Revenge of the Son of the Bride of RNC Protests
- News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
[Another mixed bag of stories.--DC]
Joshua Holland's Dispatches
Reporting from the front lines of New York
by Joshua Holland, Contributor
Circular firing squad
Yesterday, I went to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine to
hear such Lefty luminaries as Peter Camejo, Naomi Klein and
Jeremy Scahill in a panel titled: "Can we do better than
Anybody But Bush?" It was a slug-fest against Kerry; so much
for unity on the Left.
I'm very willing to accept the arguments they made: the Dems
supported the war in Iraq, they voted for the Patriot Act,
and their candidate is running on a pro-war platform.
But what struck me was that the entire panel focused on
nothing but foreign policy. There was no talk of running
huge deficits to finance tax breaks for the wealthy, no talk
of an administration basing public policy on faith-based
science, little discussion of women's rights and scant
mention of labor issues. It was, in short, all about foreign
policy, where I agree there is little difference between
Bush and Kerry. The question is: what country do we live in?
I'm not callous about foreign policy issues by any means,
but let's be straight: there may not be a dime's worth of
difference between the parties on war and peace, but Kerry
will certainly encourage, for example, stem-cell research,
and won't work to deregulate and privatize the world or undo
the social contract as the Bush administration has.
By the way, Camejo is one of the best speakers I've ever heard.
Paranoia strikes deep in the heartland
I had this exchange with one of NY's Finest while trying to
negotiate the police dragnet around the convention site:
Me: How far to the east does the security perimeter extend?
Police supervisor: Why do you want to know?
Me: I'm trying to get uptown, and I want to know how far
east I need to go to cut north.
Supervisor: I'm not sharing that information with you.
Me: Well I can walk east until they let me walk north.
Supervisor: You better move right now or we're going to have
a problem here.
Here's how the Daily News covered last evening's violence
around the Garden:
Protesters Attack Detective, Kick Him In Head
A police detective was knocked unconscious last night by
demonstrators just blocks from Madison Square Garden.
Detective William Sample was trying to prevent protesters
from breaking through a police barricade at Eighth Ave. and
29th St. when he was pulled off his scooter and kicked
repeatedly in the head…
Sample was injured after cops let a group called the Poor
People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, which had rallied
outside the United Nations, march through the city even
though it did not have a permit to do so...
Four people were arrested as protesters chanted "Let them
go! Let them go!" Then Sample, who was in plainclothes, was
Here's what I saw:
We had a peaceful march from the UN, although there were
incidents along the way that I didn't witness. I did see
what happened when we arrived at the barricades. Protesters
started shaking the metal fences and demanding "Let us through."
Police didn't try to prevent protesters from breaking
through the fences; they removed the barricade themselves so
that fellow officers on scooters could drive at high speed
into the heart of the crowd.
This is a new tactic we've seen several times, and no doubt
follows criticism of NYPD's use of horses during the antiwar
protests last spring. Now they ride scooters, or, according
to Democracy Now's Jeremy Scahill, Harley Davidsons, into
groups of protesters.
I can't say what happened to the detective, as I was about
50 yards away and there was a lot of confusion. What I can
say for sure is that the police reacted violently to
demonstrators who were simply shaking the fences. Apparently
"violence" includes insults -- if not injuries -- to
I told you so
Earlier in the week, I wrote that the focus on supposedly
violent anarchists created "an unnecessarily dangerous
situation for protesters, innocent passersby and police
Yesterday, the police suffered their greatest injuries of
the convention when a police van loaded with 11 officers ran
a red light and crashed into an unmarked police cruiser in
There were no serious injuries, but the question remains:
why were they racing through the city and blowing red
lights? NYPD didn't comment on what the officers were
It's our country too
The best moment of Sunday's big march was when
counter-protesters started shouting "U-S-A, U-S-A," to which
the demonstrators responded in kind. The look of confusion
on the faces of the right-wingers as they ran out of ideas
You can die calling someone a flip-flopper
Those great GOP wits are at it again. They've hired dozens
of out of work New York actors (I assume) to play the
legendary dolphin 'Flipper' to highlight Kerry's supposed
flip-flopping on the issues. The only problem is that the
dolphin costumes are several inches thick and have no
ventilation, and the temperature's been in the humid high
80s. So if you see a dolphin passed out on the street with
heat stroke, have a little compassion.
