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Hidden with code "Submitted as Feature"
News :: DNC
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 8:00 am, which was trailed by a dozen bike cops. 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.
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. 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), their number swelled to 500 people. A stand-off with the police ensued. Eventually, the police attacked the protesters with their clubs, arresting three (photos) 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. 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 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 sopcial justice.

*****


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.

This work is in the public domain