And Yet Again
- News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
New York Newsday
Reassurance for heartbroken dad
BY ROBERT POLNER
STAFF WRITER, Staff writers Graham Rayman, Lauren Weber and
Glenn Thrush contributed to this story.
September 3, 2004
Fernando Suarez D'Solar borrowed a journalist's access card
and took his handmade antiwar poster right into Madison
"Bush Lied, My Son Died," it read for all the delegates to see.
The San Diego man's son, Jesus, had enlisted because he
felt, after talking with Marine Corps recruiters, that
military service would help him advance in a law enforcement
career. The soldier was killed at age 20 in Iraq in March 2003.
At the end of that year, his father, 48, went to the place
where his son died, and came around to the view that he
sought to impress on Republicans -- that his boy died in vain.
"It's like the Roman Empire in there, with delegates crying
out 'Hail Caesar!' " he said after his unauthorized visit to
the Garden. "I believe Mr. Bush lied about the need to fight
He did find something reassuring. "Twenty to thirty
Republicans approached me and whispered, 'I'm sorry about
what happened to your son' and 'You're right about the war.'
That came as a surprise to me."
Some 75 uncredentialed persons craned their necks for a
glimpse of the president entering the Church of Our Savior
on Park Avenue, and launched into competing chants.
"Four more years," screamed Bush supporter Hilda Cruz of
"Four more wars," countered Bush detractor Ann Roos of
New York wasn't one of the red states in the 2000 election,
but it looked more like one yesterday after a protester
poured a liquid into the fountain at the southwest corner of
Plastered around the fountain, which is topped by a statue
honoring the shipmen who died on the Battleship Maine in
1898, were stickers emblazoned with "Our Blood, Bush's Hands."
It fell to a pair of city hazardous-materials workers to
collect water samples and check for any dangerous substances
in the blood-red brew.
"Just dye," one of them said.
Look closely at Steve Bumball's inventory of political
buttons he was selling and you might not guess he was
dead-set for George W. Bush.
"George of Arabia," reads one of the pins.
"No CARB!" reads another, its acronym encompassing the first
initial in the names Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumseld and Bush.
"I'm definitely a Republican," Bumball, 44, of Dingmans
Ferry, Pa., said near Grand Central Station. "But in my
heart, I'm a capitalist."
In case you missed it, Central Park was the scene of a
morning howl entitled "Dogs Against Bush."
"I Bark For Kerry," read the blue kerchief worn by a liberal
labrador retriever named Max.
Talk about anarchy.
Doran Mullen, 58, of Manhattan, works for an insurance firm,
enjoys long weekends in the Hamptons and has no anarchist
tendencies, at least none he's aware of.
All the same, wearing a Brooks Brother suit, Mullen was
nearly arrested after leaving a corporate-sponsored party
for Republicans, the guest of a delegate.
He found himself trapped between cops on motorcycles and
cops on horses. An officer demanded to see credentials. He
didn't have any. It looked like he was going to be cuffed,
along with demonstrators. Then an officer said, "You! You
"It was kind of scary," he said.
Live from New York . . . it's Da Rudy G Show!
Ascending Republican star Rudolph Giuliani, a veteran of
"Saturday Night Live" and "The Late Show with David
Letterman" during his eight years in City Hall, was just
getting in touch with his inner comedian as the curtain fell
on the convention.
The former mayor, who donned lipstick and ladies' attire
during annual press club dinners, let the shtick fly at a
Missouri delegation breakfast yesterday at the Times Square
Speaking admiringly of Georgia Sen. Zell Miller's speech the
night before, Giuliani said, "I wish I had a Southern
accent. Then I would be able to deliver lines and get away
with it and not be called mean."
Giuliani, who has been barnstorming the country for
President George W. Bush, also has been tending to his own
possible national aspirations, solidifying relationships
with local party leaders in key GOP primary states and
softening his hard-edged image with a little humor.
Many of Giuliani's favorite stories have a bittersweet tinge.
"Our airports are very, very safe," he told the Missouri
delegates, who dropped the ball by not responding, "How safe
"They're so safe I get searched every place - they love to
do it in New York. When I show up, most of the TSA people
know who I am. Obviously, I'm a big threat," he said.
Staff writers Graham Rayman, Lauren Weber and Glenn Thrush
contributed to this story.
New York Newsday
Mayor says gathering was a boon as city avoided major
By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS
Associated Press Writer
September 3, 2004, 5:21 PM EDT
NEW YORK -- The city economy got a $255 million bump and
subway trains ran on time during the Republican National
Convention, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday.
