August 30th, 2004

lung

Latest info on the march

So, the latest estimates are 400,000 - 500,000 protesters at the march (500k was the number given by UFP and seems to be confirmed by the CNN and NYTimes stories on it. There were approximately 200 arrests - 200 out of, at the very lowest estimate, 120,000, and realistically, more like 300k+. That's pretty damn good.

Those arrests were from a few isolated incidents, including the burning of one of the floats - by unidentified sources who were never captured. (The more paranoid out there are insisting they were undercover cops setting the fire and starting the fights, but I don't believe that. If it was going to be anyone, it'd be the Republicans and not the cops - the cops are New Yorkers too, I don't think they'd be that ridiculous. I don't even believe the Republicans would be, either, despite having heard multiple reports of them being planted in the crowd to stir things up. Although I did read one article where one of them actually admitted to trying to get the crowd pissed off and incite some ugly behavior to make them look bad.)

Mayor Bloomberg said "It has been peaceful". "United for Peace and Justice have behaved responsibly, as have most of the marchers."

Police Commish Ray Kelly said "Organizers for United for Peace and Justice should be commended for keeping their word. They pledged that their demonstrators would follow the march route and that's exactly what happened. It proceeded as expected and by and large was peaceful and orderly."

(Incidentally, I snapped a photo of him here: http://www.flickr.com/photo.gne?id=288062 He was right there, so he'd know.)

I love this quote from Fox News:
Some early convention arrivals looked across police lines, shouting at demonstrators: "Go home!"

If that's true, well, apparently these people don't realize something: this is our home, and you're the ones invading. You go home, schmucks.

Anyways, after the march, a few thousand people met in Central Park, with cops there (I went briefly) and that was also peaceful and civil, with the cops mostly standing around chatting while the protesters really were doing more partying and music-playing than protesting by the time I got there. It was a very relaxed, fun atmosphere, and people seemed happy with the day. I know I was - I had been really worried there'd be violence or other problems.

Overall, a very successful day, one I'm glad I took part in.
  • Current Mood: tired
lung

Live from the RNC...

...it's John McCain!

Ok, it's not really live, I'm TiVO'ing it. Shut up, you're just jealous.

"And the steady, experienced, public-spirited man who serves as our vice president, Dick Cheney."

*cough splutter cough* PUBLIC-SPIRITED?!

"...certainly not a disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves, and prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children inside their walls..."

Ok, well, I don't disagree with that, honestly. Now, F911 - while I do think it was well made - was a bit deceptive, and I've always found Moore a bit disingenuous. I never thought he was a good spokesperson for the Democratic party. Yes, F911 had a lot of valuable facts, but he turned it into more of a propaganda film at times than keeping it a "cleaner" film, more of a real documentary. It was enjoyable and often amusing and sometimes horrifying, but it would've been more effective, I think, if he had stuck more to the facts. Then again, look at what the other side does. Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, anyone? No matter how low our side sinks, they always manage to find a way to sink lower.

"As the president rightly reminds us, we are safer now than we were on September 11th, but we're not yet safe, we're not yet safe. We are still closer to the beginning than the end of this fight. We need a leader with the experience to make the tough decisions and the resolve to stick with them, a leader who will keep us moving forward, even if it's easier to rest, and this president will not rest until America is stronger and safer still and this hateful inequity is vanquished. He has been tested and has risen to the most important challenge of our time and I salute him. I salute his determination to make this world a better, safer, freer place. He has not wavered, he has not flinched from the hard choices, he will not yield and neither will we."

A couple of quick comments. Of course we're safer than on September 11th, we were under direct attack inside our borders on that day. We've never been less safe than on that day - not before, not since.

I agree that we're closer to the beginning than the end of this fight, and that's because there is no end, not as long as we keep fighting this way. You can't go to war against an idea, against emotions, against hatred, against ignorance. You can't kill that, but you can remove it, but it's not with bullets and bombs.

"For their families, for their friends, for America, for mankind, they sacrificed to affirm that right makes might, that good triumphs over evil, that freedom triumphs over tyranny, and that love is greater than hate."

But, seriously, isn't the Republican party about discipline, about anger, about hate, more than it's about love? The Republican party asks us to choose security over freedom, might over right, hate over love, fear over understanding. What a hypocrite. What's most amazing is that this man who built his political career on always being honorable and sticking to what he believes in despite political partisanship and yet he's defending and upholding and cheering the man who used the ugliest smear tactics possible against him, a man who appeals to the most base emotions - fear, prejudice, anger - rather than the most noble of them. This man, captured and held as a POW, what happened to his soul? How did he ever fall so far? He sacrificed so much for this country, and now, he's sacrificing his very soul. It really, genuinely makes me sad.