To wrap up my coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Denver on August 25-28, I offer here a compilation of all the lesser marches, the forgotten vignettes, the little scenes that few ever saw.
Despite all the hubbub and furor about the anticipated protests, the truth is that they were mostly very tame. Aside from the one small riot on Monday night (which I accidentally participated in), and a couple of lesser confrontations here and there, not much happened, when you get right down to it. My first urge is to say I’m a bit disappointed in my coverage, but in reality I covered all there was to cover. It’s not my fault that it was a wash-out.
All in all, I’d say ’68 was not recreated.
I guess the lesson to be learned from this is: Never pre-announce a revolution ahead of time. Because the cops can read the Internet too.
The revolution should not be blogged.
And now let’s peruse a week’s worth of protests and piquant vistas.
The Stoner March
On Thursday, the final day of the convention, a coalition of marijuana-legalization groups staged a march to Invesco Field.
The event was purportedly to promote the use of “medical” marijuana, but as this sign reveals, that was rather a thin excuse, as well over 90% of the people there were perfectly healthy and just wanted to smoke pot for fun without fear of arrest. (Note stoner dudes in the background.)
The leaders of the march asked everyone to specifically not smoke joints during the march. Some obeyed, others did not.
Back before the march began, an aging Yippie enlisted several young acolytes to stage an anti-McCain prank. First they held McCain’s picture upside-down…
…and then slammed a cream pie into it.
Overall, the march was very pro-Obama, since Obama had (according to the march leaders) promised to push for the legalization of medical marijuana; but not everyone was on board with that message.
The march was actually one of the largest during the entire convention, as this very foreshortened picture shows. I’d estimate somewhere between 500 and 1,000 pot-heads showed up (though that’s just a wild guess).
The crowd was that large partly because a couple of far-left/anti-American groups joined in, such as this one…
…and, as always, the parasitical Revolutionary Communist Party.
Justice for Palestine rally
Perhaps the biggest flop of the entire convention was the “Justice for Palestine/End the Occupation rally,” scheduled for Wednesday at noon. From the way it was promoted online, I thought there would be a huge crowd, enough to encircle all of Civic Center Park. But when I showed up, it turned out to be a single table staffed by a grand total of five people.
They did manage to encircle a bicycle, if not the entire park. But I think this guy’s got as much anger as a whole city full of grouches, so that’s some consolation.
Faced with the utter humiliation of attracting zero additional Israel-haters, they decided to tag along on the “Anti-Green-Capitalism Re-education Walk,” incongruous as that may have been.
Nothing warms the cockles of my heart like seeing people who care about an issue so much that they can’t even spell it properly.
“Poitics” are a kind of Hawaiian arachnid that I certainly wouldn’t want infesting my religion.
“I-S-R-E-A…” Damn. “I-S-R…” Blink. “Honey, how do you spell that country I hate again?”
“Ah, OK. Thanks!”
“Dude, you, like, missed a letter or something.”
“Too late now, man, I already got ’em all in a row.”
When you misspell your own Web address, maybe it’s time to give it a rest for a while. Relax. Take a break.
The Falun Gong March
One of the first scheduled protest marches of the convention was put on by Falun Dafa, better known as Falun Gong, the (depending on whom you ask) meditation practice/religion/spirituality/cult/philosophy based on the principles of qi gong. The absolutely perfect regimentation of their marching band was a marvel to behold, especially considering the sloppy, anarchic nature of every other march.
They had prepared for the march with a mass meditation session in Civic Center Park.
The procession featured the magical Falun-Gong-mobile, which moved forward at the exact right pace and steered itself even though there appeared to be no driver. I can only assume it was driven by remote control, or had a secret helmsman hidden inside — either that, or it moved solely on the power of meditation!
It featured a colorful array of swastikas — the Buddhist good luck kind, not the Nazi kind.
The Falun Gong folks also put on far and away the most effective bit of street theater of the entire convention, with an evil Chinese doctor extracting the organs of a hapless Falun Gong prisoner, and then selling them on the black market.
The procession moved forward with flawless military precision, enough to make even a Marines bandmaster weep with joy.
Some practitioners tried to attract the attention of some passing MSM honchos, to no avail.
They also had the best banners. The Chinese government has labeled Falun Gong not just a “cult” but an “evil cult” (or should that be “eeeeeeeevil cult”), as if this would convince us in the West that their repression of Falun Gong was justified. The Chinese government apparently still hasn’t grasped the concept of “freedom of religion,” such that — in America — even “cults” are allowed to practice freely.
We finally arrived at the legendary “Freedom Cage,” only to find it completely empty — a tiny, abandoned, isolated parking lot. It was this experience which convinced me that the Freedom Cage was hardly even worth visiting any further, much less worth reporting on.
