Monday, June 04, 2007

"Peace," he threatened

Both Denver dailies report today on a meeting between the city and "Re-create 68," the much-mocked (by me at least) organization that's planning protests at the Democratic National Convention here in 2008. The two camps (or whatever) met to discuss a proclamation written by the group and slated, God help us, for a vote by the City Council. The Post:
With thousands of demonstrators expected to descend on Denver for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, top city officials have been meeting with a protest group in hopes of minimizing the potential for conflict.

And the City Council next week will consider a proclamation prepared by the group - dubbed Re-create '68 - that restates Denver's commitment to protecting First Amendment rights during the event.
Re-create '68, of course, was founded by Ward Churchill pal and veteran Transform Columbus Day free-speech denier Glenn Spagnuolo.

Re-create '68 says "tens of thousands" of peace and community activists hope to make Denver a pivotal political convention when the delegates come to town Aug. 5-28 next year.

The group aims to demand a change from the country's two-party system by making the violence-marred Democratic convention of 1968 "look like a small get together in 2008!" according to its website.

The full quote from their website:
Join us in the streets of Denver as we resist a two-party system that allows imperialism and racism to continue unrestrained. We will demand change by making the Democratic Convention of 1968 look like a small get together in 2008!

The Post continues:

Spagnuolo . . . says he hopes to frame the debate from the outset in terms of nonviolence and to coordinate security planning in such a way that police and protesters interact peacefully.

That's the same Glenn Spagnuolo, you understand, who said this at the 2006 Columbus Day Parade and Protest (poor quality Youtube audio, but listen to the whole thing if you can stand it):

A hundred years, next year [that Columbus Day has been a state holiday]! This is it! This is the last chance they have [to end the parade and/or the state holiday]! Next year, all bets are off!

Funny how many times I've said this about statements by Churchill and his pals, but That Sounds Like A Threat (TSLAT). Later in the speech Spagnuolo says:

I had my [Italian] culture stolen by these parasites (Columbus Day paraders) the same way the Klan used to hide behind their white sheets to voice their racist views!

Peaceful interaction. Why, you can almost hear da boidies choiping. The Post:

Not every city official is thrilled about welcoming a group named after a historic riot.

"Why would anyone want to re-create what happened in Chicago in 1968?" City Councilman Charlie Brown said. "There were people hurt and injured - and these people want to make it look 'like a small get-together.' That's a serious threat to our city."

The News had more from both Brown and Spagnuolo:

Recreate 68 organizer Glenn Spagnuolo said people forget that protesters went to the 1968 Chicago convention planning peaceful opposition to the war and things only turned ugly after police aggressively attacked demonstrators.

"Instead what (protesters) had to confront was a bunch of brutal pigs, which was the Chicago Police Department," Spagnuolo said. . . .

"We're planning nonviolent, peaceful protests, but we are going to exercise our constitutional rights and we're not going to allow anyone to take them away from us," he said.

Of course, R68! defines for itself both "constitutional rights" and "nonviolent." On the latter, the site links to a pdf from the "Crimethinc Association of Concerned Ex-Citizens" titled "12 Myths About Direct Action." Myth number 2:

To say that it is violent to destroy the machinery of a slaughterhouse or to break windows belonging to the party that promotes war is to prioritize property over human or animal life. This objection subtly validates violence against living creatures by focusing all attenition on property rights and away from more fundamental issues.

Charlie Brown once more:

"I think it's amazing that any can special interest group — right-wing or left-wing — can tell the Denver Police Department and the mayor and City Council how to run our city when it comes to dealing with the protesters at the DNC," Councilman Charlie Brown said, adding he "absolutely" opposes the proclamation. . . .

[H]e added that "Chicago had a black eye for decades after what happened" and he fears that protesters seeking restrictions on police tactics and crowd-control barricades could "want to close our city down and take over."

Oh, they wouldn't want to do that, would they? (Link, again, from R68).

Update: El Presidente of Slapstick Politics (just back from reeducation in China!) has more on R68 and the city.

Update II: EP also notes the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989.

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