Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Recreate68! cheats to get DNC protest permits

The Rocky's clueless lead:
A group that has promised a lively street scene of "old hippies," anarchists and others during the Democratic National Convention may have doubled its chances of getting a permit to protest in city parks.
Yes, a lively street scene.
Mark Cohen and his wife, Barbara, organizers for the Recreate 68 Alliance, have filed separate applications under different organizational names.

"I don't see anything unfair about it," Mark Cohen said Tuesday. "If (other organizations applying for permits) wanted to submit more than one application, they could, since the form allows people to submit as individuals."

But Erin Trapp, director of the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, which is accepting the applications, said the city has told organizations to submit one request per event.

"We are taking them on their word that they're doing that," she said. "We can't police it and won't."

Excuse my temerity, Erin, but: Why not?
The city, which has received 10 applications for park permits so far, plans to hold a blind lottery to handle competing requests.

Under that system, Mark and Barbara Cohen will get two chances while everybody else gets only one. The Denver couple applied for permits at three of the same parks on the same days.

Katherine Archuleta, a senior adviser to Mayor John Hickenlooper, said the city worked "very, very hard" to create a fair process to apply for and issue permits.

But did you work vewy, vewy, vewy hard?
"We hope that (the Cohens) would use that fair process to guide themselves in terms of their application process," she said. "I'm just going to believe that they're going to have two different types of events because that's the way they're applying."
Just believe.
Mark Cohen said the applications he and his wife filed meet the city's guidelines. He filed under the name "Celebration of Democracy" and his wife used the name "Festival of Democracy."

"I haven't seen anything which says that people have to submit only one application per event," he said.

Mark Cohen also said he doesn't think the two applications give Recreate 68 an unfair advantage over the other groups that are applying for permits.

"It gives us more opportunity," he said.
More opportunity--to cheat!
Recreate 68 has promised demonstrations that will rival those at the notorious 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, which was accompanied by street battles between police and anti-Vietnam War demonstrators.
Now you tell us.
Larry Hales, who applied for a park permit for a group called People's Assembly, said his group is separate from Recreate 68 but that they support each other.

Even though he hopes to get a permit from the city, Hales said he's not worried if he doesn't.

"They can't ignore us," he said. "No matter what they do, there's still going to be thousands and thousands of people.

"There's going to be way more people protesting at the convention than are going to be at the convention."
Oh, I hope so. Rec!reate68 is competing with some heavy hitters for park time, including the Solar Energy Industry Association, the Civic Center Park Conservancy and Fashion for Freedom (another anarchist group, I believe).

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