288 arrested and the convention doesn't start for 2 more days!

900 arrested on 2nd day of convention

over 1800 arrested total

compiled by Dee Finney

updated 9-14-04

New York City Protest by Madison Square Garden
on 7th avenue and Broadway
ran 4 1/2 hours

Anti-Bush protests planned
New York - Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to descend on New York during next week's Republican convention to vent their anger at President George Bush over Iraq and a host of other issues.

As Bush ventures into the traditionally Democratic city to formally accept his party's nod to run for re-election against Democratic Senator John Kerry, demonstrators from across the United States will attempt to steal some of his thunder.

"I hate the Republican party. They use our city for symbolic purposes and to get more votes," acclaimed novelist and longtime New York resident Paul Auster, saying he would join those taking to the streets.

Bush administration is a "disaster"

Protestors may be united against Bush but the reasons for their dislike are many. Some are upset about the war, others over Bush's perceived use of the September 11 2001 attacks for political ends.

Still others will be massing in the Big Apple, as New York is known, to speak out in favour of the environment, human rights, gay rights and a myriad of hot-button political issues.

Rallies are expected throughout the week but the main protest is set for Sunday, on the eve of the convention, with 100 000 expected to gather for a demonstration called by anti-war group United For Peace and Justice (UPJ).

"Thousands of people want to protest George Bush's administration because it has been a disaster on the economic front, on the issues of foreign policy, on the environment, and so many issues," said Terry McAuliffe, national chairman of the Democratic Party.

The party has insistently denied any link to the rallies and so has UPJ, which noted that it also staged a demonstration at last month's Democratic convention to press the party to take a harder anti-war line.

"We were up in Boston protesting against the Democrats and putting pressure on Kerry, so they can't just dismiss us as some Democratic operation," said UPJ spokesman Bill Dobbs.

But the group has already clashed with the city of New York, and its Republican mayor Michael Bloomberg, after authorities denied permission to stage a demonstration in New York's famed Central Park.


The group says its right to free speech is being infringed, and it has filed suit in the courts.

Bloomberg has countered that he has a responsibility to protect residents who live on the edge of the park and has tried to win them over with a proposal to give peaceful protestors a discount in city restaurants and hotels.

With the issue still not settled, the UPJ has yet to say whether it would try to get into Central Park anyway, and risk retaliation from the heavy police and security presence that will be on hand during convention week.

Meanwhile the Republicans have warned that their rivals could suffer in the eyes of the public if clashes were to ensue.

Edited by Andrea Botha


Sound Cannon poised for Use in NYC


Police Ready Sound Weapon For GOP Convention

Associated Press | August 19 2004

NEW YORK - Forget the megaphones. Police will have a much more high-tech — and louder — option to make themselves heard over the din of Manhattan traffic and noisy protesters outside the Republican National Convention.

It's called the Long Range Acoustic Device, developed for the military and capable of blasting warnings, orders or anything else at an ear-splitting 150 decibels.

Authorities on Thursday unveiled a mini-arsenal of devices and counterterrorism equipment they're getting ready for the convention, which opens a week from Monday.

The sound machines are being tested at an airfield in a remote section of Brooklyn along with other devices such as hand-held radiation detectors — for a possible "dirty bomb" — and mechanical barriers strong enough to stop a moving vehicle in its tracks.

At the Brooklyn training site on Thursday, police practiced disarming a truck bomb at a checkpoint. Scores of officers also made mock arrests of police academy cadets who posed as protesters.

Chanting "no justice, no peace," the cadets surrounded a bus full of "delegates" before officers in riot gear raced in, slapped on plastic "flex cuffs" and led them away to vans.

The demonstration was intended to show how the nation's largest police department hopes "to put a comprehensive security net over Madison Square Garden and the rest of the city," said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

"I think you'll see we're prepared."

The department recently bought two of the 45-pound acoustic sound machines for $35,000 apiece, and plans to mount them on Humvees posted outside Madison Square Garden. It would mark the first time the instrument — which can beam sounds for 300 yards or more — has been used by a civilian force.

"We believe we'd be able to use them in a number of scenarios," said Paul Browne, the police department's chief spokesman.

Two possible uses cited by Browne: directing crowds to safety following a terrorist attack or other calamity, and reminding protesters where they're allowed to march and rally.

The military, which has used the machines in Iraq (news - web sites), bills them as a "non-lethal weapon" designed to disperse hostile crowds or ward off potential foreign combatants by delivering prerecorded warnings in several languages and, if needed, an earsplitting screeching noise. But police insist the latter feature won't be used at the convention.

"It's only to communicate in large crowds," Inspector Thomas Graham of the department's crowd control unit said Thursday.

Graham said police had tried out the device in Times Square, and found it delivered clear, even sound over four blocks. Decibel readers will be used to keep the volume at a safe level, he added.

Still, Bill Dobbs of United for Peace and Justice, which has planned a massive anti-war demonstration on the eve of the convention, called the sound system "a potential Big Brother nightmare."

Police "are trying to use technology and machinery to control every aspect of life on the street, rather than relax a little and let a part of democratic society unfold," he said.

Mobile metal barriers — a variation of those installed outside government buildings, courthouses and embassies — will form a series of checkpoints around the arena. Once a bus, truck or car is secured between two barriers, it will be screened for bombs or other contraband by cameras that provide real-time video images from underneath.

The department also will deploy a new fleet of motor scooters to cut through gridlock should trouble arise. Hand-held radiation detection devices will help officers patrolling the streets and subways to guard against a "dirty bomb."

More on the Pentagon's Non Lethal Weapons Program:

Pentagon Looks to Directed-Energy Weapons



 Poll: Most NYers Support Protests
    Associated Press

    Thursday 26 August 2004

    New York  - Seventy-one percent of the city's registered voters think protesters should be allowed to demonstrate in Central Park during the Republican National Convention, and 11 percent plan to go to a demonstration themselves, according to a poll released Thursday.

    Most New Yorkers, 81 percent, approve of lawful demonstrations during the convention, and 68 percent approve of nonviolent civil disobedience, the Quinnipiac University Poll found. Nearly all disapprove of violent protests, according to the poll.

    "The city is rolling out the red carpet for the Republican delegates, but most New Yorkers would roll out the green carpet of Central Park for the anti-Republican demonstrators," Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

    "Lawful demonstrations _ even nonviolent civil disobedience _ are a time-honored tradition and still widely supported," he said. "But 19 out of 20 New Yorkers draw the line at violence."

    Two-thirds think the convention and the protests surrounding it will cause major disruptions, but just 10 percent plan to leave during the event, the poll said. Half said they were worried about the convention being held in the city, and 31 percent said they thought a major terrorist attack during the convention is "very likely" or "somewhat likely," the poll found.

    New Yorkers were split on whether the convention will be good for the city, with 30 percent saying it would be, 33 percent saying it would not be, and 33 percent saying it won't make a difference, according to the Quinnipiac University Poll.

    As for President Bush, the star of the event, 70 percent said they disapproved of the job he is doing, compared with 25 percent who approved, the poll said.

    The poll surveyed 822 New York City registered voters between Aug. 20 and Aug. 24 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.


 NY Court Says Anti-Bush Protesters Can't Use Park
    By Grant McCool

    Wednesday 25 August 2004

    New York - A judge on Wednesday denied anti-Bush protesters permission to rally in Central Park on the eve of the Republican National Convention, leaving open the question of where possibly hundreds of thousands of demonstrators will go after a march through midtown Manhattan.

    The decision by New York Supreme Court Justice Jacqueline Silbermann is the latest in a running legal battle between the protest group and the city. She sided with city officials, who say they fear the grass on the park's Great Lawn would be damaged and security could not be ensured for the huge crowd.

    The lawn was restored seven years ago at a cost of $18 million.

    "We fully recognize the vital importance of First Amendment rights," said Jonathan Pines, lead attorney for the city, in a statement following the ruling. "However, when dealing with an event of this magnitude, the city must balance all relevant factors, including the availability of other demonstration areas and the potential damage to Central Park."

    Leslie Cagan, national coordinator for organizers United for Peace and Justice, said they would abide by the ruling and not rally in the park but would stage a rally nonetheless after the march, which is estimated to draw 250,000 demonstrators.

    "We will not end at Madison Square Garden," said Cagan. "We are planning to have a rally some place else. We are talking about a location some distance away from the Garden."

    The protest group had argued that their constitutional rights of free speech were being violated. The group is a coalition of organizations opposed to the U.S. war in Iraq and Bush administration policies.

    They noted that the city has given permission to huge events in Central Park such as the Metropolitan Opera and a concert by the Dave Matthews Band sponsored by AOL last year.

    "We believe the court is wrong and we believe this is actually a violation of our constitutional rights to assemble," Cagan said after the decision was announced.

    Leveling criticism at Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg, she added: "A Republican mayor hosting a Republican convention has done everything designed to undermine the demonstration against policies of a Republican administration."

    The group has a permit to march under the banner "The World Says No To The Bush Agenda" on Sunday past Madison Square Garden.