Red States' Mayor
The media's having a love-fest the day after Rudolph
Giuliani's speech to the convention. I was on the streets
and missed it, but I remember living under Rudy, and he sure
ain't my America's mayor.
Although many seem to have forgotten, Giuliani was one of
the most loathed mayors in New York history right up to
September 10th, 2001. He criminalized homelessness and
evicted thousands from low-income housing. His
"quality-of-life" scheme included zero tolerance for
otherwise law-abiding New Yorkers who stepped out of line
even slightly. A friend of mine spent three days in jail for
having an open container of beer on a hot summer day in 2000.
But now he's a hero. And for what? For remaining calm on
September 11th. And while I'll give him some credit for his
sensitive handling of the trauma, I'll also ask: what else
would he have done? Throw a temper tantrum? Hide in the
closet? Run to Peru? The bottom line: handling a crisis does
not "America's Mayor" make.
Security at work
Updated: 9/1/2004 8:30 AM
By: Bill Carey, News 10 Now Web Staff
The scenes were chaotic, but it could have been much worse.
Bands of so-called anarchists wandered the streets of New
York City, attempting to disrupt the republican national
But the convention went on.
The task seems overwhelming. How to protect thousands of
delegates and guests at the Republican National Convention,
while at the same time, allowing a city with millions of
people to keep operating at near normalcy. Somehow, the
authorities seem to have accomplished the task, so far.
There have been arrests. In at least one case, a New York
City police officer was seriously hurt when he was attacked
by protestors. But, overall, the city and convention have
"Any of the problems that have occurred have been considered
and I think that's why New York City police department's
response has been so quick and so balanced and why there's
been so little physical force needed to quell these things,"
said James McMahon, State Public Safety Director.
Delegates coming to Madison Square Garden have reached a
consensus on all of the protests, especially those who aim
their wrath at individual delegates, calling them names and
chastising their party.
"I think it's a little silly. But, I'm having such a great
time in New York that a little bad manners doesn't make any
difference. It's a great town," said delegate Thaddeus Taylor.
Looking at the massive police presence, there are questions
over whether it is too much or just right. The delegates
have reached a consensus on that as well.
"Well it must be just right, because everything is working
good," said delegate Bob Lynn.
The officials in charge of putting all of the security
together say they'll accept criticism of what they did. They
say since September 11th, their need to plan for the worst
has become paramount.
"If the planning didn't go in, if the resources weren't
here, and the money spent to buy a safe atmosphere there'd
be another commission investigating why that wasn't done, if
that happened," said McMahon.
McMahon and other top officials say they won't call their
effort a success until the convention is over and the
delegates head home.
New York Newsday
900 protesters arrested during march toward Garden
Across midtown and lower Manhattan, protesters and police
clash, sparking chaos during rush hour civil unrest
This story was reported by Daryl Khan, Lindsay Faber, Luis
Perez, Sean Gardiner, Indrani Sen, Rocco Parascandola, Glenn
Thrush, Wil Cruz, Marshand Boone, Tomoeh Murakami Tse, Galia
September 1, 2004
Waves of protesters clashed with police across midtown and
lower Manhattan last night, resulting in at least 900 arrests.
The chaos began in the midst of rush hour, as commuters
tried to make their way home and security around Madison
Square Garden tightened for convention speeches by first
lady Laura Bush and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The disorder took place on a day that anarchist groups had
marked for civil disobedience.
At Bryant Park, tensions erupted at 6 p.m. when a dispute
over a banner sparked rough-and-tumble verbal and physical
encounters between marchers and police on and around the
steps of the public library.
Meanwhile, at Ground Zero, a controversial police dragnet at
Church and Vesey streets swept up 200 marchers minutes after
about 500 of them left on their way to a "die-in."
