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News :: DNC : GLBT/Queer : Human Rights
Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
To close the protests against the DNC, the police decided to attack the protesters. Tension mounted all day, starting with the 100-person Critical Mass bike ride at 8:30 am, which was trailed by a dozen bike cops. During the course of the day, there were also a number of independent actions by affinity groups. Throughout the day, activists reported being tailed by undercover police, a helicopter hovered above the Convergence Center, and several activists were temporarily detained and searched by the police. A permitted No Blood for Oil March, of 100-150 people, left Copley Square at 1:00, swelling to 500 as they marched towards the Fleet Center, site of the DNC. Upon arriving at Government Center, near the Fleet Center, a stand off with the police ensued, with the police eventually attacking protesters (on the excuse of a non-existent Molotov cocktail), arresting three people and sending at least one protester to the hospital. The protesters were released after six hours of jail solidarity work. Then final protest of the day was a queer kiss-in at 6:30.
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Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
compiled by Matthew Williams

Thursday, July 29th was the last day of protests against the Democratic National Convention (DNC) and the leadership of the Democratic Party, which is increasingly conservative and out of touch with its grassroots base. The police presence remained over the top and tension mounted throughout the day as police followed and harassed activists, ending with an unprovoked attack by the police on protesters near the site of the DNC.

The protests started at 8:30 am, with a 100-person Critical Mass bike ride leaving Copley Square, followed by a dozen bike cops and some motorcycle cops. At one point in the ride, one of the motorcycle cops rammed one of the bikers, wrecking his bicycle. The goal of Critical Mass bike rides is to allow bicyclists to have control of the street for once and promote biking as an alternative to pollution-generating cars as a form of transportation. After the Critical Mass was over (ending where it began, in Copley Square), many activists reported being tailed by sometimes painfully obvious undercover police. Later in the day, a helicopter began to hover over the Convergence Center, and several activists were temporarily detained and searched in at least two separate cases.

Following the end of the Critical Mass at 10:00 am, a No Blood for Oil rally began, calling for an end to the US occupation of Iraq. Although the permit was originally obtained by the Black Tea Society, the rally and ensuing march were actually organized by the Green-Rainbow Party, the Anarchist Black Cross, and Homes Not Jails. They left Copley Square on a permitted march at 1:00 pm, 100-150 people strong.

During the course of the day, a number of independent actions by affinity groups took place, as part of the Day of Action. Following are some of the ones that were reported to the IMC. Two different groups managed to disrupt DNC meetings--the affinity group Democrats Are Not Change (DANC), voicing its opposition to the war, and the Party Crashers affinity group, who unfurled a banner promoting anarchism. Another affinity group trashed the GAP, in an action meant to draw attention to connection between the Democratic Party, globalization and sweatshops. At the Marriott Hotel, where the Arizona delegation to the DNC was staying, an affinity group set up a mock border checkpoint, denying delegates entry to the “US” from “Mexico”.

As the No Blood for Oil march reached Government Center at 3:30, near the Fleet Center (site of the DNC) and the fenced-in "Free Speech Zone", their number swelled to 500 people. A stand-off with the police ensued, during which some protesters set fire to a two-faced effigy--one face that of Kerry, the other that of Bush. Eventually, the police attacked the protesters with their clubs, arresting three (1, 2, 3) and sending one woman to the hospital with a head injury. The excuse for the attack and arrests was a Molotov cocktail--which like every such case at a past protests turned out to be non-existent. The IMC has received conflicting reports about what it actually was--an empty bottle, a paper mache Molotov cocktail, and even a paper mache pirate hook worn by a member of the Pirate Bloc. During the police attack, a group of protesters tried cutting the fence around the "Free Speech Zone" with bolt cutters; the police confiscated the bolt cutters but did not arrest them. The police ended the lock down of Government Center at 4:00 and the assembled activists began to leave around 4:20. After six hours of jail solidarity work the three arrested protesters were released.

The day ended on a more festive note, with a queer kiss-in by 60-70 people at Fanueil Hall at 6:30 pm, organized by the group Radical Queer DNC, a group trying to move the gay rights movement beyond a single issue agenda to embrace other movements for social justice. Chants included, "Keep your laws off my body!" and "Make out, not war!"

