Will the Iraq War affect the Convention as much as the Vietnam War did in 1968?
My knee jerk reaction is nope. The 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago was a watershed moment in our history and it appears the various law enforcement groups have taken steps to insure nothing even close to the melee in Chicago will occur in Denver. The Denver Police have issued a bulletin, according to RawStory, that alerts all officers what to be on the look-out for. It is a real hoot, check it out. Meanwhile the ACLU has been busting their asses trying to get the courts to support our rights to free speech and assembly, but they haven’t made much headway.
Forty years ago Chicago itself was a battleground, a warzone as the police never issued the permits requested by the various anti-war groups. The police in Denver, the federal government and the DNC have already laid down the ground rules for protests and the courts have backed them up for the most part. The ACLU has tried on several occasions to get the rules changed to allow protestors to gain closer access to the Pepsi Center where most of the ‘festivities’ will be held..but to no avail. From the NYT article linked in this paragraph:
A federal judge in Denver ruled against the American Civil Liberties Union in a lawsuit challenging the government’s security rules for the Democratic National Convention here later this month. The judge, Marcia S. Krieger of Federal District Court, agreed with the group that the security plans — including a fenced perimeter and a parade route away from the Pepsi Center where the convention will take place — did affect the ability of protest groups to engage in “expressive activities.” But Judge Krieger disagreed that the affect rose to the level of an infringement of free speech because other means of expression were available and because the Secret Service and Denver Police had shown that the restrictions were “content neutral,” and thus not intended to quash a particular opinion.
Its a damn shame the feds, the Dems and the Denver police are afraid of allowing people the right to express their personal grievances with the election process in general and their elected representatives regarding the war in Iraq in particular. The Denver Police have issued a ‘flyer’ that you can check out here (pdf) which tells people what will be tolerated and what will not. Not to be outdone, the Secret Service has declared both conventions to be…cough..National Special Security Events..and given both cities $50 million in federal funds for ‘security’. Protesters will be in a huge pen in the Pepsi Center parking lot..like animals. For pictures of the area protesters will be confined to..click here.
The group Recreate 68, their logo graces this post, has plenty of plans for events during the convention. These include music and protests, street theater and major anti-war figures will be speaking at rallies. The following is from their website:
The Re-create 68 Alliance also announced that anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney and Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Rosa Clemente will be joining their historic line-up of speakers who include Ida Audeh, Kathleen Cleaver, Ward Churchill, Mark Cohen, Chairman Fred Hampton Jr., Larry Hales, Larry Holmes, Ron Kovic, Glenn Spagnuolo, Pamela Africa, King Downing, Jenny Esquiveo, Mumia Abu Jamal – Current Political Prisoner (Recorded from Death Row for the DNC), Gloria Estela La Riva, Ricardo Romero, Natsu Saito, Ann Erika White Bird, and others.
What a grand example of American’s exercising their civil liberties, to be displayed to the world next week in Denver and to be repeated during the Republican convention in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the first week in September.
Bullshit..its all bullshit designed to keep us from exercising our civil rights. Assholes..