Friday, July 18, 2008

More the merrier

The News:

Dozens of protest groups are planning a full schedule of classes, concerts, marches and other actions during the Democratic National Convention, hoping to capture the world's attention and recruit new activists.

They are both energized and organized, and most insist they are not looking for trouble.

"We are completely peaceful," said Rob Weiland, a 37-year-old courier from Denver and member of the group We Are Change Colorado. "We follow the ideals of Ghandi."

The organization will be videotaping other groups and police during the DNC, scheduled for Aug. 25 to 28.

They'll post the videos on or the group's Web site so the public may see what's happening without the filter of mainstream media, Weiland said.

If any protest groups are provoking police, he said, "our cameras will be on them."

We Are Change, of course, is a Troofer group (the "Change" is a sneaky reference to the Troofer bible, the movie Loose Change). Recreate68 may end up regretting (if they don't already) shutting them out.

(via EP)

More: The Post, in hand-wringing mode:

Law enforcement and city officials want to limit what protesters can carry as well as dictate where they can stand or march. Earlier this week, we learned of plans by Denver police to prohibit demonstrators from wearing bulletproof vests or carrying materials such as weighted pipes and chains.

We value the careful thought and expertise of law enforcement officials and safety experts. And we're glad that metro area police already are training for crowd control and protection of delegates and candidates. We expect that.

And while we expect most protesters will be peaceful, there's always a chance of a few getting out of control.

But what must not happen is controlling protesters to such an extent that their free speech and assembly rights are infringed.

Who's going to monitor who is carrying what, or check who might be wearing a flak jacket? Isn't there a better use of law enforcement resources?

We also are concerned about the chain-linked spot at the Pepsi Center, the only place protesters will be allowed to stand at that site. We hope it's not reminiscent of the 2004 DNC "Boston Cage," a barbed-wire and fenced containment area which convention officials said would never be replicated.

And so on.

No comments: