Thursday, June 07, 2007

Corporate Amerikkka stomps all over free speech at upcoming DNC, reducing it to a pulpy mash of fear, repression and bad breath

The Post:

Mounting pressure from local officials and internal dissent drove the Denver City Council on Wednesday to spike a proclamation meant to recognize the rights of protesters and limit police response during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

News that a protest group had drafted the proclamation sent tremors through the city's civic and business communities as officials try to raise money for the onvention, council President Michael Hancock said.

Hancock added that there weren't enough votes for the measure to pass, so he pulled it from the council's Monday agenda.

"I think a lot of the people ... were concerned about the proclamation," Hancock said. "I was concerned about it."

The city heard from some corporations that have committed to donating money for the convention, as well as some that are considering helping raise the $40 million in cash and $15 million in additional donated services needed to stage it, Hancock and others said.

"Heard from some corporations." Heh.

Those concerns come as the Denver committee charged with hosting the convention regroups after missing its first fundraising deadline by $2 million.

Jeez, if they piss off corporate sponsors any more they'll have to move the homeless out from under the Platte bridges just so DNC delegates can meet there.

The proclamation, introduced by Councilwoman Kathleen MacKenzie, would have reaffirmed Denver's obligation to uphold First Amendment rights and would have limited use of pepper spray, mounted patrols and other instruments of force during the convention. MacKenzie based the language on a draft provided to her by constituents who are organizers for the group Re-create 68, which has stated that it hopes to draw tens of thousands of protesters to the convention.

Though Re-create 68 officials insist their goals are nonviolent, their Web page has drawn criticism for its reference to making the violence-marred 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago "look like a small get-together in 2008!"

Of course, they've said a good deal more than that, at least among themselves. The proclamation's sponsor backpedaled like a clown on a unicycle:

MacKenzie said Wednesday that the attention given to Re-create 68 misses the point of her proclamation.

"I believe there will be thousands of protesters and that Re-create 68 will be only be one of many," MacKenzie said.

She said that the prospect of dealing with so many protesters with conflicting agendas led her to think how Denver could set the tone for security.

"I think how Denver handles it, how we look to the rest of the world, will matter," she said. . . .

The Denver host committee's chief executive, Mike Dino, said his staff had not heard directly from potential donors that the protesters' proclamation was giving them second thoughts, but he added that he has heard "those concerns expressed to us by third parties."

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