8.07.2004

Anarchy in the RNC

No self-defined anarchist has ever sparked a revolution. But the ideologically uninitiated who have trafficked in the habits of anarchism--chiefly unmediated communication--have toppled dozens of tyrants.
— Siva Vaidhyanathan
With a four-day security budget of $76 million and 10,000 police officers facing protestors, the stage is set for anarchy. And that's just what some activists will be resorting to during the Republican National Convention later this month -- only they'll be trading black masks for radically democratic, tech-savvy protest tools.

Transcending beloved old-school methods, this new wave of activists will use decentralized and distributed technologies to level the playing field with law enforcement. "There's been an incredible technological buildup on the side of the police, and on the other side people are still holding cardboard placards and making puppets," says artist and engineer Natalie Jeremijenko (pictured).

"In the arms race of direct action, there's been incredible changes in the strategies, the training, and the equipment the police use in treating this political process." But the projects she and others embrace are only anarchistic in a strategic sense. While Anarchy suggests a political philosophy loaded with baggage, the term's Greek origins have little to do with chaos or violence: arkhos (ruler) plus the prefix a (the absence of). This leaderlessness -- "uncoordinated actions toward a coordinated goal," as Siva Vaidhyanathan puts it in his book The Anarchist in the Library -- is what links these new-school approaches:

- Flash radiojacking: Jeremijenko and the Bureau of Inverse Technology (BIT), will use a special transmitter to break into radio frequencies reserved for corporate stations, giving bursts of information so brief that the FCC can't lock onto their transmission location. During the World Economic Forum demonstrations, BIT called attention to the Bush administration's bogus claims about the safety of the air after 9/11. Each time New York's airborne pollution surpassed the "safe" level, a warning bleep interrupted broadcasts of the local NPR affiliate.

- Bikes Against Bush: Joshua Kinberg will hit the streets on an "internet-enabled tactical media weapon for non-violent creative resistance." Outfitted with a laptop, webcam, GPS device, and SMS-enabled cellphone, his tech-laden bike will receive text messages sent by visitors to www.BikesAgainstBush.com. At the push of a button, he'll select messages to print on the pavement using a robotic chalk-spraying device; each anti-Bush screed will be time-stamped and gps-mapped on the website. The bike's maneuverability effectively makes all of New York a free-speech zone.

- Backpack broadcast: Media collective neuroTransmitter will be toting com_muni_ports throughout the convention. These low-power, backpack-mounted radio transmitters will provide localized, on-the-fly media broadcasts, bearing witness, live, to events you won't hear about on local Clear Channel stations.

- WiFi on Wheels: Yury Gitman will be pedaling his MagicBike during the convention. Offering free internet connectivity wherever it goes, it'll wire the UK-based collective OpenSorcery so members can play a military simulator online and on the streets of New York using high-power projectors. Operations in Urban Terrain (OUT), a first-person-shooter game, aims to critique the militarization of civilian life following 9/11--a condition the group describes as "a government . . . at war with its own citizens, with soldiers in the midst of the fabric of ordinary life" -- by literally broadcasting the game's violence on city walls.

- Inflated Crowd Counts: When the demonstration ends, police will inevitably lowball crowd sizes, while activists will present overly optimistic numbers. The Bureau of Inverse Technology will calculate verifiable figures, thanks to a wireless video camera tethered to a helium balloon high above the action. A rollerblader will maneuver the balloon throughout the entire crowd while the high-resolution camera beams visual data to laptops on the ground. The result: a composite image that'll be analyzed by software similar to the kind used for counting microscopic cells in labs. "If Bush can dismiss this as a 'focus group' with the wave of his hand, how do you answer that? You have to have a higher standard of evidence, you have to have more compelling images," says Jeremijenko. "And we end up with a family aero-portrait -- a self-documentation of our action on the streets."

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the movie "Hackers" is finally catching up with reality!

Anonymous said...