    Republicans are holding their convention in the famed arena Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 under strict security amid a series of government warnings of a possible terrorist attack to nominate President Bush for a second term in the race against Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry.

    In a separate case on Monday, a federal judge declined to order the city to issue a permit for a joint civil rights rally in Central Park on Saturday by another anti-war group and an Arab-American organization.


August 26, 2004

Naked men (and women) protesting

Anti-Bush protests got under way in New York today, as a naked group of AIDS actvists protested in front of Madison Square Garden, and men clambered out a window of the Plaza hotel to hang a gigantic anti-Bush banner on the outside wall.

The same day it was reported that Naked Boys Singing would be dropped from the roster of officially sanctioned shows for RNC visitors next week, a group of men and women took their brand of political theater to the streets: About a dozen members of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) stripped naked in front of Madison Square Garden, where the GOP convention will take place, to protest the Bush administration’s AIDS policies. The goal was to tell “the naked truth to President Bush,” a member of ACT UP told reporters. “Our protestors are demanding number one that the president support full debt cancellation for the poorest nations in the world,” he said, according to NY1. Traffic, which was already congested because of security-related street closures, was reportedly brought to a halt for 15 minutes before 11 of the protestors were arrested, NY1 reported.

Meanwhile, four other people were taken into custody after they rented a room at the posh Plaza hotel to serve as the staging ground for a mini-protest. Two of them reportedly climbed out a window, rappelled down the side of the building, and suspended a three-story anti-Bush banner. The banner had two giant arrows pointing in opposite directions, with one reading “Truth” and the other, “Bush.”
Sent: Saturday, August 28, 2004 5:44 AM
  Subject: [starhawk] RNC update 7 Bikes and Bones

  RNC Update 7  Bikes and Bones
  By Starhawk

  Last night the police broke bones.  They surrounded and arrested hundreds in Critical Mass, the giant mass bicycle ride, that took off from Union Square with two to three thousand bicycles.  I wish I'd seen them leave-I was at a book party and teach-in for David Solnit's book Globalize Resistance, in which I have a piece on feminism and globalization.  The book is an anthology of writings about the movement, and many of us who wrote for it were there to speak about our pieces.

  The book party took place in a community garden in the Lower East Side that was an idyllic little spot among the brownstones and refurbished tenements.  It was full of winding paths and raised beds of small trees and flowers blooming in purples and lavenders and pale yellow.  We all crowded onto a small lawn and spoke as loudly as we could after the police turned off the sound system.  There was a good crowd there in spite of half a dozen competing events, and I would have liked to stay but I had to dash off to a Pagan Cluster meeting.

  This was the end of a long day of long subway rides, snatched sandwiches, meetings and trainings that began with dashing off to Brooklyn early in the morning for a nine-AM meeting with the rest of True Security cluster, most of whom didn't show up.  We turned the meeting into a Pagan Cluster art party. Then I did  two trainings on the Upper West Side at the 4th UU church, which went well and actually had good numbers of people attending.  The hardest part of training people is getting them to come to trainings, to know when they are amidst this overwhelming wealth of actions and events, to understand why they might be valuable, and to make time for them. The first training was for the Legion of Crones-our older women's (and men's) affinity group which has volunteered to do security for some of the spaces.  The second was Street Magic, our basic training in using a knowledge of energy working and expanded states of awareness on the street. The UU space is a big, beautiful sanctuary with a high, arched ceiling and stained glass windows, and Deborah who does full moon circles there has organized a full roster of healers to be available there and on alternate days at the Community Church on 35th St. as well as at St. Mark's.  I would have liked to stay and get some massage but I had to dash off to the book party, and so it goes.

  I rode downtown with Nadine, an old friend and organizer from Washington DC, and with Bowen and Lyra, two of my Goddess-kids who are now just grown up enough to come to this action.  They are the children of my friends Ross and Anne Hill, the kids mentioned often in the book Ann and I wrote together with Diane Baker, Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Tradition.  Now Bowen is eighteen, Lyra seventeen, and they do credit to their upbringing. They are having a great time running around New York together, not at all intimidated by the city and the subways and the general level of tension.  Some part of me is terrified at the thought of them being on the streets in the midst of an action.  I want to protect them, and surely they are far too young for this.  I have to remind myself that Bowen is old enough to be sent to Iraq to sit on top of an armored personnel carrier and kill people and get shot himself.  And at Lyra's age, I was hitchhiking alone up and down the coast of California, and living with my boyfriend.
  By the time I get to the Cluster Meeting, I 'm tired.  We have a good meeting.  More people have come, and some of them are old friends I'm delighted to see. But every few moments I' get a beep from our new text messaging system, telling what 's happening with the Critical Mass. Riots cops forming up on 7th ave.  Surrounded at 7th and 13th.  Arrests have begun.  Safe place at St. Mark's, at 10th and 2nd Ave.  Arrests at 14th and 2nd Ave. Streets blocked off very close to St. Mark's.

  We try sending some energy to our friends getting arrested, but finally a group of us can't ignore the tension any longer, so we close the meeting quickly and head down to St. Mark's.  The streets around are lined with vans and cops, but they are walking away, helmets off, chilling out.  The park in front of the church is packed with people, the street is lined with cops.  Apparently the mass arrests began when the police just appeared out of nowhere and formed a line in front of one group of cyclists.  Then another line of cops appeared behind.  There is another group trapped up at 35th and Park.  Here at St Mark's, one activist got his bike pushed up against a police moped and the wheels got caught. The cop started beating him pretty brutally and a group moved in to protect him-then the cops let loose and began beating them badly.  We're hearing reports of compound fractures, bones sticking out of the skin.

  The crowd around the church is energized, but neither panicked nor frenzied.  Things have cooled down, and mostly people are walking around and greeting old friends and sharing information.  I'm buddying up with Delyla, a street medic from Montana who is another old friend and who likes to move through a crowd in the same way I do, slowly, scanning the energy.  We each know too many people in this crowd, get pulled into side conversations.  I run into Tom Hayden, who tells me the TV coverage of the ride was great, great interviews and stories.  "Why don't the police object when the street gets too full of cars?" one of the riders had asked.

  And indeed, why don't they?  Why arrest and beat people for riding bicycles?

  The police had been threatening to shut down Critical Mass. The arrests tonight aren't a huge surprise, but they are a disappointment after last night's beautiful march.  It's hard to predict what this portends for our upcoming actions, whether it will intimidate more people from coming out to march today and Sunday and Monday, or whether people will get tired of intimidation and march anyway.  We have a plan to do massive nonviolent direct action trainings during the forming up period and at the end of the march, and in Central Park where many people will head in defiance of the denial of a permit.

  If you're in or around New York, we need you!   We need you to come out and march on Sunday with United for Peace and Justice, if you do nothing else. Actually we need you to get on the phone today and call up ten of your friends who weren't going to come and persuade them to join you, to show that intimidation doesn't work, that instead of being paralyzed by fear, people can be roused to action. You can join the Pagan Cluster-we'll be forming up on 20th St. between 5th and 6th Avenue, at the Green Dragon, at 10:30 AM on Sunday, August 29. Look for the spiral banners.

  And if you can't come yourself, we need you to be ready to make calls and send emails and faxes and letters on our behalf, to apply that political pressure that just might prevent more broken bones.

  Below is a list of useful numbers and emails;  you might start by calling Bloomberg and the police and ask why they arrest bicyclists?  Thanks!
  In preparation for the A31 action please distribute these numbers widely.
  Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
  (212) 788 7418 or (212) 788 3000 or (212) 788-9711
    FAX (212) 788-2460
  District Attorney Robert Morgenthau
  (212) 335-9000
  Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly 
  or call
  (646)610-5410 or (646) 610-5865
  NYC Police Switchboard
  Ask for Commissioners office
  Governor George E. Pataki
  Manhattan City Council Members:

  Gale A. Brewer <> Phone: (212) 873-0282 Fax: (212) 873-0279
  Alan J. Gerson : Phone: (212) 788-7722 Fax: (212) 788-7727
  Robert Jackson :  jackson  Phone: (212) 234-0551 Fax: (212) 234-0552 or
  Phone: (212) 928-1322 Fax: (212) 928-4177
  Margarita Lopez :  Phone: (212) 614-8751 Fax: (212) 614-8813
  Eva S. Moskowitz : Phone: (212) 818-0580 Fax: (212) 818-0706
  Gifford Miller :  miller <mailto:miller>  Phone: (212) 535-5554 Fax: (212) 535-6098
  Miguel Martinez :  Phone:(917) 521-2616/2640
  Fax: (917) 521-1293
  Bill Perkins :  Phone: (212) 662-4440 Fax: (212) 932-1130
  Christine C. Quinn : <> Phone: (212) 564-7757 Fax: (212)564-7347
  Philip Reed :  Phone: (212) 828-9800 Fax: (212) 722-6378
  Donations for the action can be sent to:
  1405 Hillmount St.
  Austin, Texas

  Starhawk is an activist, organizer, and author of Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising and eight other books on feminism, politics and earth-based spirituality.  She teaches Earth Activist Trainings that combine permaculture design and activist skills, and works with the RANT trainer's collective,   that offers training and support for mobilizations around global justice and peace issues.

