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Commentary :: Human Rights
Barbed Wire Over Boston
28 Jul 2004
The 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.
The 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.

But this useless show of force indicates just how frightening the world of ideas and alternatives is to a corrupt system starving itself to death on a diet of war and vanishing natural resources.

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.

Among the more compelling displays was a representation of the Israeli apartheid wall and a car that gets 75mpg on vegetable oil. Radical cheerleaders sang out exuberantly, and Seeds for Peace, Food Not Bombs and the Frida Bus provided fed all those that were hungry.

But those that champion sustainable alternatives to the current system of war and exploitation face an increasing level of harassment and disruption. At one point during the bazaar a Coast Guard helicopter, machine gun sticking out of the open hatch door, buzzed just several feet overhead of the event attempting to drown out music and conversation. Groups meeting to discuss protest plans were also harassed by circling police helicopters.

State police in soft riot gear marched by, while bike cops continually cut swathes through the bazaar itself. Local,state and federal undercover agents stood out against the many black clad anarchists (http://www.blackteasociety.org).

The history of Boston, its source as revolutionary hotbed, has clearly been dismissed. The most striking example of this memory failure is the prison pit known as the "free speech zone." Stuck under a highway overpass with eight foot high steel fences covered with plastic mesh and topped by black mesh and razor wire, the free speech zones are an affront to the very idea of free speech.

On Monday, a group of about 40 people sponsored by the Save Our Civil Liberties Campaign (http://www.saveourcivilliberties.org) performed a powerful street theater action using black hoods and "Camp DNC" guards. Drawing the comparison between the pit and similar facilities in Iraq and Camp X-Ray Guantanomo Bay, Cuba, the event drew a large amount of media and bystanders curious at the dramatic play unfolding. (http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/24450/index.php and http://www.alternet.org/election04/19365/)

MSNBC called the creative action the "worst way" the Democrats could start the week, and indeed no critique of the protest pit has been raised inside the Fleet Center. Apparently the Democrats are so desperate for an election victory, they're willing to drop the Constitution along the way. This is just another way the Democratic Party has become little better than the Republicans and neocons they are trying to replace.

Another disturbing trend for the Boston DNC security is the use of regular Army personnel for domestic policing. Unlike Georgia where a "State of Emergency" was declared, this time both national guard and regular military personnel have been placed on the street and in the subways to search and police peaceful citizens.

The use of regular military for domestic policing can only occur under an executive order, this time signed and delivered in secret. It's taken four years, but Bush Administration has finally gotten the Posse Comitatus Act fully discarded without public disclosure or discussion.

Despite visible and creative resistance in Boston to the corporate take-over of government policy, civil liberties continue to fall under siege. Where this erosion will end remains to be seen but despite the siege - those who resist continue to assemble and celebrate. The grass is greener, and untrampled, on the other side.

Naomi Archer
http://www.intuitivepath.org

The 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.

But this useless show of force indicates just how frightening the world of ideas and alternatives is to a corrupt system starving itself to death on a diet of war and vanishing natural resources.

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.

Among the more compelling displays was a representation of the Israeli apartheid wall and a car that gets 75mpg on vegetable oil. Radical cheerleaders sang out exuberantly, and Seeds for Peace, Food Not Bombs and the Frida Bus provided fed all those that were hungry.

But those that champion sustainable alternatives to the current system of war and exploitation face an increasing level of harassment and disruption. At one point during the bazaar a Coast Guard helicopter, machine gun sticking out of the open hatch door, buzzed just several feet overhead of the event attempting to drown out music and conversation. Groups meeting to discuss protest plans were also harassed by circling police helicopters.

State police in soft riot gear marched by, while bike cops continually cut swathes through the bazaar itself. Local,state and federal undercover agents stood out against the many black clad anarchists (http://www.blackteasociety.org).

The history of Boston, its source as revolutionary hotbed, has clearly been dismissed. The most striking example of this memory failure is the prison pit known as the "free speech zone." Stuck under a highway overpass with eight foot high steel fences covered with plastic mesh and topped by black mesh and razor wire, the free speech zones are an affront to the very idea of free speech.