Why is it such a horrible idea to just let the convention happen unmolested? Are we that afraid of their ideology that we can't let the other side have equal time w/o trying to drown them out with anarchy? I didn't care too much for a lot of what the Boston convention produced, there's noharm in letting them have their say. Isn't that what democracy is about?
This just feels like the equivalent of a bunch of thugs pummeling anyone who chooses to disagree.

Anonymous said...

hack the planet!!! ;p heheh Seriously, we need two gay asian guys doing a Free-To-Air mpeg broadcast of the convention.

http://www.free-conversant.com/thom/

Anonymous said...

I love the application of the bike-mounted paintprinter. If someone can make a relatively cheap version capable of traversing and printing on high walls, I will cheer. Loudly.

John said...

I agree. Jamming radio stations = not cool. Reminds me of the infamous Berkeley Free Speech movement motto: "Free speech for everybody who agrees with me."

The correct answer to disagreeable speech is more speech, not necessarily louder speech.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that speech isn't free! They paid millions of dollars for that speech. How dare someone interrupt it with equipment costing only thousands of dollars!

John said...

It doesn't matter what it costs, dumbass. Rich people have the same rights as you and me.

Misc Debris said...

So long as 'free speach zones' exists, then apparently our rights are not exactly the same.

Great post though!

Derek said...

>>Rich people have the same rights as you and me.

Really?
Perhaps, but they certainly have more priviledges.
Money affords them.

For instance: A guy wearing an Armani suit and a guy wearing a chain wallet and cargo pants are walking down the street near a crime scene. Someone says "A man did it!". Who are the cops more likely to nab first? Who's more likely to be able to buy his/her way out of a speeding ticket? Who's more likely to be able to buy an election (ahem)?

And to the person who said "Can't we just let them have their convention?" -- well, No. If you don't voice your opinion it doesn't get heard. The people on the street are the change-makers. The change they make is strategic and takes time. You won't see it over night, but it will happen. Everyone makes a difference.

John said...

"Really? Perhaps, but they certainly have more priviledges. Money affords them."

Which is EXACTLY why you don't want to start a fight whose outcome will ultimately hinge on whoever can afford the biggest, loudest radio transmitter.

Anonymous said...

Republicans are the stank but so are the democrats. This country needs a new party. The two party system is corrupt. Both parties accept 'contributions' from the same companies. People criticize Bush's policies but they forget that if the Democrats were truly against them, they had the power to stop them in congress. The tax cuts for the rich could have been avoided, broken treateis could have been prevented, huge farm subsidies not approved, and we would not be stuck in Iraq for years now If the fucking democrats would have had a spine. They're all a bunch of cowards and neither party deserves your vote. Kerry's cabinet in many ways can be a lot worse than the criminals in Bush's cabinet now. At least bush has some black people in his.

Anonymous said...

Of course, we would also NOT have tax cuts for the rich and a war in Iraq if Bush didn't want those things, right?

Jack Pound said...

Look, the Democrats had an opportunity to state their position and be heard. They had a convention, but at their convention, they decided that they would not speak to ANY of the points that these protestors are making. They decided that they would not feed the frenzy of their base to get Bush out of office by providing the attack rhetoric that their base wanted to see. They did not embrace their base, nor did they reach to the fringes of the party and try to incorporate these radicals who are willing to come so close to breaking the law in order to be heard. These protestors should be every bit as upset with their own party as they are with Bush. The Democrats have left them with a paper candidate that they can only vote for by default, because he doesn't really believe in their causes and has no policies that will make any of their dreams come true. It isn't the Republican's fault that they "can't be heard." They need to look at their own party and wonder why they are finding no support.

Jack Pound said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jack Pound said...

Sorry about the double post everybody.

Anonymous said...

Not trying to troll or anything, but that's pretty broad-

First of all, if you can come up with a complex dot-matrix printer that runs on a bike, then you could probably come up with a solid facts-based argument rather than just making as much of a din as possible to drown out the other sides' ideas. It's no better than the "free-speech zones" or police busting up a peaceful protest.