As police sirens blared into the night, marchers moved to
Herald Square where a series of running encounters took
place. Police closed Broadway. The sidewalks were overwhelmed.
"They aren't letting me go this way, they're not letting me
go that way," said Joyce Breach, 60, of the East Village,
after shopping at Macy's. "I wish the police treated
tax-paying New Yorkers with as much consideration as they
have for these Republicans."
"This is definitely a little nerve-wracking," said tourist
Kimberly King, 40, of Marina Del Rey, Calif. "It seems like
we're at a delicate balance between peace and passion and at
any moment, the scene could go bad."
At one point, police stood shoulder-to-shoulder across 32nd
Street, as spotters peered through binoculars waiting for
protesters to arrive. When a group of protesters tried to
pass a police barrier at Broadway and 34th Street, one woman
was nearly trampled as police pushed them back with orange
netting. Protesters shouted, "This is what a police state
"When there is dissent, they try to break it up and stifle
it," said Priya Reddy, a writer and eco-activist of
Manhattan. "It's a whitewash. The best thing they can do is
let people gather because this is history."
Talk show host Chris Matthews got a scare on the MSNBC set
in Herald Square when a protester hopped a security fence
and tried to jump onto the stage. He was immediately subdued
and a stunned Matthews carried on.
"It's their right to protest," said Mary Ceverha, a delegate
from Dallas. "They feel very strongly about it. We feel very
strongly about it. I'm so proud of the police."
As of 11 p.m., some 900 people had been arrested, said
Deputy Chief Michael Collins; 150 alone were arrested at
35th Street and Sixth Avenue. At nearby 35th Street and
Fifth Avenue about 10 p.m., there were so many arrests that
police did not have enough buses to transport those they
took into custody.
The wave of arrests came a day after a protester attacked a
plainclothes officer during a demonstration.
Last night's situation was serious enough that Mayor Michael
Bloomberg went to the police command center at Penn Station
By midnight, the situation was still developing, but there
were no reports of serious injury or extensive vandalism.
Earlier, with dusk descending, the chaos at Bryant Park
began when police pounced on two men unfurling a
Hundreds of protesters immediately unfurled their own
banners, chanting, "Let them go." Police threw a woman to
the ground. The crowd surrounded the officers, chanting,
"The Whole World is Watching."
"It was unbelievable," said Cyndy Bruce, 26, of Chicago.
"This is a public space. The officer said, 'You can't hang
it but you can hold it.' As soon as they held it up, the
officers swarmed in. They incited this violence. Not us."
"It feels like a tactic of fear they're trying to instill in
us like they're nervous and they feel the need to start
controlling people," said Courtney Arnold, 27, of Babylon.
Minutes after the crowd gathered, police in phalanx
formation linked arms. As scuffles broke out, police strung
orange netting and appeared to be preparing to make hundreds
They relented on the arrest plan at 7 p.m., as people began
to move to Herald Square. Six people blocked 42nd Street.
Police rushed them with scooters, tackled them and loaded
them into a van.
Meanwhile, at Ground Zero -- a touchstone symbol in this
year's presidential race -- a peaceful march turned sour as
police strung orange nets at Vesey and Church streets,
corralling 200 people including journalists and onlookers.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly blamed the Ground Zero arrests
on march organizers "reneging on an agreement not to block
traffic" and "failing to walk on sidewalk instead of street."
But many detainees told reporters they were not aware of the
rules. "They said as long as you observe the red lights, it
shouldn't be a problem," said Bob Curley, who was arrested
with his son. "Then we walked off the sidewalk and across
the street and that was the end."
Police filled five busloads of detainees as people screamed,
"Arrest George Bush." "We are fighting against our own
people, we have our own people against us," said Stephanie
Lobello, 21, a tattoo artist from Flushing. "There is no
freedom in this country."
One officer who was listening said, "We're following orders."
[The Nuremberg defense.--DC]
At the Hummer offices at 11th Avenue and 56th Street, 40
officers looked on as a lone protester, Georgi Page, 34, a
Web producer from Harlem, marched resolutely in a Hummer
costume made from a cardboard box. "I thought there would be
a lot more people here," acknowledged Page.
