Friday, June 13, 2008

Parade route fallout

Both papers have stories on the bitching and moaning over the Democratic National Convention parade route. Der Roaky:
Protesters wanting to march through Denver during the Democratic National Convention will be limited to early afternoon time slots and still don't know where their route will end - two issues that drew sharp criticism Thursday.

"It sounds like we're probably going to be heading to court on all of this," said Glenn Spagnuolo, an organizer of the Re-Create 68 Alliance, which is planning parades each day of the convention.

Protesters wanted the city's designated parade route to pass near the Pepsi Center, where delegates entering the convention for the evening could see and hear them.

The parade route released Thursday starts at Civic Center and travels west on Colfax Avenue, then north on Speer Boulevard. It stops at Speer and Larimer Street - blocks from the Pepsi Center - though city officials said that will not be the final ending point.

The city also said parades would be allowed only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the convention, scheduled for Aug. 25-28.

Most delegates will begin arriving at the Pepsi Center around 3 p.m., with events scheduled to begin each day at 4 p.m., DNC officials have said.

Mark Silverstein, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union and several protest groups, said the limited hours - which could prevent delegates from seeing some marchers at all - could be an issue in an ongoing lawsuit against the city and the Secret Service.

So could the location to which protesters can march, whenever that information is released.

"We believe our clients have a First Amendment right to be within sight and sound of the delegates," Silverstein said.

A lawyer for the city told a federal judge Monday that Denver would release the full parade route on Thursday. But spokeswoman Sue Cobb said Thursday the city still is working out details.

She said the final parade route will take marchers "within walking distance" of a fenced public demonstration area the city plans in Lot A, just southwest of the Pepsi Center's main entrance.

She also said delegates will be all over Denver during the convention, from hotels to restaurants, as well as at the Pepsi Center.

"There will be plenty of opportunity, I think, to be seen and heard," Cobb said.
Delegates will enjoy that. Any and all tactics!

The Post has the same factoids, plus a more-than-usually mockworthy quote from the always mockworthy Spagz:
"This is not an appropriate parade route," said Re-create 68's Glenn Spagnuolo. "I'm not being able to march in front of the event site at the Pepsi Center. That's the target audience. Your political protest is completely ineffective if ... you're not even allowed to march to where your intended audience is."
This is not an appropriate parade route. . . . I'm not being able to march in front of the event site. . . Your intended
audience . . . Seriously, is it too late for a purge? Ben Whitmer would make an excellent replacement for Spagz in the R!6!8 hierarchy.

R68's designated Trotsky (Ben has the wood r--uh, icepick), Adam Jung of Tent State, is all sweetness and light:
Tent State University's Denver organizer, Adam Jung, also expressed disappointment, saying he hoped the group could negotiate a change.

"Outside of this case, the city has been incredibly helpful to what we're trying to do," Jung said.
Update: This is too much. Remember Tasha? Somebody named "Adam" who links to Tent State but who is not necessarily Tent State head Adam Jung (chilling effect!) has replied to her screed:
Read through your thread. If you’re wanting to get your message out during the DNC you should check out Tent State. Tent State will be hosting everything from bands, to feedings, workshops, and actions. There are a few strong womyn involved who, I think (can’t speak for ‘em,) would be interested in putting gender politics on the docket. Besides that, Tent State will have multiple 30×30 tents, mics, and platforms for people to conduct workshops, speak their mind, spread the word, etc. Anyways, shoot me an email if your interested. Peace.
Take that, Glenn Spagnuolo.

Update II: Only fair: If Tent City gets Tasha, R!6!8 can have Susan Atkins.

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