Some of those WTO protestors in Seattle may have had wonderful rebuttals against WTO practices... But when you're tossing flaming garbage cans or spray-painting everything in sight, you're not peacefully demonstrating, you're rioting and your message becomes associated with zero thought and zero restraint. If republicans are so wrong or Bush is so evil/dumb/whatever, then let them manage their own self-destruction and people will take note.
After awhile, regardless of the message, hearing it screamed over & over, rather than openly debated speaks pretty poorly about the one doing the shouting. It might be called the "Springer Principle".

thickeye said...

the fact that those airwaves that are being hacked are public; meaning they belong to 'the people' yet have been leased to huge corporations significantly below their actual worth makes them fair game.

I never abdicated my rights to large media corporations to use a largely ethemeral substance (freq.'s), did you?

John said...

"I never abdicated my rights to large media corporations to use a largely ethemeral substance (freq.'s), did you?"

Again, what matters is that if the right of way goes to the guy with the loudest transmitter, nobody will be heard at all. Public resources ultimately have to be managed by *somebody*. Look up "The Tragedy of the Commons" for elucidation.

Anonymous said...

The chalk sprayer? Bright idea. The crowd camera? Definately not a bad idea. But breaking the law by pirating airwaves so that the police have a legal obligation to start the riot by upholding the FCC's rulings after being begged by them to intervene, and then finish it up with pepper-spray and tasers? To quote Eddie Izzard, "Not a good idea."

All of the ideas presented are peaceful aside of that one. That is disturbing another's rights (as they are currently written) to get your point across. And you can't claim free speech, because then you'd have been shouting it, and you wouldn't be heard through the earphones of the people listening to those stations...

So, the same rule applies here as it does for drugs. If you sue someone because he stole 1000 dollars worth of your weed, what do you think the judge is gonna do? You believe the weed is yours, and that its your hard earned money that bought it... But you were perpetrating a crime and now b1tching that someone ripped you off? You'll be lucky if you don't end up in a cell yourself. If you pirate the airwaves and cry out when caught that you were trying to take back your free speech which was stolen from you... All they will say is "So you broke the law, because you feel someone else was doing so?..."

Love the US justice system.

As it has been posted before, the party system is broken. The only solution to the problem is to create an autonomous machine that makes decisions based on the input of polls that people can log in and vote on... And turn the whole country into a congress, using SSNs as IP addresses. Then you set it up as a corporation, petition 100,000 votes to get the computer status as a citizen, and run it for president.

Thats the only way democracy will ever work again. When we can all stand, so to speak, and lift our hand or give the thumbs down to every single issue that comes up on the Acropolis Server... True democracy. Originally 200 Greeks, and later more, standing around on an open area voting by lifted hand.

Anonymous said...

The worst kinds of fascists are the fascists and the anti-fascists. A helium balloon? Controlled by a guy on rollerblades? Are you freakin' kidding me? Not only are you just as repugnant as they are for trying to take away their freedom of speech, but you're going to look stupid doing it. The dems had their convention without this kind of crap, let the other side say what they've got to say too. If you want the people to make an informed decision, you have to let them hear what their choices are. Trying to force them to choose one way or the other is despicable.

Anonymous said...

You are actually offended by a baloon that verifies the number of protestors? Wow! Do you honestly expect the truth about the numbers from any objective media source? I *love* the baloon idea. Its using tech not to be disruptive, but to make a scientific observation based on credible science. I'm sure it'll reveal some spin as well.

Anonymous said...

I think maybe it's just the whole "rollerblader" imagery that disturbs that guy... Sorta sounds obscenely '80s.

"He'll be monitoring the crowd-balloon on rollerblades, with day-glo legwarmers, acid washed jeans and a 'Members Only Jacket'."

Paul Schmelzer said...

