Saturday, August 21, 2004

Fun With the RNC

I've actually been excited about the Republican Convention. I look forward to a good, LARGE crowd (my last was -- Jeez - probably the 1993 Gay Rights march in DC? Small ones since, absolutely, but that was the last headline maker.)

Lately, however, there's been a lot of chatter (pun intended) about this convention. About how we should all "tone it down a bit". About how we'll "play into republican hands".

Well, goddam, people! Do you really think everyone involved is a bandana wearing, anti WTO Seattle anarchist?

I fully intend to bring my eight year old - YES, my eight year old - son to the protests, at least for a day. I will, of course, try to stick to the more peaceful, family friendly (i.e. - no Missile Dick Chicks, no Panties for Bush, none of the "No More Bush!" shaving the pubes nudity stuff that's gotten some press, much as I'd be entertained by seeing them, or even participating with them) areas. You know what Kiernan said to his dad the other day?

"I can't wait to go to the protests. That way, I'll be able to tell the President the truth about this country!"

Awwww, shucks. This from the same kid who, when forced to watch the Democratic primary debates, said "I'd probably vote for the same president. He's an important man."

So, what gives with the scare tactics? They're harsh enough that our own side is starting to believe it. An eight year old's pollyanna version of democracy is sweet if unrealistic; a seasoned demonstrator's Cassandra prophesies are disheartening and reveal just how much of a self esteem problem the left really has.

My opinions aside, the Fed isn't helping. This, from the ACLU via the Daily Kos - (italics = Kos - keep tellin it like it is, baby! Block = ACLU report quoted within.)

Now, I don't' want any nutbag anarchists screwing with a bomb dog's ability to sniff out something that could kill people. I hope that not one living thing gets one scratch on them during the RNC protests. At the same time, we need to remain vigilant against actions that purposely lower our level of comfort when it comes to exercising our rights as citizens... like the right to assemble and protest when we're being screwed.

Luckily, Tony D. and his posse are watching out for the rights of all Americans... regardless of their politics. It just so happens that Republicans are freedom-hating assholes, so it seems like we're picking on them.

August 16, 2004
Calls on Individuals to Report FBI Interrogations


According to reports from ACLU offices, law enforcement officials throughout the U.S. have been monitoring the daily activities of various activists they believe are planning to protest major national political events, including the upcoming Republican National Convention in New York, which is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of protesters. In the days leading up to the Democratic National Convention, officials identifying themselves as JTTF agents made "visits" to the homes of several activists as well as their friends and family members.

In Missouri, three young men in their early 20's were subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury on July 29, the same day they planned on protesting the Democratic convention. The men, who planned to drive to Boston with an activist group based in St. Louis, first realized they were being targeted by the FBI when agents visited the homes of their parents a week before the subpoenas. In addition to asking about easily accessible information such as current addresses, the agents also asked the parents for information on their sons' political activities.


"These young men are quite terrified by the experience of being targeted by the Joint Terrorism Task Force because of their protest activities," said Denise Lieberman, Legal Director of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri. "The FBI interrogations have had a chilling effect on free speech."

I don't want to live in that country, do you? Do we really have to go through this exercise every 50 years or so?

Can I repeat? At the same time, we need to remain vigilant against actions that purposely lower our level of comfort when it comes to exercising our rights as citizens... like the right to assemble and protest when we're being screwed.

Remember that, folks. Don't let anybody cow you out of town, preferably not even your own side.


At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You'll have to register by protest by proxy, since I'm a few thousand miles away. P.S. thanks for linking to me, only found out via my stats! xXxLovejunkyxXx


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