Anti-war groups planning to protest at the Democratic National Convention have dumped R68 and formed a new coalition over doubts about the group's committment to non-violence:
Activists who plan to protest at the Democratic National Convention this summer are splitting with the umbrella organization, Re-create 68, because of concerns over its rhetoric and tactics.That's just about everyone. Must have happened fast, too: the Alliance doesn't even have a website yet.
The new coalition, called Alliance for Real Democracy, is a network of local and national groups, including Code Pink, United for Peace and Justice, the American Friends Service Committee, the Green Party of Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Colorado Street Medics, and Students for Peace and Justice.
Oh, that's gotta hurt.
"We've separated ourselves; we're not part of Re-create 68," said Claire Ryder, chairwoman of the Denver Green Party. Ryder said many activists had attended Re-create 68 meetings and were not comfortable with its organizational techniques.
Nevertheless, she said, “This has all been very difficult because a lot of them are ou friends. We’ve worked together on a lot of other issues over time.”
Glenn Spagnuolo, an organizer with Re-create 68, said he doesn't mind the new structure.
"More power to them," he said.
Spagnuolo characterizes the groups that are splitting with his as liberal Democrats who are largely white and middle-to-upper class and want their party to guide the country out of the war in Iraq.
He described Re-create 68 as representing minorities, anarchists, communists, socialists and "radicals" who don't support Democrats or Republicans.
Both his organization and the Alliance oppose the war, he said, and neither one advocates violence.
Cuba or the Revolutionary War?
However, the statement of nonviolent principles listed on the Re-create 68 website includes the right to self-defense, which has raised questions within the moderate flank of the local activist community.
Adam Jung, a University of Denver student who represents Tent State University, which pulled out of Re-create 68 in May, said he doesn't think Re-create 68 is planning violence. But he expressed concerns about Spagnuolo's insistence that he would resist police.
"This isn't like Cuba or the Revolutionary War," Jung said. "If attacked by a police officer, I wouldn't respond violently. I'm going to comply."
Michael Heaney, a political science professor at the University of Florida who has studied the antiwar movement, looks at the local split against the larger backdrop of the new political scene now that Sen. Barack Obama is the presumptive Democratic nominee.
"This forces them to strategically rethink the whole idea of protest (tactics).
"Do they really want to create chaos in the Democratic Party at a time when the Democrats are poised to nominate the first African-American candidate in history who many are satisfied with?"
Update: Genocide in the comments! Denver Green Party chairwoman Claire Ryder:
Glenn, I think you should be careful about who you categorize as white middle class, considering you are white and you and your wife live in a home in Highlands Ranch that you paid $335,000 for, in December. Does that not make you white middle class? I also find it amusing you call the new coalition liberal democrats, just after it quotes me as chair of the Green Party.Glenn responds (as always, sic):
Oh Claire, you really are an ignorent fool. If you only new that some of us gave up everything we had personally to try and start a radical community and make a real and lasting change. If you only new where that money came from, why we had to buy that house and what that money is intended to be used for when we sell that house you would realize that you know absolutely nothing, but I am sure that will not snap you out of your liberal haze. Keep marching in circles around the Capital Claire, I am sure that will make lasting change in the community. P.S. This article is wrong in many places and as for this new group, the only relevance you have is that you are not Recreate 68. Pretty sad.Pretty sad. (Awkward silence.) So, uh, Glenn. Tell us about your new house! What is it, three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths? Did you talk the realtor (sorry, Realtor) down much?
Anyhow, despite Glenn's sadness, one "S.J." seems strangely unfallen of crest:
Glenn again, doing a rather impressive Queeg:
Glen Spagnuolo lives in Highlands Ranch??
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahhaahha!!! What a complete Toolbag!! That is hysterical!! Maybe he should protest at the Boston's pizza joint down on south Broadway? Can he even FIND downtown? Doesn't all the congestion and traffic and people stress him out?? I always suspected he was a full fledged FAKE, but this little fact confirms it beyond my wildest suspicions!!! That is awesome! Thanks Claire!!I will look for Glenn at Starbucks but, oh, I LIVE and WORK in downtown Denver so maybe he is at the one down at .....(i can't even think of an intersection down there!)
hahahahahahhahahhahahahhahhahahahahahahaha Glenn - you are such a FAKE TOOL!!!
Yeah. Now tell us how you figured out who stole the strawberries. S.J. again:
One last comment. then I will let the normal non-sense virtual arguments to begin. These groups were never working with R-68 so how could they have split with R-68. Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice, the Greens, AFSC, and Students for Peace and Justice never supported our efforts to bring a more radical perspectice to the poltical landscape. The only group that split was a small group called Tent State, that's "Tent" State, not Kent State and that so called split was old news. One word on that so called split, ego. We sincerely wish this new group of pacifist luck in their efforts, but it is true, we do not give the right to self defense, a right afforded to every citizen of America under the law, away for the convention. The poor Post, no in-depth analysis as to why people would protest the DNC only interest they have is in a false hope of conflict and a chance to help split the left.
Glenn - Do you DRIVE everyday to that stupid little coffee shop you go to? You DRIVE everyday all the way DOWNTOWN so that you can sit around at a coffee shop and PRETEND that you are URBAN and significant?? Do you know what a waste of gas that is? You are such a hypocrite AND a fool AND a poser! God I cannot believe that you live in Highlands Ranch!! PERFECT!Why don't you keep your protests centered on Park Meadows Mall!! Don't bring your BS to a downtown that you don't even BELONG in!! I have an idea... how about that LODO's at Quebec and C-470?? That is a great compromise! You can PRETEND that you are downtown! Go protest there you geek!!Good old all-American ridicule. In contrast, Benjie Whitmer drags out the poor, suffering children and elders again (he never lets them sit down for a second):
Will that Indian elder whose face was destroyed by the cops at the Columbus Day protest be there, Benjie?
Re-create's statement of non-violence doesn't require anyone to defend themselves, it only refuses to deny people that right. As Re-create 68 has made clear, there will be folks marching with their children and elders, and they have every right to defend them. As even Martin Luther King Jr. put it, "the principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi."
If Ms. Ryder and Mr. Jung are content to stand by while someone beats them into a puddle, more power to 'em. But I'm guessing there's less moral purity in it than slavish devotion to the state, even when representatives of it are violating their Constitutional rights. And, of course, there's no moral purity at all in refusing to defend children and elders. That's just cowardice.
Glenn left a comment on this bog too:
I am sure you are so excited about this non-sense [again with the hyphen] piece. The only problem with it, none of these groups, with the exception of the small group Kent Sate, my bad, Tent State [so nice, he used the joke twice], ever worked with R-68. The RMPJ Center the AFSC, The Greens, The Students for Peace and Justice were never part of R-68, so when they reportedly "left" R-68 it caused a zero drop in our groups. More Liberal BS to try to convience people that there is going to be a scaled down protest at the Convention, keep dreaming.Update II: So Glenn, Claire Ryder said the Greens had "separated themselves" from R68, but that they'd "worked with" you in the past, made friends, etc. Is she lying about that? How about CodePink? Were they never under the R68 umbrella? And if none of these groups was ever actually involved with R68, why didn't you say so when you were talking to the reporter?