Natalie Jeremijenko told me that BIT's original idea was to attach the wireless video camera to a hobby rocket, then as it drifted down to the ground on a parachute it'd shoot 360-degree views of the crowd. They wanted to test it out at the February 15, 2003, antiwar rally in New York, but oldster activists vetoed the idea because the rocket was seen as too incendiary and might piss off the police. The actual balloons they used probably did look goofy: for a protest held the day after Valentine's they got heart-shaped mylar balloons for half price. I like that mix of an absurd image with a highly empirical technological solution.

Anonymous said...

Isn't anyone thinking that the security forces will no way allow a balloon with an electronic device on it to float around over crowds? Seems like this balloon idea, while worthy in intent, is a no-brainer waste of time, money and effort to me - it will never fly, pun intended.

Anonymous said...

Any sort of meaningful protest is now being defused by technonerds with cool toys. This is going to be about as effective as a bunch of hippies wearing tie-dye, holding hands and singing "We Shall Overcome."

It's just lame.

Equally lame, however is the nerve of the GOP to show up in NYC for their convention after Bush was well-hidden during the terrorist attacks. That is just crass and insensitive.

In short, you techno-geek protestors are making it less and less likely for thinking folks to swing toward your viewpoint by looking like a bunch of spoiled children throwing a tantrum. You REALLY are doing more harm than good.

We have a system. That system was abused by the current administration to be placed in power. Let's not sink to that level by defying the system ourselves.

I agree with your sentiment.

But not your childish outburst.

Anonymous said...

What's "meaningful protest"? Sounds like you think it's neither "We Shall Overcome" nor hi-tech gadgets. If it's something else, maybe some of these activists/artists/rich kids are working towards it but haven't gotten there yet...

Anonymous said...

And "How dare the DNC hold a convention in Boston when Mass-Dems' cronyism resulted in lax Logan airport security that allowed terrorists to walk right through and hijack planes?"

Puh-lease. That's not really the issue here, is it?
Last time I checked, it's a free country with open state borders. He's the president, let them/him have the podium.
Aside from that, BOTH parties are brainless to clog up major cities with an empty event. It wasn't any sort of surprise and ruins things for residents... Hold it in the Mojave Desert and give the urban folks a break!

Anonymous said...

Lot's of effort with little impact on the outcome. I'd rather see army's of loyal americans with video cameras taking pictures of Americans who are having their free speech rights trampled by the secret service. Since when did we agree that free speech only occurs in zones dictated by the government. No, get the video camera's out there, take pictures of the secret service violating the constitution, then take the whole frigging government to court. The real threats to democracy in america:
1. Free Speech Zones (!)
2. Paperless Voting
3. NO popular FREE PRESS, Matt Laurer really is owned by GE.

This is Richard-In-Seattle, get your video cameras out now! (Pay my fare and I'll come take pictures of you getting arrested for wearing "PEACE" buttons. Let's take their asses to court.)

Anonymous said...

You know these teenager anarchists are oh so smart by breaking the laws to get a point across that abosofkignlutely no one cares about. They better not complain when Sgt. Smash has them in a chokehold and his buddy has his baton up their a$$. I don't want to turn on the six o'clock news and seen the dude with glasses and l33T t-shirt crying from the pepper spray and saying how this is the result of the facist military state. These punks are not going there for simple peaceful protesting they are going there to provoke decent men and women who are overworked and underpaid protecting their ipods and imacs from being jacked oh and they also do their best keep all of us from dying a horrible death caused by Islamo Facists.

Anonymous said...

did you read this article? it's not Anarchy with a capital A. read it again, sgt. smash.

Anonymous said...

u all talk like smashing stuff at a riot is a bad thing; you tend to forget that even if there is a war abroad there is still a class war here at home. Republicans stand for the rich white and powerful. Would you say it was bad to smash property at a nazi rally in prewar germany? To many anarchist or other class warriors; there is becoming little difference between nazi germany and neo-conservative america. We must do whatever we can to steer this country in the right (not right wing) direction; and that is by whatever means neccesary.