Her lonely protest lasted 20 minutes before she was asked to
leave by a police officer. "I'm not going to be arrested,"
Page said. "I'm not obstructing traffic. I'm legally
But a teary Page was loaded into a police van. She was
charged with disorderly conduct for "parading without a permit."
Day of protest
Police clashed with protesters all across the city yesterday
as organizers marked a day of civil disobedience.
Police arrest six at Lexington Avenue subway station.
Physical exchanges between police and marchers on steps of
New York Public Library.
Presence of police and marchers results in closing of
Broadway; police use netting to corral protesters. A woman
is nearly trampled to death. Protester rushes set of MSNBC's
Chris Matthews show, arrested.
Police dragnet results in 200 arrests at Church and Vesey
Group attempts to string yarn across telephone poles, arrested.
Anti-Bush protesters maintain high profile
PAUL J. PRONOVOST
[Cape Cod Times] STAFF WRITER
NEW YORK -- Protesters made good on promises to step up
demonstrations yesterday, as hundreds took to the streets
near Madison Square Garden to disrupt traffic and rattle
delegates approaching the convention.
Police had made close to 300 arrests yesterday, including
dozens as anarchists swarmed several street corners, banging
trash cans and windows and shouting anti-Bush slogans.
Delegates approaching last night's convention were the
subject of repeated taunts by protesters, but most smiled
and took pictures of the crowds as police cut a path for
their approach to Ninth Avenue.
"I've never seen anything like this. When I was in South
Africa, I saw stuff like this," said, Christopher Zorn of
Members of the A31 Action Coalition targeted yesterday for
numerous demonstrations at convention-related events and
specific businesses they called "war profiteers."
At Greeley Square, police grabbed 20 protesters who
simultaneously laid down at the intersection of 33rd and
Greeley streets and chained themselves together with bicycle
chains, according to New York Police Department Detective
Kevin Czartoryski. Hundreds of police officers swarmed the
area in heavy numbers and blocked foot traffic at each
street corner, allowing traffic to continue to flow toward
Madison Square Garden even as the crowds continued to swell.
As people spilled into the streets, officers hung nets that
served as barriers to keep people on the sidewalk.
Demonstrators yelled "shame on you" at the police as they
made arrests, before turning back to angry chants about
Bush. Several city residents were jostled as they tried to
fit through heavily congested sidewalks filled with
protesters boxed in by dozens of police officers.
In a bizarre moment in Greeley Square, a bushy-faced,
bald-headed man wearing an anti-Kerry T-shirt began
aggressively jumping around in the scrum of protesters. One
demonstrator -- wearing a "Legal Advisor" banner and
refusing to identify himself -- somehow believed the man was
a police officer and began shouting "cop, cop."
The man continued to knock into demonstrators as several
called 911 to report an unruly man in the crowd.
Police on the other side of the barricade angrily summoned
the man over, but it did not appear he was arrested.
Elsewhere, at 33rd and Madison, groups of police on bicycles
moved in to arrest several people for unknown offenses as
officers systematically moved people away from Madison
Square Garden. Activist support groups collected names as
people were loaded into paddy wagons and later transferred
to public city buses to be taken to the temporary jail
facilities set up for protesters.
Park Avenue was blocked off by police officers on scooters
and helicopters hovered overhead as the tension mounted last
On Broadway, a dozen protesters were arrested about an hour
after demonstrations began when they staged a "die in" on
the streets and sidewalks.
Protesters associated with various groups and causes have
demonstrated in Manhattan throughout the convention, with an
antiwar protest Sunday bringing an estimated quarter-million
to the city.
But it has been the anarchists who appear to be drawing the
ire of police. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said officers
would allow people to exercise their First Amendment rights,
but would not hesitate to arrest people who become unruly.
Staff writer KEVIN DENNEHY contributed to this report.
(Published: September 1, 2004)
Wednesday, September 1, 2004
Throngs protest across Manhattan
By JAMES DREW
[Toledo] BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF
NEW YORK -- Vowing to counter the "Bush agenda of greed and
war at home and abroad," thousands of protesters took to the
streets yesterday in a day of civil disobedience and direct
action that led to the arrest of hundreds as clashes broke
out last night with police.
