Some reports on the Republican National Convention, NYC, 28 August - 2 September 2004
on the Hudson
By Starhawk, RNC Update 12, 7 September 2004
“Guantanamo on the Hudson” is what the activists and media dubbed Pier 57, the site where all of us who were arrested during the RNC protests were taken. The name is on the one hand an unfair comparison—we were interned there for days, not months and years, we were not hooded nor beaten nor deprived of all of our human rights. But perhaps you have to be locked up for a short time to appreciate how long that time can drag out, how endless twenty or thirty or forty hours can seem, and then appreciate what it must be like to be sequestered away for months and years, denied communication with the outside world, denied lawyers or any system of law through which you can demand your rights. A couple of days of baloney sandwiches, feeling how hungry you get and how wistfully you dream of real food cooked by someone who loves you, and you can appreciate the Palestinians on hunger strike for better conditions in Israeli jails, where they can be held for six months at a time on ‘administrative detention’ with no trial, and that six months can be renewed for as long as the authorities want. A day or two suffering the boredom and fear and frustration and waiting, the sensory denial and discomfort, the restriction of choices and freedom that jail represents, and you can appreciate the rage of those who are condemned to whole lifetimes intertwined with this system. Those statistics—that one out of three African American men under 35 are in jail or under the supervision of the criminal justice system, that if you are black you have a better chance of going to prison than to college—begin to become real, and the horror of it moves from being something you can appreciate with your mind to something you feel viscerally, with your body. Most people believe that there are two types of people in the world—criminals, others, who deserve to be in jail, and those who don’t, us. Once the door slams shut, those distinctions start to break down...
CODEPINK was ejected from RNC during Bush speech, on their third night in a row inside the convention. A father whose son was killed in Iraq and others also dragged out.
|As George W. Bush gave his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night, Jodie Evans of CODEPINK: Women for Peace revealed a pink slip underneath her dress which read, "Fire Bush! Women Say Bring the Troops Home Now!" She was dragged out of the RNC. Earlier in the evening, Jorge Medina, whose son was killed in the Iraq war, was ejected from the convention for wearing a t-shirt with his son's photo on it and the words, "Bush Lied, My Son Died." Two other anti-war activists were also dragged out of the convention. One of their banners read, "Bush Lied, People Died." Another read, "Strong but Wrong." This was the third night in a row that CODEPINK activists have brought anti-war messages inside the RNC during prime-time speeches.|
photo: indymedia: Photos of Marching Bands and More- Still We Rise 8/30
birth of a movement led by people who live the issues
"More than 52 New York City community-based organizations led by people of color and poor people marched on Madison Square Garden under the Still We Rise banner as the Republican National Convention began there today. “People came out of the shelters, out of the sweatshops, the soup kitchens, and into the streets, with a platform that speaks to all of us as New Yorkers,” says Louie Jones, a New York City AIDS Housing Network (NYCAHN) board member who has lived with HIV for 18 years and was formerly homeless.
Instead of each planning a rally around its own issue, NYCAHN, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE), Make the Road by Walking, Mothers on the Move, Housing Works and other groups started working last summer for a united action demanding housing, immigrants’ and welfare rights, healthcare and HIV services, and justice for those in the court and prison system. “Issues overlap in the communities most targeted by the Bush administration’s agenda,” says Julie Davids, director of the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization for Power (CHAMP). “This kind of coalition work allows people to bring their whole selves and their whole experience.”
read article at: http://nyc.indymedia.org/feature/display/108866/index.php
29 August 2004: half a million strong -- and more!
"In a march this big, you only ever see a small fragment of what is happening. If you were in San Francisco watching on CNN, you had a clearer overview than we did. We had no idea how many people were there, except that it was a lot, but when we had made our way up to about 23rd “St. I got a text message on our new high tech text messaging list serve saying that the head of the march had already reached Union Square and most people still hadn’t left the assembly point. And I felt such a rush of joy. We’d done it! We’d overcome all the propaganda and the campaign of intimidation and the fear mongering, and people really had come out in the streets, unafraid, and it was beautiful! Masses and masses of people, some in T shirts or with banners of organizations, some with dreadlocks and wild tattoos, but most just ordinary looking New Yorkers of every color and age and kind, in such numbers that the march just crawled along for hours..."
Read Starhawk's report: