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Converge on the so-called People’s Party

DENVER- NOW! Have you seen any "violence" from the anti-corporate party protesters? Have you got a "nonviolent" voice to lend? Get up to Denver! Help us show the head-honcho Democrats for the corporate frauds they are! What are you sheep-headed ninnies waiting for? November 6th? They've shown us what a police state looks like, we have to show them what Democracy looks like! Need directions? Denver, Pepsi Center, the surrounding hotels and restaurants. Do it!

Portrait of an anarchist

Anarchy: a theory that regards the absence of all direct or coercive government as a political ideal and that proposes the cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society. From the moment I saw them I knew what they were. Scattered around in small groups, surrounded by bicycles and backpacks, sharing food, tossing frisbees. Some were dressed in black. A few had tattoos. They were young, and clearly dangerous. How dare they question the status quo? We have over 200 years of American history and the two-party system is working just fine. They should be proud and grateful that they live in the land of the free and the brave. Like I am. So why is it that I've never felt less free, or more cowardly, than I do right now? Maybe instead of standing shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the young anarchists to impede their progress, the cops ought to walk beside them or, better, just let them lead.

Tuesday night helicopters over Denver

DENVER- Night has just fallen and a helicopter searchlight has moved from North of the Capitol, to Civic Center Park, to the downtown center. Police in riot gear are rounding corners off to the North East. Police troops riding SUVs are coming from the southern parts. I'm riding on the 16th Street Mall shuttle. As I get out, I see the bus has been followed by two white vans full of policemen. Across my path toward where Marie is waiting are a dozen bicycle cops. Of course here we are live-blogging about DPD troop movements. Suddenly the server seems to be acting buggy. If you think I'm suffering delusions of grandeur when I imagine that every cop I pass seems to be reporting the event into his headpiece, consider the budget they're spending on all of us. Denver spent fifty million on DNC security, including a Super Fusion Center. They expected fifty thousand protesters. That makes for some easy math. $50M divided by 50k means a thousand dollars of equipment and manpower had been allocated for each protester. Since fewer than expected showed up, that's a lot of intelligence firepower to spread over quite a bit fewer than 50 thousand protesters. If we figure the demonstrations thus far have drawn five thousand persons of interest. Would that mean $10,000 is being spent on each? Probably the figure's more like 1,000 people who could be considered to pose an imagined risk. That would mean $50,000 per. Over the course of five days, that's $10,000 each person, each day. Figuring 90% of the security budget might have been spent on equipment, $1,000 per day would remain to pay, what, seven law enforcement personnel working overtime for each citizen suspect? If you consider yourself unpredictably active enough to be among those thousand, tomorrow, when you are facing a line of armor clad riot cops, pick out seven and have them call you Sir. It'd be a symbolic gesture. Probably the actual DPD staff allocated to you personally is comprised of three riot cops, one plain-clothed informer, and two surveillance analysts. Does that leave one unaccounted for? One full time person working on who knows what about you? Very likely. It's hard not to feel special.

Tuesday arrests before parade began

DENVER- Tensions mount on third day of DNC protests. R-68's Carlos is arrested for a too-spirited rebuttal of an anti-gay provocateur. Another participant was arrested for stepping into the street to take a picture. As Backbone Project organizers were trying to pull together today's march, a couple of god-hates-fags preachers set up on a corner of Civic Center Park. Crowds were drawn and angry debates led to confrontation led to a parade of police intervening. One of Recreate-68's people was arrested and led off, while the preachers went on try to goad others. The crowd followed the police which built to a stand off at the West edge of the park. There, squad after squad of policemen held the line along the street while behind them more police donned riot gear. It was barely eleven a.m. and already the megaphone rhetoric was elevated to expressions of the standoff the night before. The crowd shouted and chanted until the police abruptly marched away. De-escalating the tension. The demonstration went as planned, with the spirited participation of Code Pink, plus all the Backbone Campaign puppets. Except the parade was lead by a dozen bicycle police, and a police ATV golf cart with a large electronic sign that flashed back at the marchers: "WELCOME TO DENVER" AND "FOLLOW ME" I'd like to add that Policemen are insistent on being given right of way. Police cyclists ride beside every procession. Even shouting out warnings to clear their own personal way.

