Convention Protests: Past and Future

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bob Hennelly, WNYC senior reporter, discusses the protesters who will be making their voice heard at the conventions in Denver and Minneapolis. Performance artist Lizzie West is organizing a peace revival and benefit event at the RNC.


Bob Hennelly and Lizzie West

Comments [13]

Jonny Goldstein from Hyattsville, MD (formerly Hell's Kitchen resident)


Brooklyn based artist and technologist James Powderly rots in a Chinese detention facility for trying to exercise political speech during the Olympics in China.

Aug. 21 2008 12:46 PM
hjs from 11211

good point
we should all be in handcuffs when we go outside.

Aug. 21 2008 12:34 PM
M. from Brooklyn

My friend and his friends were arrested and held overnight during the RNC protests. They'd been riding with Critical Mass when it became apparent a confrontation with police was inevitable. They got off their bikes and tried to leave. My friend asked a cop if they could go a certain way, and the cop responded they could. They walked in that direction, and some other cops promptly arrested them. The charges were later dismissed in court.

People assume if someone's arrested that that person must have done something "wrong." They don't realize that a cop can arrest someone for any perceived offense (e.g., obstructing justice). The charge may be dismissed in court, but not until after a person has spent time in jail and hours negotiating the legal system.

Aug. 21 2008 12:17 PM
Alex from brooklyn

"Concerned about the stockpiling of bricks"!?

Who comes up with this? Don't construction companies stockpile bricks? Don't most homeowners have piles and piles of bricks?

I know that not all piles of bricks are stockpiles, but how do these people figure out what is a legitimate v. illegitimate use? Talk about dual-use technology!

Oh, wait. It's not dual use. It's single use! Bricks are used to build things.

But if they think that bricks are too dangerous, how about the stockpiling frying pans? I've seen lots of frying pan violence. And if I had to defend myself -- or even attack someone else -- I'd much rather have a frying pan than a brick. Or a baseball bat. I think that they should look into the stockpiling of baseball bats.

What about scissors? The protesters could run with with them? Who knows how dangerous 150 protesters running with scissors might be?

What about rubber bands and paper clips? Together, they be used as a projectile weapon, especially if the police are not wearing SWAT gear.

I think that the Denver police should definitely look into stockpiling of paperclips. Any person or organization with more 100 paper clips ought to be investigated. Who really needs more than one box, anyway? I know that it usually takes me months -- months! -- to go through a single box. If people have more than one box, there's no telling what they might do with them.

Stockpiling of bricks? Get real.

Aug. 21 2008 12:03 PM
Aaron from Brooklyn

How does Denver treat detained citizens who are not protesters?

In NYC they are treated as bad or worse than the protesters at the Republican convention all the time.

Why should protesters be the only ones with civil rights?

Please do a show on that.

Aug. 21 2008 11:57 AM
Don from UWS

I was arrested and held for 9 hours during the March 2003 war protest on the east side. It was my first protest and my offense was standing on the front line of of the yellow police tape.

But my biggest surprise of the whole day was how professional I felt the police conducted themselves in the face of, what I felt, were extremely immature and irreverent protestors. I developed new respect for the NYC police force.

Aug. 21 2008 11:57 AM
Justice from Brooklyn

The host cities usually get INSURANCE indemnification from the political party's host committee -- anticipating injury, misbehavior and police payouts. It happened in NYC and Philly at least.

Aug. 21 2008 11:48 AM
hjs from 11211

how is 2 million anything but a slap on the wrist.

Aug. 21 2008 11:46 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

Bloomberg sees this as a cost of doing business - as long as conventions go forward and nobody bothers the monied interests he'll continue spending our tax dollars to investigate vegans and jail bicyclists.

Aug. 21 2008 11:46 AM
O from Forest Hills

I think if they admit they are wrong, it could make them liable for more money, that may be why they are not admitting guilt.

It's a legal protection.

Aug. 21 2008 11:43 AM
chris o from new york city

What are you talking about? Most of the world thought there were WMDs in August '04, one and a half years after the aggressive illegal attack on IRaq!?

Aug. 21 2008 11:43 AM
Robert from NYC

You know what Brian, they WERE denied their freedom of speech rights and THAT's what you should report, not that that's what "THEY" claim.

Aug. 21 2008 11:42 AM
JS from mars

Bob, is it true that Denver has cleared out a special jail without running water or bathrooms and very high temperatures for the arrestees at Denver?

Aug. 21 2008 11:28 AM

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