Monday, April 14, 2008

DU hosts R68 protest training; MSM coverage shallow, credulous

Channel 7:

Law students and Denver University's People's Law Project brought in guest lecturers Monday to talk about free speech rights and the public's rights when confronted by police.

The lecture included role playing, where students enacted different scenarios that might happen during the DNC. Thousands of protesters are expected to come to Denver during the convention and some worry about a repeat of the 1968 riots at the Democratic convention in Chicago.

Organizers said that civil disobedience is different from violent confrontations. . . .

Later this week a panel discussion will be held with a member of the Denver city council and the protest group Recreate 68.

The group said it doesn't want to revisit the violence of the 1968 Democratic convention, but to capture the spirit of the time.
Watch the video. What are they doing with that chair?

Update: The Post is a little better:

In this week's seminars and panels sponsored by the group, DNC People's Law Project, and held at the University of Denver, protesters and activists are being given legal tools aimed at preventing their arrest and stymieing police in their attempts to infiltrate or gain on-the-ground information about protest groups.

"Cops lie: Don't trust cops!" Greg Michalec, of the Oakland, Calif., group Midnight Special Law Collective, wrote on a white board at the DU law school to set the tone for Monday's hour-long session.

Update: John Andrews in the Post:

The event took place at the University of Denver law school, under arrangements made by individual DU students and with no official sponsorship by the university [so contrary to this post's title, DU didn't "host' the event]. It included simulations of protesters being "bullied by... nightstick-bearing police officers," and outlined a plan for "hundreds of 'legal observers'... who bring video cameras to document any disruption."

"I don't think it's helpful to portray the police in that light," said Denver city attorney David Fine. "Frankly, that's not the reality, so... it will give the participant a false sense of what their relationship will be like with police during the convention."

After repeated calls to the DU office of news and public affairs this morning, I spoke with staffer David Brendsel, asking whether Chancellor Robert Coombs, Law School Dean Jose Juarez, or any other DU official wanted to go on the record as Fine had done, specifically dissociating the university from the event's unhelpful, unreal, and false portrayal of police ethics and methods.

His answer: "We have no statement to make in response to that." The studied pose of moral neutrality reminded me of those MSM news anchors (not to mention Barack Obama) who have made a point of not wearing American flag lapel pins in these wartime years. Wouldn't want to take sides, you know. Wouldn't want to compromise our objectivity. How pathetic.

Amazingly, Andrews seems still able to muster a sense of moral outrage. Poor guy.

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