Preemptive arrests of exuberant youths

DENVER- Richard Cressman, at left, was forced to disperse with the Unconventional Action marchers. He complied and was chased down the sidewalk with a bicycle cop trying to run over his heels shouting "MOVE, MOVE, MOVE" like a sweeper broom. When Richard reached the safety of the onlookers another police officer commanded "ARREST HIM!" The Unconventional Action kids, who some might stereotype as "anarchists," mounted another attempt to RECLAIM THE STREETS. Marching in front of the legislative building where they met an immediate police block of their march. Police in riot gear had been intimidating them all day and now countless officers poured out of vans and around corners. Within the first minute officers were donning gas masks. The UA kids backed off into the park, leaving the officers to maintain their phalanx and shout orders to onlookers to clear the sidewalks. Meanwhile the UA group escaped over Colfax at a fast clip. More officers blocked their way within two blocks away from the park. A long standoff ensued. Reportedly 35 arrests were made, no violence except on the part of the police.

Monday DNC counter-hoopla highlights

(Even from the great distance from which this photo is being taken, we're being given 10 seconds to leave the area or be arrested.) DENVER- Highlights: Freedom Cage repudiated. Tent State practically a no-show. Exciting un-permitted procession to Federal Courthouse. Alex Jones attempts two disruptions of R68. Code Pink headquarters at Mercury Cafe decisively pro-Obama. Daily Kos "Big Tent" visibly party operatives only. Unconventional Action provoked into trouble again. More undercover cop pics. Some provocateurs, including two ready to commit violence. Details and great pics soon. 1. The Free Speech area, dubbed the FREEDOM CAGE is literally out of sight of the Pepsi Center, and adjacent a beige DPD mobile unmanned tower whose function is yet to be known. 2. Twenty Tent Staters stayed overnight in the cage because it's open 24 hours. The Tent State encampment in the park was also small, with often nobody there to represent them during the day. People stopping by for the advertised TSU "classes" found school was out. 3. March to Federal Courthouse was fast and exciting. At one point the lead banner was carried OVER a police cruiser. The un-permitted procession avoided an attempted head-on confrontation with a police squad. By the march's end the group attracted all varieties of riot clad police who encircled our rally at the courthouse doors. The event was entirely peaceful and eventually the cordon shrunk back. The only disruption was a visit by TV journalist Alex Jones who'd come to heckle, and was not quickly enough repulsed. He repeated that performance at the Denver Mint levitation a few hours later. That interruption worked out better for R68, because instead of distracting from speakers, this time it galvenized the crowd as they had to repeat protracted chants to drown out the disturbance. 75% of the block was lined with police. More in a bit.

Sunday highlights from the people’s DNC

DENVER- More to each of these stories later, including plenty of photographs. These have been 13-hour-days on the streets, not counting the time to write it down. Highlights? Fox News ambush interview repulsed at rally. Two more Fox attempts thwarted at parade. Documentation of undercover police officers. Unconventional Action exuberance versus DPD police throwing their weight around. Full story soon.

Unconventional Action takes to street

DENVER- Let's start with the second confrontation. DNC disruption-minded Unconventional Action held Broadway Ave beneath the Capitol building, prompting riot police to close in. Unconventional Action to RECLAIM THE STREETS 3PM 16th Street Mall Departing from permitted route "To locations downtown, particularly near delegates’ hotels, where coordinated direct action and protests may take place after the End the Occupations march." First Confrontation: Unconventional Action moved up from Civic Center Park, unto Lincoln Ave and stayed. Mounted police were the first responders. Horses were used to advance against the crowd and split it. Eventually Unconventional Action relinquished their position and moved over one block. Second Confrontation Back to Broadway Avenue. After riot troops formed their line, UA marchers stepped up against them. This lead to some tense moments. Police commanders could be heard instructing each other "if anyone (unintelligible), shot them." Just as abruptly, Unconventional Action broke off and marched North, beckoning all to follow. "Off the sidewalks, into the streets!" Few takers. Riot police jumped on SUVs and gave chase. To be continued...