On Monday, a group of about 40 people sponsored by the Save Our Civil Liberties Campaign (http://www.saveourcivilliberties.org) performed a powerful street theater action using black hoods and "Camp DNC" guards. Drawing the comparison between the pit and similar facilities in Iraq and Camp X-Ray Guantanomo Bay, Cuba, the event drew a large amount of media and bystanders curious at the dramatic play unfolding. (http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/24450/index.php and http://www.alternet.org/election04/19365/)

MSNBC called the creative action the "worst way" the Democrats could start the week, and indeed no critique of the protest pit has been raised inside the Fleet Center. Apparently the Democrats are so desperate for an election victory, they're willing to drop the Constitution along the way. This is just another way the Democratic Party has become little better than the Republicans and neocons they are trying to replace.

Another disturbing trend for the Boston DNC security is the use of regular Army personnel for domestic policing. Unlike Georgia where a "State of Emergency" was declared, this time both national guard and regular military personnel have been placed on the street and in the subways to search and police peaceful citizens.

The use of regular military for domestic policing can only occur under an executive order, this time signed and delivered in secret. It's taken four years, but Bush Administration has finally gotten the Posse Comitatus Act fully discarded without public disclosure or discussion.

Despite visible and creative resistance in Boston to the corporate take-over of government policy, civil liberties continue to fall under siege. Where this erosion will end remains to be seen but despite the siege - those who resist continue to assemble and celebrate. The grass is greener, and untrampled, on the other side.

Naomi Archer
http://www.intuitivepath.org

The 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.

But this useless show of force indicates just how frightening the world of ideas and alternatives is to a corrupt system starving itself to death on a diet of war and vanishing natural resources.

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.

Among the more compelling displays was a representation of the Israeli apartheid wall and a car that gets 75mpg on vegetable oil. Radical cheerleaders sang out exuberantly, and Seeds for Peace, Food Not Bombs and the Frida Bus provided fed all those that were hungry.

But those that champion sustainable alternatives to the current system of war and exploitation face an increasing level of harassment and disruption. At one point during the bazaar a Coast Guard helicopter, machine gun sticking out of the open hatch door, buzzed just several feet overhead of the event attempting to drown out music and conversation. Groups meeting to discuss protest plans were also harassed by circling police helicopters.

State police in soft riot gear marched by, while bike cops continually cut swathes through the bazaar itself. Local,state and federal undercover agents stood out against the many black clad anarchists (http://www.blackteasociety.org).

The history of Boston, its source as revolutionary hotbed, has clearly been dismissed. The most striking example of this memory failure is the prison pit known as the "free speech zone." Stuck under a highway overpass with eight foot high steel fences covered with plastic mesh and topped by black mesh and razor wire, the free speech zones are an affront to the very idea of free speech.

On Monday, a group of about 40 people sponsored by the Save Our Civil Liberties Campaign (http://www.saveourcivilliberties.org) performed a powerful street theater action using black hoods and "Camp DNC" guards. Drawing the comparison between the pit and similar facilities in Iraq and Camp X-Ray Guantanomo Bay, Cuba, the event drew a large amount of media and bystanders curious at the dramatic play unfolding. (http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/24450/index.php and http://www.alternet.org/election04/19365/)

MSNBC called the creative action the "worst way" the Democrats could start the week, and indeed no critique of the protest pit has been raised inside the Fleet Center. Apparently the Democrats are so desperate for an election victory, they're willing to drop the Constitution along the way. This is just another way the Democratic Party has become little better than the Republicans and neocons they are trying to replace.

Another disturbing trend for the Boston DNC security is the use of regular Army personnel for domestic policing. Unlike Georgia where a "State of Emergency" was declared, this time both national guard and regular military personnel have been placed on the street and in the subways to search and police peaceful citizens.

The use of regular military for domestic policing can only occur under an executive order, this time signed and delivered in secret. It's taken four years, but Bush Administration has finally gotten the Posse Comitatus Act fully discarded without public disclosure or discussion.

Despite visible and creative resistance in Boston to the corporate take-over of government policy, civil liberties continue to fall under siege. Where this erosion will end remains to be seen but despite the siege - those who resist continue to assemble and celebrate. The grass is greener, and untrampled, on the other side.

27 July 11:02pm
See also:
http://www.saveourcivilliberties.org

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