Crime in city neighborhoods didn't surge, he added, and no
delegates got mugged.
Bloomberg pronounced the convention a success.
"Our visitors, and the world watching on television, saw
that New York is back, safer, stronger and more exciting
than ever," three years after the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks, said Bloomberg.
Bloomberg was glowing, but many city residents in his
heavily Democratic city had greeted the Republican
convention with fear and loathing. Then came the large
anti-Bush protests that bore 1,800 arrests, a contempt of
court ruling against city officials for holding protesters
in jail too long and a parade of angry neighborhood
merchants complaining that business was off by as much as 70
What had been feared, but never materialized: A terrorist
attack; protests that turned violent; a strike by police
officers and firefighters seeking new contracts; massive
traffic jams; and a large, unpermitted protest rally in
The mayor had tried to sell his constituents on hosting the
GOP convention by saying the gathering would be a boon to
the local economy -- and well worth the trouble of street
closures around Madison Square Garden and extra security due
to the possibility of terrorist attacks.
"I think every New Yorker is probably breathing a sigh of
relief," Bloomberg said. "The (economic) news is very good.
But this has also been a very good week for free expression,
due process and democracy, as well as for our Police Department.
"The convention was a major test of New York's post-9/11
security, and I'm proud to say by any standard we passed
this one with flying colors," he added.
Not every business owner or protester would agree.
Broadway producer Emanuel Azenberg said convention week was
among the worst in memory.
"Other than September 11, this is the single worst week on
Broadway in half a century," he said.
At the Bright Food Shop, a diner ten blocks south of the
Garden, Ricardo Gotxikoa, the establishment's manager,
presided over a very modest lunch crowd earlier this week.
He had a worried look on his face. Business, he said, was
down 60 to 70 percent.
"We rely mostly on regulars, and they all left town because
they didn't want to deal with all the disruptions," Gotxikoa
He paused, adding, "Most of them are Democrats."
There were many bright spots however, including a continuing
drop in crime around the city, despite thousands of police
officers concentrated in the Madison Square Garden area.
Cristyne Nicholas, president and CEO of NYC & Company, said
she remembered a news story during the Democratic convention
in 1992 about a delegate who "enjoyed New York City" except
for the fact that he'd been mugged.
"This time around, this is not the case at all," she said,
adding that 94 percent of delegates polled informally said
they felt safe during their stay in New York.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said not a single delegate
reported a crime of any kind to police -- though many were
screamed at and shouted down by New Yorkers.
Kelly said police were notably successful in keeping a band
of anarchists at bay, who were "thwarted at every turn in
their plans to disrupt the city."
They included unsuccessful efforts to close down the
financial district; cause widespread traffic disruption at
Herald Square and other locations; crash parties in other
venues organized for the delegates; stage sit-ins in the
lobbies of delegate hotels; prevent delegates from reaching
Madison Square Garden; and interfere with the conduct of the
convention itself, he said.
New York Newsday
City got $255M from convention, Mayor says
BY DAN JANISON
September 4, 2004
Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg claimed Friday that the
city economy got a $255 million boost from his party's
convention even as some outside analysts deemed the numbers
too subjective to be valid.
The number was trumpeted by the mayor as he and police
officials fended off continued civil-liberties questions.
Meanwhile, a visibly exhausted Bloomberg backed away from
his remarks Thursday equating anarchists' harassment of
delegates with the al-Qaida terrorists.
"Obviously it's not the same level," he said at a news
conference. "But the anarchists are trying to keep you from
Despite fines of $1,000 per detainee held too long, the
mayor gushed praise on police.
"The NYPD this past week was a model of how you can go about
ensuring peoples' safety, enforcing the law and protecting
peoples' rights to go about their business," he said.
The city, or at least midtown, had been occupied since
Sunday by President George W. Bush's re-election forces,
prompting residents and businesses near Madison Square
Garden to post protest signs.
When a caller to his weekly radio show criticized the
unusually wide arrest net cast by police, he said: "You
can't arrest 1,800 people without having somebody in the
middle who shouldn't have been arrested. That's what the
courts are there to find out afterward."
Bloomberg, in an office near the Garden that served as
headquarters for the temporary host committee, declared victory.
Convention operations pumped $177 million into the local
economy and visitor spending another $80 million, by the
But the full effect of federal and city costs such as
massive overtime pay to keep a record number of police on
the beat has yet to be added up.
