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Old August 31, 2004, 09:27 AM   #1
cool hand luke 22:36
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Protesters' Targeting of Republican Delegates Turn Ugly

All these lefties need are the brown shirts and then the image of the Nazi goon squads targeting opposing political party gatherings in Berlin circa 1930 would be complete.

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August 31, 2004
CONFRONTATIONS

By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD

utside a hotel in Times Square, delegates to the Republican National Convention were swarmed by protesters dressed in black and swearing at them. Blocks away, delegates engaged in shoving matches with protesters seeking to spoil their night at the theater. And outside "The Lion King" on 42nd Street, a delegate was punched by a protester who ran by.

Although the organized protests yesterday and Sunday have been largely peaceful, there has been a starkly different tone to smaller incidents in Midtown and elsewhere: angry encounters and planned harassment of convention delegates as they go out on the town.

Sometimes the delegates answer back in toe-to-toe, finger-pointing shouting matches. Other times the police, who are guarding delegate gatherings, have dispersed protesters, who move on to other locations to taunt other delegates.

The harassment of delegates came as organized protests continued to draw thousands of people. The Still We Rise march by advocates for social issues was peaceful, and a Poor People's March, a column several blocks long, proceeded from the United Nations to the Madison Square Garden yesterday after the police decided to let it go ahead without a permit.

When marchers approached the Garden, a police detective was knocked off his scooter. He was then repeatedly kicked and punched in the head by at least one male demonstrator, the police said.

The detective, William Sample, was listed in serious condition at St. Vincent's Manhattan Hospital, where Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly both visited him, the police said. There was no immediate word of an arrest in the assault, but as of 9 p.m., the police said there had been 11 protest-related arrests.

The heavy police presence at the Garden apparently inspired the coordinated plan by anarchists and other radicals to strike out at the delegates at their hotels, breakfasts, parties, and on the streets.

The incidents are the result of months of planning by opposition groups, who report that they have obtained copies of plans and addresses for delegates' parties, caucuses and other gatherings outside the Garden.

Their efforts are aided by a support network that uses cellphone text messaging. Text message was also used extensively in a bike protest on Friday night and during demonstrations in Times Square on Sunday.

"CT delegation breakfast everyday @ Maison (7th ave & 53rd) from 7-8:30. Can we get some dissenters?" said one text message yesterday, apparently referring to the Connecticut delegation's plan to gather at a Midtown restaurant. "Maison has outdoor buffet. It would be direct contact with delegates."

One Internet discussion list used by protesters posted an advisory about where some delegate buses would be idling in Midtown every morning. Another message included phone numbers and e-mail addresses for convention officials and advised that delegate hotels would be busiest in the morning and evening.

The police are bracing for another round of unsanctioned demonstrations today, which protesters have designated a day of "nonviolent civil disobedience and direct action." Among the parties expected to be a target is the Tennessee delegation's gathering at Sotheby's. A group calling itself the Man in Black Bloc plans to protest it, saying it is angered that the convention intends to honor the late country singer Johnny Cash.

Yesterday, Jamie Moran, who lives in Brooklyn and describes himself as an anarchist and helps direct the rncnotwelcome.org Web site, was roaming Times Square with a band of protesters shouting at delegates. "These people are in a bubble," he said. "This is absolutely better than standing outside the Garden and shouting to let them know they are not welcome here."

As delegate buses arrived at the Garden yesterday afternoon, protesters who had gathered for a demonstration screamed obscenities and gestured rudely at them. When the police spotted Pete Coors, a Republican candidate for Senate from Colorado, walking near the group, they swiftly steered him away.

Clearly, the protesters were not deterred by entreaties by former Mayor Edward I. Koch that New Yorkers be nice and an offer by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to give peaceful protesters buttons and shopping discounts.

Adam Chase, 23, who said he came from Michigan for the protests, said that while he believed demonstrators should not be violent, "I think it is quite unfair for the R.N.C. and the delegates to tell us we should not be telling them we think they are exploiting the fears of the people."

Mindful that delegates are targets, police officers guard their hotels and ride aboard their chartered buses around town, and several receive police escorts to various events.

"New York City is a fortress, and I love it," Joseph Kyrillos, the New Jersey state Republican chairman, said yesterday at a delegate breakfast. "We need to thank the New York police for all the protection."

Leonardo Alcivar, a spokesman for the convention, said officials recommended that delegates not respond to heckling and taunts, which he said have been "few and far between."

Still, he said, "Our delegates understand the old adage, do unto others as they do unto you."

The tensest encounters between delegates and protesters so far occurred Sunday evening when large groups of demonstrators moved through the theater district while delegates were attending shows under arrangements prepared by convention planners. Several protesters were arrested for trying to block hotel and theater entrances, and face-to-face standoffs abounded.

Outside "Bombay Dreams" demonstrators shouted at and videotaped people standing outside for intermission.

At "Aida," a group of protesters unfurled a banner and hurled invective at delegates leaving the show. Some looked nervous, but a few shouted back, "You're sick, sick."

Delegates lined up to see "Phantom of the Opera" ended up in a sing-song, tit-for-tat with protesters. One protester shouted, "The phantom dies at the end."

Flora Rohrs, a delegate from Colorado, burst into song, "This is my country," with bits of "God Bless America" thrown in. She said, "What is going on here is we are still going to get George Bush re-elected."

For some, there was no escape even at dinner.

"A person came by and used an explicative and stuck his finger in our face," said Deb Etcheson, an alternate delegate from Iowa. "But I don't blame that on New Yorkers. I just love this city."

Some delegates seemed perplexed, even hurt, not because they did not expect protesters to be here, but because they did not expect them to get personal. "They were using foul language, getting real ugly," said Kim Kirkwood, a delegate from Amarillo, Tex. Her husband, Jim, said he could not understand it. "I have friends who are Democrats in Texas, and we talk about things, agree to disagree."