Two days after an anti-Bush march attracted more than
100,000 demonstrators, activists and anarchists from dozens
of groups protested without permits across Manhattan as
police on motorcycles and bicycles swarmed to control them.
As protesters tried to surround Madison Square Garden, a
fight broke out with police outside the New York Public
Library, and demonstrators confronted delegates with bitter
denunciations of the Bush administration.
Before last night, 700 people had been arrested since
Thursday in demonstrations across New York City against the
U.S.-led war in Iraq and other Bush administration policies.
Several delegates have reported harassment from protesters,
but Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett said he had
not heard of any problems within Ohio's 179-member
delegation. "We told people if they're out walking by
themselves, don't obviously wear a lot of George Bush stuff
and don't carry your credentials out where they can be
seen," Mr. Bennett said.
Police announced the arrest of a 21-year-old Yale student
after he entered a restricted area near Vice President Dick
Cheney's booth at the convention Monday night, coming within
10 feet of him and shouting anti-war and anti-Bush
statements. No weapon was found on the man.
At 7:15 last night, 30 protesters from a San Francisco-based
anti-war group were dragged into police wagons after they
sat in the intersection of West 33rd Street and Broadway, a
long block from Madison Square Garden, site of the
Republican National Convention.
"This is an autonomous group of citizens taking over the
street as a dissent to the Bush administration," said Brooke
Atherton, a 26-year-old secretary and member of Direct
Action to Stop the War. "We don't support the empire that
the Bush administration is building around the world."
At about the same time, 200 anti-Bush protesters following a
marching band from Union Square were corralled by police
using interlocking barricades. Dozens of arrests were reported.
Elizabeth Broad, 25, took part in a vigil at 3 p.m. with
members of the War Resisters League at the site of the World
"I'm honoring those who died on Sept. 11 in that tragedy and
honoring the dead in Afghanistan and those who continue to
die in Iraq," Ms. Broad said.
As 200 protesters left the vigil to march to the convention
site, police used barricades to pen them in and arrested them.
"It was a pre-emptive arrest," said Doyle Danning, a member
of the A31 Action Coalition. Her umbrella group organized
the day of civil disobedience and direct action. She said
protesters had adhered to police instructions to walk
two-by-two on the sidewalk.
After the arrests, the remaining protesters marched to West
29th Street and Broadway, where they lay down and were
arrested in a "die-in" to honor those killed in Afghanistan
and Iraq, Ms. Broad said.
Several protesters said references to 9/11 during the
convention have angered them. "People are getting locked up
so that Rudy Guiliani and George W. Bush can use 9/11 to
justify their police state," said Geoffrey Blank, co-founder
of the No Police State Coalition.
About 500 protesters gathered in lower Manhattan at about
noon yesterday for a march to the building that houses the
federal Bureau of Immigrant and Customs Enforcement.
Jessica Rodriguez, an anarchist from Philadelphia who helped
organize the protest, said the Bush administration unjustly
has detained, deported, and "scapegoated" immigrants from
Arab countries after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
"We're sending a unified message to those who support the
Bush agenda: If they want to continue their unlimited war,
we're not down with that and they're going to have to step
over us," said Michael Lubrano, 40, a computer analyst from
After negotiating with police to open two lanes of traffic,
the protesters chanted "Open up the borders, close the
[Republican National Convention]."
Halting at a small park for a "street theater,"
demonstrators gathered around 10 protesters with their hands
tied behind their backs. Hoods were placed over their heads
to make them look like detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
"We don't care if you are U.S. citizens or illegal aliens,"
a protester acting as a military officer told them. "You are
enemy combatants. You don't have any rights."
During the street theater, police arrested a protester who
had climbed a tree.
Earlier, police said they arrested 24 people -- 17 for
blocking traffic on foot or on bicycles in the Wall Street
financial district and six for wearing masks at a subway
station in Harlem. The protesters, dressed in black, said
they were representing "all the dead in the latest imperial
war against Iraq."