John said...

Ah, spring, when the lilacs are in bloom and the trust-fund anarchist k1dd1ez roam the Seattle streets nonconformingly.

Anonymous said...

For the uninformed person who states that the Democrats are just as bad or worst because they could have stopped many of the problems that we have today. That is not possible when you do not have the majority in the House or the Senate. As for the two black members of the Bush Administration... Well don't boost to much about them. If there were a Democratic majority their butts would be tossed along with Wolowitz, Rumsfield, Cheney and Bush. William Clinton was impeached for a lie that hurt no one except his wife and daughter. Powell lied to the UN about WMDs. Condi. Rice lied to the 9-11 comission about the August 6th PDB being an historical document. Rumsfield lied to Congress about using money allocated for Afganistan for Iraqi Invasion, Cheney lied about severed ties with Haliburton, Bush lied about ties with Prince Bandar, Saudi Royal Family and WMD. These lies have cost the lives of 900 solders and 11,000 Iraqis.

Bush's War on Terror is false. He hasn't gone after Osama who is the man on the FBI's Most Wanted.

As far as the protest and the person who said that we should let the RNC be. Yeah Right. Do you think that it's fair that the Republican Mayor has set the free speech zone to highway so far away that you can barely see the Empire State Building which is a few block away. While the DNC allowed the Free Speech Zone to be across the street!

Anonymous said...

>This is going to be about as effective as a
>bunch of hippies wearing tie-dye, holding hands
> and singing "We Shall Overcome."

The tie-dye hippies will be there,
and will be dancing too.

Anonymous said...

Do any of you people have jobs? I love watching you idiots fumble all over yourselves trying to make a statement, trying to make a difference. Come to New York, pay your taxes, smoke your weed, and then get the hell out. I need a new SUV to run over you bastards. Do you think the kids dying in the Sudan tether a balloon to a bicycle to get an accurate head count?

Anonymous said...

"The dems had their convention without this kind of crap, let the other side say what they've got to say too. If you want the people to make an informed decision, you have to let them hear what their choices are. Trying to force them to choose one way or the other is despicable."

You obvisously weren't there. The protesters at the DNC were unbelievable. While there wasn't a hugh crowd of protesters at the event. Roaming around the town and my hotel room was the ABORTION BUS! Yes a bus with Photos of aborted fetus. That's nice huh?

Anonymous said...

>> I need a new SUV to run over you bastards.

Hey, big mouth. I was the guy that kicked your ass in high school. If I wanted an SUV, it would be way bigger than yours you little f***. Go shop for a new soul, you twit. You have no heart, no brains, and if you ever get any courage, come back and I'll kick your ass again.

Anonymous said...

Nobody's gonna stop the Repubs from saying what they want to say, NOBODY, not even Osama. There will be 10,000 police (and secret police) to make sure of that. That's not the point. The point is to make another statement, one that is so loud it can't be ignored.

There was a time when you could get all of your leaders in one place (with the network cameras trained on them) and deluge them with protesters to make the point that the people were fed up. Nowdays they turn the cameras back on the feel-good spectacle inside and make believe the crowds outside don't exist.

It will be hard to ignore the disparity this time, though: a few HUNDRED at the DNC and TENS OF THOUSANDS at the RNC? The important thing is that hopeful people like those in this article will have their own cameras and their own networks and they will provide the evidence that it really happened.

If you really cared about "those boys in the Sudan" making it through the next four years alive, you'd be protesting, too. The threat in the middle east has been largely fueled and fabricated by government spin and corporate greed.

Anonymous said...

Our leaders haven't chosen the best for us 100% of the freaking time. This shows them we arent defenseless. Vietnam was politically motivated and how many died pointlessly in the end. Now Iraq is a terrorist state which we payed for in lives.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
>> I need a new SUV to run over you bastards.

