Liberty Activist Blog

Saturday, July 31, 2004

For some chilling photos of the "protest pen" in Boston, "stormtroopers" in full battle gear

Little Dachau
Rebel One stop

"The real news is that the American Constitutional Republic is doomed. I thought that maybe there was some hope of saving it (resurrecting it?) until recently. But when the Liberal Mecca of Massachusetts, and the Democratic Party which claims to worship the old hippy protesters and Civil Rights marchers, build concrete, chain link, and razor wire CAGES to deal with those who want to publicly disagree with them, it is friggin' OVER folks." (07/29/04)

Thursday, July 29, 2004

More on Boston protests (or lack thereof ...)

Activists appear to save anger for NYC
Boston Globe
Marcella Bombardieri and Jonathan Saltzman

"To prepare for the protesters expected to swarm Boston during the Democratic National Convention, security planners amassed a force of 5,000 law enforcement officers. The city built a razor-wired protest zone that attracted comparisons to the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. Suffolk County officials cleared enough jail cells and courtrooms to handle 2,500 arrests. Total number of protest-related arrests so far this week: One.
As the convention culminates today, protesters are planning a bike ride, a flashlight peace vigil near the FleetCenter, and unpredictable "decentralized actions" throughout the city. But signs suggest that there simply aren't enough activists here to create the kind of chaos that hit Miami, Seattle, or even the major party conventions in Los Angeles and Philadelphia in 2000. Now the question on the minds of activists, police, and local residents is: Where are the protesters?" (07/29/04)

Police arrest three, restore calm near FleetCenter
Boston Herald

"peaceful protest on Canal Street turned ugly with demonstrators setting a fire and going toe-to-toe with billy club-toting cops in the the first serious violence of the Democratic National Convention. .... The violence broke out when a rally of about 500 people wound through downtown and stopped at the iron gates guarding the DNC delegate entrance outside the Fleet Center on Canal Street. Police allowed the group to gather in the street, rather than forcing them into the protest pen. One group from the Save Our Civil Liberties Campaign tied themselves to a bike rack while another group set a small fire. The fights started after police moved in on a man carrying a backpack allegedly containing a paper mache Molotov cocktail. Pushing, shoving and panic ensued as protesters, cops and bystanders ran amok. Sporadic scuffles broke out, including one that started when a demonstrator took a police officer's hat." (07/29/04)

Boston police deal with protestors

"After four days of relative calm, protests became tense outside the site of the Democratic National Convention as demonstrators burned a two-faced effigy depicting President Bush on one side and Sen. John Kerry on the other and started a shoving match with police. About 400 protesters marched Thursday through the city before arriving outside the fenced-in demonstration area outside the FleetCenter. The throng pressed up against police officers who used clubs to keep the crowd at bay. Several protesters were dragged from the crowd and handcuffed by police. Other screamed at the officers to let them go. .... The Boston-area Bl(A)ck Tea Society, an ad hoc group of self-described anarchists and anti-authority activists that formed a year ago to stage protests at the convention, called for "decentralized direct action" Thursday. The group does not advocate violence but encourages demonstrators to hold street protests regardless of whether they have secured permits from the city." (07/29/04)


Free speech through fences
Margaret Doris

"There has been a lot of talk during this convention about free speech and civil rights. But in a world where delegates readily take off their shoes for Vermin Supreme, and attendees at a John Edwards party at the Rack happily hand over their IDs for scanning through a "visitor management system" with recorded name, date of birth, and gender checked against the invite database, it seems that many people have adjusted too easily to the creeping loss of civil liberties. And it's much harder to regain liberties lost than it is to hold hard to them in the first place." (07/29/04)

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

As the First Amendment dies in Boston, not with a bang but a whimper ....

Lots of rage about cage
Boston Herald

"Protests and marches around the city again yielded no major incidents or arrests while activists and some politicians continued to lambaste the 'protest pen.' .... Boston police reported no incidents yesterday. There have been just two protest-related arrests. Some activists say the staggering security and the cage have stifled demonstrations. Bill Dobbs, spokesman for United for Justice and Peace, said the tight DNC security is similar to measures at the G8 Summit in Savannah, Ga., last month that were blamed for low activist turnout. 'No one has ever seen a protest cage like the one in Boston,' Dobbs said. 'It's outrageous. It's part of a trend to turn the screws on the right to dissent.'" (07/28/04)

Activists to cops: Stop picking on us
Boston Herald

"Peace activists say the FBI has been harassing and intimidating them with visits across the country, including an incident in Boston Saturday where federal agents, police and firefighters searched a ``mobile kitchen'' and seized five propane tanks. 'It's a problem because people are being targeted specifically because they are against the Democrats and the Republicans,' said Rachael Perrotta of Chicago, who is in Boston with Democracy Uprising, a group behind the DNC2RNC march from Boston to New York that begins Friday." (07/28/04)

Pen has ‘antis’ up in arms
Boston Herald

"Hundreds of anti-war protesters filed into the controversial ``protest pen'' across from the FleetCenter sparking some tense standoffs during angry opposition to the prison-like set-up. 'This is really a joke. It's disgusting,' said 22-year-old student Nick Pelletier as he stood in the enclosed 'free speech zone.' Some protesters kicked iron riot fencing blocking Causeway Street and refused to enter the 'cage' before being escorted away by police.No arrests were reported. .... Boston police Superintendent Robert Dunford, who developed the plan for handling protesters, dismissed criticism of the cage. 'They are closer to the delegates than they have ever been at any national convention,' Dunford said. 'They can demonstrate any place in the city they want as long as they do it legally and peacefully. This area is just set aside so they have direct access to the delegates.'" (07/28/04)

Washington delegates protest convention 'free speech zone'
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Led by Seattle-area residents, about a dozen delegates to the Democratic National Convention went to the protest area Wednesday to vent their outrage over the dismal, fenced-in "free speech zone" for protesters. .... "This protest pen is not in our name," said delegate Sylvia Olveda, 27, of Bellevue, Wash. "These people are peaceful. I'm not afraid of these people - they don't need razor wire." Wednesday afternoon, the area was occupied only by a cluster of Christian evangelists and a couple of individual protesters. The stage had plastered to it a rain-soaked page from the Bible: Luke 23:24, "Then Jesus said Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." On the side of the podium, someone scribbled "Flee the pen" in chalk." (07/28/04)

Free speech behind the razor wire
Mike Baard

The estimated 5,000 protesters at the Democratic National Convention this week have so far bumped heads over their political differences. In some cases, they have even barred one another from their scheduled (and permitted) events. But activists have been largely united in one civil action: their boycott of the so-called free-speech zone carved out by the U.S. Secret Service and local authorities, the only spot where protesters will be able to shout their messages to the delegates arriving on buses in a nearby parking lot. The protesters are also coordinating actions outside the free-speech zone by sending text messages on their wireless phones. Some protesters for a short time Monday converted the zone into a mock prison camp by donning hoods and marching in the cage with their hands behind their backs." (07/27/04),1283,64349,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_6