For Protesting the GOP Convention:
As New York City girds its loins for the protests at the Republican Convention (Motto: "Look, we found some black people to show you"), with thousands of cops, Secret Service and others readying for violence, the reasons to protest multiply, even as many on the left are saying that protesting plays right into the hands of the Republicans, who claim they will attempt to portray any civil disobedience as connected to the Democratic Party. In fact, these reasons have little to do with what will be protested. To wit:
Protest because they don't want us to protest. The FBI is questioning potential protesters under the wonderful, warm blanket excuse of seeking information on "plots" to disrupt the convention, which, you know, and c'mon, means "protests." As John Ashcroft prepares to shove the Patriot Act up the assholes of every leftist he can, with the preacher-like promise of protecting the public from "terror," we can be assured that "terror" has now become equated with "dissent," just like, so long ago, anyone who protested the Vietnam War was a "pinko" and a "Commie." Add to this reports that the NYPD "is sending young, scruffy-looking officers to infiltrate protest groups" at the convention. Add to this New York City's discriminatory efforts to prevent any kind of demonstration on the Great Lawn in Central Park because the fucking grass might get bent. Everything is being done by those in power to try to squelch protest. Don't let the fuckers win.
Protest because it'll piss off the right-wing media, who are already condemning the protests. Last night, on Fox "News", Bill O'Reilly had New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler on to talk about Nadler's opposition to the FBI's interviews of "radicals." O'Reilly was dismissive of the protests, with video playing that showed violent WTO demonstrations and riots, and O'Reilly said that the protesters are "guys wanting to hurt people," adding a caveat of "potential" violence. Also on Fox, Michelle "I Could Not Look More Like a Cartoon Gook If I Tried" Malkin said, "We know that a lot of these anti-war groups and anti-Bush groups are tied to guerrilla movements, guerrilla tactics."
Protest because it'll show the country how much hatred George Bush has engendered. Here's Bill "I Couldn't Look More Like Elmer Fudd If I Tried" Schneider on CNN: "The conventional wisdom is that if Americans see disruptions at the convention, they'll get furious at the protesters and that may lead them to vote for President Bush. I don't think so, because I remember the 1968 convention with Hubert Humphrey and the Democrats, where there were disruptions. The voters certainly condemned the protesters, but at the same time they looked at Hubert Humphrey and the Democrats and said if we reelect the Democrats, we're asking for four more years of trouble. I think that disruptions and protests at the Republican convention could lead to the same conclusion. It would reinforce President Bush's image as a divider and Americans would begin to ask wouldn't it be very risky to reelect him for four years?"
Protest to show 'em all that all the fear and intimidation and hate has not worked. Goddamn, how the Bush administration has tried to scare us into staying in our houses, shutting up, and watching Fox "News" like good little demi-citizens. Goddamn, how they've waved the threat of terrorism in our faces, like fundamentalist preachers wave the threat of hell and damnation. Goddamn, how they've tried to suppress our voices, our bodies, our libidoes, our hearts. Fuck 'em. Show 'em that you are a goddamn member of a goddamn democracy and somehow, you are going to be heard.
And as for those who would commit violence, here's what the plan oughta be: have people assigned to gather others to surround and stop anyone who might bring out the bricks and bats. Get dozens of other demonstrators to disarm them, calm them, bring them into the rest of the crowd. Or eject 'em.
The Rude Pundit has been invited to no less than three different protests in NYC. Let's open it up: someone convince the Rude Pundit why he should avoid them.