Hey, big mouth. I was the guy that kicked your ass in high school. If I wanted an SUV, it would be way bigger than yours you little f***. Go shop for a new soul, you twit. You have no heart, no brains, and if you ever get any courage, come back and I'll kick your ass again.

It is pronounced Mr. Fuck to you. I tried to buy a new soul but you stupid tree huggers tax my bonus checks and stock options so you much that I couldn’t afford it. Anyhow, if having a soul and a heart makes me into one of you I would rather count the hundred dollar bills in my wallet.

By the way, the concept of a soul is a Judeo-Christian in nature, so how dare you impose your belief system on me. Don’t all you tree hugging, wiccan, earth people hate imposing anything but the most radical, fringe idea system on anyone else? Didn’t your daddy love you enough growing up? You must know that I learned all this in college when I wasn’t wringing my hands at the Model U.N./Amnesty International/Magik meetings.

So high school boy, tell your assistant manager at the part time job you work at that you will need some time off. Tell your Mom not to go in your room in the basement (you have a strict rule about women being in there and disrupting your Chi) Peddle your little balloon tethered people counter to New York, and lie to yourself that you are really making a difference.

My SUV will have leather seats.
Vote Bush

Anonymous said...

Great! Let's all play background extra bit players for the GOP's show. Walk right into their trap."Look at the chaos in the streets! That's why we need another 4 years of our law and order Bush!"
Go ahead be clowns for Fox News. That's all that amorica will see of this.
I say cancel all protests. That will make the fascist GOP wonder what's up. Will scare them to death.
But, no, the the protesters will just do as the GOP expects and play the ugly heavy in this horrible movie. Wonderful!
Listen to Norman Mailer's comments on this on Wed.8-10 at http://www.democracynow.org/ .
You want to do something? Stay home and build some kind of alernative structures.
Or just throw the expected tantram in front of 'Daddy" in the streets. What the fuck do I care.

Anonymous said...

"The threat in the middle east has been largely fueled and fabricated by government spin and corporate greed."

Which is why we saw two buildings in NYC hit by planes. Wake up!! If you do not believe the threat of terrorism is real, then we really are doomed. Clinton was warned of potential terrror attacks in the early 90s (First WTC Attack) ... we were hit many times in the middle east during the 90s (USS Cole in Yemen anyone?). But what we were doing?!? Wondering if Clinton really did get his d**k sucked in office or not.

Take a real good look at what's important to you, then look at the candidates platforms for this election. Ignore the media crap. Your choice will become clear.

"Show me a young Conservative and I'll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I'll show you someone with no brains." - Winston Churchill

Anonymous said...

"But what we were doing?!? Wondering if Clinton really did get his d**k sucked in office or not."

The choice _is_ clear. Vote out the bastards who distracted the country and wasted millions of dollars on finding out what d**ksucking went on behind closed doors.

Further, why go to Iraq to create a terrorist hotbed when our borders, nuclear plants, and ports are still woefully unprotected?

Reason enough to change power to a White House who'll actually make us safe right here,

Anonymous said...

How about an EMP device that disables the riot cop's communications.

see http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=62-0071426094-0

The *real* battle is about preventing yet another attack from the brutal police. Will NYC be a rerun of 1968 Chicago?

Anonymous said...

Get a life you Moore-ons! You think with the kind of security that is going to be in place that they are going to allow any unknown, unauthorized balloon to be launched? Ha, ha ha ha ha... go count the votes again and remember to vote on November 10th!

Anonymous said...

Alternative to the balloon idea. NYC center is full of high-rise buildings. Instead of moving a camera on a balloon, what about to move the demonstration through a street and have a stationary camera on the roof or in a window of one of the buildings? With the number of appartments and/or offices with suitable position, and the concentration of Republican-opposing people there, the chance of finding several sympathetic people willing to serve as observation points should be high. If you don't already have suitable candidates, try an ad in local newspapers or college radio or any other suitable media.