Fodor’s guide to Denver and the DNC

To answer the obvious questions. If you're worried about tear gas, saturate a bandana in Apple Cider Vinegar, and bring swimming goggles. For a tip of where you'll find the action in the next several days, below is a list of where legal observers are planning to be. Meaning, where there might run afoul. Otherwise check with Recreate-68, Codepink, UFPJ and Unconventional Action. The purpose of legal observing is to protect the civil liberties of political activists. Legal Observers do not intentionally become involved in the actions or intervene in any confrontations with police or others. Legal Observers strive to refrain from actions that could be construed as participating in the demonstration. Legal Observers can make the following contributions: - Legal Observers may deter police misconduct, - Legal Observers may testify about their observations, - Legal Observers may assist activists who are detained, arrested, or who need medical attention, by alerting the appropriate support teams associated with the demonstration. CALENDAR Sunday August 24, 2008 1. END THE OCCUPATIONS RALLY & MARCH This is a permitted rally and march organized by the Re-Create 68 coalition and other groups. Due to expected large number of participants, many Legal Observers are needed. Please check in at the office at approximately 9:00 a.m. to obtain materials and hats. Please return materials to the PLP immediately after the March. For details about speakers and plans, go to: www.recreate68.org. Rally at 9:00 AM March steps off from the Capitol steps at 10:30 AM. End at approximately 3pm. Location: West Steps of the Capitol Building 2. CODE PINK FREEZE TO STOP THE WAR CHECK IN AT NOON AT PLP OFFICE. 16th Street Mall 3. FUNK THE WAR DANCE FOR PEACE This action is comprised of four feeder marches which will converge on the 16th Street Mall. It is sponsored by Tent State University. For details, see: http://tentstate.org/funkthewar.htm The Funk marches shall depart the following locations around 1:00 PM. CHECK IN AT NOON AT PLP OFFICE The marches will converge at Union Station at 2:00 PM. - Union Station (17th & Wynkoop) Women's Convergence led by Code Pink - Skate Park (2205 19th Street, near Coors Field) Youth Convergence w/ Ralph Nader - MEPS Center (19th & Stout) Iraq Vets Against the War and Allies - Curtis Park (30th & Curtis in Five Points) Power to the People led by C. McKinney 3. UNCONVENTIONAL ACTION - RECLAIM THE STREETS From 3:00 to 5:00 PM. FLOATER LEGAL OBSERVERS CHECK IN AT 2 PM AT PLP. Legal observers may be dispatched to locations downtown, particularly near delegates' hotels, where coordinated direct action and protests may take place after the End the Occupations march, per Unconventional Action (U/A) (see: http://www.unconventionalaction.org/downloads/Disrupt_the_DNC.pdf) 4. TENT STATE UNIVERSITY MOVE TO FREEDOM CAGE CHECK IN AT 10:30 PM Monday August 25, 2008 1. PROTEST THE FREEDOM CAGE March sponsored by Re-Create 68 to call attention to the undemocratic clamp down on free speech, in particular the abysmal cage erected near the Pepsi Center where non-delegates have been relegated to a fenced-in pen obstructed by the massive Media tent. This march will leave Skyline Park South (15th & Arapahoe) at 9:00 a.m and go

One of these things is not like the other.

One of these things just doesn't belong. Can you tell which thing is not like the others, By the time I finish my song? Beside the haircut. DENVER- Here are the clues: nondescript dark clothing, no distinguishing logo, requisite black backpack and cargo pants. See anybody else who brought layered clothes and a backpack to the couple hour long training event? Amidst dozens of cameramen, reporters and videographers covering the self-defense training, he was the only person who insisted on videotaping everyone's faces. He wasn't participating, he wasn't asking for photo releases, and his was also the only handycam not aimed at the cops. Taking videos is one thing. But look out for these types trying to instigate trouble. They'll be throwing stones at windows, or grabbing you to thrust you into nearby uniformed police. These are the agent provocateurs who'll try to start trouble.

Day before DNC demo training for all

DENVER- Recreate-68 held its day of training for participants in the upcoming DNC demonstrations. Know Your Rights, Health and Safety, Self-defense, Drumming and How to Be a Legal Observer were the more popular sessions. The Denver police held exercises in regular siren drivebys and keeping four intimidating fronts. From the West. East. From North Shade on the South. Were these buses to serve as paddy wagons, or shuttles for the extra police? There were no shortage of SUVs and large white vans. These DPD officers in riot helmets practiced riding on the side rail. Denver officers kept arriving from neighborhood side streets, each armed with plenty of plastic tie restraints.