Even before the convention, Democratic Comptroller William
C. Thompson Jr. said the parley would cost the public $300
million at a time of fiscal restraints, numbers disputed by
the mayor's office.
The city's Independent Budget Office had a different view.
"We don't do analyses of single events because the data are
very hard to measure. The results are subject to many, many
different assumptions," said the office's Douglas Turetsky.
"Results can be very dicey."
Many agendas under one unbrella
By JORGE FITZ-GIBBON
THE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: September 3, 2004)
NEW YORK -- There's a guy named Rock from Philadelphia who's
been scrambling for places to sleep, and spent his second
night in Manhattan inside the car of a benevolent resident.
He has a red bandanna wrapped around his left leg in honor
of his kid brother, who lost his leg while serving in the
military in Afghanistan. Rock shuttled from one
demonstration to the next, sometimes not certain who
organized it, just as long as it was critical of President Bush.
In Herald Square yesterday, Rufus Davis, a 32-year-old New
York City schoolteacher, was so dead set on protesting the
Republican National Convention that he spent $140 to buy a
chicken suit and an apron with the words: "AWOL Bush."
Ashley Corbin had just gotten off a train from Baltimore on
Sunday to join the massive march organized by the activist
group United for Peace and Justice. On her arm, the
45-year-old mom carried her three-year-old son, Elias, who
wore a home-made shirt: "Super hero kid against the war," it
said, the words a tad uneven.
And in Union Square, Alison Walo, 25, of Cleveland, took
part in demonstrations all week with several dozen other
members of the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade. She
said the group doesn't believe in voting. It believes in a
worldwide Communist takeover.
They have all been thrown under the umbrella of "protester"
over the past week, as hundreds of thousands have taken to
the streets to protest the Republican Party, the Bush
administration, or even the concept of government in general.
They are hard to define in one category, ranging from
Teamsters to anarchists, from war veterans to politically
conscious suburban moms. In many cases, groups and people
with disparate viewpoints and agendas have marched together,
sometimes by design, sometimes because there was simply a
march to join.
"I think the message got out," said Dahlia Goldberg, 26, of
Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. "We, as New Yorkers,
as Jewish New Yorkers, don't want the Bush administration .
. . to feel welcome here in our city."
Others, of course, aren't from the city. Many are veterans
of prior marches, and made their way to New York because
there was a national stage for their issues. They stayed
with friends, local members of the groups they belong to, or
found a place to stay through a national housing network.
"I think it's not just one mayor or one president," said
Forrest Schmidt, 28, a construction worker from San
Francisco who found a place to stay in Brooklyn. "I think
there's just this drive to criminalize dissent."
At a labor rally on Eighth Avenue on Wednesday, thousands of
union members lined up for seven blocks. Mary Anne Lowery, a
Manhattan schoolteacher, said she was worried that
unemployment would continue to rise under a new Bush
administration, and that feeding her three children would
become increasingly difficult.
Elsewhere, Elizabeth Broad, 25, one of the organizers of
A31, a coalition of activist groups, talked about what she
called the "fascist" Bush agenda, and the cause that would
continue. "We need to present an alternative," said Broad, a
graduate student at the New School.
Somehow, Lowery and Broad had something in common this week.
Lawrence anarchist describes N.Y.C. arrest
By Eric Weslander, Journal-World
Friday, September 3, 2004
It was an orange dragnet that caught Dave Strano this week
as he was protesting the Republican National Convention in
"A whole bunch of us got rounded up along with other people.
. . . They're rounding up as many people as they can in this
orange netting kind of stuff," Strano said in a telephone
interview early Thursday after being released from jail.
"They more or less encircle everyone they can with it. We
were in jail with two kids that had been shopping at Macy's."
As of Wednesday, Strano and seven other Lawrence anarchists
had been arrested in New York, according to members of their
local group. All eight were out of jail Thursday and headed
back to Lawrence, said Wesley Teal, who answered the phone
Thursday evening at an anarchist hangout here.
On Wednesday, anarchists in Lawrence sent out a request for
help raising bail money for those arrested but declined to
release their names. Teal said all members of the group
ultimately were released from jail without having to post
any bail. About $150 was raised, and Teel said the amount
would go to cover court fees and fines.
Strano said he was arrested Tuesday evening in a crowd near
Sixth Avenue and 42nd Street. He estimated that one out of
10 to one out of 15 people caught in the orange net had
nothing to do with protests.