Anonymous said...

I'm listed as "Anonymous" only because the system requires it of those who don't have accounts. In fact, lets get full disclosure here: my name is Adam and I'm a fairly liberal democrat who has voted in the last 2 presidential elections (once as an absentee voter from the UK) and in every local election since turning 18. I also work for a large multinational investment bank and drive an expensive German sports car. I grew up in a lower middle class family, went mostly to public schools and earned my way in to a top 25 private US university in the North East. I'm a protestant (I think) though I only go to church on Easter and Christmas. My life is pretty decent and the result of hard work and a fair bit of luck. I'm pretty sure don't have much of a chip on my shoulder nor guilt on my sleeve about where I am and I'd say I've got a pretty decent life. Perhaps ironically its one least threatened by maintaining the present national political regime. But as I mentioned, I'm a pretty liberal democrat who, unforeseen scandal - of a "photos of John Kerry clubbing black babies while blowing John Edwards" level - not withstanding will vote Democrat in the November presidential election. I tell you all of this because I want to be sure there is no misperception on the motivation my posting.

There are 2 things that bother me about all of the protesting plans for the coming GOP convention:

1. For those of you who didn't live in New York on September 11 2001, there is a very real sense of threat felt by those of us who did. Especially as relates to the upcoming GOP convention. It may be the result of effective spin by the Republican Party, or it may be the result of real danger. In the end it doesn't matter- the threat is felt none the less. Relevance? I probably agree with 95% of the messages most of the protestors will be trying to convey. And I suspect that the case is similar for most New Yorkers. But the moment I feel like the actions of the demonstrators is threatening my personal safety, they will lose all sympathy from me and I'll stand there wishing the NYPD will arrest every single one of them. Is that rational? Probably not. But its honest and I reckon its going to be pretty common place. So this crap about screwing with the radio waves and mass marches and all of that shite is fine. But don't make it difficult for the cops to do their job. They're less concerned with your personal politics (most of them are democrats anyway) and more concerned with keeping the city safe. So by all means, voice your opinion, paint the streets with chalk (though i still don't understand that one) and do everything safe and reasonable to make a clear, unified intelligent challenge to the current regime. But remember, if this starts to look anything like the last night of the most recent Woodstock re-enactment, you'll lose everything you're working for.

2. If you're not happy with the way thins are being run, exercise your right to participate in facilitating a change- vote. Every protester, 18-yrs of age or older who does not vote in the November election is a bigger phucking hypocrite than anyone on W's cabinet.

The real 'revolutionaries' will be the ones filling out ballots in November.

inkheart said...

"When the demonstration ends, police will inevitably lowball crowd sizes,"

police also sometimes exaggerate crowd sizes, to justify a bigger crowd control budget in the future. though i guess this is less likely to happen with a one-off like the RNC.

and as for the person who said we "shouldn't sink to their level by defying the system"... WHAT? bush and friends *exemplify* the system. they are the apotheosis of capitalism, of hierarchy, of imperialism, of the american political system.

to defy a system based on inequality, racism, and deep-seeded social control is not sinking to any level, it's rising above something that's little more than barbarism with a cellphone.

Anonymous said...

I remember a day when the FBI used to drive real slow past protests, snapping photos so the nice folks could be identified and interrogated later.

Good job doing the work for them, numbskulls.

I guess you're just doing your part for the interests of National Security.

Think, then do.

Anonymous said...

Just like you thought out that eloquent opinion?

Anonymous said...

------------
Which is why we saw two buildings in NYC hit by planes. Wake up!! If you do not believe the threat of terrorism is real, then we really are doomed. Clinton was warned of potential terrror attacks in the early 90s (First WTC Attack) ... we were hit many times in the middle east during the 90s (USS Cole in Yemen anyone?). But what we were doing?!? Wondering if Clinton really did get his d**k sucked in office or not.
------------

Read all the available documentation and you will see that Clinton did respond to these attacks and request that the new administration take them serious. The Bush Administration has empowered the terrorist by ignoring them and attacking a subdued government (Iraq).

