Tag Archives: Democratic National Convention

Mother Jones at Denver Capitol steps

Mary Harris Jones in Denver
In this photograph from her autobiography, Mother Jones leads a labor protest march in the heavy snow of the winter of 1914, past the courthouse, across Civic Center Park, around the Civil War Memorial, and unto the steps of the state capitol.

2008 rally at Democratic National Convention
August 2008: the press assembles for the first rally to protest the Democratic National Convention.

August 2008 at the Denver Courthouse

Police crowd control at the Denver DNC, August 2008
Spending so much time at the courthouse for the Ward Churchill v CU case, I was prompted to review these yet-unseen photos from last August’s DNC, featuring… the Denver Courthouse!

Monday morning, August 25, 2008
Peacefully assembled demonstrators are protesting the arrest and brutalization of an R-68 organizer and a Code Pink activist. Chants of “LET THEM GO, LET THEM GO” prompt this response from the police.
Police crowd control at the Denver DNC, August 2008

Police crowd control at the Denver DNC, August 2008

Police crowd control at the Denver DNC, August 2008

Monday afternoon, August 25, 2008 same place
Unconventional Action marchers are attempting to leave Civic Center Park, northward on Bannock. Police move in to block their way.
Police crowd control at the Denver DNC, August 2008

Police crowd control at the Denver DNC, August 2008

Police crowd control at the Denver DNC, August 2008

Police crowd control at the Denver DNC, August 2008

Police crowd control at the Denver DNC, August 2008

Police crowd control at the Denver DNC, August 2008

Police crowd control at the Denver DNC, August 2008

Police crowd control at the Denver DNC, August 2008

Obama presidential address to Congress addressed to dueling teleprompters

Obama addresses tele-prompters instead of Congress
I’m sorry, but I can no longer be awed by Barack Obama’s unfaltering eloquence, I’m too distracted. When our impressive speaker in chief addresses an audience, he looks from side to side, but never in between. Have you noticed that? We think he’s politely avoiding looking into the camera, but everyone sitting directly in front of him must feel like chopped liver, struck by how enamored he is of the teleprompters.

I’m beginning to wonder if Obama spoke this way from the start at the 2004 DNC, because now it seems he never doesn’t.

Press conference
Even at his first presidential press conference a couple weeks ago, Obama’s head swiveled from side to side, his eyes never panned. From other television camera angles we could see the reporters were arrayed right in front of him. Can you imagine sitting across the table from a dinner companion who can’t stop talking to his knife and fork?

A friend of mine was impressed that Obama’s answers were nine minutes long. I was starting to wonder at the inconsistency of the president choosing questions from reporters in the center, but then proceeding to mimic what I can only presume was a campaign whistle stop posture, speaking from the back of a train caboose, alternately addressing people on one side of the track, then the other.

Address to Congress
The image above, by the way, is grabbed from a network broadcast of last night’s address to Congress. This angle wasn’t shown on the White House streamed video, nor that of C-Span. Every TV director’s cut of our new president’s speech featured plenty of his DC audience, rising and clapping repeatedly, but the official version completely avoided this specific vantage point. As far as I could tell, it was the only angle they excluded.

Care to imagine why? I’m thinking it’s why I insisted on finding the sequence to illustrate this post. I caught sight of the tell-tale spectacle on an evening news recap, and then hunted until late for the footage. Throughout the address, from plenty of angles, the teleprompters were plainly evident. It’s not like the cameras avoided them. But this was the only view which showed Obama’s line of sight.

This shot makes plain what Obama was looking at, juxtaposed against the mass of legislators, cabinet members, and Supreme Court justices, at whom he wasn’t.

I’ll leave it to another time to question why the networks supplemented their coverage with this shot, three times, instead of going with the official feed.

It could owe also to the non-novelty of everything Obama is saying, but I’m just bored. Now his mechanical turning to and fro compels me to think we’re both watching a slow-motion tennis match. And instead of following the ball, our eyes linger on the players, as if the goal of this game is to compare what the players are wearing to determine whose tennis white socks were the ones bleached with Clorox and whose were not.


President Obama’s gaze was bouncing back and forth between the teleprompters obviously. And what’s wrong with reading a speech anyway? That Obama was reading was obvious by the occasional false starts he made. I noted the omission of a consonant which produced an incongruous word choice, and a missed punctuation, among others. Neither would be errors made in extemporized locution or a recitation of memorized text.

