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News :: DNC : Human Rights : Race
Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
29 Jul 2004
The 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.
silenced.jpg
Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
compiled by Matthew Williams

Wednesday, July 28th saw the fourth day of protests against the corporate-dominated Democratic National Convention, whose leadership is increasingly out of touch with its grassroots base--95% of the DNC delegates oppose the war for, instance.

Protests did not start till noon on Wednesday, with the first one being a human rights rally of 500 people in Copley Square. It was organized by United for Justice with Peace, the main Boston-area peace coalition, and entitled, “What Have We Become?: From Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib”. Speakers criticized the US government for its violations of the Constitution, human rights, and international law.

A group of ten pro-gay marriage activists managed to disrupt a DNC caucus meeting in the Back Bay Sheraton Hotel by unfurling a banner critical of Kerry’s opposition to gay marriage (he supports an amendment to Massachusetts state Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage and replace it with civil unions--articles 1, 2, 3, 4). They were escorted out by police, but not arrested. They were, however, banned from the Sheraton for life.

From 3:00 to 8:00 pm, there was a rally of 400-500 people in Blackstone Park in the neighborhood of Roxbury organized by Alternatives for Community and Environment, a local environmental justice group. They demanded that the US government fund public health measures, not the bioterror lab (articles 1, 2) they are building in conjunction with Boston University. The lab, to be located near the predominantly African-American and poor neighborhood of Roxbury, would house researchers working with deadly, incurable diseases--which, despite all the proposed security measures, could still escape into the surrounding neighborhood.

A group of DNC delegates spoke out against the “Free Speech Zone” (articles 1, 2, 3), followed by a second street theater action (the first was Monday) by Save Our Civil Liberties, with 15 people entering the “Free Speech Zone” with their hands bound and hoods on their heads, calling up images of Abu Ghraib.

The police were becoming increasingly aggressive, showing up in totally disproportionate numbers to the environmental justice rally--at times, there were almost as many police as activists. They also arrested one activist while he was walking down the street near the Convergence Center, and harassed two other groups of activists (articles 1, 2).

[Editor's note: Photo taken by a St. Louis IMC member, posted at http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/24839/index.php ]

This work is in the public domain.
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Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
29 Jul 2004
This is the best you can do? Where are the "masses" that ANSWER always promises, but never turn out? Face it, you are over, tired, irrelevant, and basically boring to most folks. See you in New York - if you dare.
Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
29 Jul 2004
"if you dare"?

Wow.

It's not enough because nobody was arrested? Nice anti-american attitude. I hope you enjoy your police-state.
Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
29 Jul 2004
erm, we AREN"T answer, firstly. secondly, why don't you spend all the time you uselessly talk shit on the internet doing something positive?
Scott is unwell. Ignore him.
29 Jul 2004
He ate too many donuts last night at the FBI's favorite strip club (the one where men dress up like women doing a J. Edgar Hoover imitation). He's under the weather.
Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
29 Jul 2004
I have a feeling things will really go down in NYC. durring the Republican convention.
Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
29 Jul 2004
Missing the point. IMC has been going on for months about the "massive" protests planned for the conventions. You are not delivering. You are not on the news. No one is paying attention. Among non-activist people, you are invisible. You have utterly failed in your intention of bringing attention to your cause. If you ain't on TV you ain't here. Sorry to bust your bubble. Go ahead, go to NY, scare the horses. The cops will slap you around, the folks at home will see your ugly face, and Bush will pick up more votes as a result.
Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
29 Jul 2004
Scott is missing the point!

Does Scott understand what the indymedia movement is about? Probably not, as he seems to think "IMC" is organizing these demonstrations.

"No one is paying attention"? "If you ain't on TV, you ain't there"? Lots of people are following what happens in Boston closely on Boston IndyMedia, and a lot of them AREN'T following the DNC on TV because we know what to expect from the Party leaders.

"You have utterly failed in your intention of bringing attention to your cause"? Then why the articles on the demonstrations against the internment, I mean "free speech" pens that are popping up in the mainstream media? Activists aren't the only ones paying attention.

From someone who isn't able to be in Boston ( and won't be able to be in NYC Aug 29 either), thank you to everyone who was able to show up, thank you for your message, and thank you to everyone doing such a great job of reporting what's going on on the ground. Please keep up the great work!
Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
29 Jul 2004
We do the best we can, bud. Instead of complaining, I'd rather hear your ideas about what could be done better, as you obviously think they could...

To respond to some of the things you brought up though, first.

Corporate media will never cover us, you should know that, it's up to us to spread the word about not just IMC (we are in the news somewhere!), but about these protests among non-activist people.

And we're protesting because it is the RIGHT THING TO DO. Other reasons are either secondary (bringing more attention to our cause), or we could care less about (us getting to be on TV).