DNC: preparing to do battle

I took the kids to Denver today for some pre-DNC activities orchestrated by RECREATE 68. There were self-defense trainings, Know Your Rights tutorials, drumming instruction and a whole ton of media -- local, national and international. There were also cops galore: on foot, on bicycle, on motorcycle, inside cars, outside cars, standing around in groups, staring, and acting generally creepy. Their omnipresence gave the day an eerie overcast. Ick. As exciting as it was at Civic Center Park, the kids tired of it and pleaded for a trip to the nearby Denver Art Museum. A muffin and a Monet later, we headed back to the safety of our own little police state down south.

DNC disruptors disrupted

DENVER- A counter-protester tried to disrupt a DNC protest planning meeting by heckling with a bullhorn. He claimed it was his free speech right, without giving any thought obviously to R68's right to assemble. Courts have long supported the collective right to conduct meetings without interruption. This is one reason why the use of bullhorns is usually restricted by permit. Although several police cruisers sat parked within sight of these events, no officer came over to investigate. Do you think this was because they found this would-be disruption pretty ironic? Social justice demonstrators often face desperately inane verbal assaults from pinheads. When these detractors are violent, as idiots are wont to be, the violence is often blamed on the original demonstrators. Yesterday's incident was a good reminder of the confrontations which result when ditto-heads and bigots get it in their mind to put their voices in the way of social progress. At the DNC both Rupublican and Democratic Party defenders are likely to come down to oppose the protests in the street. At street level there is no discussion. It's only shouting and disagreement. Hopefully the DNC actions will stay focused on the message of the unity which will be necessary among the masses.

Bad DNC protesters? get them to behave

That was embarrassing. The Indy asked me how to keep a protest peaceful, in light of participants who may be tempted to mix it up. The Indy said my advice was get them to behave. It's what I meant of course, but I said: set a good example for others to follow. I was talking to the Independent reporter about how one could participate in the DNC demonstrations without getting caught up in trouble. It is a perplexing balancing act. Despite every organizer's best intentions, there are going to be soccer hooligans and plain-clothed provocateurs. The best use you can put to all the digital video devices is to catch undercover cops trying to instigate crime. Young would-be rabble-rousers will have to offend for themselves because cameras might catch them too. Against police video surveillance, the bystander videotape will be the least of their problems. Principally, demonstrators will need to catch the various law enforcement agents trying to entrap participants and incite riots, for which they can blame their unwitting accomplices. Don't hold anything for a stranger, don't follow the directions of someone you don't already know to be an organizer. And above all, remember why you're here. To represent your message. To give voice to others. Taking to the street is as fundamental as fighting for your rights. They weren't given us without somebody taking to the streets to demand them. Let the politicians and media and authorities know why you're there. That's real patriotism.

Money making opportunity at the DNC

DENVER- Recreate-68's Monday 5PM event "Shake Your Money Maker" is about encircling the Denver Mint and levitating it to return the banking system's hoarded riches to the people. If that doesn't sound lucrative enough for you, other Take Back the Streets actions are promoted with fliers which promise to improve your material conditions. While some might think that's an all out call for looting, organizers insist participation is "character enriching." But the DNC will indeed provide a high road to riches if you read the news from NY. Come to demonstrate. March. Put your body smack dab into your right to assemble. Do what you know you have a legal right to do. Let them arrest you for that. The Denver Police Department is circulating a brochure with tips for DNC protesters. Right at the top they explain, that regardless whether you think you're in the right, if a police officer orders you to disperse, you must. Oh MUST you? A law abiding citizen must obey a lawful order given you by an officer of the law. Do you sense what's missing in their instruction? The DPD has also issued instructions to its first responders to be on the lookout for protesters with maps and bikes which could be used to aid and abet demonstrators with violent intentions. Get yourself caught up in their dragnet. Be detained. Then step right up into the line for the class action suit that will follow. Less you feel like you're gamaing the system, don't worry, the lawsuit award has been budgeted. That's been the pattern. Clear the streets, pay the legal claims against you. Until the penalty is really punitive, cities which face mass protests will continue to violate its citizen's civil liberties. Take the money. It may be the only instance where Homeland Security spending will go to the disadvantaged or you.