We can see the smoky plexi-glass plates on stands positioned at each side of the podium. Angled at 45 degree to the floor, they reflect whatever is transcripted from projectors below, without blocking the view of the audience, and creating the illusion that the speaker is looking through the glass. The panels bookend the podium at something like 60 degrees to either side of the speaker, which means his head has an approximate 120 degree range of motion, except really only at the two extremes. The entire panorama in between, as Obama’s quick head turns suggest, remains perilously unprompted.

Does it seem to you like Obama retrieves only a solitary phrase from each side? As near as I can measure, Obama turns his head with the same frequency that George Bush used to take a pause. Bush started to make fewer gaffs when he stuck to: short phrase, breath, short phrase, breath. Now it looks like Obama could have served as Bush’s metronome. At least Obama’s delivery demonstrates a stronger lung capacity; and I think we’re all thrilled with the more sophisticated grammar. But has the new president as limited an audio-memory as our previous idiot in chief? I’m afraid to think it.

I am still impressed by President Obama’s projected confidence, and I am not about to confuse him for a moron, but that first press conference worried me. Why is it, and how is it, that Obama would be fielding questions with the aid of a teleprompter?

Remember when simpleton Dubya was stumped by an unexpected question and told the correspondent that he wished he’d received his “written question beforehand?” It’s not difficult to imagine that questions are submitted ahead of time, nor might it be so unreasonable, when the Free World hangs on a US president’s every utterance. But I did imagine that Obama was up to the task of responding with an answer. He needn’t improvise one, but you’d think he could trusted to remember it.

Are the teleprompters there to assist the president with his phrasing, or are they there to enforce that his answers, like the correspondents’ questions, stick to the script?

Denver trial of R68 organizer starts Mon.

NEWS FROM RECREATE-68- The trial of R-68 organizer Carlo Garcia will begin Monday, January 5, in Denver. Carlo’s arrest was one of the worst cases of racism and police misconduct at the DNC. Below is a video of the incident which then led to the police assault on Code Pink organizer Alicia Forest.

Where: The City and County Building of Denver, Court Room 117
When: January 5 at 8:30 am. The trial should last 2 – 3 days. Please come to all if you can.

Carlo can use all the support you can show him. Other R-68 organizers will be testifying, please come and show support for this young important member of our community and stand against the racism of this police attack. When you watch the video, notice the police do not bother the white person on the other end of the sign doing the same thing as Carlo. When the police ask Carlo to leave, as they protect the hate speech being spewed by Rubin Israel and others, Carlo tells them that R-68 has the permit for the park and the hate speech folks are disputing the event. Almost immediately the police choke than attack Carlo.

ACLU: Police provoked first DNC arrests

The ACLU has uncovered a police report which reveals that the first gassing of protesters at the DNC was in response to actions by an undercover provocateur. The police explain their ruse was to extract the infiltrator from the crowd without blowing his cover, but those who were there saw the maneuver’s real purpose. The Denver Post wrote DNC police staged confrontation that prompted pepper spray

After two trouble free marches that day, this incident began when a group organized by Unconventional Denver stepped off the curb at Civic Center Park. Police who had been encircling the group on the grass, formed a phalanx to block their passage and immediately donned gas masks.

The demonstrators were confronted from the North and West, to keep them from leaving the park area. At any time members of the crowd could opt to step back unto the grass. This fact challenges how the Denver Police are attempting to explain their actions with the protest infiltrator.

Because the report brought to light by the ACLU revealed that the first target of the pepper spray was an undercover officer, DPD offered this story. They were trying to extract their officer without arousing suspicion. When another officer misinterpreted the scuffle, he unleashed the pepper spray. Protestations and more spraying ensued. That’s the official story.

Witnesses can attest that there were plenty of other undercover agents in the crowd, the rest of whom were able to melt away. Why the special treatment for this one?

Well, there’s another hypothesis for the police actions. It’s textbook crowd management. I’d say “riot control,” but it means inciting a riot in order to control it. Police use infiltrators to start fights in order to justify their use of violence to intervene. Often this can be as simple as an infiltrator to play stool pigeon while the police jump in to make the arrest. The crowd moves to protect what it thinks is a member unfairly targeted by the officers, and this reaction gives the police justification to crack down.

