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And Yet Again

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  • Dan Clore
    News & Views for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo ***** New York Newsday CONVENTION NOTEBOOK Reassurance for heartbroken dad BY
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2004
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      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

      *****

      New York Newsday
      CONVENTION NOTEBOOK
      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
      Square Garden.

      "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
      the war."

      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
      Manhattan.

      "Four more wars," countered Bush detractor Ann Roos of
      Manhattan.

      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
      Central Park.

      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.

      None found.

      "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
      can go."

      "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
      Westin.

      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
      are they?"

      "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
      disruption
      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
      percent.

      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
      Central Park.

      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
      said.

      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
      Staff Writer
      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
      expressing yourself."

      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
      city's calculation.

      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
      New York.

      "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
      break out.

      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
      Commentary:
      Being arrested by the NYPD is no picnic
      By SHAWN MACOMBER
      Guest Commentary

      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
      fence.

      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
      "the perp."

      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
      inconvenience them.

      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.

      --
      Dan Clore

      Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_
      http://www.wildsidepress.com/index2.htm
      http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1587154838/thedanclorenecro
      Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
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      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

      "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
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