Sam said...

My jaw just drops at the idiocy on display here. Wow. You guys surely portend the end of civilization. If you succeed, you'll be too dead to enjoy it, of course.

Paul Schmelzer said...

Thanks for weighing in, Sam. Really adds to the discussion.

Anonymous said...

An easy way to cause 'discomfort' to delegates attending the convention would be to tie up the 411 system...take it from someone 'in the know'...

Anonymous said...

" The point is to make another statement, one that is so loud it can't be ignored."

Where did you get that idea? Osama? That is the terrorist mentality defined. The point is to govern with intelect, not emotion. Your are as ignorant as you wish to be, so if you want to take your information from chalked sidewalks, then you're welcome to... but yikes!

I would say destroying property at a Nazi convention was bad, but wouldn't they just think you were burning books with them? Destruction of property is a push, and is responcible for insighting the shove. Similarly, broadcasting illegally is not a good idea either. There is public access, take advantage of it. Air-piracy won't create anarchy; it will create chaos, and once again the two concepts will be united. That will surely work against the protestors.

We all cheered when Bush was standing on that pile of rubble and let us know we would soon be kicking butt. Now we all are trying to disassociate ourselves with the military action that followed. There is plenty of guilt to go around, so don't bother finger pointing.

Anonymous said...

hey, I have a novel idea on how to get your say in who becomes the next president....VOTE! Vote for Kerry, vote for Nader, vote for Bush, vote for yourself, but just VOTE!

All the protesting in the world rarely changes opinions. Do you really think poorly printed words half washed away on the road saying something bad about Bush is going to sway any republican from voting for him? And do you think a bus with pictures of aborted babies on it is going to make some democrat into being anti-abortion and voting for Bush? All these protests do is further divide us as a country by polarizing the population to one side or the other. We have to learn to come together, tolerate our differences and celebrate our similarities.

And lets be honest with ourselves...how can either Kerry or Bush truly represent the common person in this country when both of them have grown up with wealth and privledge? The fact is they are more alike than they are different.

Protesting has outlived its usefullness...it is now a negative force rather than a positive one.

When election day comes, VOTE!

Anonymous said...

I very much agree with that last comment. If you really want to go out and make a change, just go into the booth, close the curtain, push the buttons, and pull the lever. It's just that simple. Me, I'm a seventeen-year-old Libertarian (more than a little rightist, but actually leftist in the classical sense, look up libertarianism.org, though I digress). Frankly, I'm more than a little shocked at the liberal use of the word "anarchist." If you look the term up, you will find that it's not the "cool, hip thing to be," but, in reality, a pseudo-terroristic non-party. When you mention the term "Mad Bomber" people will invariably think of the anarchists of the late nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. They were responsible for scores of assassinations of heads of state. If my memory serves me correctly, Gavrilo Princip, the man who shot Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his expectant wife, the Archduchess Sofia, was a member of an anarchist group trying to force the Austrian-Hungarians out of Yugoslavia. For those of you who have forgotten your modern history, this incident sparked off the Great War of 1914-1918. In closing, all I ask is that you VOTE and please, please, PLEASE, consider a less outwardly offensive term as "Anarchism" as this could turn people away from the get-go. I thank you for taking the time to read this, and if you want to talk with me about this privately, my e-mail address is aronpeterlevy@aol.com. Thank you very much, and have a pleasant day.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

The people who will be welcomed into the RNC (delegates and leaders) are some of the most morally corrupt detestable people on the planet. From their economic policy, to stands against environmental standards, affordable healthcare, public education, and even the war in Iraq (and possibly Iran as well); every position they take comes down to their own personal enrichment while everyone else is shut out in the cold. It is our solemn obligation to take a visible and direct stand against these individuals as they try to blur the lines of truth in order to continue these detrimental policies. Burn it to the ground.