- The Washington Times - Friday, March 14, 2003

The professional protesters are clearing their throats and preparing to make the pilgrimage to Augusta National next month.
Step aside, Tiger Woods.
The circus outside the country club is threatening to overtake the Masters.
The ringmasters are Martha Burk and Jesse Jackson, America's odd fun couple in search of an audience.
One bright idea is leading to another.
A member of the New Black Panther party is planning to protest the inconsequentiality of the protest, whatever it was.
A clown with a splinter group of the Ku Klux Klan is expected to be in attendance as well. Total membership of his group: himself.
Other forces are starting to be roused into action.
Take notes. It is hard to keep up.
Something called the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny is in the mood to voice its objection of Jackson, which sounds more like a complaint than a cause.
The city of Atlanta, behind Mayor Shirley Franklin, is offering to bus all wannabe protesters to Augusta in support of Burk.
The number of protesters is an important element of the undertaking. We can argue the number afterward. We always do.
The 200-member People Against Ridiculous Protests is feeling the spirit. Their stance is obvious enough, perhaps the most balanced of the lot.
Allison Greene, general manager of a cafe in Augusta, is leading a local contingent that is against all the outsiders who are coming to town to protest. She intends to have a placard in one hand and an appetizer in the other.
A radio person from Grand Rapids, Mich., possibly to have fun with the scene, also is applying to receive a permit.
A man from Tampa, Fla., Todd Manzi, has received a permit to protest Burk, which he has been trying to turn into an industry. He is out of a job, but not out of ideas.
Another man, Scott Presley, from Charlotte, N.C., already has fired the first salvo. Presley staged a one-person vigil in front of the country club last week to call attention to the potential war with Iraq and the worrisome gyrations of the nation's economy.
What is all this about again?
It beats most of America.
It does take all kinds. Augusta has been sentenced to experience it.
This is the rare showdown: pickets vs. putts.
Two evaluations going into it: Protesting apparently is contagious, and ours is a free country.
More permits are certain to be issued in the days ahead before the cutoff. Hurry. You don't want to miss it.
This is shaping up to be an impromptu protesters' convention. Name tags are optional. Anyone who ever has had a yearning to be a protester, regardless of the cause, is liable to show up to the protest site that has been reserved for all the parties.
Burk, incidentally, is not too happy with the location of the latest proposed protest site, which is about 2,000 feet from the club's front gate. She is a hard woman to please, specifically by about 1,900 feet, give or take a few steps around the club's front gate.
Burk refuses to budge a foot. In fact, she is making a federal case out of the 1,900 feet, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, which reveals a certain consistency on her part. She is protesting the club. She is protesting the protest site. She probably will end up protesting the catering service.
Augusta is holding off on the red carpet for now. That could change if Sean Penn drops into town to inspect the protest site for himself.
No word yet on if the anti-capitalists who shadow the meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are planning to join the festivities.
Members of the national press are being put in a tough spot, compelled to pull themselves away from Tiger just long enough to capture some of the free speech and color scheduled on the third day of the tournament.
Save the whale?
That could work in this venue.
The plight of the snail darter?
If anyone insists.
A few more political agendas won't spoil the mood.
The environment? Bring the movement to Augusta National.
We can agree to discuss it, so long as everyone remembers to be peaceful.
Quiet, too.
Golfers require silence while they are at work.
Just wondering: What if it rains on the big day? Will the sheriff's department erect a tent over the protest site?
We can hope. A tent would complete the circus.

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