Direct Action = Democracy

With regrets to NYC residents caught in the cross fire, the week of the RNC is going to go down in history as a huge culmination of diverse, grassroots voices reinvigorating the tradition of protest that our nation was founded on.

I can’t tell you where all of this info comes from but it’s an exteremely reliable source. Plus it’s all public information anyway:

In New York, although one corner near Madison Square Garden will be cordoned off specifically for protesters, only a handful of permits have been granted to protest groups. Most street actions will be unauthorized.

The main umbrella organization for protesters, United for Peace and Justice, says they will gather in Central Park despite not having a permit. Approximately 150 organizations are vying for a piece of what is being called the second biggest protest action of the year (the March for Women’s Lives, of course, was the biggest).

Besides labor, gay and lesbian groups, veterans against the war, there remains a long list of students, environmentalist, and health and political activists anxious to express their views.

On Sunday, August 29, The World says No to the Bush Agenda: United for Peace and Justice will “host” a march past Madison Square Garden, followed by a rally.

On Monday, the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network and the Still We Rise Coalition are co-sponsoring a march and rally to support HIV/AIDS health care, welfare reform, immigrant issues, housing/homelessness, and criminal justice issues. At the same time, the Kensington Welfare Rights Union presents another march, beginning at the United Nations and ending at Madison Square Garden.

Tuesday the One Million Yeses and One NO! people are planning a direct demonstration against the Free Speech Zones (police pens). At the same time, the noRNC Youth are calling for “a youth day of action.”

On Wednesday, the New York City Labor Council will host a massive union rally and march.

A bicyclists’ environmental group called Time’s Up is organizing in a “bike bloc,” attempting to snarl traffic as commuters try to get to work, as a protest against the use of private gasoline-powered vehicles.

Activists plan to hold sit-ins at delegate hotels, take over city intersections, block doors to major corporate offices, confront GOP bigwigs and infiltrate events.

They explain their aim is to use creative mischief to call attention the Bush administration’s destructive policies, not to cause harm or even stop the convention from proceeding.

Organizers advise protesters not to wear masks, which are illegal at New York City demonstrations, and to find alternatives to all-black clothing. Khaki is less intimidating, one Web site suggests. It will also let demonstrators “blend in. They won’t know who to arrest or pepper-spray just by looking,” the Web site says. “Plus, the crowd will look much more like the average American instead of a marginalized gang of malcontents – not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg promises that the heightened security will not interfere with planned protests, which may include the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, a squadron of George Bush look-alikes in flight suits. “We take people’s rights to come here and say something very valuable very seriously,” Bloomberg said.

The New York Civil Liberties Union will open an information and complaint center two blocks from the convention center to monitor protests and police activity.

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