The LAT on the conventions
DENVER -- Every four years, liberal [sic] activists follow political power brokers and the world media to the Democratic and Republican party conventions, filling the streets with spirited protest against war, corporate domination and environmental destruction.
This year there's a twist: Many protesters will demonstrate outside a convention that will nominate the first black major-party presidential candidate in history, who is opposed to the Iraq war and was once a community organizer and activist in Chicago.
But Barack Obama will not get a pass from demonstrators at the Democratic National Convention. Activists say they are wary of his shift to the center since he secured the nomination last month.
"We're hoping he can remember his roots and, through these mass rallies and protests, we can move him," said Glenn Spagnuolo, a spokesman for an umbrella group coordinating the Denver protests, provocatively named Re-create '68.
Guess they haven't heard about the Alliance for Real Democracy yet. Nothing much new, so just a few quotes:
As many as 50,000 people are expected in the Twin Cities -- so many that activists are asking farmers to let demonstrators camp in their fields.
"Why go to Denver if you can be here protesting the important political issues being raised this year: the war in Iraq and the Republican way?" Sundin said.
In Denver, where activists say as many as 25,000 may show up, some demonstrators are taking pains to explain that they are not against Obama.
"People are looking to him to end this militarism, end this assault on civil liberties," said Carolyn Bninski of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center. "A lot of people feel he will make a lot of changes." . . .
But Spagz cites an Obama/Hillary hero to say protesters should still come to Denver:
Spagnuolo, the Denver protest organizer, cited Saul Alinsky, a legendary Chicago organizer who was a major influence on Obama, to explain why liberal groups needed to protest at the convention nominating the Illinois senator.
Spagnuolo said Alinsky argued that activists would have a better chance of achieving their goals if they pressured people sympathetic to their cause. "You protest the person closest to your beliefs," he said.
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