that the President will be on the navy base for the duration of his trip to RI and is not expected to attend the Tall Ships exhibit or the meeting of the Republican governors. The Projo reporter says that the White House has been very “tight-lipped” about the story and they have not been able to confirm any details.   They expect to receive more information tomorrow and have a story in the Thursday edition.

Of course, the WH press office staff know that if they continue to release information on the visit, this will feed the story and local media will continue to cover it, along with ‘tie-ins’ to related stories like antiwar protests.  By tamping down coverage of the President’s visit they also tamp down coverage of our protest plans.  A sophisticated strategy for an administration widely regarded as the most secretive in American history.

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