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News :: DNC : DNC : Gender : Human Rights : Organizing
Second Day of Protests, July 26
27 Jul 2004
The main theme of the protests in the morning and afternoon was in defense of civil liberties and against police brutality. A dramatic, thirty-person street theater-style action took place at 9:30 am in the fenced in “Free Speech Zone”, while a 200-400 person march against the PATRIOT ACT and police brutality lasted from 10:00 am-3:30 pm. The evening saw another protest in the “Free Speech Zone”, this one in defense of Palestinian rights, as well as a protest by the pro-gay marriage group Don’tAmend.Com against a reception for DNC delegates.
Second Day of Protests, July 26
compiled by Matthew Williams

The main theme of the protests in the morning and afternoon was in defense of civil liberties and against police brutality. A dramatic, thirty-person street theater-style action took place at 9:30 am in the fenced in “Free Speech Zone”, while a 200-400 person march against the PATRIOT ACT and police brutality lasted from 10:00 am-3:30 pm. The evening saw another protest in the “Free Speech Zone”, this one in defense of Palestinian rights, as well as a protest by the pro-gay marriage group Don’tAmend.Com against a reception for DNC delegates.

The day’s first protest took place at 9:30 am, as, in a dramatic piece of street theater organized by Save Our Civil Liberties, thirty people filed into the fenced-in, city-designated “Free Speech Zone” (articles 1, 2, 3) (a.k.a. the protest pen), with their heads covered and hands bound, herded by two other protesters role-playing police. They were attempting to link the domestic repression of civil liberties with US militarism abroad, drawing on the images of the Abu-Ghraib torture chambers.

Starting at 10:00 am, the Black Tea Society held a rally against the PATRIOT Act and police brutality on the Boston Commons. Starting at noon, the crowd (estimated between 200 and 400 people, by different observers) marched through Boston (articles 1, 2), reaching the security zone near the Fleet Center (site of the DNC) at 2:15. They refused to enter the protest pen. A stand-off with the police followed, with the cops showing surprising restraint. The police eventually allowed the protest to move forward and it dispersed at 3:30, with a few people remaining to converse with tourists and DNC delegates.

From 5:00-7:00 pm, there was another rally--this one against the Israeli occupation of Palestine--in the protest pen, this one organized by United for Justice with Peace (the local anti-war coalition) and the Boston Committee for Palestinian Rights. Although they unsuccessfully sued against the “Free Speech Zone”, they decided to protest in it anyway, using the fenced-in area to make a point about Palestinians’ living conditions.

Finally, at 8:30 pm, 17 members of the pro-gay marriage group Don’tAmend.Com held a rally outside a reception for DNC delegates. Their reasons were that many prominent Democratic politicians have refused to support same-sex marriage. Senator Kerry, the Democratic candidate for president, while opposing a federal level amendment banning same-sex marriage, supports such an amendment in Massachusetts (although it would also create civil unions) (articles 1, 2, 3, & 4).

This work is in the public domain