  To get her periodic posts of her writings, email and put 'subscribe' in the subject heading.  If you're on that list and don't want any more of these writings, email   Feel free to post and forward these stories for nonprofit purposes, all other rights reserved.

Pro-Choice March Marks Day of Anti-Bush Protests
Sat Aug 28, 2004 04:06 PM ET
By Grant McCool

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thousands of abortion rights activists holding pink and black placards marched over the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday, the third day of protests before next week's Republican convention to nominate President Bush for a second term.

The march was organized by the Planned Parenthood group to support a woman's constitutional right to have an abortion, which they say the Bush administration has undermined. The Republican Party platform supports a constitutional amendment banning abortions.

Chanting "My Body My Choice" and "Not the church, not the state, women should decide their fate," about 20,000 mostly women of all ages marched for legal abortions, birth control and healthcare rights for two hours in the summer heat and humidity.

Holding a "Real Sex Ed Saves Lives" banner, Adrienne Luzeroff, 28, said reproductive rights were being threatened.

"The current administration needs to stop putting money into unproven abstinence-only education and support real medically accurate sex education for young people," she said.

Other protests were planned for Saturday, including two events organized by peace groups opposed to the Bush administration's military and diplomatic responses to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on America by Islamic militants.

The number of arrests made by police since the anti-Bush protests began on Thursday rose to 288 when two people were arrested during a protest by about 200 outside a Starbucks coffee shop blocks from the Madison Square Garden convention site. The activists accuse the chain of preventing workers from joining a union.

On Friday night, 264 people were arrested for disorderly conduct when about 5,000 cyclists rode through city streets, some past the convention arena, shouting "No More Bush." On Thursday, police arrested 22 people in three different demonstrations.

Police said they also seized 237 bicycles in the protest mounted by a group called Critical Mass, which wants to boost the rights of cyclists in traffic-clogged city streets.

The protest lasted several hours at a time when central Manhattan was crowded with theatergoers and people at restaurants and bars. Traffic was brought to a virtual standstill in the chaos.

The largest anti-Bush demonstration is scheduled for Sunday when an estimated 200,000 people are expected to march past Madison Square Garden to decry the war in Iraq and other Bush policies under the banner "The World Says No to the Bush Agenda."

The Republicans are preparing to nominate the president at the Aug. 30-Sept. 2 convention to run for a second White House term in the November election against Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.

(Additional reporting by Christine Kearney)

© Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.

Update from Central Park Rally 4:05 PM Sunday

Breaking News and Commentary from Citizens for Legitimate Government
August 29, 2004
All links to articles as summarized below are available here:

The CLG's Lori Price and Michael Rectenwald reporting on the action live from the NYC protest front. Check back for regular updates.

Report: Sunday, 4:05 PM. We are at the Great Lawn at Central Park with thousands of others who are more than annoyed at Bush and the Neocons. A shouting match broke out with some few supporters of Bush. Such shouting matches attract the media, although they ignore what the tens of thousands of protesters say otherwise. They are looking for conflicts and ways to make the protesters look bad. But we are sitting on the lawn holding our signs, proving we can be in Central Park. A huge Fuji blimp is being used by the NYPD and buses are available for use in the events of mass arrests. We are making a huge peace sign out of people now! We are standing being arranged into a gigantic peace sign and are yelling, "What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now!" We are shouting "Whose park? Our park! Now the police are moving in on us. Police calling in for reinforcements. The police are definitely moving in now. We are probably with the more radical end of the protests here. We are reciting the non-violent pledge of resistance. Chants of "Four more months! Four more months!" are being repeated. About ten thousand people are still here in the Park, without permit. A stand off is very likely. Stay tuned. Helicopters are circling overhead. Usually they circle then move in.

Report: Sunday, 2:30 PM EST: We are at Union Square. United for Peace and Justice has announced that this is the end of the "legal march." Protesters proceeding to Central Park do so at the risk of arrest. Here at Union Square there are police on bikes, on horses, in vans, cars, and in helicopter. We will rally here a while and check Central Park for developments. Check back soon. Reporting live from NYC at Union Square, Lori Price and Mike Rectenwald.

 t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    By Marc Ash

    Sunday 28 August 2004

    Reporting from the great lawn at Central Park in NYC.

    Despite the refusal of the city of NY to cooperate, thousands of peaceful anti war, anti Bush demonstrators are gathering.

    The city has apparently relented and will not move to block the assembly.

    They are chanting, "peace train now!"


    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    By William Rivers Pitt

    Sunday 28 August 2004

    We are taking a short break here in the shadow of the Obelisk, just off to the side of the Great Lawn in Central Park. We have been here for an hour to watch what develops. The Mayor's office told the protest organizers they could not use the park, and the protest organizers told the Mayor's office to find the nearest pile of sand and pound it.

    Flyers were handed out all along the main march route, telling people to come here to the Lawn. And come they have, by the thousands. The police, who could have (and yet might) made this a messy, frightening affair, have apparently decided to act as though this is just another day in the park.

    The people keep coming. This is, after all, their park.


    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    By Scott Galindez

    Sunday 28 August 2004

    The People Have Spoken

    With one loud united voice hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters have said no to war and no to Bush. For the last 3 and a half hours an endless sea of people have passed by Madison Square Garden. The march has been spirited, diverse and without any reports of violence.

    United for Peace organizer Leslie Cagen announced at an impromptu press conference that the numbers have exceeded their expectations. Jesse Jackson led the crowd in a chant of "Remember in November" There are giant puppets and thousands of drummers. We are now heading to Central Park where thousands have already gathered to reclaim the park.


    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    By William Rivers Pitt

    Sunday 28 August 2004

    The march has begun, and it is absolutely gigantic. The crowd is winding its way past MSG right now to a cacophany of whistles, drums and chants. Pro-Bush protesters are yowling "USA! USA!" At the passing marchers, but are being utterly overwhelmed by an avalanche of responding noise. It is a sea of humanity here.

    One thing I have noticed: the protesters scattered through the city today and yesterday have been flying the anti-Bush flag with pride...shirts, signs, buttons, anything to make sure people know exactly where they stand. I have also seen many people who are delegates or conventioneers for the GOP confab. They wear nothing, nothing at all, that might tip you off about who they are. I did see one woman at Ground Zero yesterday with a Bush/Cheney sticker on her handbag. When she reached the protesters peacefully ringing their bells, she covered the sticker with her hand.


    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    By William Rivers Pitt

    Sunday 28 August 2004

    I just returned from St. Paul's Chapel across from Ground Zero. St. Paul's is the oldest continuous use building on the island of Manhattan, and was the church that was amazingly spared from the destruction of 9/11.

    In the days after the attack, it became a rallying point for rescue workers who were frantically searching for their fallen comrades, and for ordinary New Yorkers trying to come to grips with what had happened.

    It stands now as a testament to the durability of human nature, and as a reminder that not everything has changed.


    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    By Scott Galindez

    Sunday 29 August 2004

    United for Peace is holding a press conference between 22nd and 23rd on 7th Avenue.

    Michael Moore is here, Danny Glover, Robert Greenwald, Charles Rangle, Tom Hayden, Jesse Jackson and many others.

    Fernando Soto opened the event speaking of the son he lost in Iraq. Kelly Doherty, an Iraq war vet, followed talking about her experiences during the war.

    Michael Moore is now addressing the media. He announced that he is happy that George Bush has only a few months left. He also encouraged people to not give the Bloomberg what he wants: Chaos. Moore called on everyone to show that we the majority can hold a peaceful and safe march...


    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    By Scott Galindez

    Sunday 29 August 2004

    Two Worlds Collide

    Over a quarter of a million people are expected to gather for a march against war and the Bush Administration today. This historic event will take place in the backdrop of thousands of Republicans arriving in New York for the Republican Convention.

    Today’s events will include a procession of 1,000 flag draped coffins in remembrance of the troops lost in Iraq. There will be a youth march leaving Columbus Circle and joining the larger march at on 7th Avenue for a mass march passed Madison Square Garden. The march will end at Union Square where many marchers will on their own proceeded to Central Park which could be the first major confrontation between protesters and the police... t r u t h o u t will bring you reports throughout the day... stay tuned...


    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    By William Rivers Pitt

    Sunday 29 August 2004

    Getting the team here ready to roll out, wrestling with technology, and Dr. Pepper for breakfast. These are a few of my favorite things.

    The march begins at noon down near 14th Avenue, but the crowd is going to start stacking up soon. My first mission is to get our credentials squared away, and then we will be off to the races.

    Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too?


    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    By William Rivers Pitt

    Saturday 28 August 2004

    Coming into this town always requires an epic mental adjustment for me. It's a lotta town, and the psychic weight of it all always scrambles me at first.

    Add to the mix thousands and thousands of protesters, scads of Republicans with fear in their eyes, and a cop every seven feet, and you have a unique atmosphere, even for this joint.

    Tomorrow we will cover the large march past Madison Square Garden. The big question: Will the people take Central Park? Will the cops let them?