[Editor's note: Photos of the Critical Mass taken by a St. Louis IMC member and originally posted at http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/24841/index.php . Photos of arrestees taken by Just1pin and originally posted at http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/25135/index.php ]

*****


The Boston IMC would like to thank all the independent media folks who came from out of town to help us cover the Boston Social Forum and the DNC-protests. We couldn’t have done it without you.
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Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
You are kidding right? You can't possibly be proud of your performance this week. You treated Bostonians to a laughable display of gutlessness and lack of conviction. How was it that all of the major "alternative" groups were claiming that "TENS OF THOUSANDS" of protesters would descend upon Boston only to come up with fewer than 500 protesters on the last day of the event? Then, when confronted by cops in Ninja suits, you all cowered in fear and ran away!! You couldn't even get arrested properly!! Six arrests?? That's civil disobedience? The only thing accomplished by the six arrests is that the courts will be $150.00 richer per arrestee in court costs. Do us all a favor. The next time that you think about coming to Boston, either put on a better show or stay away. The pirates can come again...they were creative and entertaining...but the rest of you...please stay away. Sheesh!
The Thing To Do?
30 Jul 2004
Modified: 04:59:30 PM
cartoon_tradetowers_small.jpg
http://liesofbush.com/
I do not want anyone to think that I wish to silence their opinion, but don’t you think that attacking the only alternative to the right wing regime that we have is a little counter-productive?
It would make the republicans very happy to see left wing protesters at the DNC.
Could it be that the neo-cons are behind this thinly veiled attempt at disruption, just as they are vehement in their attempt to get Nader on the ballot in battleground states?
The same companies that Nader has spent his life fighting are now his greatest supporters. WHY?
The place to protest is at the RNC, if anywhere.
Please visit my site to see why the ousting of this right wing threat to our Country and our World is of PRIMARY IMPORTANCE. http://liesofbush.com/
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
its pretty disgusting that you categorize the success of protest by simply how many people get arrested. What are you? ANSWER?

I can guarantee your ass wasn't out here in the streets with us, so what gives you the right to complain? Have you no idea the dedication that this small but amazing group of people had for this cause? did you not hear about the call for DECENTRALIZED action and the BOYCOTTING of the soft zone/FSZ? Are you a cop or a fucking idiot? Both? Did you realize that pussy liberal groups who have decided to go anyone but bush snubbed any sort of DNC protest? WHERE'S YOUR CRITICISM OF THEM? You're calling the people who ACTUALLY took to the streets weak yet do not point out the shortcomings of the so called radical community and their blind obedience to the ABB mentality.

In point, if you weren't out there with us, SHUT THE FUCK UP.

To everyone else: you guys were amazing and just ignore the stupid naysayers who sat on their couches all week waiting for something to happen instead of igniting something themselves. The reports of the actions that took place yesterday and throughout the week are incredibly well planned and much more in the face of the delegates than any protest in the FSZ.

Confronting the delegates head on, crashing their parties and forcing them into discussions of REAL issues was exactly what was called for. For them to see first hand that not everyone in the left is a blind follower of their fearless leader was not only important, it was necessary.

It was a lot of fun and I hope we can all come together and do this again. Maybe RNC?
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
Mr. Real Bostonian, I know you were not addressing me, but that you were addressing A Bostonian. But let me ask you to not try to silence anyone’s opinion and please do not use profanity.
You are making it hard for females with no patience for that sort of language to be part of this debate, and you are using the tactics one might expect of the Neo-con operatives.
Do not take this as a rebuke, just as advice to help further our cause.
Thanks and greetings from Ireland
30 Jul 2004
Although I think Kerry would be the lesser of two evils (hardly difficult), that's no excuse for giving him an easy ride.
The Democrats seem to be too spineless to really offer an opposition.
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
Excuse me, that's Mrs. A REAL Bostonian. I can't believe you people, picking on the kids that were actually out there making a stand and not looking at your sorry selves sitting behind a computer, not participating. Make me sick.
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
just a couple thoughts when someone says this:
"In point, if you weren't out there with us, SHUT THE FUCK UP"

makes me think of some communist totalitarian, again and again i see authoritarian tendencies in anarchists and "anti-authoritarians" makes me question the ideas people are acting on, is this what you want, where only the "right" people can speak. then again to you i am not allowed to say this because i was not out on the streets.

to those that are calling the street protestors "chicken" or what not. there are many forms of anarchist resistance some are pacifists some are violent, spare us your authoritarian take on things that only your actions are the right way.