You seem to be implying that we should stop voicing our political dissent, because we'll scare the horses, the cops will slap us around, and the corporate media will paint us in a bad light... I personally think that exercising our (almost non-existent) first amendment rights and trying to protect them, showing that we do not all support Bush and his administration, and sending a message of solidarity to the world, is a bit important, to say the least.
Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
29 Jul 2004
Here are two articles by Frank Morales which discuss the trend toward the militarization of the police, and the increasing involvement of the military in domestic police operations. The first is from Covert Action Quarterly, Spring-Summer 1999, " The Militarization of the Police." [*] The second is a longer version of an article that appeared in CAQ's Spring-Summer 2000 issue. It is titled "U.S. Military Civil Disturbance Planning: The War At Home." [**] Among other topics, this article discusses the increasing circumvention of the Posse Comitatus Act. From the second article:

As this and numerous other documents reveal, U.S. military training in civil disturbance "suppression", which targets the American public, is in full operation today. The formulation of legitimizing doctrine, the training in the "tactics and techniques" of "civil disturbance suppression", and the use of "abusable", "non-lethal" weaponry, are ongoing, financed by tax dollars. According to the Pentagon, "US forces deployed to assist federal and local authorities during times if civil disturbance...will follow use-of-force policy found in Department of Defense Civil Disturbance Plan-Garden Plot." (Joint Chiefs of Staff, Standing Rules of Engagement, Appendix A, 1 October 1994.)

http://www.datafilter.com/mc/rma.html
Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
30 Jul 2004
if imc is invisible then why does scott acknowledge it? that's so dumb.
Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
30 Jul 2004
This goes out to all who were present today by the Fleet Center when we tried to share our protests in a non-violent way: just for fun, go read the mainstream media articles on the protest (Globe, Herald, etc). Maybe being there firsthand enabled me to understand how misleading their journalists can be in very slight ways, but how it completely changes the story from the truth of the event.
Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
30 Jul 2004
"scott" is about as believable as the casting call hippie undercover on monday
counterproductive
30 Jul 2004
I have been involved in a lot of protests, but at this point I agree with Scott. They are more about having fun with your friends while indulging your anti-authoritarian fantasies than they are about changing the world. They're rebellion MTV style. The main effect they have on the government is to force it to spend more money on police, barricades and tear gas.

Do you seriously think that it's going to change anybody's mind about the capitalist system if you go out with fifty of your scruffy friends and beat on garbage cans? At least these protests might help elect Kerry if they make folks in TV land think that there must be something good about him if the protesters against him. Unfortunately, though, the NYC protests, which will be much larger, will have the effect of creating sympathy for Bush.

You aren't going to accomplish anything as a tiny self-appointed elite vanguard subculture. A true mass movement would have to include millions of ordinary people, people with jobs and kids, people you see at family holidays, people you went to high school with. Try reaching out to some of them and asking them what they think of your activities.

You probably assume by now that I'm a police infiltrator. That would be a convenient way to ignore what I'm saying.

Peace
Andy
Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
30 Jul 2004
Please don't tell me that all of you "protesters" are proud of your performance this week. We Bostonians were hoping for all of you to put on a good show for us. Instead, you treated us to a laughable display of gutlessness and lack of conviction. How was it that all of the major "alternative" groups were claiming that "TENS OF THOUSANDS" of protesters would descend upon Boston only to come up with fewer than 500 protesters on the last day of the event? Then, when confronted by cops in Ninja suits you all cowered in fear and ran away!! You couldn't even get arrested properly!! Six arrests?? That's civil disobedience? The only thing accomplished by the six arrests is that the courts will be $150.00 richer per arrestee in court costs. I took a week's worth of vacation just to watch the entertainment and all you gave us was a high school level performance. You are far from ready for Broadway. Do us all a favor. The next time that you think about coming to Boston, either put on a better show or just stay away
Re: counterproductive
30 Jul 2004
I don’t mean this in an attacking way andy, but you probably haven’t talked to any of the protestors, have you? (if you have and they didn’t articulate their reasoning well… then … sorry, talk to more) I think you’d find we don’t consider ourselves an elite vanguard. Are many of us part of a particular sub-culture? Yes. Are we part of a mass-movement? I think so, if you include the millions of people in the 3rd world (from the phillipines to argentina, to mexico to many more) who anarchist collectives communicate with, the millions of people scattered throughout the 1st world who you can see at the much larger just globalization (anti-corporate) protest around that world, a movement of people who believe in community co-operation, autonomy, self determination, and seeking alternatives to capitalism. I think you’d find that we are not a vanguard because we aren’t trying to impose a vision about how the world should be. We are instead a movement of people who want back the right to control our own lives and we think that everyone should have a voice in the way that their world runs. More than a mass movement, I would call us an international community movement