It that what happened at the DNC on Monday? Not even. While the undercover officer struggled against being “arrested,” before there might have been a reaction from the crowd, another officer “mistook” the event for a protester resisting arrest. His assault with pepper spray led to the crowd reaction which prompted indiscriminate spraying.

I can attest to two details which reinforce the likelihood of this latter scenario. Number one, all protest participants were always free to retreat from the street. It’s the path I chose in fact. My photographs illustrate my vantage point from curbside. Two, DNC activists were always savvy to the police infiltrators. We gave them as wide a berth as possible at all times. It’s likely the crowd never fell for the one who provoked the escalation of violence at Civic Center Park. In fact by the DPD’s own admission, the step up was a “mistake” on the part of one of their men.

Here’s raw surveillance footage which shows the chronology of the spraying.

Getting the short hard end of the baton

police state
Say the bailout for bankers reaches Five Trillion, while your holdings and your livelihood are let to evaporate to nothing. Say all social services are trimmed back, offices closed, and you have nowhere to turn.

Say voters in November are turned away in record numbers and Republicans are let to steal the election. Abetted by the Supreme Court.

Say there’s no ending the carnage in Iraq. Instead, more soldiers are sent there, and to Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and Sudan, and South America.

Say the next president grants indemnity to Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rice, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Goldman Sachs, Blackwater, Exxon and Carlyle.

Say Guantanamo and torture and rendition and unlawful detention and surveillance and intolerance persist despite court orders to stop. Say your representatives in Congress won’t listen, no matter how many times you call. How exactly do you propose bringing your government to heel?

We get up early to BEAT the crowds

Denver Police DNC t-shirtThe Denver Police Union is selling this t-shirt to raise funds and gloat about their brutish behavior at the DNC. The front of the shirt bears the R-68 logo encased in a circle/slash. The police claim that the t-shirt was made after the convention as a funny joke, but at a recent R-68 meeting founder Glenn Spagnuolo claimed that he saw the shirts prior to the start of the convention and that every police officer wore one under his uniform during the DNC.

The dishonesty and arrogance of the Denver PD isn’t surprising in the least, but their abject stupidity is a little shocking. Do they forget that they’re defendants in several legal cases arising from their inappropriate behavior during the convention? Do they think that these t-shirts won’t betray their thuggish attitude toward protestors? I can only imagine that their legal counsel isn’t happy about this little fundraiser.

When policemen don their gas masks

COLORADO COLLEGE- A friend of mine, not without influence at CC, shared my alarm at the police security buildup at the Denver DNC.
Mass response
Ultimately however, he considered the development to be of concern chiefly to those inclined to protest. Less relevant to those disinclined.

To those already disinclined? It’s a growing number.

He’s a lawyer. What would he have to protest?

I know our sense of well being with our system of government is predicated on an atmosphere of civility, where we count on justice to prevail. If we are wronged, law will intervene. Or, we can march straight over to some municipal building, register our grievance, and initiate the mechanisms by which to achieve redress. These rights are granted us by the Bill of Rights. Citizens concede our recourse to violence, and likewise, the state agrees not to obliterate us with its disproportionate might.

But what happens when some part of those agreements are abridged? Let’s say a court rules we cannot have redress. Let’s say the court decides against the law? What then? What if we are denied access to our representatives who legislate the laws? What if the enforcers shrug us off? To where do we take our voice? So quickly, a mutual agreement to remain civil, becomes rule by brute force. You voted for who? You expected what? Says you and whose army?

Hundreds of paramilitary police lining the street to fend off handfuls of political dissidents is more than overkill. Corporate and government strongholds are already impenetrable. Offices and lobbies and parking facilities restrict public access. Legions of combat police on the sidewalk is an altogether other escalation. It says, stay at home, you have no recourse. Behind us is a dead end. You’ll just get in the way.

Helmets and batons protect the police from the people. Gas masks protect policemen from who? From their own excessive means? In warfare the use of gas is forbidden.