They were taken to a holding cell on a pier, where he said
the floor was covered with a thick, black substance that
stained clothing and shoes and caused some peoples' skin to
Detainees had to get permission from an officer to use the
bathroom, but it was hard to get their attention, he said,
and at times they ran out of water.
At first they were held in a makeshift cell with about 50
people, then moved to one with about 500, he said. They were
back out on the street about 24 hours after being arrested.
Strano declined to discuss specifics of his case, such as
what he was doing or how he was arrested. He said most
people arrested were being charged with disorderly conduct.
One member of the Lawrence group has a gash on his forehead
from being tackled by an officer, Strano said, but others
haven't been injured.
"Being in this city right now, you can feel the fear people
have of this police force," he said.
An official at the New York Police Department's central
booking office said he couldn't confirm arrests unless
provided names of people still in custody.
The Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News
Columns -- September 3, 2004
Being arrested by the NYPD is no picnic
By SHAWN MACOMBER
A FEW days before I left for the Republican National
Convention in New York City I received an e-mail from a New
Hampshire psychic I know. He said he sensed "something
exciting" for me on the horizon, possibly in the Big Apple.
Later on, shackled to a homeless crack addict in the
basement of central booking, I couldn’t help but reflect on
how the NYPD really knows how to spice up one’s vacation.
As a journalist (a staff writer for The American Spectator
and occasional columnist for The Union Leader), I found my
illegitimate and unlawful arrest and detention here a mixed
bag. On the downside, I have a misdemeanor disorderly
conduct charge hanging over me. The upside is that I
actually ended up having something interesting to write about.
Until I was arrested, my Republican convention experience
was essentially a carbon copy of my time at the Democratic
convention: Sitting through 400 bland, party line speeches,
covering the same two or three sanctioned points in front of
a massive audience of yes-men and women. At these events you
get to listen to educated people argue over the merits of
the Bush twins vs. the Kerry daughters, along with a million
other inanities that have no bearing whatsoever on the
future of the country. OK, OK. So let me get this straight:
Republicans, terrorism is bad and the economy is good? Got
it. No, no, I'm not arguing. And what say you, Democrats?
John Kerry fought in Vietnam?! John Edwards is actually the
son of a mill worker?! Are you serious? They've got to find
a way to get this information out there.
You might be thinking that since I was arrested I must have
done something wrong. Well, let's just say it is fairly
interesting to see what is passing for "disorderly conduct"
in New York City this week.
I was covering a protest at Ground Zero. When the police
began to congregate and tensions rose, I attempted to get
out of Dodge and across the street. Bike police had boxed
the protesters in. I was told to hold tight and I would be
allowed to pass. It was not to be. An officer armed with a
bullhorn began shouting for protesters to move forward or
face the consequences, a ludicrous command since the police
themselves were impeding the ability of protesters to keep
moving. Within seconds, a mass arrest was ordered and the
police began penning everyone in together with a mesh orange
Secret Service agents showed up a few minutes later and
verified my identity as a journalist accredited by the
congressional press office, and, thus, it was made clear to
the NYPD that I was not participating in the protest. But
they just had to have me and I was soon being referred to as
I'm actually planning to turn my jailhouse experience into a
proposal for a reality show, called POWDERKEG! The premise:
Take 30 rabidly anti-Bush peaceniks and throw them in a
holding cell with a conservative/libertarian journalist and
watch the hilarity ensue. Each week, I'll be arrested
without my rights being read to me and held for 14 hours
while police refuse to tell me what charges I'm being held
on. Meanwhile, the kumbaya squad talks politics in front of
me to see if they can make my head explode.
Being spit on and knocked around because you write for a
magazine that espouses a different philosophy than the
protesters? Not so fun.
Nevertheless, there is something priceless about watching a
20-something anarchist complain about "real criminals" --
the minority folks across the way from us -- getting to see
the judge before us. Not very sensitive for a bunch of white
suburban anti-capitalists. Shouldn't they gladly give up
their place in the name of social justice? Apparently they
are ready to demand change in society, except when it might
I'm not sure why they wanted to leave, anyway. They were
obviously having a great time in jail. Once in the holding
pen, my cellmates all cheered loudly anytime some new
protest prisoners were led in. Fists were raised, smiles all
around. Sure, they complained about the arrests, but they
delved into stories of past arrests with a relish and joy I
found confusing. For me, the idea of being restricted to a
small cell did not find fertile ground in my imagination
before I went to jail. Afterwards? Nah, it still doesn't.
Shawn Macomber is a former New Hampshire resident.
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