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/31/p...t&position=
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Old August 31, 2004, 01:00 PM   #2
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...and the Dems are ****** about the Swift Boat Ads. I don't see them falling all over themselves to repudiate this viscious insanity and demand an immediate halt to it.
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Old September 1, 2004, 12:34 AM   #3
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Let 'em protest...

A lot of very misguided people believed that the protestors would turn the Republican Convention into something not unlike that of the Democratic Convention in '68 and this would turn off the American people to the Republican Party.
These people forget one thing. The American People understood that the hooligans of '68 had common cause with many of their less energetic radical bretheren within the Democratic Convention.
No one is stupid enough to believe that these protestors (who like those in '68 wish to tear down this country and create at a slower or faster rate, a socialist or anarchist paradise).
This freakish sideshow will only hurt the Democrats. People will say "Well, if these characters hate the Republicans then the GOP must stand for somethign good."
My invective is not directed against non-violent protesters even if I disagree with the way they conduct their "street theater". The Republican Party is not without fault and an earnest and civil critique is not out of order.
Its just that as a volunteer worker for Jeb Bush I remembered conducting a protest outside of a teachers union headquarters (on this occasion they were hosting a Sandanista sympathizer and that was the real reason for the protest).
The union members once they decided to leave the comparative comfort of their building crossed the street and tried to use their superior numbers and (presumably) superior lung power to convince us to move. Hey that's fine. Sure there's a hint of physical intimidation since they milled freely amongst us but remember I was on their turf and along with my comrades I was kind of crashing their party.
Then it got a bit ugly. One of them punched a Jeb bush worker dressed in a yellow bird suit (our worker's sign read "McBride [bush's opponent] Ducks the Issues". Apparently numerical superiority wasn't sufficient. As I recall that union is distantly affiliated with the Teamsters....
We were very polite about it and didn't mix it up. We did however, bring the matter to the attention of a journalist and a policemen. The Union members had by then already scuttled back to the other side of the street. They knew what they did.
The point of all of this is to say that vigorous protest and violence are two seperate issues and from personal experience I know the difference.
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Old September 1, 2004, 05:53 AM   #4
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The mutt who attacked the officer was collared last night. The shmuck was not only clear on the video, he was wearing the same clothes.

Hopefully he'll appear at the arraignment after receiving a coco bolo shampoo.
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Old September 2, 2004, 05:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
"When marchers approached the Garden, a police detective was knocked off his scooter. He was then repeatedly kicked and punched in the head by at least one male demonstrator, the police said"
Don't know whether this is the same one, but I heard from a man in NY that saw such an incident. He stated that he saw police ramming people with these "scooters"; this particular cop hit some woman, and her husband (or boyfriend - apparently a rather "athletic" black gentleman) gave him a Mike Tyson extraordinaire which sent him right off his bike.

He also said that there were the usual agent provocateurs, as were in Seattle, going about dressed up for the part and stirring things up, but somehow immune from arrest. While those who were protesting - be they "conservative" or "democrat" - received all the attention, and handcuffs.
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Old September 2, 2004, 01:12 PM   #6
gburner
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'I heard from a man in NY who saw such an incident'...

Now there's accurate, first hand reporting.
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Old September 3, 2004, 03:01 AM   #7
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gdburner,

I know the guy personally. That's good enough for me.
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Old September 3, 2004, 11:24 AM   #8
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Lak, I was at dinner last night with a guy who saw the same incident, (cop on scooter, being punched off bike, etc) almost exactly like you described. Seeing how my friend is from NY, and your friend obviously was there, I wonder if it's the same person....
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Old September 3, 2004, 11:34 AM   #9
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Seems to be alot of peaceful protesters getting arrested over nothing. But what'ya expect from NYC, that place is turning into Cuba.
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Old September 3, 2004, 11:46 AM   #10
fyrestarter
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Quote:
Seems to be alot of peaceful protesters getting arrested over nothing
Disturbing the peace, reckless endangerment, marching without a permit, resisting arrest, obstruction of justice, vandalism, indecent exposure, public intoxication....You're right -- tis nothing....
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Old September 3, 2004, 12:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
marching without a permit
Ja I haben Sie protest permit hier ja.
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Old September 3, 2004, 02:50 PM   #12
Destructo6
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You pick one of several infractions to snidely impugn all. Great logic.

One has the right to peaceably assemble, not run amock.
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Old September 3, 2004, 02:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
You pick one of several infractions to snidely impugn all.
1. Protesting without a permit is not an infraction in a truly free country.

2. I said peaceful protestors. It's always the few bad apples who are used as the scapegoats to crack down on dissent. Unless you believe that all of the protestors are criminals. I didn't know that half the population of the U.S. was criminal.
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Old September 3, 2004, 04:24 PM   #14
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Psycho, maybe in North Dakota, people can wander around the roads without distrupting too much of daily life, but here in the Big Apple, 250,000 people clogging the streets is a bit of a nuisance.

And in case you haven't noticed, we don't live in a truly free society, and thank the benevolent deity of your choice that's so. Otherwise, people would be "free" to urinate in the streets, copulate in the park, and smoke crack on the subway. No, what we live in is a civilized society, that which occasionally prohibits the unwashed masses from strolling around, yelling obscenities and blocking traffic on one of the most-travelled streets on the planet. "Peaceable assembly" doesn't mention anything about setting fire to papier-mache dragons.

If it makes you feel better, the vegetarian protestors were given soy products while in the holding cells. New York is simultaneously the greatest and stupidest city on Earth.
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Old September 3, 2004, 09:26 PM   #15
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More stages and graphic conditioning for the masses in the "new" America.

I wonder what the next big spectacle is going to be.
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