Free Speech in the USA, USA, USA Zone

Exploring your free speech rights in America. Has it come to this? Mouth off all you want into the online ether or in the privacy of your local spheres of influence, but try to rise above the din where cameras might be forced to televise your message, and you’d better come equipped. Forget your pocket constitution, you need helmet, goggles and bandana.
Peace pith helmet Continue reading

Defend Denver with a Kalashnikov

Recreate-68 t-shirt DEFEND DENVER
DENVER- I wasn’t sure what this R68 t-shirt meant in advance of the 2008 Denver DNC. Protest organizers were anticipating riot police and a super- weaponized National Guard deployed to secure the city against us peaceful demonstrators. But the AK-47 wasn’t lost on others. It’s the assault rifle used worldwide against imperialism. The only gun honored on a national flag (Mozambique), the Kalashnikov revolutionized la revolucion.

If “DEFEND DENVER” is opaque, the tag line isn’t. Along the bottom of the shirt reads “*smash development, stop snitching, steal their shit.” Fun innocuous hyperbole is all. Please note that all of the DNC protests were nonviolent.

Who to blame if nobama

nobama pinA lot of people are still irrepressibly buzzed about electing Barack Obama to the presidency. For many months now the prospect has buoyed such hope, that Obama’s victory over John McCain has seemed almost foregone. I hate to suggest we’re starting to catch a whiff of an ill wind change.

School children still jump up and down at the mention of Obama, who they know is clearly better than smells-like-farts McCain. But while you might marvel that schoolteachers are passing along this election enthusiasm, they’re also making sure not to get the children’s hopes too high. “America, the children explain soberly, may still have too much racism.”

Or too many nay-sayers. Or discontents who’ll split the vote.

Anyone who thinks that public protest of Obama, or criticism of Obama, or too spirited derision of Sarah Palin, will sink Obama’s bid for the presidency, is ignoring who the real party pooper is already showing itself to be. It’s their party and the corporate shills are going to cry when they get their cue.

The media had to get excited about Obama when their focus groups confirmed he’d caught the public’s interest. In the meantime of course they gave McCain a free ride, with the exception of telling old man jokes at his expense. But now that they’ve played along with the DNC, and given equal time and a half for the RNC, the mouthpieces have liberated themselves from nonpartisanship.

Did you watch any of the RNC? Are the media describing it with superlatives where you’d have used expletives? From now until November, the pundits are going to cover John McCain on the campaign trail according to scripted GOP talking points. And they’ll report the travails of Barack Obama, according to the GOP talking points too.

You’d almost be convinced that there is a difference between the two corporate parties, considering the ferocity the media displays in protecting its apparently conservative interests. On the other hand, the more uphill the challenge looks for Obama, the more ad revenue MoveOn members will pump into the effort. All that campaign spending pours into one place, the national media.

Wake up and smell the shit coming from your television.

Denver DNC photographs by others

tony eric and andy
SUNDAY R68 RALLY (Michael G. Seamans on Flickr.)

SUNDAY R68 PARADE (Imiglio, Flickr)



SUNDAY R68 PARADE- Bill Moyer of the Backbone Campaign






eric drumming

eric at denver mint
MONDAY MINT LEVITATION- (David Bjorkman, Zone 913 Photo Agency)

eric code pink


NMT coverage of DNC 2008 protests

R68 STORM iN THE QUEEN CITYAt right is R68’s CMYK guide to DNC protests, STORM IN THE CITY, colored mischievously enough to read STORM’N.
Below is a guide to the NotMyTribe posts on the Denver DNC. We covered preparations, betrayals, security, the Saturday training, Sunday rallies, Monday actions, Tuesday marches, Wednesday escalation, Thursday Invesco, and Friday exit.
We’ve linked the posts so they can be perused in chronological order, as well as by specific focus.

Public debate
R68 planning
ACLU court case
Blogger role

Unconventional Action
Planning meetings

Tent State
Green Party
McKinney rebuttal
People Call For Change
Dividing movement
Disrupting R68

Tent State no go
Detention plans
Recent DPD undercover brutality
Police Liaisons

Family day trip
fodor guide
Call out

Fox disruption
Antiwar march
UA downtown action
Plain-clothed surveillance
UA park disruption
Plain-clothed surveillance

Freedom cage
March to courthouse
Levitating Denver mint
UA tries to leave park
Arbitrary arrest
Containment downtown

Early arrests
Puppet parade
Evening unrest

Lost park
Hassling street kids
IVAW march
Self-policing the protest
Pepsi Center

Immigrant rights march
March to Invesco Field

RNC plans

Undercover surveillance has uniform too

den-sun-under-civilian.jpgDENVER- DNC day 0, Undercover observers.
Could this NOT BE A COP? My goodness the cops had undercover uniforms too! White shirt, tan cargo shorts, white socks, running shoes, camera and backpack. This bicyclist was helping to track Unconventional Denver as they veered from the permitted parade route along 16th Street Mall.

den-undercover-videotape.jpgAnother barrel bellied gentleman was recording the Sunday antiwar rally. There were hundreds of police video cameras out there, not held at the ready for something to happen, like the other videographers, but constantly pointed. Wouldn’t that be recording a bunch of nothing, unless you’re simply trying to document faces?

I have another theory, which comes of imagining dozens of surveillance cameramen each shift, clocking out and depositing multitudes of digital videotape cassettes, marked by location, time, and perhaps incident. Would that seem to be a nightmare to organize? I’m thinking these cameras were up to something else.

Two cops a tapingThese two square pegs were videotaping the Sunday UA Lincoln Boulevard standoff. The person in the foreground is an example of what real participants look like. His camera is waiting for something to capture. The rear two have cameras aloft, whether they’re paying attention our not.

Third cop a watchingThe yellow shirted boy scout gestured to this third duffer behind them. I’m not sure the signal except that he stepped back as I photographed.

I wonder if these cameras held aloft haven’t been retrofitted to give live video feeds, instead of recording unto individual DATs. I bet they’re transmitting wireless signals to a communications truck nearby, where not only are the images being recorded into a data bank, likely they are being monitored for a real-time sense of what’s happening in the crowd. That might explain why the cameramen were seldom seen panning or changing their angle. It might also be possible that they were receiving their instructions through the camera viewfinders.

Undercover plantNow this guy isn’t wearing the day uniform. What’s he doing? I include him just for contrast. He’s wearing the black colors of a provocateur or plant and sure enough when the antiwar march came its closest to the Pepsi Center, suddenly he broke his silence. Where before he’s stood back, observing the morning rally. Now he was moving through the marchers offering instructions. Many of the organizers were trying to create something of a circle in front of the Pepsi Center entrance. This “marcher” who held no banner, and wore no political message, was now helpfully urging everyone to continue past.

DNC disruption provided by FOX NEWS

Fox bulldogDENVER- Sunday DNC Antiwar Rally. Predictably enough, the only disorder at the DNC protests was instigated by Fox News knave Griff Jenkins. At Recreate 68’s kickoff rally on Sunday, ambush reporter Jenkins tried to rush the stage and force an interview of Ward Churchill. AIM security intervened, but the camera skirmish created an inordinate distraction for the speaker at the podium and the audience trying to listen.

The diminutive Fox dick started shouting about HIS FREE SPEECH RIGHTS, which I believe illuminated his own understanding of the “journalism” role Fox serves. He doesn’t report, he decides. This thug’s media clout gave him the delusion he could speak over our right to assemble and attend to our speakers. His self-importance was laughable, and the crowd was not convinced. It started chanting FUCK FOX, FUCK FOX. Which of course Fox News reported as an anti-Fox riot. This was repeated later when Jenkins tried to interview marchers along the parade route.

Ward Churchill

In fact the only confrontations to come of the DNC demonstrations involved Fox’s Jenkins, Michelle Malkin, and inexplicably as far as I can undersand, Alex Jones from Prison Planet.

Fish out of hot water in peaceful crowd

DENVER- Sunday DNC day zero, Civic Center Park, agent provocateurs
den-sun-under-agent-cops.jpgI made it a sideline to take photos of potential police instigators at the DNC protests. What excuse can law enforcement make for planting undercover agitators in a peaceful assembly? Encouraging lawlessness is how Pinkerton thugs used to bust up efforts to organize unions.

They stand out like black-clad thumbs. And they’re making the crowd nervous. I’m still not sure these thug cops aren’t planted to be noticed on purpose. They serve as sheep dogs, moving the flock along with just the faintest of aggressive postures to trigger fear responses.

Now would you say they’ve been joined by a female officer of similar demeanor?

three more
Isn’t this fun? Can you detect another TRIO moving along the same walkway? Hint, they’re closer to forty something.

DPD DNC provocateurs shy from camera

DENVER- Monday PM, DNC Day 1. Undercover Agent Provocateurs.
Undercover copsCirculating among protesters with video cameras is one thing, walking around like you want to start trouble is another. Can you spot the faux troublemaker? This image doesn’t show his professional ass-kicker boots. The two Unconventional Action participants facing him saw I wore an ACLU t-shirt and urged me to document this provocateur‘s actions.