So why are we protesting? (first of all these are my thoughts, others feel free to disagree) Our goal isn’t to prove our superiority by having more people on our side of the line than there are there for the convention. Our goal is to voice the opinions that aren’t being heard in the convention hall and joyfully celebrate an alternative. Inside the convention hall everyone is talking about standing united behind one man who is expected to represent everyone on “the left.” In reality many of us don’t think he does a very good job of that. Granted he’s no neo-con, but there are many areas where he and bush are very similar, and they both lack the spirit and the imagination to create anything really new from the current culture of fear, inequality, and submission. We are protesting to let those in charge know that we’re still here, that we’re not just going to go along with their attempt to sell off those last free pieces of our world. And if that means that we have to do it ourselves, a bunch of scruffy kids, then we’re gonna have a good time and play our bucket drums and dance. The real aim of what we do happens in communities all across the world. We recognize that we’re gonna be demonized by the media, if covered at all, and that’s okay, regrettable, but okay. Because the people in power know that we exist and are afraid of what we’re accomplishing (just see all the harassment and arrests recently, from Sherman Austin, to the convention related Midwest round-up, to SHAC, etc.) We’re living true to ourselves, and while we hope that everyone can find happiness and freedom in their own lives, if they don’t that doesn’t mean we can change what we’re doing. And every now and then at one of our protests, when the conditions are right, something amazing happens. In seattle we shut down the WTO, in Cancun (WTO) and Miami (FTAA) we gave the dissenting countries enough support that they felt comfortable standing up against the U.S.

Oh… and as far as the Bush thing… everytime there’ve been really notable protests at a convention they’ve always had the effect of making a convention look bad.

That’s my piece.
Zap!
Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
30 Jul 2004
Just to join with the devil's advocates here, though I might not agree with them exactly in every regard (Btw, I've been involved with "anti-(corporate)-glob" protests since shortly after Seattle and up to Miami myself)...

1) Protests like this tend to be dominated by an activist subculture. When it's new to you and/or when you're a part of it, it might seem less like that, or you just wish it wasn't that way and deny it. I've gotten older and have found myself moving far away from that subculture, and it's much more obvious now. It's easier for me to understand why so many people seem to "misunderstand" us (which we usually blame entirely on the media as if there wasn't any truth to it).

Anyway, what do we do about this? I honestly don't think anyone has a clue, though the usual response is "reaching out to people in your everyday lives at work and school." Even in greatly impoversihed countries you don't necessarily find strong "activist" movements or revolutionary movements. In some where it does seem like there are, they usually aren't quite as revolutionary as they seem.

2) Most of the U.S. gets their news from TV or newspapers. Again, we have to play a bit of make believe to argue that though we get little to no coverage anywhere else, since we have Indymedia, everything is fine. Why would most of the U.S. turn their web browsers here? Most people have no idea this site/network exists. That doesn't mean we should put on a "show" and act out the actions the media and cops use to spread fear. It's no good to be ignored, but it's also no good to play into the media and cops hands at our own expense. Again, I don't think anyone has come up with a real solution to this problem, if there even is one.
Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
30 Jul 2004
Those saying we are "not delivering-" Quit your FBI jobs. Even in Boston, we exceeded teh turnout we used to get pre-Seattle at DNC and RNC protests(we had 1,200 in Atlanta 1988). Whey didn't we have 100,000? Because people are savign it for NEW YORK!

Let's see what you think of us "not delivering" after we descend like the biblical locusts on the Repugnicans-all those people who sat on their asses during Boston will be out in full force and fury...
Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
02 Aug 2004
Hi Guys and Gals! I'm a cop...an undercover cop...I infiltrated you. We won. You lost. You lost big. You couldn't even mobilize more than a couple of thousand of your sorry do-nothings. It was fun though. I look forward to seeing you all again.
Re: Fourth Day of Protests, July 28th
02 Aug 2004
Ok...I really need to know something. The picture on this article is apparently of people protesting the conditions at the Abu Gharib prison. My question is this...what is worse...someone having his fingernails pulled out and then being slowly murdered as his family is forced to watch or someone with a pair of over-sized pink panties put on his head? I guess that y'all would rather see the murder.
PROTEST RNC LOUD AND CLEAR!
09 Aug 2004
Shut UP! Take your valium. Don't ask questions! You're either with the team? Or you're not a team player!

IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?

TIME IS NOW! YOUR FREE SPEECH. VERSES, CORPORATE CONTROL.

Forget stupidity. Act with every breath you have!
illness
03 Jun 2006
Greetings!..