Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DNC Report from the street 4, by Daphne Webb

DNC Report from the street 4
by Daphne Webb

I got downtown today at about 12:30 or 1:00 pm. Yes; I took the 15, no crack today. I went over to Civic Center Park looking for the blue tent. Uh-oh, there are 150 tents downtown now, and represent a wide variety of businesses, Obama Supporters, t-shirt/button sellers, non-profits and all kinds of Obama stuff. There were pro-war right wing people hanging out on the corner. Hundreds and hundreds of people were walking around. Except for a tornado in Parker (30 miles south of Denver) the weather has been stunningly beautiful as it always is in Denver this time of year.

I missed the End the Occupation March, but heard it was great. A friend is sending pictures. After a quick loop through the many booths I found Recreate 68 booth. It was in the same spot as yesterday. I spent a couple of hours talking to people before it got really juicy. There had been a “take back the streets” march today. Young and brave people wearing all black and barreling through town. What a sight to see. There were about 500 – 1000 of them and they were going where they wanted to go and their goal was so shut down the street to express their need for freedom. When they got to Broadway – a block away from Lincoln, a spectacle appeared. The police moved in. They were on Horseback, Bicycles and on foot in full riot gear with the blue handcuffs strapped to their belts. I would say there were about 50 police officers. It was formidable and they got there and gathered in less than 5 minutes. The protesters took the street. They stayed there for over the 5 minutes promised to them. Guess what? Nothing happened. Everyone did what they were supposed to do and although the imagery of the police state was terrifying, it stayed very calm, noisy, but calm. We were worried about Tear gas. They stayed strong both protesters and cops. Nobody did anything stupid, at all. It was amazing. Then the protesters walked across the street and through Lincoln Park over to Lincoln Street. The same scene repeated itself. I got a couple of good shots mostly showing how 9 – 12 police are holding on to the side of a Blazer in full riot gear.

There are certain things that must happen here. The protesters must have the space to tell their story and the cops have to be there because that’s their assignment. The police presence was overwhelming, but the composure was appreciated. What can they do? Their reputation is as much on the line as ours is. The Mayor has made a point of making sure that this can happen and that nobody gets hurt. It’s part of the process and none of this should be a surprise. The two party system is not working and if we’re going to preserve what’s left of America, it’s critical that these movements continue.

On my way home I stopped at Rite Aid to pick up some milk and the cashier was part of the independent Latino media. He showed me pictures from the media party at Elitches on Saturday Night. They had a great time. Everything was free and you couldn’t “lose” a game, they won Stuffed Donkey’s with Denver 2008 T-shirts at the games. He told me that he had a blast!

Random thoughts:

I think the Obama art is really cool. It’s colorful and interesting and acknowledges the pulse of modern day America. John McCain insists on the old school name in a box technique.

I spent an hour or so with a friend of a friend at the Red Room on Colfax and he was with Queers against Capitalism! One of their people was arrested today. He was trying to find out where he was taken but didn’t find out. The Lawyers are looking for this person and will hopefully get some help.

Food Not Bombs was out today. They gave out vegetarian Fajitas.

Come up to Denver sent me the Highlights for Monday: Come downtown! It’s a trip.

All day
3pm: Music program starts
Downtown Festival of Democracy
Civic Center Park


All day
Tent State University
Cuernavaca Park
20th Street and I25 along the S. Platte River

All day
We Are Change and 9/11 Truth
Gates Crescent Park
1901 Children’s Museum DR, Denver, CO

All day
Progressive Democrats of America Headquarters
Central Presbyterian Church, 1660 Sherman St., Denver, CO

Freedom Cage Street Theatre with Recreate68
Street theater at the freedom cage (designated protest area) need
Start: Skyline Park on the 16th Street Mall
End: Freedom Cage at the Pepsi Center. If you cherish your civil liberties,
than you should be apart of this event!

Freedom March from Civic Center to Fed. Courthouse
Begin: Civic Center Park
End: Araj Federal Courthouse, 1929 Stout
Kathleen Cleaver, Fred Hampton, Jr., supporters of Leonard Peltier,
recording from Mumia Abu-Jamal on death row and others will speak

5:00 pm
Shake Your Money Maker Protest
The Denver Mint Building
Encircle Denver Mint
Bring noisemakers, energy, spells, magic, costumes, anything that gives you
power. We’ll need it!

5:00 pm - 7:00pm
Code Pink: Make Out Not War Aerial Image
Cuernavaca Park
A visual representation of peace and justice with thousands of others! Wear
light colored clothing. Fabulous musical performances by Betsy Rose, Rachel
Bagby, Morley and more. Pink Badge of Courage Awards presented to amazing
women for peace.

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