Actually, in the image above there are two undercover cops in the foreground, moving past the two onlookers facing us. Everyone’s dressed the same, with some unsubtle differences. The cops are dressed EXACTLY the same, like best friend tweens at the mall. These two wore black backwards baseball caps, black hoodies, black bandanas, with spare bandanas worn at the knees as flair, substantial black backpacks, dark glasses, jeans, and heavy black boots. And of course, they have way above average muscles compared to the rest of the people drawn to a political protest.

Getting suited up
So I kept taking pictures of this cop and his partner. Their stereotypical getup caught my eye, but the fact that I interrupted them suiting up to cover every further inch of their faces is what made me nervous. I wanted to keep using my flash hoping they’d feel detected and would go away. But I didn’t want to push it so far that they’d instigate a pushing match with me to have me arrested.

As tension grew at this standoff with the police, the line of riot police kept closing in. At the same time, these two started obscuring their faces and stepping in closer behind the first line of protesters. The job of agent provocateurs in these situations has been documented at the WTO and the FTAA etc. They push people into the line of policemen, initiating an “attack.” (And LO it happened this night.)

Ready for anonymous action
I kept taking picture after picture to deter them. Even if it they didn’t shove me, the riot police would begin clubbing everyone on their cue.

Leaving camera flash
Finally they wandered off, either chased by the camera, or called off by their commander. If the DPD indeed wanted no riot, what were these undercover cops doing? I suppose their chief role might be to be recognized as police muscle, frightening everyone more.

You can tell by the fascist riot uniforms that the DPD has no qualms being feared. Police can terrorize even more effectively when people come to understand you follow sinister scruples.

UPDATE: Here’s what began that afternoon.

Police harrass kids at Denver DNC

DENVER- On the fourth day of watching Denver mobilize countless police squads in anticipation of problematic demonstrations, you’d think this patrol wouldn’t have caught our eye. Except, the officer leading point on this patrol advanced past our outdoor table with his weapon drawn…

We turned to see him approach a handful of kids, while the other officers quickly encircled them.


Next the leader, or perhaps he was the youth-liaison officer, pulled the kids aside to offer his advice. “No one wants to see you guys on the 16th Street Mall.” And: “You guys aren’t dressed for the occasion. Do you think Colorado’s visitors this week want to see kids dressed like you are on the 16th Street Mall?” He recognized a couple of them from Juvenile Detention, I’m guessing, and cautioned them that he could make things easier, or more difficult, depending on whether they helped him out today. He added: “You heard about the two hundred people we arrested the other night? They were arrested for not following our request that they leave.”

When I interrupted by asking the officer to repeat himself, so that what I considered to have been an improper act of coercion could be made more clear, he stopped talking and told me I was interfering. His fellow officers then began taking constant pictures and threatened me with arrest if I didn’t back off.


My travel plans for the Minneapolis RNC

To get the hell out of the country. We have a police state and a people who stand awestruck. They’re shocked by it, but not enough to say.
Pepsi Center behind guards
Really, the activists hyped the risk of arrest and spread that legal illogic to reporters. We faced potential police brutality if we sticked by the IVAW vets? We faced arrest for standing on the grass? We put ourselves in jeopardy of being jailed for turning onto Speer instead of following the Police golf cart leading the way for the “unpermitted” march? Wouldn’t journalist want to ask why? What law are we breaking? Do we have to obey a command to disperse if it’s not lawful? What happened to free speech? We’re just standing here. Can we no longer do that?

Pepsi Center fortifications
To raise your voice against this wall of police would seem to others to ask for trouble. For example, when you start drumming or chanting, a number among the crowd might join you, but the greater part of them will very quickly recede. LIKE THAT MIGHT BE AGAINST THE LAW.

ARD, Tent State surrogate for DNC cops

IVAW ARD march
DENVER- Accounts of the Wednesday march from the Colosseum to the DNC are only getting half the story. Can I recount my small part? We were at the Pepsi Center entrance, laying the groundwork for the arrival of the IVAW parade and became concerned when workers positioned large dump trucks to block the way, to corral the marchers into the fenced gauntlet traversing the Auraria campus.

