After the sleight-of-hand addition of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act to the Port Security Bill in September by Tennessee Senator Bill Frist and the signage of the entire bill into law by President Bush, many online poker players have raged against the machinery and chicanery of the Congress. The outrage of the estimated 50 million poker players in the United States has raced across all forms of the media and the Internet, with varying degrees of success. Now there is actually a mobilization effort being started that could potentially demonstrate to the leadership in Washington that there could be ramifications for their actions.
An online web site, onlinegamblingrights.com, is organizing a peaceful protest march on the government of the United States on November 3rd and 4th. The person in charge of the protest drive, Debbie Richardson, reports that, at this time, 250 people have stated they will attend the protest and that several of those people have stated they will be bringing a group of people to expand the march. "We think we have enough people who have confirmed they are showing up for the event that we could fill up the square behind the White House," and that the more marchers there are, the more the protest will get noticed by the press. Several press outlets, such as MSNBC, Fox News and CNN have expressed interest in the drive.
The march will start at 9AM each morning on the 3rd and the 4th and will meet at one of the great symbols of freedom in the Nation's Capital, the Washington Monument. From there, the marchers will move towards the White House and settle in across from the White House in the park on Pennsylvania Avenue. Poker (albeit for chips only) will be played as a form of protest during the demonstration, but there are far more significant statements being made by the march that go beyond the game.
On the organization's website, they state that this isn't limited to just the situation regarding online poker. It is "…not only about internet gambling, online poker, or government wire tapping. This is about the United States government taking away personal freedoms that were guaranteed to us in the Constitution. They have taken away our ability to use our own finances in whatever way we please. They are taking away are freedoms one by one and this has to stop!"
Some of the most critical movements in American history have been accomplished through such peaceful protests. It is with great hope that thousands of people come out for this march and demonstrate the collective impact of the American poker player and the power that they have in the upcoming elections in November. For more information on the march, to join in on it or to provide further support, be sure to visit onlinegamblingrights.com for more information.