    There are a number of fuses laying around, looking for a match. The march tomorrow, and the Central Park controversy, is but one.

    Stay tuned.


    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    By William Rivers Pitt

    Saturday 28 August 2004

    We have secured an elevated view of Ground Zero. It is a horrible scar even three years later. WTC7 and the old Telephone Building are still badly damaged and wrapped in scaffolding.

    Several thousand people have gathered here and are preparing to completely surround the site. The ceremony about to take place is a 'Ring-Out' to commemorate those who died here, and to commemorate all who have died by violence since. Each protester has a bell, and the streets will soon resonate with a mournful ringing.


    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    By William Rivers Pitt

    Saturday 28 August 2004

    The t r u t h o u t crew is currently ensconsed in a cab that, if it accelerates any more, will begin to go back in time. We are on our way to Ground Zero for a ceremony to commemorate the lost. Watch this space for updates.


    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    By William Rivers Pitt

    Saturday 28 August 2004

    Off the train, through the cop gauntlet in the station, and into a taxi faster than I've ever found one. Seventh Avenue is festooned with steel barricades, and I can count 50 police cruisers without even trying. Despite all that, the traffic is your standard New York volume for a Saturday. The Avenue of the Americas, where the march to commemorate the anniversary of the Iraq invasion took place, looks as though nothing really special is happening.


    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    By Scott Galindez

    Saturday 28 August 2004

    New York... New York

    The t r u t h o u t crew is arriving in New York. We are setting up our command center and preparing to head to Ground Zero, where we will launch our video coverage this evening.

    Karl Rove thought two years ago that having the Republican Convention here would be a way for them to exploit the images 9/11, but the people will make sure that doesn’t happen. Tonight, thousands of people will encircle Ground Zero and ring bells in remembrance to those who sacrificed their lives on that morning that will forever be etched in our minds.

    We must not allow George Bush to claim ground zero for the hawks and use it to continue to justify war. As the members of Peaceful Tomorrows remind us, not all of the victims of 9/11 would have wanted us to get revenge in their name.

    The Neo-cons have used 9/11 to justify their policy of pre-emptive war. Tonight this hallowed ground must be re-claimed for peace...


    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    Peace Activists Launch "Peaceful NY Police" Program with Buttons, Discounts

    Saturday 28 August 2004

    CODEPINK: Women for Peace matches Mayor Bloomberg's incentive program

    Peaceful police officers will receive smiles and positive responses from RNC protesters, as well as discounts at several New York City stores, if they pledge to remain peaceful during demonstrations that are planned during the Republican National Convention. CODEPINK: Women for Peace obtained the discounts and designed the "peaceful New York police buttons" in an effort similar to the "peaceful political activist" program that was launched by Mayor Bloomberg last week.

    "Ours is not a fight with the police; it's a deeply felt opposition to the Bush administration's policies," said Andrea Buffa of CODEPINK, who was arrested last week during an attempted banner hang during Mayor Bloomberg's press conference "welcoming" peaceful protesters to New York. "We thought we could ease the tension before the demonstrations begin by asking New York police officers to help us exercise our First Amendment rights by remaining peaceful during the protests."

    Police officers who choose to wear the buttons can receive discounts from such businesses as ABC Homes and Carpets (20 % off); Axis Gallery (10 % of art work); The Culture Project (50 % off on any performance); Angelica's Kitchen (5 % off on meals); and screenings of the movie "Uncovered" at the Angelica Theater (10 % off).

    CODEPINK: Women for Peace began in October 2002 as an effort by women to stop the war on Iraq, and in a short time has become a vibrant presence in the peace and social justice community. The group is know for its clever and witty actions, like handing pink slips to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other prominent administration officials to "fire" them for dragging the country into war and economic hardship. Since its inception, thousands of women have been inspired by CODEPINK to go to Washington to protest the war with Iraq and start CODEPINK chapters in their own cities.

    CODEPINK plans to hold frequent protests before the Republican National Convention. In the coming days, CODEPINK is sponsoring a "Women Against War" event to be held at the historic Riverside Church on Saturday, August 28 as well as a women's rally and march that will join with the massive United for Peace and Justice anti-war march on Sunday, August 29. On Tuesday, August 31, they are co-sponsoring a "Shut-up-a-thon" outside Fox News.


A Dragon Figure set on Fire
Police blame it on alledged anarchists

New York alledged anarchists!  The masks give it away? 
Alledged anarchists were arrested and taken away!

    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    By Marc Ash

    Friday 27 August 2004

    Despite the hysterical headlines spewed forth by New York's tabloid newspapers, the city is calm, and not in any immediate danger of being taken over by anarchists. Manhattan seems orderly and poised to host the Republicans and their critics in stride.

    The eyes of the world are on New York now, and New York appears up to the challenge.

    Reporting from the Big Apple, Marc Ash, TO.


    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    By William Rivers Pitt

    Saturday 28 August 2004

    For Those About to Rock...
    t r u t h o u t | Perspective

"I have never read anything that comes anywhere close to explaining the shock and intensity I felt at that convention... and although I was right in the middle of it the whole time, I have never been able to write about it myself. For two weeks afterwards, back in Colorado, I couldn't even talk about it without starting to cry... Every time I go to Chicago I come away with scars."

- Hunter S. Thompson, on the 1968 Chicago convention, 'Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail'

    The Big Apple is going to be crowded this week. 50,000 Republican conventioneers are about to run headlong into somewhere between 250,000 and 500,000 protesters. Salting the mix will be somewhere in the area of 10,000 New York City police, New York State police, FBI agents, Secret Service agents, SWAT teams and attack dogs.

    Two years ago, it might have been considered a good idea for the Republicans to come to New York for their convention. The Iraq invasion was still a product yet to be marketed, whistleblowers like Joe Wilson and Richard Clarke hadn't yet stepped to their microphones, and some of the hard truths about what really happened on September 11 hadn't yet filtered down to the streets. Flush from their victories in the 2002 midterms, the Republicans saw New York as a perfect place to strut their stuff.

    Funny how things change.

    Republican conventioneers are flowing into New York today, and they are scared. The level of hysteria being pumped into the equation would be funny if it were not so combustible. Bernadette Malone, former editorial page director for the New Hampshire Union Leader, warned GOP delegates that, "Next week, people who hate Republicans plan to release swarms of mice in New York City to terrorize delegates to the National Republican Convention. Republican-haters plan on dressing up as RNC volunteers, and giving false directions to little blue hair ladies from Kansas, sending them into the sectors of New York City that are unfit for human habitation. They plan on throwing pies and Lord knows what else at Republican visitors to the city. Prostitutes with AIDS plan to seduce Republican visitors, and discourage the use of condoms."

    Yes, she was serious.

    Mice, pies, bad directions and AIDS notwithstanding, the Republican conventioneers actually do have a lot to be concerned about. They are showing up for a party to celebrate the worst Presidential administration in recent and extended memory, and they are going to try to convince the American people that four more years of the same are just what the doctor ordered. Hundreds of thousands of people will be spending the week reminding them of how bad things are.

    This is where things might get sticky.

    The daily newspapers in New York have been going out of their way to inspire a public crunch between the protesters and the police. Any violence will make for increased newspaper sales, and never mind the ethics of trying to instigate a brawl. Shot through the coverage are dire warnings of 'anarchists' coming to burn the joint down. These black-clad fellows, we've been told, are the ones who went berserk in Seattle in 1999, and in Philadelphia for the last Republican convention in 2000.

    Laura Flanders of Air America Radio, however, offers a different perspective: "As the Kerry Swift boat story tells us, being blamed isn't the same as being guilty. Want to know who started the violence in Seattle? Ask the media who covered the protests early on. From-the-scene reports showed that it was the police who locked down the city, used chemical weapons on penned-in crowds, and fired rubber bullets at nonviolent demonstrators, even at bystanders and families trying to flee. According to a long ACLU report on the matter the Seattle police bullied local residents and shoppers, made hundreds of improper arrests, and committed widespread acts of brutality."

    "Turn to Philadelphia," continued Flanders, "and were protestors accused? Yes. But convicted? Mostly not. In fact, the enormous majority of the cases brought against activists were dismissed, in no small part because of the revelations about undercover police tactics that came out in court. Legal documents revealed that in violation of Philadelphia law, the police infiltrated protest groups, spied on organizers, instructed city housing officers to shut down buildings on specious pretexts, police provocateurs provoked violence. Federal, state and local police, it turned out, were working together with the Secret Service, and the basis for at least one group of search warrants was a report produced by a extremist right wing think tank, the Maldon Institute. One targeted demonstrator, arrested while walking down the street, made history when he became the first American ever accused, but not convicted, of brandishing a cellphone with intent to commit a crime. Bail was set at $1 million. All of this, it should be said, was long before the PATRIOT ACT."

    Anyone with an appreciation of political history knows the bedlam outside the Democratic convention in Chicago back in 1968 did more to elect Richard Nixon than any other ten factors combined. Despite the fact that what took place was a hard-core police riot, the American people saw the Democratic party come unglued on national television.