i really believe the biggest thing holding back anarchists at this point is the issue of Anarchist Vanguardism we really need to start treating each other with some respect and dignity as well as those that don't agree with us. me personally, i don't believe in violence at protests but some people would consider my de-centralized actions that i partake in away from the crowds as violent, there is a diversity of tactics that is just a simple reality.
update on the radical queer kiss-in
30 Jul 2004
the radical queer kiss-in was great. about 40-50ish people convened at faneuil hall, read a statement about connecting state-sanctioned violence and police aggression to state control of queer and transgender bodies, and had a kiss-in. we did this a few times (maybe 4?), attracted some press, held signs like "watch out capitalism, we already destroyed marriage", and and our chanting disrupted a live outdoor filming of "hardball with chris matthews".

thanks everyone, who participated and who also came to our event on monday called "the radical queer dnc: dance, network and converse". if you are local and want to continue working on these issues, let us know.

queersatthednc (at) riseup.net
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
I think Mr. anti-authoritarian Anarchist put it nicely with:

"there is a diversity of tactics, that is just a simple reality." Or as I said somewhere else:

"Evaluate your abilities and chose your weapons as thinking patriots."
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
hi I was there and am ashamed. Activist rule no 2
(no 1 is sticking together) is stand your ground.
We broke both rules by letting the cops take over our ground and when we left. I hope no one does that in New York.
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
what are you talking about? we had the cops baffled the whole week. decentralized action=less arrests, confused cops, people affected directly as opposed to a warped vision thru mainstream media
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
If you were not there, then don’t complain, don’t judge. I have found that people standing on the sidelines are too lazy, too ignorant, or just too scared to make any kind of real stand. You many not agree with our opinions, but I didn’t see any one voicing any against us either.
Being a seasoned protester, I know its pointless to get arrested – it only gives our crooked government pleasure. In fact, the cops are nothing to fear – don’t piss them off and they won’t bother you. I was out there yesterday, trying to make my point through non-violent action. I was not out there to piss off cops (yes, i got hit in the chest by a cop who was swinging his club in every direction possible)… Some of them are ordered to take certain actions like watching for suspicious activity and acting swiftly to defuse it, and yesssss… sometimes they over react BUT I condemn the kid that made the fake Molotov. It was a stupid choice, obviously provoking police and security. What else could come out of that?
As far as the other two arrests go, I do not know the charges… Any one have answers?
I AM a real Bostonian – I love this city! If you see our actions are pointless, than you obviously don’t care that a bunch of upper-class posers were allowed to invade this wonderful city and use it for their own gains.
Peace & Solidarity


Paper or Plastic?
FROM THE MEDICS!
30 Jul 2004
hey folks who just got out. just so you know the medics are still here for you if you need us for emotional care or if your cuffs were on too tight. let us know. (this goes to anyone hurt on the street) you can email the black tea society to get to get me or email the boston area liberation bedics at bostonmedics (at) riseup.net.
love
the dnc medics
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
hi F.T.E.
You say you are a seasoned protester and arrests are pointless. What do you say to the fact we should have stood our ground instead of just left?
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
FTE, just how far are you willing to take that "just don't piss them off and they won't bother you" attitude? Where do you turn when "they" bother you without provocation? I'm not saying I completely disagree; there is definitely a time for direct action and a time for passive objection. I just think it's really dangerous to go around thinking everything will be okay if you just "don't piss them off". I'm pissed off, and they should be too.
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
Honestly, what did you expect?
Not a shread of this, or any other repression
of DNC protest's were broadcasts by the "news."
I consumed all of the major newscorps channels, and side channels, since last weekend and the only mention of democratic protest occured on July 24 & 25, which of course dealt with the fabricated reports of imminent attacks on "news" vans by anarchists.
Without question, this convinces me that it is a waste of time to trying to tailor protest strategy and tactics to please the corporate "news."

Dwayne Chandler, US Army.
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
good going, protesters! I was there thru Tuesday. Thanx for the pics, too. I took one of a little old lady wearing a sunbonnet, and "plugging" her ears while hate mongers (against homosexuals) monopolized the stage and microphone inside the Caged Area. Behind her is a protest sign hung on the fence.
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
in response to the "fake molotov". it was meant to be a fake hook for his hand. he was dressed like a pirate. the "molotov" was a cut up plastic bottle w/shaped paper mache on it. It doesn't even look like a MC. I know the kid, and he had no intent to "cause trouble" in terms of throwing any sort of explosive. the thing was supposed to be a hook hand for his pirate costume.


Jennifer, why didn't you stand your own ground? Getting arrested is not "cool" and it doesn't make anyone a worthy protester. Being someone who actually cares about this community and works hard to help people out does.
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
30 Jul 2004
Hey there, I almost forgot.
The next time a prowar supporter
screeches at you that the war in
Iraq and Afghanistan is about
Democracy consider this: Soliders
throughout the US Army constantly
refer to Afghani, Iraqi, Muslim and
Arab people as "Hadji." Go figure.
Besides being digustingly racist
it is tragically ironic; fighting
and dying for corporate profit
and we don't know the difference
between Hindu, Muslim and Arab
people.