When I caught up with the already diverted march, I found out the coordinators had been on the lookout for me. Legal observers informed me that marchers were being forewarned of a man with a green banner who would be trying to instigate trouble. The message was being spread as if coordinators had intercepted this information from police scanners. In reality this was deliberate disinformation being given them by their police liaisons. The common goal being to keep out of trouble.

Well it wasn’t disinformation, because I most definitely wanted to disrupt this surprising and disastrous turn. I sought to prevent the march from being led like sheep into a dead end. But the ARD collective had clearly promised an uneventful march, and they were bent on delivering it. At every turn, at every temptation, they policed the march so the police didn’t have to. Stay on the sidewalk, stay off the grass, go this way unless you want to be arrested, etc. Like overly cautious boy scouts.

Navigating the Auraria enclosures, the coordinator monkeys would circulate alongside their restless marchers admonishing them “Hey guys, let’s keep the focus: on the vets and off the fence.”
So let me be less harsh in my criticism of the IVAW. A number of them are bright, well-motivated guys, but they are governed by committee decisions made by the predominant lessers, some about as daft as soldiers can get. On the Wednesday march too often the bullhorn was in the wrong hands. I have no sense yet of what their dressed-to-the-nines Marine official spokesman was thinking. But the other corrosive element in the event was mentioned in a comment to my previous post on this subject. Tent State/ARD.

Tent State idealists helped coordinate the Rage concert and the march. The parade monkeys who kept everyone in line were Tent State/ARD workers bent on civil disobedience minus any trace of disaffected incivility. Who do they think they are, telling angry constituents that they must accept their lot in the police state?

If Tent State has any role in the planned RNC protests, we must forewarn the activists in Minneapolis. They’re collaborator scum, every bit as fraudulent as the Democratic Party of good cop to the GOP bad cop. If we can salvage anything from our Debacle in Denver, it’s to ferret out these Quislings. Tent State, ARD, UFPJ, Code Pink and the Greens. Derelict saboteurs.

I love the spirit and wit of Code Pink, they show determination and stamina, but ultimately no savvy. Their I MISS AMERICA gag is dead on, but it’s a lament, isn’t it? She’s gone, their America. Where the occasion calls for drums, Code Pink would march us into battle to the beat of Kum ba yah.

IVAW betrays their youthful marchers and capitulates to the Democratic Party

IVAW march
DENVER- I have friends in Iraq Veterans Against the War, but their much anticipated action today was totally FUBAR. Given latitude by the other protest organizers to be the feature action on the last day of the DNC, the IVAW march aimed no higher than to ask that their rep be allowed to meet with a party representative. The IVAW had Rage Against the Machine do a free concert, asked the audience to follow them across town to lend moral support, and when the appointment with a DNC delegate was given them, the IVAW cheered, thanked their fellow marchers, and asked everyone to go home.

Denver Riot Police

This in the face of hundreds of cops in riot gear, heavy machinery, and a large audience of bystanders, delegates and press. The confrontation needed to put the spotlight of media attention on the issue of military imperialism and corporate fascism, passed like it some kind of Pirates of the Caribbean amusement ride, everyone smiling and posing for pictures under the noses of heavily armored riot police menacing the crowd with batons and riot control guns.

police state song and dance
Instead of chants like THIS IS WHAT A POLICE STATE LOOKS LIKE, or megaphone entreaties to ask why do nonviolent common citizens face such intimidation by police, the crowd watched Code Pink and other theatrical performances sing cutesy songs to recast the oppressive tone into a humorous light. They should have been signing “Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.” Comedic relief is often laudable, but should we be laughing, instead of facing the militarization of our policeman stone cold sober?

No, instead of calling the Democratic Party and the City of Denver on their repressive ways to curb dissent, the situation was kept in check by the vets’ self-policing. The police never had to issue an order. Instead the IVAW coordinators were constantly detailing city ordinances and forewarning everyone about possible arrest. Every time, more and more people retreated from the action.

For example, the IVAW march was un-permitted, and yet they directed it into the allowed free speech area, instead of veering toward better visibility and “certain arrest.” Oh, you don’t have a “permit” for your march, but there are places that are off limits, meaning, for which you don’t have “permission?” Which is it then? The crowd of Rage fans wanted to have their voices heard. They didn’t want to be led in somber veteran respect mode until all their spirit was worn out of them. The IVAW march coordinators kept everyone in line, followed prearranged parade direction signs, and even allowed themselves to be led by the damn police golf cart whose backward facing sign flashed FOLLOW ME.