At one point, while on my way to the “Freedom Cage,” I ran into the famous anti-abortion teenagers, engaged in one of their many street actions, pinning flowers to a fence to commemmorate all the aborted babies.
One of the boys had an Obama campaign shirt, which he had modified to read “Obama the baby killer” and “Obama wants you dead.” The girl on the right might be the same girl who was later arrested for writing anti-abortion messages, but I’m not entirely sure.
They also chalked Obama/abortion messages all over the route that the delegates take to go to the Pepsi Center.
Wednesday saw the “Anti-Green-Capitalism Re-education Walk,” which promoted the notion that “green” capitalism (or “the green economy”) was a fraud, one especially promoted by the Democrats and Al Gore. Of all the marches at the convention, this is the one I agreed with the most (not saying much, but still…), since it focused on the utter hypocrisy of the Democratic Party accepting countless millions of dollars from polluters to fund the convention (and their campaigns), and then trying to wallpaper over the cognitive dissonance with various unfeasible “green” schemes.
Along with the Stoner March, this was also one of the biggest protests of the week.
We paraded through Denver and stopped at the headquarters of various corporations that donate to the Democrats and which also are documented polluters, where our tour guide would give brief lectures on the donors’ corporate crimes.
We even passed the Brown Palace, an historic Denver hotel; I thought this would be the perfect moment for the police to test out the “Brown Note,” but my hopes were dashed and we escaped unsoiled.
“Levitating” the Denver Mint
On Monday, Recreate 68 held a street theater performance called “Shake Your Money-Maker,” in which the participants would “levitate” the Denver Mint, in order to liberate the money inside.
I attended the event, but for security reasons I subsequently decided to quash my report about it, for the safety of myself and others, due to unpleasantries that occurred.
The only photos I feel safe posting are the few shown here that I took after the unpleasantness and after other people’s videocameras stopped rolling.
This is Mark Cohen, co-leader of Recreate 68, dressed up as a wizard who led the levitation ritual. Dressing up as a wizard is always a good way to make a political point.
Since the event was permitted, the police and feds were fully prepared for any eventuality — several layers of defensive lines ensured no actual money was going to be “liberated” from anywhere.
This anarchist did some very, very important surveillance of the oppressors.
More “Freedom March”
I filed a “preliminary” mini-report about Monday’s “Freedom March,” but I never got around to making the full report, so the handful of extra pictures here will have to make do. The march was to protest the incarceration of political prisoners. In other countries, that means anyone who has been imprisoned solely due to his or her political beliefs; but in America, “political prisoner” simply means any criminal who embraces communism or some variant of Marxism while in jail, and then, as a reward, left-wing lawyers will devote their careers to getting the criminal out of prison. And if they fail — hey, every revolution needs martyrs, right?
Mumia abu Jamal is the prototypical example. Leonard Peltier is also a perennial favorite at these shindigs. Note the kaffiyeh — appropriate attire for all occasions!
“By any means necessary” is their credo. The whole point behind getting all those violent criminals out of jail is so they can eventually lead the overthrow of the U.S. government by force. Or at least so goes the theory (that the public isn’t supposed to know about).
Homo Sex Is Still Sin.
Holy cow, here come the “Homo Sex Is Sin” guys again. This time they’ve stationed themselves in the 16th Street Mall in the heart of downtown Denver.
Dozens of officers were required to separate them from the delegates and the tourists, causing a massive traffic jam.
Even the mounted police were summoned. It was quite a show for those who had missed much of the action down at the Civic Center.
As expected, vituperative arguments broke out.
A girl in a kaffiyeh was aghast at the Christians’ statements.
Adding to the surrealism of the scene, a guy with one eye stood watch in the background.
Code Pink prowled the streets in their Hypocrisymobile, a GMC Acadia, which gets 16 mpg in the city. But, don’t you see, it’s not really hypocritical, because Code Pink’s environmental errands are more important than your meaningless errands.
There was an “immigration” themed march on Thursday morning, which I only caught the tail end of; but if this sign from the front of the march is any indication, it was more about the reconquista than about immigration. Translated into English, the sign reads, “Government! Oppressor! You are the invader,” with a map of pre-1846 all-inclusive Mexico.
Just stop all funding of everything, period. That’ll fix it.
A street artist offered up an interesting juxtaposition of themes; The Black Panthers, Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq, and Barack Obama. Oooo-kay…moving right along…
During the EMILY’s List Gala, The Sheraton posted a security guard in a hijab at the front door. Interesting.
Do not ask me to explain this sign, because I have no idea what it meant.
Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul — together at last!
The devil is in the details: every political group tries to impose their values on others; the key is, which values?
The reason Nancy Pelosi is so hated by many on the far left is that she failed to get George Bush impeached.
A parting message.