Dwayne Chandler, US Army.
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
31 Jul 2004
As far as standing your ground: I am not saying that resistance is wrong. If someone would have told me to get into that cage or else, I would have sat down right where I was and they'd have to drag me out of there for sure. What I trying to say (maybe not as clearly as I could have) was that standing in the cops' faces, screaming at them and using physical force does not do much good.
I DID stand my ground, for a long time, thanks.
If they beat me without me provoking them, I would not do anything to stop them. It would put them in the wrong and make the message of peaceful resistance that much stronger.
And mothra: Thanks for the clarification on the Molotov. and, you're totally right... I believe in social outreach and education above all, setting a good hardworking example for the generations to come. Make a point with the integrity and honesty you put in your work. Not by being arrested. We need more unity in our communities. The low turn outs are proof that so many of us liberally minded people have turned apathetic.
Please come out to RNC and show those exploitive war hawk criminals that we care!
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
31 Jul 2004
Mothra and F.T.E.
Everybody was leaving and you stay with your group. And I do not have enough experience to deal with the pigs. Which is why I wish we had formed actual affinity groups.
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
31 Jul 2004
(Sorry for duplicate messages. It doesn't like less-than less-than character combo. Here it is again.)

>> ...Not a shread of... DNC protest's were broadcasts by the "news." I consumed all of the major newscorps channels, but ...

Well, silly, get with it. That only proves that "all of the major newscorps channels" are no longer "the news". :-)

Join those of us who own the news! Give to indyMedia, Democracy Now, etc.

Let your donatations and ownership of the media be the start of a whole new existance for the human race.
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
31 Jul 2004
good works guys, nice to few pander to the free speech zones and permits...
do you have trouble with groups totally overstating expected numbers , do answer do that or some leninist socialist groups like over here in europe?
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
31 Jul 2004
i would just like to say that people should be more positve when they critize the actions. if every boady keeps on with all this "fuck this person because of this reason" we as a radical movment wont get anywere. its good that people feel strongly about what they belive but lets not singel out a spsfic group of people and insult them because there are plenty of people who already do that. so let try to change the world in a positve way (because its been done way to many times in a negitve way)
ps
im kind of hurt about the double standared set on us anarchists. people call us chickens if we dont get arested and fuck a bunch of stuf up but if we did smash the police baracade and started a war on the streets with the cops people would be saying that we are extreamists and violint neanderthals that just like to start riots.
pps sorry for the horrible spelling and gramer
translation of above
01 Aug 2004
from Nogales, Sonora, I write you all this letter, in support of your protests in Boston. I hope to be in Boston again some day to work with activists, and I would also like for some of you to travel to Mexico to create a network between the Mexican border area and Boston...
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
01 Aug 2004
Jennifer, there were actual affinity groups formed for decentralized action. We did not encourage anyone to go into the soft zone at all. It was a choice you made. Don't put yourself in that situation if it makes you that uncomfortable. no one said you couldn't form your own affinity group.
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
03 Aug 2004
Just for Shits and Grins I looked up Dwayne Chandler. He is not in the US Army.
Occupation of Palestine
03 Aug 2004
why do you hate the Jews. WDon't you understand that we have been the most oppressed people in history? I guess that you are among those who think that Jews were not killed by Hitler. Is that what you "peace loving" people want? Do you want to see the Jews driven from their ancestral homeland while half of Palestine remains in the hands of Jordan?
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
04 Aug 2004
An anonymous Jewish person has posted three times on this thread asking why we hate Jews. I hid the first two posts since they were off topic, but since he's so persistent, I thought I'd offer an answer to him.

The answer to your question is that we don't hate Jews. There is a large difference between being critical of the policies of the government of Israel and being anti-Semitic. Indeed, there are a large number of Jews who are critical of the Israeli government. There are even some who are anti-Zionist. And I don't think you can just dismiss them as self-hating Jews either. In many ways, they represent the continuation of the best of the Jewish tradition. Since Jews were a long persecuted people, they were often at the forefront for struggles for social justice in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

And there is no doubt that for centuries Jews were a persecuted people, culminating in the Holocaust. Things are a bit different now. Anti-Semitism is certainly not dead but it is much weaker than it once was. And the tragic thing is--and a lot Jews don't want to see this--that now the government of the Jewish state is persecuting others (Palestinians) in exactly the way Jews were once persecuted.

