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Boston Incubates Decentralized Resistance
The City of Boston and Federal Agencies transformed Boston into a totalitarian police state in the days leading up to and during the Democratic Convention of 2004. The organs of oppression prepared for the arrests of 2000. During the weeks leading up to the DNC, the FBI and local police officers harassed dissidents and anarchists across the United States. Naturally, these acts of oppression gave pause to some protesters and the numbers that turned out for the DNC were smaller than expected. Despite this, the resistance to the DNC was a success. The city saw many decentralized actions, planned and executed by small groups. This new form of organized (or disorganization) was difficult for the police to infiltrate and many actions took the police by surprise.
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30 Jul 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / DNC : Organizing
Fifth Day of Protests, July 29th
head-held-high.jpgTo 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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30 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : GLBT/Queer : Human Rights
Each Protester Owed $10,000 by Homeland Security
Ridge.jpgDear Tom,

We need to do some math. The latest stats put the DNC security tab at $50 million, more than half of the total number spent on the convention. Now that’s a lot of cash to spend on rent-a-cops, K-9 sniffing dogs, and boot wax. So, I have a proposition for you. So far, you have really only outlined two major security threats: (1) Terrorists organizations who have killed thousands of people using airplanes, chemical weapons and other WMD’s; and (2) ‘violent’ protesters whose worst offense seems to be that they ‘throw water balloons filled with urine’. (For the sake of this conversation, we’ll put aside the fact that this oft-repeated urine thing never gets backed up by any hard evidence). In the absence of clear information of how much cash went to which threat, should we just divide it down the middle? Can we assume that $25 million went to protecting us from Al Qaeda, and the other $25 million went to protecting the public from crusty punks peeing into balloons? So what is the proper conclusion from this little math problem? Well, basically, you owe us some serious cash. That’s right. The fact is that the government spent $10,000 on each protester in order to keep us from throwing urine, and we didn’t throw a drop. Therefore, we should be compensated for the full amount.
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30 Jul 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / DNC
Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
silenced.jpgThe first major protest of the day, with 500 people, was a rally calling on the US government to respect human rights called, “What Have Become?: From Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib?” Another 400-500 people gathered in Blackstone Park to support a local environmental justice group calling for funding for public health, not the bioterror lab being built in their neighborhood. A group of 10 pro-gay marriage activists disrupted a DNC meeting and were removed by the police. In the early evening a street theater action took place against the “Free Speech Zone”, with activist entering it with hands bound and heads hooded, while a group of DNC delegates condemned the “Free Speech Zone”. The police were becoming increasingly aggressive throughout the day, showing up in totally disproportionate numbers to the environmental justice rally, and arresting one activist while he was walking down the street.
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29 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : Human Rights : Race
Speakers at Rally for Human Rights Wonder What the US Has Become
prisoners.jpgAs part of the on-going protests against the Democratic National Convention, on Wednesday, July 28, there was a rally of 500 people in Copley Square from noon to 2:00 pm. Sponsored by United for Justice with Peace, the main Boston-area anti-war coalition; Boston Mobilization, a local student activist group; the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); and the Kucinich for President Campaign, the rally was entitled, “What Have We Become?: From Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib.” Speakers decried the US government’s violations of human rights, the Constitution, and international law in its conduct of the war “against” terrorism, citing such examples as the on-going detentions without proper trial in the US military base of Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and the American-run torture chambers in Abu Ghraib, Iraq.
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29 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : Human Rights : International
Dems Begin Damage Control Over Protest Pits
civil_liberties.jpgOn Wednesday afternoon, a "ad hoc" group of Democratic delegates held a press conference in the DNC protest pit with the stated intention to "speak out against the conditions within the protest zone" and "call on the Democratic Party leadership to also make a public statement opposing the zone."

But any possibility the event would represent real political movement on the convention floor was sooned dashed as the bright lights and cameras dazzled delegate spokespeople into the usual partisan song and dance blaming the protest pens on Bush and absolving the democrats of any responsibility.
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29 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : Human Rights
Anti-War Activist Dragged off DNC Floor in Handcuffs
dncmedea1.jpgAs Teresa Heinz Kerry gave her prime-time address at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK: Women for Peace attempted to bring an anti-war message onto the convention floor. She unfurled a pink banner that read “End the Occupation of Iraq” a sentiment that is shared by the majority of Americans and vast majority of Democrats and was promptly dragged out of the Fleet Center by the police.
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28 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : International
Howard Dean Criticizes Demoratic Party's Position on War, to Acclaim by DNC Delegates
The apparent split between the official stance of the Democratic Party on the Iraq war and the general sentiment of its members provided one undercurrent during a well-received speech by former Vermont Governor and Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge on Tuesday afternoon. Dean criticized, “the Democratic party, for not standing up to Bush. They thought the best way to oppose George Bush was to be like George Bush.” A Boston Globe report claimed that some ninety-five percent of Convention delegates oppose the decision to go to war in Iraq.
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28 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : International
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