On Monday night, a police officer on a scooter was hurt as
protesters approached Madison Square Garden. A police
officer said the detective was knocked off his scooter and
kicked and punched by a protester. Four other officers
suffered minor injuries. The detective, William Sample, was
in St. Vincent's Manhattan Hospital.
Shahid Buttar, an attorney from Washington and volunteer for
an anarchist group, said police provoked the clash by
driving into a crowd.
Contact James Drew at:
DAYS OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE
Demonstrators stage acts of protest throughout city;
By Tatsha Robertson and Marcella Bombardieri
[Boston] Globe Staff
September 1, 2004
NEW YORK -- Activists wearing pig snouts, climbing trees,
and playing dead in the street answered a call for a wave of
civil disobedience across the city yesterday to protest
against President Bush and corporations with ties to his
Two spontaneous incidents Monday night -- an attack on an
undercover police officer during an unauthorized march on
Madison Square Garden, the site of the Republican National
Convention, and the arrest of a Yale student who entered a
restricted zone near the booth of Vice President Dick Cheney
-- prompted heavily armed officers on the second day of the
convention to be more vigilant.
Police said they arrested 550 people yesterday, the largest
number since the protests began last week. Authorities said
some of the planned demonstrations never materialized,
perhaps because of the heavy police presence.
"Most protesters expressed dissent in a peaceful fashion.
There are a minority who engaged in unlawful activity,
including criminal assault," said Police Commissioner
For months, protesters calling themselves "A-31," after
yesterday's date, have been planning a day of nonviolent
acts protesting the Bush administration and the convention.
True to their word, demonstrators kept police in riot gear
scrambling yesterday. At one afternoon protest, police
snared scores of them with orange netting near the World
Trade Center site.
"We might be small, we might be young, but we are strong and
we are coming after you," said Elizabeth Broad, a Manhattan
resident who is a spokeswoman for some protesters. "We're
resisting creatively, openly, and in a positive way."
Organizers said protesters belonged to college-based groups
that use phone trees to plan their activism.
About 1,100 people have been arrested in convention-related
protests since Thursday. Most have been peaceful, but
several confrontations have erupted.
On Monday night, a protest that started at the United
Nations and moved to Madison Square Garden ended in a
violent confrontation. According to police, a plainclothes
officer sustained head injuries after he was knocked off his
scooter, then punched and kicked into unconsciousness.
Police in riot gear swarmed the area, pushing protesters
away from the arena. Four other police officers suffered
minor injuries during the scuffle.
In a separate incident, the Secret Service said a Yale
student who dressed as a volunteer, Thomas Frampton, was
arrested after he came within 10 feet of Cheney near his
booth inside the convention hall. Frampton was detained when
he started shouting antiwar statements, authorities said.
Yesterday he was charged with assaulting federal officers
and impeding the operation of the Secret Service.
The series of demonstrations yesterday began outside a hotel
where a GOP breakfast sponsored by Halliburton was taking
place. About two dozen protesters wearing pig snouts threw
fake $100 bills bearing the faces of Cheney and Bush.
Calling themselves employees of "Hallibacon," they chanted:
"We love money. We love war. We love Cheney even more."
Critics have charged that Halliburton received
multimillion-dollar contracts in Iraq because of its close
connections with Cheney, the company's former chief
executive. The vice president has denied that.
While there were no arrests at that demonstration, 14 people
were detained near Wall Street for blocking morning traffic.
An additional six were arrested for wearing masks in a
Harlem subway station, authorities said. Police in riot gear
watched as 1,000 protesters stood outside Fox News in
midtown Manhattan, decrying what they called the cable
channel's conservative slant.
Protest groups held a news conference in Union Square park,
where they criticized the city's newspapers for hyping them
as violent anarchists.
Brian C. Mooney and Raja Mishra contributed to this report.
Material from the Associated Press was also used.
Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_
Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
"It's a political statement -- or, rather, an
*anti*-political statement. The symbol for *anarchy*!"
-- Batman, explaining the circle-A graffiti, in
_Detective Comics_ #608