Thursday, July 31, 2008

Final arguments in DNC protest case

The Rocky:
Protesters have a constitutional right to be photographed with the Pepsi Center as a backdrop when they gather here later this month for the Democratic National Convention, an attorney for several protest groups argued in federal court Thursday.
"They're coming to Denver in order to be seen at the site of the DNC," lawyer Steven Zansberg said. "In real estate there's a well worn maxim, 'Location, location, location.' The same applies to protest demonstrations."

In his closing argument, Zansberg referenced Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to masses on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The speech would have had much less impact had it been given in front of a large white tent like the one that will separate the designated protest zone at the DNC from the Pepsi Center, he said.
Of course, MLK didn't repeatedly threaten violence before the "I Have a Dream" speech. (That was later, before his less-famous "Let's Kill All the Whiteys" speech.)
Lawyers for the government argued the restrictions, which keep the public at a distance, are necessary because of security concerns.

"This is not security as a slogan," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Traskos.

"This is not the Lincoln Memorial," he said. "This is a private building."

U.S. District Judge Marcia Krieger, who will decide the case, noted that protesters could stand in a park at Speer Boulevard and Wewatta Street and have the Pepsi Center in the background.

Traskos and Jim Lyons, an attorney for the city, agreed.
Eagerly, no doubt.
"If the case comes down to photo opportunities, the court I think can readily see, the Pepsi Center ... is readily visible from a variety of places around it," Lyons said.

Krieger said she would issue a written ruling. She did not indicate when she will rule, but the case is being heard on an expedited basis and Krieger said she'll work "diligently."
More (1 August): Obamaniacs buy tickets to the wrong event:
Sharon Stewart couldn't believe her good fortune — two tickets to Sen. Barack Obama's historic night in Denver for $15 a piece.

She bought them on Ticketmaster for the "American Presidential Experience" at Invesco Field at Mile High and invited a friend to join her as Obama accepts the Democratic Party's presidential nomination Aug. 28.

But it turns out her tickets weren't for Obama's presidential experience but for a traveling museum of White House memorabilia. And even they are no good, because the museum won't be open to the general public Aug. 28, the day the Democratic National Convention moves to Invesco Field for Obama's acceptance speech.
They haven't even said how tickets for the coronation will be distributed yet, though they may today.

More: A Rocky editorial on Unconventional Denver's ludicrous offer to leave the city alone for $50 million mentions our friends Cat with Bat and Beaver with Cleaver:
[I]f our current system of government is so corrupt and illegitimate, why are anarchists recognizing its authority in the first place by offering to negotiate? Even in the rare likelihood that any city official perked an ear at this ludicrous bit of blackmail, there's no way the anarchists would miss their chance to mug for the cameras or wreak mischief during the last week of August.

Just ask "Beaver With Cleaver" and "Cat With Bat," two armed puppets advocating the "disruption, subversion and total destruction" of the DNC and its GOP counterpart in a video placed on YouTube a week ago and produced by some of the groups planning to protest here.
They don't mention that UA is about the only group still under the "umbrella" of Recreate-68.

More: I gotta remember to read Westword. Sleepy reporter Jared Jacang Maher attended the protest trial, and noted this interesting factoid:
The defense presented Cohen with an e-booklet pulled from the R-68 website called “Bodyhammer: Tactics and Self-defense for the Modern Protester” that explains how to create shields, improvised body armor and special techniques for charging police lines. Cohen testified that the website is run by R-68 members Glenn Spagnuolo and Tryworks blogger Benjamin Whitmer.
Benjie, of course, has always presented himself as only an interested potential protester, and has never mentioned his involvement with the website.

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