    If things get out of control in New York this week, we may again be talking about police officials who went into a hate frenzy and started gassing and clubbing with impunity. This won't matter to the tone-deaf media; when the smoke clears and the blood gets hosed off the sidewalk, the headlines will again be about Democrats flipping out in an orgy of violence.

    Any of the protesters in New York this week who are dedicated to the removal of George W. Bush from office should bear the potential headlines in mind. Protests are political actions, but when they go wrong, they become marvelous rallying posters for the very people who inspired the protests in the first place.

    Will there be anarchists in New York this week? Probably. Will some of them try to start a brawl with the cops? Probably; there are going to be knuckleheads in any large crowd, and who can forget the picture of the black-clad bozo kicking in the window of a Nike store in Seattle with a Nike-clad foot.

    Will there be people in the crowd who draw their paychecks from the FBI, the New York police department, or right-wing organizations? Count on it. If no protester starts a fight this week, bet on some outside agitator trying to get something going in order to smear the whole works.

    Large groups of people tend to act like herd animals when trouble starts. It is the nature of things. The best thing any individual protester can do is to be aware of their surroundings, understand that any violence will play right into the hands of Karl Rove, and call any cop they meet "Sir." History is about to be made in New York. Hopefully, it will be a positive story of action, democracy and peaceful resistance.

    I'll be there with you, cameraman in tow.


    t r u t h o u t | Republican Convention Coverage
    United for Peace and Justice

    Friday 27 August 2004

    United for Peace and Justice Statement on Central Park

    Friday 27 August 2004

    We all know that large numbers of people are planning to go to Central Park's Great Lawn on Sunday, despite - or because of - the court's ruling that we may not hold a rally there.

    United for Peace and Justice emphatically supports the right of people to peacefully assemble in Central Park.

    We are committed to having a safe, legal protest march, that anyone and everyone can attend - kids, seniors, immigrants, people with disabilities. We therefore are NOT leading our march to Central Park, and we ask everyone who plans to participate in our march to respect our desire for a safe and legal event, and not to organize breakaway marches from it to the Park.

    To those who wish both to march with us and to assert their right to assemble in Central Park on Sunday, we ask that you follow our march to the end, disperse peacefully at Union Square, and then make your own way to the Great Lawn.

    For additional information go to:


Bike Riders with the 'Critical Mass' protest wait to be escorted on a police bus after being arrested with at least 250 other participants in the mass bike ride that started at Union Square and passed the Madison Square Garden, for what New York Police Officers claimed was an obstruction of traffic.
(AP Photo/Jennifer Szymaszek)

Police arrest 250 in mass bicycle protest
Friday, August 27, 2004

VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press Writer

(08-27) 19:56 PDT NEW YORK (AP) --

Nearly 250 bicyclists were arrested during a mass protest that passed Madison Square Garden Friday night, the first major police crackdown on demonstrators just days before a wave of activists were expected to descend for the Republican National Convention.

The cyclists had snaked through Manhattan for the monthly Critical Mass ride. But what was usually a crowd of hundreds swelled to thousands Friday, with organizers saying the excursion drew a horde of bikers who wanted to protest the convention.

Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said the cyclists had caused "massive disruptions" and endangered motorists trying to drive through the city. About 250 cyclists were arrested, including one for throwing a beer can at an officer, he said. The officer was uninjured.

"We gave them every opportunity to comply with the law," Browne said. "Those who didn't were arrested."

Police had passed out leaflets to the riders, who started their procession at Union Square, warning them not to ride more than two abreast, Browne said. Many of them ignored that warning, he said, causing massive traffic disruptions.

During the ride, bikers chanted anti-Bush slogans, stifled traffic and, in some places, argued with motorists.

"I think they (police) want to set a precedent for how they want people to protest," said cyclist Jennifer Brustein. "This is a big time for us to show that we won't be intimidated


Thousands Hit NYC Streets; Cheney Arrives

Aug 29, 4:52 PM (ET)

(AP) Demonstrators walk past Madison Square Garden, site of next week's Republican convention, during a...
Full Image

NEW YORK (AP) - Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched past a heavily fortified Republican convention hall on Sunday, chanting denunciations of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq as delegates flocked to the city to nominate President Bush for four more years in the White House.

Vice President Dick Cheney campaigned his way into the convention city three days ahead of the president, praising him as "calm in a crisis, comfortable with responsibility and determined to do everything needed to protect our people." He spoke on Ellis Island, framed by a Manhattan skyline altered irrevocably by terrorism.

Bush was in West Virginia, a state he won four years ago and is laboring to carry again. Locked in a tight race with Democratic Sen. John Kerry, the Republican is scheduled to arrive in New York on Wednesday and deliver his formal acceptance speech the following night.

In an interview with Time Magazine, the president suggested he had underestimated the struggle of the postwar period in Iraq. "Had we to do it over again, we would look at the consequences of catastrophic success, being so successful so fast that an enemy that should have surrendered or been done in escaped and lived to fight another day," Bush said.

Vice presidential candidate John Edwards responded for Kerry and the Democrats. "President Bush now says his Iraq policy is a catastrophic success. He's half right. It was catastrophic to rush to war without a plan to win the peace," he said.

Polls show the war in Iraq has become increasingly unpopular in recent months, and the throng of protesters filling 20 city blocks on a steamy Manhattan afternoon underscored that. "No More Bush," and "No More Years," were two of the more popular chants. "Bush Lies, Who Dies?," read some of the signs.

At mid-afternoon, a small fire erupted along the protest route a half block from Madison Square Garden. Police quickly doused the flames, then handcuffed two people and led them away.

Thousands of police, some dressed in riot gear, others bearing automatic weapons, watched as the protesters passed. Extensive as it was, the force represented only a portion of an unprecedented security deployment designed to protect the city, New Yorkers and Republicans during the convention week.

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said last week the efforts would include air surveillance over the city, monitoring activity in the harbor and stationing security personnel at every hotel housing any of the 2,508 delegates or 2,344 alternates.

After months of appealing to his conservative supporters, Bush and his convention planners scripted a program pitched toward the political middle, independents and wavering Democrats. Sen. John McCain was on the program for the convention's opening night Monday. The Arizona Republican has widespread appeal among independents that stems in part from his own presidential campaign four years ago and his drive for campaign finance reform.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who espouses a more moderate brand of Republicanism than the president, speaks Tuesday night. Democratic Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia delivers the keynote address on Wednesday.

Several of the speakers, McCain and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani among them, oppose the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages that Bush has made a centerpiece of his campaign and is prominent in the Republican platform.

Cheney speaks Wednesday and Bush addresses the delegates and a nationwide television audience on Thursday. Aides have said he will use the speech to lay out an agenda for a second term.

Republican officials also say they intend to use the four-day convention to build support for Bush's handling of the war on terror and the war in Iraq as well as to undermine Kerry's claim as a suitable replacement.

In Wheeling, W.Va., Bush combined his standard defense of the Iraq war with a reminder to West Virginia voters that he has taken steps to protect an industry vital to the state. "I thought I needed to stand up for steel, and I did stand up for steel," he said.

The president imposed tariffs on imported steel for 20 months, but lifted them to avoid a threatened trade war with the European Union. While some critics said the tariffs were unjustified, others argue he should have left them in place longer.

Cheney did not mention Kerry in his remarks. He touted Bush's credentials as a decisive, determined commander in chief for the war on terrorism in brief remarks delivered across New York Harbor from the site where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center once stood.

"He is a man of his word as the Taliban were the first to find out," he said of the Afghanistan rulers driven from power by the United States for protecting Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida.

"Under the president's leadership we rid the world of a gathering threat by eliminating the regime of Saddam Hussein. Sixteen months ago Saddam controlled the lives and future of nearly 25 million people. Today, he's in jail," Cheney added.


On the Net:

Man Held for Coming Within Feet of Cheney

1 hour, 49 minutes ago

By TOM HAYS, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK - A 21-year-old Yale student, posing as a volunteer at the Republican National Convention, got within 10 feet of Vice President Dick Cheney and shouted anti-war statements before being dragged away, authorities said Tuesday.
AP Photo

Special Coverages
· Kerry Will Buy $45M TV Time in 20 States
AP - 2 minutes ago
· Scores Arrested in Anti-Bush Protests in New York
Reuters - 4 minutes ago

All Election Coverage


Secret Service Agent Shannon Zeigler said Cheney "was never in any harm or danger" during the incident Monday night in Madison Square Garden. The suspect, Thomas Frampton, was charged with assaulting federal officers and impeding the operation of the Secret Service.

Frampton was released on $50,000 bail and told to stay 100 feet from Cheney and President Bush. He also was ordered to give back a red convention volunteer's shirt he used to get into the arena, along with any convention passes.

A complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan said Secret Service agents spotted Frampton carrying a "Bush-Cheney '04" placard on the walkway behind Cheney's box at 9:30 p.m. Monday. One agent instructed him to keep moving.

Frampton began to move away, then turned back in the direction of Cheney's box and began shouting anti-Bush administration slogans. He then started to climb over a low wall separating Cheney's box from the walkway and got within 10 feet of Cheney before the Secret Service agents tried to restrain him.