R68 distributes handout for DNC events

It's finally off the press and ready for distribution. Recreate-68's schedule will be available from the usual suspects along the Front Range and at Civic Center Park anytime from Saturday morning forward. Check with Unconventional Action, Tent State and Code Pink for more. Excerpt: CAP -Capitol Building, CIV -Civic Center Park, CUE -Cuernavaca Park, LIN -Lincoln Park (Capitol), SKY -Skyline Park

Tent State Concentration Camping

Tent State organizer Adam Jung may have outwitted the Denver PD. They won't let his organization camp overnight in the city park. But the razor-wire enclosure known as the freedom cage is "open 24-hours," so he's taking his encampment there. Clever? Jung could have held out for the jail, w/ room and board. Leaving his tents available for those who want to protest. (Tent State also announced it won't be using its permit for Civic Center Park on Wednesday, but hasn't released the permit for anyone else to use either.) After stringing him along with daily meetings with the Police, the City of Denver denied Adam and his group permission to camp overnight in City Park. So he's leading his band to the Pepsi Center, to pitch their tents on the asphalt encircled by security fence, guards and searchlights. If Denver has to accommodate disaffected youth, probably penned up and under their nose is where the police would prefer them to be. Or it might work out. Maybe a concentration of kids behind razor and barbed wire will be the best anti-Gitmo demonstration yet. Tent State meet Police State.

Police Liaison is double-edged handcuff

Large demonstrations such as planned at the DNC invite a basic need for crowd management. From any standpoint there is an inherent requirement to involve officer friendly. Pardon my sophomoric wonder about how this can be done with sufficient prudence. The term Police Liaison is self-explanatory. In the context of an organized public demonstration, police liaisons channel communication between organizers and law enforcement commanders. If crowd behavior diverts from what was permitted, liaisons are the last chance for diplomacy before an escalation of violence. This can serve both sides. A crowd could be steered away from trouble, in particular if someone has been tasked with the responsibility for their actions. As well, police over-reaction can be countermanded if police leaders are alerted to their subordinates' misbehavior. In a perfect scenario, liaisons facilitate a smooth, legal public action. But what if events develop imperfectly? i wonder what vulnerabilities are created by having named liaisons. At minimum, liaisons have been personally introduced to police and vice versa. They are given the police commander's telephone number, and likewise the police are able to contact the liaisons. But in what further ways does having the liaison telephone numbers benefit the police? It's not hard to imagine that a police department could justify getting permission to conduct surveillance on those contact numbers. The liaisons are self-avowed protest organizers, aiming only to conduct fully legal activities, activities which they'll fully admit however are often out of their control. They should have no objections to serving as extra eyes for law enforcement, whose expressed interest is providing a safe secure environment for all. A FISA court would be hard pressed to oppose such preventive oversight. The liaisons have as much as volunteered. Surveillance could consist of monitoring phone calls, passive bugging of all activities within earshot of the discretely activated phone units, or of course, GPS tracking of liaison movements. Why not? It's for the security of all concerned. Alternately, and let's presume the police department would only do this if crowd actions were heading south, the police could elect to round up the liaisons in a preemptory arrest, to severe what they perceive to be the leadership from the crowd of followers. Such a preemptive move could also be decided merely from early plan-making overheard from the eavesdropping. It could be presumed that law enforcement is already monitoring the phones of activists whom they consider to be persons of interest. But those activists who volunteer to be police liaisons in effect offer up their responsibility for their compatriots' actions. They represent themselves as authority sufficient to try to steer protests from trouble. Liaisons as much as formalize their participation in the outcomes that eventually develop. Should some terrible illegal act be committed, be it real or a frame-up, have the liaisons bound themselves to subsequent conspiracy charges that an investigation would trace in order to declare guilty parties? Imagine if such acts were terrible enough to warrant calling the organizing body a terrorist entity. Would the formalized police liaisons be considered its