In one of your hidden posts, you said that Arabs have been persecuting Jews for centuries. Actually, during the Medieval era, when Jews were being mercilessly persecuted by Christians, the Arab/Islamic world was a haven for Jews. (The only better place was Kkazarstan, am ethnically Turkic state in what is now southern Russia that converted to Judaism. Unfortunately, they got wiped out by the Russians.) Not only were Jews not persecuted in the medieval Islamic world (they did have to pay a special tax, but so did all non-Muslims), but they coculd become respected state officials and philosophers. Muslim-ruled Spain saw a flowering of Jewish mysticism.

The problems in Jewish-Arab relations came, like it or not, with Zionism. It makes a great deal of sense that a persecuted people would seek their own homeland. Unfortunately, the formula "A land without people for a people without land" would only have been true of Antartica. In the Ottoman province of Palestine, Arab Jews (that is, Sephardic Jews) got along fine with the Arab Muslims and in fact oppsoed Zionism. Since Zionism had the support of the British government (however lukewarm), it was seen as part of a colonial project by the Palestinians. And the European Jewish settlers were not very sensitive--they would buy land from absentee landlords and then evict the Palestinian peasants who had been living there for centuries. These is hardly a formula to earn one a warm welcome.

And things went down hill from there. There was Israel's declaration of idependence in 1948, in which Palestinians were evicted at gunpoint from their villages--and in which Israel grabbed more land than the UN had allotted them. There was the occupation of the remainder of Palestine in 1967--which continues to this day. The Israeli government has repeatedly committed any number of basic human rights violations. Stealing Palestinian land to build Jewish-only settlements, Jewish-only roads and now this Wall, that is not on Israel's internationally recognized border, but actually set up to annex much of the best agricultural land and aquifers in the Occupied Territories. Palestinian civilians have been punished for the acts of terrorists. Palestinians are held in prison for long periods of time without charges or access to lawyers. The checkpoints surrounding every village have destroyed the Palestinian economy, leading to mind-boggling poverty rates.

This is what people are critical of when they criticize Israel. If you're concerned with Israel's security, the best solution is to end the occupation. Yes, Israel suffers from terrorist attacks by Palestinians. They are driven to it by despair, by the terrorism of the Israeli occupation. I'm not trying to justify it, but if you want to solve a problem you have to undertsand its roots. Talking about a factually inaccurate centuries-old hatred isn't going to help you. A two-state solution won't immediately end all Palestinian terrorism--there will remain a hardcore of fanatics who will never accept the existence of Israel. But end the occupation and most of their base of support will probably dry up, as people's lives improve and they grow less desperate.

And here's something else, a story I've heard from a Jewish peace activist. It was told to her by Arik Ackerman, the head of Rabbis for Human Rights. He and some other Israeli Jews regularly go into the Occupied Territories and try to block bulldozers destroying Palestinian homes by standing in front of them, risking their lives. And the Palestinian parents always want to introduce him to their children, because they want them to meet Jews who aren't soldiers, so they know there are Jews who support Palestinians' right, so that they don't come to hate all Jews. And there is a nonviolent movement in Palestine for peace, alongside the terrorist organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. And the Israeli army doesn't treat them much differently, firing live ammo at nonviolent demos.

I don't expect I've changed your mind about anything, but you wanted an answer. To repeat the point I made at the beginning, criticism of the Israeli government is not meant as an attack on all Jews. It is meant as an attack on the policies being carried out by a small number of Jewish politicians--with the passive support of a large number of Jewish citizens of Israel--that stand at odds with everything that is best in the Jewish tradition.

Now can we please stick to topic. I'll probably go back to hiding anything else that's off topic.
Censorship
17 Aug 2004
Once again, Matthew has censored posts with which he does not agree. What are you afraid of Matthew? Are you afraid of the truth? Apparently you are. Otherwise you would allow posts that call you to the carpet. You practice the very tactics that you claim to abhor. You would call this censorship "repression."
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
19 Aug 2004
I will no longer be posting my true and valid opinions on this article since it is no longer considered to be of front page interest on the website. It would be petty of me to continue to post my comments on an article that no one cares about anymore. This operation has timed out.
To the Pirates
24 Aug 2004
To ye Pirates...all I kn say t'yee is Arrgh.
Re: Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
25 Mar 2006
Uhh, Yes I am in the military.
Obviously, you are a worthless and impotent bourgeois white granlola crunching liberal.

Most Sincerely, Dwayne Chandler, US Army.
dwayne.chandler (at) us.army.mil