As the agents grabbed him, Frampton swung his right elbow in the direction of one agent, the court papers said. He continued to struggle with the agents and shout at Cheney as he was dragged away and handcuffed, the complaint said.

Federal prosecutor John M. Hillebrecht said Frampton went through elaborate efforts to get close to Cheney, including going through training sessions with convention organizers, "all the while masquerading as a Republican supporter of the president."

Defense attorney Henry E. Mazurek described Frampton as a model citizen and Yale junior with a near-perfect grade-point average. Frampton's father is a partner at a New York law firm and mother is a professional photographer in Washington, Mazurek said. Frampton was scheduled to begin classes on Wednesday, Mazurek said.

Associated Press reporters Donna De La Cruz, Ula Ilnytzky and Larry Neumeister contributed to this story.


At Least 900 Arrested in City as Protesters Clash With Police


Published: September 1, 2004

A series of demonstrations rippled across Manhattan last night when protesters tried to converge on the Republican National Convention, as a day of planned civil disobedience erupted into clashes with police officers and led to the arrest of more than 900 people.

The wave of confrontations - which included a brawl with the police at the New York Public Library, marauding crowds cursing at delegates in Midtown and the detention of hundreds of protesters near ground zero - created a day of disorder in a convention week already marked by sustained protests against the Bush administration and the war in Iraq.

Yesterday's incidents stood in contrast to the enormous, mostly orderly antiwar march that drew hundreds of thousands of people to Manhattan on Sunday. Many of those protesting yesterday had purposefully avoided seeking permits for their rallies but had publicized their plans well in advance, leading hordes of police officers in cars, bikes, scooters and vans to flood various parts of the city primed to pre-empt disorder before it could occur. The day's arrests brought the convention-related total to more than 1,460.

The protesters gathered at various locations, many with the goal of descending on the convention site at Madison Square Garden. But at the various staging areas - near ground zero, in Union Square, in Herald Square near Macy's, and outside the New York Public Library - the police began making arrests, sending the crowds into a frenzy. These confrontations followed several other events, some of which went off without incident, and the police said their aggressive actions prevented even more widespread disruptions.

"Today a number of anti-R.N.C. activities failed to materialize, including a takeover of the lobby of the Warwick Hotel, perhaps because of the police presence there," Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly told reporters at an early evening news conference.

Protesters and civil liberties lawyers expressed concerns over what they said had been unfair and overzealous tactics in dealing with demonstrators who may not have had permits but were not violent.

"It's an example of the police suckering the protesters," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, referring to the arrest of some 200 protesters who said they thought they were abiding by an agreement they had negotiated with the police as they marched from ground zero on Fulton Street.

"It was a bait-and-switch tactic," she added, "where they approved a demonstration and the protesters kept up their end of the bargain. They undermined people's confidence in the police, and that's a serious problem as we go forward."

The day, loosely organized by an anarchist collective called the A31 Action Coalition, began slowly, with highly anticipated events proving less than fractious. Indeed, the cat-and-mouse between the protesters and the police started early.

Responding to word that anarchists planned to somehow disrupt the morning's trading, hundreds of police officers flooded the blocks surrounding the New York Stock Exchange before 8 a.m.

Roughly an hour later, dozens of officers responded to an obscure corner near the exchange at South William Street and Mill Lane, where protesters had stretched a ball of yarn across the street.

Within minutes, 14 young people sat handcuffed and seated with their backs to a wall near the short pedestrian mall, surrounded by three or four times as many police officers. Several balls of red and yellow yarn were strewn about the street, and a boom box sat nearby with a sign on a bedsheet reading "Celebrate the Power of Money." One of the protesters wore a pinstriped suit and a beret.

Paul J. Browne, a police spokesman, said of the protesters, "A lot of them are from out of town, and I think it was reflected in the choice of intersections."

But the protests gained intensity throughout the day, and by late afternoon, the tenor had clearly changed as the police appeared to adjust their tactics to deal with the spontaneous eruptions throughout the city and the crowds of demonstrators grew increasingly volatile as the arrests mounted.

Indeed, the turning point appeared to come as several hundred protesters with the War Resisters League tried to begin a march up Fulton Street that organizers had negotiated with police, although they did not have a permit.

Ed Hedemann, one of the organizers, said their understanding was that if they stayed on the sidewalk and did not block foot traffic or vehicles, they could proceed toward Madison Square Garden.

But within minutes, the protesters were confronted by a line of police officers who told demonstrators they were blocking the sidewalk and would be arrested, although they did not appear to be blocking pedestrian traffic at that point.

A commanding officer, telling the crowd of about 200 "you're all under arrest," ordered other officers to bring the "prison van" and the "orange netting" with which to enmesh the protesters.

"We don't know why we are being arrested, we were just crossing the street," said Lambert Rochfort, who was among the protesters. "We were told if we don't do anything illegal we would be allowed to march on the sidewalk and we did just that. Then they arrested us for no apparent reason."

Later in the afternoon, a clash erupted on the steps of the New York Public Library after two women tried to hang a protest banner over one of the lions atop the library steps. After the police pinned the women to the ground, a crowd of protesters struggled with police, answering requests to move with chants of "Oink, oink, oink."

People coming off the subways were thrown to the ground and the steps of the library were left littered with chairs and debris.

As protesters converged on Herald Square in the evening, the police tried to contain the increasingly raucous crowds. Hundreds of protesters seemed to get too close to the buses of delegates and the crowd became unruly as the police moved in metal barricades and used scooters to try to push the crowd back.

Those who would not move were arrested, and each time the police moved in to make an arrest, they were swarmed by protesters.

The demonstrators at Herald Square, frustrated by their lack of ability to move closer to Madison Square Garden, began breaking off in clusters of hundreds or so and storming the streets and avenues in Midtown, throwing cones and other objects at cars and windows as they ran.

As police drew close, they tried to scatter. Police tackled them in streets, corners and in front of stores. Innocent bystanders were also caught up in the maelstrom.

In one instance, about 200 people broke away from the larger group in a chase that went all the way from 33rd Street and Broadway to 27th Street and Park Avenue, before being tackled by police. At 27th Street and Madison Avenue, protesters set fire to a large pile of trash near the Carlton Hotel as delegates and other guests made their way to the convention.

Reporting for this article was contributed by Randal C. Archibold , Michael Wilson, Mary Spicuzza, William K. Rashbaum and Colin Moynihan.

Poor People's March in NYC Attacked by Police
posted by Roadrunner on Tuesday August 31 2004 @ 09:45AM PDT
 Not long after its 4pm rallying time, the Poor People's March had overflowed the barricaded space set up by the cops, and people kept streaming in. The march, organized by the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, convened outside the United Nations headquarters and began with a number of speakers, who couldn't be heard by most of those in attendance. Protestors on the periphery of the march passed the time teasing the police, who were present in great numbers and soon began clearing the sidewalk around the plaza.

Another line of disassembled wooden barricades was lying on the ground, under the feet of the protestors; the police politely asked the crowd, "Help us get these out of your way," and when the people parted, the barricades went up. Shortly thereafter, cops moved the wall a few feet farther out, giving us more room, and we joked: "Ah, now we're free." A few protestors began a chant to address the irony that the police were protecting the system that had them working without a labor contract, but the march "peacekeepers" quickly shut them up, receiving much criticism in the process from protestors in the area.

Shortly thereafter, a march organizer on the stage intoned a nonviolence pledge; the march participants were expected to repeat it, and about half did. The organizer set an important tone by reminding marchers that there were disabled people and immigrants in the crowd who faced far worse consequences if the police got violent, though rather than asking marchers to respect the risk level chosen by the more vulnerable people in the march, it was decided by the organizers that "We will practice nonviolence." There was more than a little discontent expressed by march participants spanning all the demographics present that the enforcement of pacifism was heavy-handed, and served state interests.

The march started off heading east and soon picked up a compelling vibrancy and energy, greater than Sunday's more massive protests. The 5,000 person-strong march contained a diverse mix of people. Most, but certainly not all were young, and among them were anarchists, socialists, Naderites, and even a few John Kerry supporters. Most people came unaffiliated, but there were visible contingents of Radical Cheerleaders, Code Pink, Anarchist People of Color, and Still We Rise. Compared to most other events throughout the week and at other mass mobilizations, there were a large number of people of color, though the majority were white people, many college students, ostensibly participating as allies.

