Driving the tank
Protest Warrior dickheads driven away
I spent the day in the Tank, where there is a small set up for the bloggers. It's a performance space on 42nd Street, close enough to the action to see it. Far enough away to avoid the police.
Since it was pushing 90, I decided to forgo the march and collect reports. The thing about marches and other events is that you either go and tell people what you've seen, or you get others to do that and try and make sense of it.
So far, the protests are on scale to minimize the impact of the RNC and any bounce. The mass outpouring of people must be stunning to Rove and company.
And as mg_65 reports, it was a cross section of New York, not just a freak show. She decscribes encoutering the Protest Warrior idiots.
I should tell you what happened with the Protest Warriors. We were standing on the sidewalk on 7th and 29th, watching the march. There was an increasingly violent scuffle in the crowd. There were so many people there that it was hard to see anything and there was no way for the people in the street to get out. Anyway, the cops waded in, and I went running over and stood on the barrier thingy. Some extremely young (fifteen or sixteen year old) bandanna-over-the-face types were trying to tear down these other people's signs, but I couldn't figure out why. Everyone in the crowd started shouting Peace, Peace, and saying to be calm. So I stood up there, telling these young kids to remain calm and not fall for any operative shit. Then I got a look at the offending signs and sure enough, they were these snarky Protest Warrior things, like the picture here of the Founding Fathers signing the Declaration of Independence, with the caption "Right Wing Extremists"--whatever! For their time, those guys were a lefty as ANYONE today... anyway, as the crowd chanted "Free Speech" and "Peace", the cops pulled the Protest Warriors out of the crowd and onto the sidewalk and gave them a talking to. Ha ha ha ha ha.
So I went over to ask them what their point is, what they're trying to accomplish, and they were all, you know, INJURED INNOCENCE, oh the mean lefties are so mean, and I asked why they wanted to disrupt our march and make us look bad and they said we already looked bad and why did we want to take away their freedom of speech blah blah blah. I told my husband to stay where he was because he's a scary badass when he wants to be and I didn't want any trouble. But I never did get an answer and for some reason I didn't get any close-ups of them either. They were from, like, Kentucky or somewhere. My bad--I fed the trolls.
Then the cops escorted them out of the crowd on the sidewalk and around the corner onto 29th.
Later, in front of Macy's, there were more but my husband pulled me away. All the lefties were, of course and as usual, very relaxed and good-natured about it and there wasn't any trouble. I guess everyone was keeping an eye on the young kids.
Another marcher described their signs as highly professional work, printed out and laminated. However, they were blocked from the march by the Legal Observers and then escorted on their way.
This is one of the largest, if not the largest protest New York has seen in decades. The protesters saved a rather shocking picture for the day, a line of coffins representing every dead American soldier.
I have 32 pictures from crb and mg_65 on the following page. You can take a look there.
If people have other pictures they'd like to share, and get credit for, please let me know.
Now, the odd thing about blogging is that you know people you haven't met. So today, I wound up having a nice chat with Kos, sitting two feet from Sam Seder of Air America, who gave me a pen, and watching Joe Trippi fiddle with his pen and get spam on his phone.
Unlike Boston, the bloggers here have so many things to choose from and a central place to hang, grab coffee, a coke or after a suitable hour, a beer, and then chase down events, of which there will be some every day.
Today was crazy, and fun and all I did was stay in the Tank and post. But there is a vibe here which is fun, like a combination carnival, party and giant upraised finger to Bush. While Cheney had a canned rally on Ellis Island, citizens filled the streets is a massive, orderly procession which made the city look better than it should have, after a week of dicking around.
And while the GOP may have wanted to play the disrespect angle, half a million people will provide nightmare pictures for Rove and company.
posted by Steve @ 12:54:00 AM