Despite threatening words from one of the groups planning to protest during the 2008 Democratic National Convention, most of the anti-war protesters eyeing Denver this summer are peaceful and creative, an expert says.Nothing sleazier than peace groups that think they can work with R6!8 and not get their own bell bottoms muddy.
Glenn Spagnuolo of Re-create 68 said Thursday that city officials were "creating a very dangerous situation" after the convention host committee was selected by lottery for a Civic Center park permit for the eve of the convention. He said his group would not "give up" the park for its demonstrations, which he hopes draw 50,000.
R-68 has been meeting with groups such as United for Peace and Justice, which organized 500,000 protesters for the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, and CodePink, a women's movement against the war that is another top-tier organizer.
"None of the mainstream organizations have any agenda like property damage," said Michael Heaney, a political science professor who has studied the anti-war movement since 2002 and who was in Washington, D.C., last week observing the many protests marking the fifth anniversary of the war.
Heaney met Spagnuolo and R-68 organizers Mark and Barbara Cohen in Atlanta this summer during a convention of progressives, and found them serious and well-organized. He said he thinks that, depending on the nominee and whether the convention will be brokered, Denver could expect between 10,000 and 50,000 anti-war activists. . . .
CodePink's co-founder, Medea Benjamin, greatly doubts the 50,000 figure and says an Obama nomination could reduce interest to but a couple of thousand. Then again, Benjamin said: "We don't feel that either of the candidates will get us out of Iraq without strong pressure." . . .
Benjamin met with Spagnuolo in Denver several weeks ago and toured Civic Center and other sites. She said Denver's host committee shouldn't get the park and agreed with R-68's plan to occupy the grounds, but stressed CodePink would do so without violence.
(via the tinpot dictator of North Denver, El Presidente)