The march headed south for on 2nd Avenue to 23rd St., turned west, and then came north again on 8th Avenue, to approach the Convention center from the south. Energy was high and exuberant chants filled the air, one forming a strange polyrhythmic cadence with the next. People on the sidewalks and in windows cheered, and the march grew as some bystanders joined in. There was some disagreement between protestors in some instances when chants against Bush were expanded to include Kerry, and Nader, and "the whole fucking system" as one woman phrased it, throwing her head back in an expressive howl. In general, more liberal slogans were shouted by those with the megaphones, repeated by the crowd, tolerated by the more radical. At least once a demonstrator preferring a more radical anti-poverty expression (I believe it was "1,2,3,4, Kill the Rich and Arm the Poor") was shushed by those around him. In another instance, a marcher was handing out copies of a flyer (thousands of copies of the same flyer had been handed out the previous day) warning that violence would play into the wishes of the GOP, and that protestors advocating confrontation were likely police provocateurs. Another protestor confronted the man with the flyers and confronted him for spreading paranoia and endangering the legitimately militant by alienating them from potential support by other marchers. (It might be wondered whether the numerous marchers sporting Che Guevarra on their clothing believed Guevarra, as an advocator of violence, to be a provocateur playing into the hands of the Cuban state). Given that most media coverage has focused exclusively on the politics of the march organizers, it would do well to point out that a number of march participants were frustrated with passivity and felt that even "mindless violence" would hurt the Republicans by blemishing the spectacle of their coronation and suggesting to the public that George Bush's very presence incites riots, no matter how senseless and misguided. But despite their personal feelings, all the protestors respected the wishes of march organizers and kept confrontation to a minimum, though it would be dishonest to suggest that everyone in the march spoke with a unified voice.

Well before the march had begun heading north towards the convention center, an aggressive police presence began advancing up both sides of the march. Soon, police began targeted friskings of activists they singled out for unknown reasons. It wasn't long until they pushed a protestor up against a wall and took out the handcuffs, either because he was wearing a mask or refused a search, according to various sources. Much of the crowd in that area surged around the three arresting officers, chanting angrily and pressing close with the hope of intimidating police into retreating. But no one engaged in physical resistance so the cops pushed through the crowd in a panick and moved towards the closest police column. Other police then charged the knot of spectators and began attacking protestors with no provocation. They knocked people to the ground and tackled one man who had been chased well into the crowd, either for wearing a mask or attempting to obstruct the first arrest. Most of the marchers surged around the police, their chants soon evolving from "Shame! Shame!" to "Pigs Fuck Off!" and even "Off the Pigs!" The crowd was growing extremely angry in response to the police brutality, and manifesting even greater verbal resistance and intimidation tactics, though again everyone refrained from actual self-defense. March organizers and peacekeepers urged the crowd to ignore the arrests and stick to the march route.

Multiple times, police snatched someone out of the crowd, and then attacked anyone who opposed them, even though opposition was confined to chanting. And every time, the march organizers urged the marchers to look the other way, to keep up, to abandon those being arrested. By all appearances, no attempts were made to slow down the front of the march so that protestors could support those being arrested, even though at the opening rally the organizers had pretended to show a great concern for protecting immigrants, disabled people, and other "vulnerable" people from being arrested. Instead, peacekeepers and police could be heard shouting identical instructions to the crowd ("move along") and many of the marchers were growing increasingly frustrated.

When the march got to 8th Avenue and 29th St., those of us in the middle of the march looked back and suddenly realized we were at the end of the march. The entire back third of the march had been cut off and penned in by police, and the march organizers either did not notice or decided not to support them, not to communicate the fact of an impending danger to those of us who now had our backs exposed to a police assault. Acting autonomously, regular protestors spread the information and got the march to tighten up and face to the rear. Within a minute, a line of cops silhoutted by the flashing of emergency vehicles began advancing on us from a block to the south, where they had penned in the others. Without warning, more cops charged in from both sides of 29th St. Protest organizers had told us that the cops would try to pick a fight, and that's exactly what the cops had been trying to do. The organizers told us that we should not fight back, and we didn't. They said that if we didn't let ourselves be provoked we would be safe, that in nonviolence we would be strong. They were wrong. The cops attacked us anyway.

Plainclothes cops on motorcycles ran into the crowd, injuring several people. They were wearing shirts over their badges, and uniformed cops backed them up, shoving the crowd out of the intersection, though there were too many people to disperse, and we were shoved, pressed, run over, and even trampled. One cop, arrogantly confident that he could assault us as confidently as if we were sheep, drove his motorcycle far into the crowd, away from the support of other police, but at least one person had had enough of letting them attack us, and the cop was knocked off his bike. With charge after charge into the crowd, the police cleared the intersection, making more arrests, and they blocked us in, between 29th and 30th St. Protest lawyers documented cases of assault and recorded injuries, medics tended to the hurt, and people stood around confused, angry, figuring out what to do. A march organizer got on a bullhorn and yelled at the people near the barricade, who had just been violently assaulted, that they were provoking the police. Dozens of marchers swarmed around the organizer, telling him the attack had been unprovoked, crying, yelling, screaming at him. Peacekeepers drew everyone they could away from the barricades and into the middle of the block, defusing the situation and aiding the police enclosure. Word circulated that the cops had announced we could leave in small groups--vulnerable to targeted arrest--but that they would clear us out and could charge us at anytime, despite the march organizers bending over backwards to "de-escalate" the situation. The police still held all the real power, and we had made it easy for them to use it.

Some marchers began sitting down, toying with the idea of civil disobedience should the police move in. Others wanted to stay in the streets for Tuesday, when they might get more support from people who know the meaning of solidarity. So they tried to look obedient and passed out of the narrow gap in the barricades left open by police.

Two blocks north and west of the protest pen, a group of about twenty march organizers and peacekeepers were calmly sitting in the grass, discussing amongst themselves or chatting idly with a group of police lieutenants. Meanwhile, the marchers they had led waited around for possible assault or arrest, some not even knowing how to get past the barricades and police lines.

A nonviolent protest, a concern for the vulnerable, an idea of solidarity, a trusted leadership. Everywhere, in a subversive way, revolutionaries slipping off into the pregnant night were learning. It had been a defeat, but the kind that illuminates the path to victory, to freedom. Dark helicopters thrashed the sky overhead. Steeled cops leaned on every corner. Complacent shoppers flocked through midtown. But in the evening air was a learning, a hope, a knowledge of a future battle that we might fight to win.

Michael writes on Wednesday September 01 2004 @ 06:36AM PDT: 
I was in the front of the protester line at 29th street. Not only did the cops attack people unprovoked on there bikes. One of the cops who fell of his bike got up and punched a protester. Also the guy on the bullhorn was aware of the situation, he just wanted everyone to stay non-violent, because we did nothing wrong. Also where are all the pictures from this night. There were at least 15 photographers taking pictures of the entire event, yet I have seen not pictures.


Tactics by Police Mute the Protesters, and Their Messages


Published: September 2, 2004

As the Republican National Convention approached its final evening tonight, nearly 1,800 protesters had been arrested on the streets, two-thirds of them on Tuesday night alone. But for all the anger of the demonstrations, they have barely interrupted the convention narrative, and have drawn relatively little national news coverage.

Using large orange nets to divide and conquer, and a near-zero tolerance policy for activities that even suggest the prospect of disorder, the New York Police Department has developed what amounts to a pre-emptive strike policy, cutting off demonstrations before they grow large enough, loud enough, or unruly enough to affect the convention.

The demonstrations, too, have thus far been more restrained than many recent protests elsewhere; five years ago in Seattle, for example, there was widespread arson and window-smashing, none of which has occurred here. Lacking bloody scenes of billy-club-wielding police or billowing clouds of tear gas, the cameras - and the public's attention - have focused elsewhere.

"It is almost easier to explain what you are not getting here," said Ted Koppel, anchor and managing editor of ABC's "Nightline," when he was asked why news organizations have given little time to the protests. "What you are not getting here is a replay of 1968 in Chicago."

Twice yesterday, protesters did manage to breach the security cordon at Madison Square Garden. During Vice President Dick Cheney's speech last night, a woman wearing a pink slip rushed the convention floor. She was quickly tackled and dragged out, while nearby conventiongoers covered the disturbance by raising their signs and chanting.

Earlier, at noon, 12 demonstrators from Act Up, the protest group concerned with AIDS issues, entered the convention site. They interrupted a speech that Andrew Card, the White House chief of staff, was giving to a group of Young Republicans. The protesters, who were shouting for more money to prevent the spread of AIDS, were arrested, and one was charged with assault after a scuffle.

Ann Roman, a spokeswoman for the Secret Service, said the Act Up protesters apparently had legitimate Young Republican floor passes, although she would not say how they acquired them.

In general, though, if the week's protesters wound up shouting mostly to themselves, the Bush-Cheney campaign did not get the wild-eyed foil it had counted on, either. While Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the Police Department had promised an orderly city all along, several Republicans had indicated that they hoped to blame the campaign of the Democratic nominee, John Kerry, for any destruction.

So far, there has been little to pin on the Democrats.

"If the protesters do something outrageous, they benefit Bush; if they don't do something outrageous they don't get covered," said Kieran Mahoney, a Republican political consultant from New York. "They are the answer to the question, 'If a tree falls in the forest, does it make any noise?' "

In fact, the image that went nationwide, on television and in newspapers, was from Sunday, when United for Peace and Justice, a protest coalition, held a huge but orderly march that managed to cast a shadow over the opening day of the convention.

Now, with the highest-profile day to go, the day President Bush accepts his nomination, it appears that the New York Police Department may have successfully redefined the post-Seattle era, by showing that protest tactics designed to create chaos and to attract the world's attention can be effectively countered with intense planning and a well-disciplined use of force.