IVAW drama stop
So the crowd followed the IVAW into the Free Speech dead end, and they and a multitude of press waited for something to happen. I heard an IVAW coordinator phoning Barack Obama’s office from which they were expecting a phone call. When no Obama appearance materialized, the vets led everyone back out again and into the “forbidden area” with it’s oft-reminded possibility of arrest.

I was asked to stay back with the rest of the followers, and not crowd the IVAW formation. I told the coordinator that he had led us into the Auroria free speech maze and back, and I was not about to obey a single further idiotic command, no matter how much “respect” the veterans were needing.

Seriously. All “out of respect for the veterans.” Even reporters were barked orders as if they were subordinate to the vets. I took umbrage at being told constantly to stop every few minutes to listen to the vets give their witness of Iraq and wait as their spokesman gave further statements to the press. Staying behind, keeping a distance, or keeping the way clear was supposed to be honored “out of respect for the veterans.”

These were the same veterans who went to war when we asked them not to. I’m very thankful that each of them has changed their tune now, but where was their respect for us before more than a million Afghans and Iraqis were killed at their hands? No, the veteran worship was severely misplaced. They earn no points from me for “their sacrifices in the service.” The bastards killed innocent people, they should be begging forgiveness, not assuming to command our respect.

That said, I think the antiwar movement is misplacing its hopes thinking the IVAW can carry any sort of ball promoting an end to war. The vets are after a return of their comrades, and better veterans benefits. That’s a far cry from pacifism, or even a repudiation of US predatory militarism. And this DNC stunt proved it. Here’s how the self-aggrandized crunts blew the last opportunity to show dissent at the DNC.

They held a concert which pulled the youth element away from where they might have been participating in street actions. Of course this is no different than Tom Hayden and Ralph Nader drawing their audiences from likely people who had to choose whether to protest or go see them. Not such a big deal, but it got much worse.

This afternoon the IVAW shepherded a reported 5,000 supporters not to the Pepsi Center delegate entrance, but deep into the Free Speech Cage, away from sight of convention delegates. After a long delay they moved everyone into the promising area, but kept thinning the crowd with warnings of potential arrest. They also kept the marchers well out of proximity of the police lines. The IVAW limited what anyone could say, out of respect for the vets, led them in a last chanted instruction to Go Home, then reminded stragglers that it was the expressed wish of the veterans that everyone leave the area lest an ensuing disturbance mar the IVAW event. After everyone was gone, the veterans even gave a round of applause for a nearby contingent of cops. More in the morning when I’m feeling less enraged.

Tent State stole park from DNC demos

Civic Center Park Closed
DENVER- Wednesday was a day of major betrayal of DNC protesters. The Denver park from which demonstrations were being launched was today suddenly completely fenced off OVERNIGHT. Clever move on the part of city. Civic Center Park had been serving as the point of reference for activists who now did not know how to find each other after the convergence center at 38th and Brighton was raided by police. Here’s what happened to the park.

The organizers of “Tent State” had a permit to use Civic Center Park on Wednesday. Since Saturday, Recreate-68 and Unconventional Denver had used it as a rallying point. Two weeks ago Eric Jung of Tent State announced that they would not be using the Wednesday permit. At the last Consulta, R68 organizers asked Jung to relinquish the permit so that others could keep using the park. Jung said he would, but he didn’t. As a result, the city pounced on the chance to begin setting up canopies for the annual Taste of Colorado scheduled for Friday. Have you ever seen a park fair event that wasn’t assembled the same morning of the event? This was a thinly disguised move to leave DNC protesters without a communications hub. Courtesy of Tent State.

Hopefully this will be the last of the many DNC betrayals by Eric and his friend JoJo Pease. They told 5280 magazine that R68’s turnout would be in the double digits, while theirs would number thousands. But Tent State turned out to be more like a pueblo. A camp circle more accurately.

Jojo Pease pleased with delivery of Students For a Democratic Society (SDS)
After the IVAW cross city march I saw Pease bragging about how well their work had gone. The role the two played to destabilize and divide the 2008 DNC efforts should discredit Eric and JoJo from participating in a single important anything else. Damnable degenerates.