Cindy Sheehan & Public Enemy at DNC

DENVER- DNC demonstration organizers Recreate 68 announced today that Cindy Sheehan will be speaking at its END THE OCCUPATION rally on Sunday. Sheehan will join Cynthia McKinney and other luminaries at the kick-off of R68's antiwar activities surrounding the DNC. The bigger news today was that Public Enemy will be coming together for the cause with a free concert on Tuesday afternoon, August 26, at Denver's Civic Center Park. 1. Public Enemy Free Concert The Re-create 68 Alliance has announced that in addition to free shows by Dead Prez, Rebel Diaz and Blue Scholars, and 22 other influential bands, the historic and legendary political hip-hop band Public Enemy (The original line-up) will be playing a free concert at Civic Center Park on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 at 2pm which is expected to draw thousands (no tickets necessary). 2. Cindy Sheehan Joins Us in Denver The Re-create 68 Alliance also announced that anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney and Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Rosa Clemente will be joining their historic line-up of speakers who include Ida Audeh, Kathleen Cleaver, Ward Churchill, Mark Cohen, Chairman Fred Hampton Jr., Larry Hales, Larry Holmes, Ron Kovic, Glenn Spagnuolo, Pamela Africa, King Downing, Jenny Esquiveo, Mumia Abu Jamal - Current Political Prisoner (Recorded from Death Row for the DNC), Gloria Estela La Riva, Ricardo Romero, Natsu Saito, Ann Erika White Bird, and others. 3. March and Street Theater in the Freedom Cage Monday August 25 at 9am, Re-create will be staging a street theater demo at the Freedom Cages. We need your assistants and can explain the details when you arrive. We will be starting at Skyline Park on the 16th Street Mall and head to the Freedom Cages at the Pepsi Center. If you cherish your civil liberties, than you should be apart of this event! For more information on other speakers and bands, go to www.recreate68.org

Recreate 68 explains diplomatic silence

DENVER- From Recreate 68 e-news flash: "We would like to reiterate the fact that, contrary to reports, all of the events coordinated by R-68 are permitted and legal events and are organized with our statement of non-violence and our statement of principles of solidarity in mind." R-68 announced its updated schedule for the DNC, and breaks its silence about the over-publicized acrimony between DNC protest organizers. Before we list the events, R-68 would like to take a moment and address an ever-increasing amount of attacks from the more conservative quarters on the left. Many have asked us to respond to multiple false and inaccurate claims and smear jobs put out by other organizations and individuals. These types of mis-information campaigns have a long history here in Denver and across this country. When an organization allies with the voices of the oppressed and becomes effective, the attacks escalate. These attacks and counter-organizations started over a year ago but have come and gone. R-68 has always maintained a principled position and refused to engage in this behavior due to our belief that the left needs unity and solidarity now more than ever and this unproductive in-fighting is a distraction to the larger global issues we face. Our actions and behavior speak louder than words and we will continue to try to set the example of principled behavior for our communities. We will not respond, in kind, to these slanderous attacks, but instead, will maintain our focus to provide a forum for oppressed communities and communities of color and to do what we can to amplify their voices on the political stage. Our events will reflect all of the hard work and commitment to the vision that was shared with us at the beginning of our organizing efforts, a vision that became the foundation and blueprint for our actions from respected voices and leaders in this struggle from the communities mentioned above. Unfortunately, Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente, two voices for true change in this country, have become targets of some of this unnecessary and unproductive rage that has been perpetuated by what we refer to as spirit snipers. Spirit snipers are people who take shots from afar at others working for change, while doing nothing positive in the community. We applaud the principled stand that Cynthia & Rosa have taken in the face of threats and intimidation to their campaign for the highest office in this land. It is not often that one will find such a morally sound base in a political ticket or individual. So yes, R-68 does support a "black" candidate and a "female" candidate - that is why we support Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente! ... 1. Press Conference R-68 will be hosting a press conference on Monday, August 18, 2008 at 2pm in Civic Center Park at the Greek Amphitheater. We will be announcing the name and the date of performance of a historic politically driven band that

Second to last meeting for Recreate 68

DENVER- R68 held its second to last organizational meeting Thursday, closing almost a year and a half of preparations for the upcoming DNC. It's been a long struggle against detractors, traitors and weak links, but the DNC rallies, concerts, marches and actions are coming together.

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