"So far, operationally, this has been a success for the department; things have gone well," said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. "We started 18 months ago. A lot of hard work by a lot of people, and so far it's paid off."

For New York City, and in particular for Mayor Bloomberg, the events of the last few days are a major victory, especially as he tries to persuade the International Olympic Committee to bring the 2012 Games to the city.

"When the mayor bid for this convention, part of his argument, to bring either convention here, was that New York City had the only police force to deal with a modern anarchist threat," said Kevin Sheekey, a close adviser to the mayor who served as president of the convention host committee. "And obviously the Police Department has done that astoundingly well."

The department's efficiency has not come without some cost, including the arrest of several innocent bystanders and nonviolent protesters. On occasion, police actions have also caused confrontations with protesters.

Lawyers who appeared in the city's arraignment court said, for example, that on Saturday a building superintendent named Andre Lebbt, 49, was arrested while he was taking out the garbage. They also described arrests of a man walking home from a sushi restaurant, and another man dressed in a business suit going home from work.

In one incident Tuesday, on the steps of the New York Public Library, protesters who were not trying to cause any disturbance - though they did not have a permit - ended up in a 15-minute melee with police, prompting rows of officers in helmets, clubs in hand, to form a phalanx on the steps. The officers moved in unison, chanting "Move, move, move." One uniformed officer swung his club wildly at protesters and at journalists, trying to force them back.

"In their quest to maintain tight control over protesters, the police too often have lost sight of the difference between lawful and unlawful activity," said Christopher Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

The protests have not been ignored. National Public Radio, for example, stepped up its coverage with two teams working day and night. But the lack of a unified message among a series of large and small groups with varying tactics has complicated their efforts to gain coverage.

"There are so many different messages and so many different ways they are portraying themselves," said Ellen Weiss, senior editor of NPR's national desk. In addition, she said, "the police have been very effective at keeping them away from the Garden," where most of the national news organizations are based.

Still, protesters have declared some victories. Anarchist organizers of Tuesday's wave of protests sent out a release yesterday proclaiming that "the R.N.C. protests in New York truly are a shout heard around the world," with more than 1,000 arrests so far. They said that the number of people on the street demonstrated a commitment to speaking out, and that the numbers of arrests have energized their followers for future activities.

The police have had widespread praise from demonstrators and their legal advocates for showing restraint and flexibility in dealing with many protests, both those with and without permits.

On Sunday, before the gigantic march past the Garden, a police captain sent a group of officers to clear a traffic lane and escort a large group marching without a permit from Central Park to Union Square, where the day's main protest was to begin.

In another unscheduled march on Tuesday, the police allowed 10 protesters in a larger group to wear masks - technically a violation of the law - as part of a symbolic statement against the abuse of United States military prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

"The overarching issue with no permits is if you try to take a street or sidewalk, if you are marching and forcing pedestrians in the street, you are going to be arrested," said a senior police official, asking not to be identified. "When each of these things forms up, the commander can make a judgment - does it make sense for public safety to allow it to go forward rather than do battle?"

Those judgments appear to vary depending on which police official is in charge on the scene, giving protesters the sense that the rules are always shifting. In many cases, said Mr. Dunn, of the civil liberties union, "the protesters are trying to play by the rules and the police are not honoring their own agreements or are moving to arrest people who are engaging in seemingly lawful activity without any notice."

Last Friday, for example, after tension over police warnings to obey traffic laws, about 5,000 cyclists were allowed to block traffic and run red lights for more than an hour until the patience of police officers suddenly appeared to grow thin. Officers dragged netting across a West Village street to block the ride, arresting dozens there and then many more at its end in the East Village.

Not all the protests were against the war. To express their disagreement with President Bush's policies toward workers, New York City's labor unions rescheduled their annual Labor Day rally to hold a demonstration yesterday near the Garden.

Two prominent actors, James Gandolfini and Danny Glover, joined labor leaders at the rally, which stretched along Eighth Avenue from 30th Street to 23rd Street, with a few thousand protesters on each block.

The speakers repeatedly lambasted Mr. Bush, saying he has weakened overtime protections, been hostile toward unions and presided over the loss of more than a million jobs.

John J. Sweeney, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s president, said: "President Bush promised to create five million new jobs, and so far he's six million short."

Thousands of protesters chanted "No More Bush," and many held up signs saying, "Mr. President, Where Are the Jobs?" and "More Layoffs on November 2." Union leaders vowed to do their utmost to defeat Mr. Bush.

"If George Bush can cut our time and a half, then we should cut his time in the White House in half," said Brian McLaughlin, president of the city's Central Labor Council.

Steven Greenhouse, Marc Santora and William K. Rashbaum contributed reporting for this article.

NYC Refuses to Release RNC Protestors - Defies the Court Order !!

Welcome to the police state !

NYC IMC: feature/116111
Saturday, September 4, 2004
News :: RNCWatch
S3 Wrap Up: Jail Crisis
03 Sep 2004
A State Supreme Court judge today ordered the city to release hundreds of people who had spent as many as 48 hours or more in jail and found the city in contempt of court after it failed to comply. Most of the people had been swept up in mass arrests on Tuesday, August 31, the day of nonviolent direct action to confront the Republican National Convention. Many claimed they were bystanders not connected to any protest.
The drama of the detentions unfolded in and around 100 Centre St., and heightened when the National Lawyers Guild filed a writ of habeus corpus late Wednesday evening demanding that the detainees be brought before a judge and formally charged. The more than 1100 people arrested on Tuesday had already been held at that point for more than 24 hours without being arraigned, informed of their rights, given access to an attorney, provided medical attention, or given access to adequate food, water, or sleeping facilities.

All the detainees had passed through the ad hoc detention center at pier 57 [ photos: inside | outside ] where they had to sleep on a floor slick with motor oil and other toxic residue. Numerous detainees complained of infections, rashes, and chemical burns. By Wednesday night, the detainees had become fed up with their treatment and began to refuse food.

The National Lawyers Guild and the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys engaged in legal battles with the city's Corporation Counsel late into the night, at one point packing the courtroom with supporters from outside in a failed attempt to have the judge resolve the case immediately. The judge did order the City to grant the attorneys access to their clients, but the City defied the order.

The detainees continued to resumed at 10:00 am at a hearing in which the judge denied the city's appeal of the writ and ordered the city to release all of the detainees. The city defied that order as it had the earlier one. By 5:00 pm, the judge's patience wore thin and he ordered the immediate release of all of the detainees. When the city defied that order, he found it in contempt and levied a fine of $1000 per person held past 24 hours.

The detainees finally came out of the courthouse into the welcoming arms of a jail support rally, where Bush was delivering his address.

Discussion of handling the legal aftermath has already begun.


DC Police Crack Down on Anti-Capitalist Protests
DC Police Crack Down on Anti-Capitalist Protests Fri Sep 27, 2002. ... AP - Protesters Try to Shut Down Capital. Hundreds Arrested At DC IMF Protests. ... -

Anti-War Global rallies protest possible US war on Iraq - Oct. 26 ...
... A rally in the shadows of Washington's political and military institutions anchored dozens of smaller protests throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the ... -

... NEW ANTI-WAR PROTESTS COMING. ... Protesters march in capital against US military aid to Colombia, Palestinian protests planned Mon Apr 22, 6:28 PM ET ...

... peaceful. The protests resulted in one arrest. ... After four problem-free days, police prepared for a surge in spontaneous street protests. The ... democratic-convention-2004.htm - 53k - Cached - Similar pages

... Alan Caruba. Monday September 8, 2003 Anti-globalization protests loom at Cancun talks. By Alistair Bell. ... Protests at EU summit turn violent 04 October 2003. ...

... Stamper, visibly relaxed and confident during the interview, denied that politics had played a role in tactical decisions for handling the protests. ...
Medical Teams' Advice for Protesters
... Protesters. (from the A16 Medical Collective). More intensive treatment can be provided in the vicinity of the protests. Outside the ...
... Graham's case has prompted the loudest protests since convicted pickax killer Karla Faye Tucker was executed in 1998, the first woman put to death in Texas ...

... the general population. The United States involvement in the war was controversial and sparked violent protests.. The war was fought ...

... cover. The embassy has been the target of virulent anti-NATO protests since the alliance began bombing Yugoslavia on Wednesday. ...
... In 1999, there were public protests in New York City against this practice, however, we are still seeing the chemtrails in the sky. ...

... Some world leaders have expressed impatience with the protests that have dogged
a string of international gatherings over the past 19 months. ... -

... It made the protests and rebellions of leftists comprehensible to their fellow citizens
and helped inscribe those movements within a common national narrative. ...

... So get involved with your local scene - whether through music, protests, or (preferably) both, you will be striking a blow for independence. ...
... Protests are also scheduled in Chicago and other cities. Police in Washington said Tuesday only a handful of groups told them they planned protests. ...

... no more'', farmers from 24 of Mexico's 32 states marched in Mexico City to the Congress
building to present their demands and later staged protests outside the ...

... To cries of "Death to America," thousands of Iraqis held protests throughout the
capital on Monday in a third straight day of anger over deadly US and British ...