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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
Third Day of Protests, July 27th
peacedepartment.jpgTuesday, July 27th saw the continuation of two things that have been continuing all week--the multimedia Eyes Wide Open exhibit portraying the grim realities of the Iraq War and the September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrow’s march with a monument to civilians killed in war. There were also more festive events as well: from noon to 8:00 pm, the Really, Really Democratic Bazaar, a fair in which people gave away goods, services and political information for free, and, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, a march by the satirical street theater group Billionaires for Bush to the Republican Party Headquarters. Finally, Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange and Code Pink was hauled off the floor of the DNC for unfurling an anti-war banner.
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28 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : International
Revolution or Alienation?
I was at the bazaar today and I've been involved in anarchist organizing for a while. At some point today I started thinking about how the people who weren't involved in the "scene" perceived us. Vangaurdism is for authoritarians; not anarchists. But I think that we're perceived as vangaurdist sometimes. I feel that we've built some strains of a very interesting subculture and movement that is fun to be a part of and that is doing a lot of good work. But I feel like we need to step back a second and think about how our rhetoric, ascetic and project focus/ implementation relates to what we claim to want. For example, does "smash the state" or "up the punx" or half the rhetoric that we use mean anything to anyone outside our own egos?
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28 Jul 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / DNC : Organizing
Barbed Wire Over Boston: Strong Police Presence at the Really, Really Democratic Bazaar
pinkcheerleaders.jpgThe green grass of the Boston Common, along with the civil liberties of several thousand people were trampled today by squads of police that continually marched, biked and cycled around and through the peaceful displays of the Really, Really Democratic Bazaar. Under the propagandized shield of "combating terrorism" and "preventing violence", the growing security state seeks to protect itself from the exploding numbers of the disenfranchised that will inevitably rise against it. And on the Boston Common, approximately 2500 people of all flavors celebrated "another world is possible" while ignoring the police. Live music on two stages, free haircuts, free massages, free bikes, and free hugs were just several of the ways people expressed their commitment to the creation of community and the living protest to consumptive living.
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28 Jul 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / DNC : Human Rights : Organizing
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