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Bloomberg Offers Protesters Discounts To Go Shopping During RNC

While New York City is still refusing to allow protesters to rally in Central Park during the Republican National Convention, Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference today to essentially say protesters are welcome in the city too -- in city restaurants and on Broadway, just not in Central Park.

The city announced today that protesters -- like GOP delegates -- will be eligible to receive discounted dinners and theater tickets during the Republican National Convention.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg said of the protesters, "There is no reason we shouldn't welcome them in the same way we are welcoming the delegates and the press. The right to protest is a basic American right ... and New York City is a place where you can come and get your message out."

The city's discount plan goes like this: the city's tourism office will distribute buttons reading "Welcome Peaceful Political Activists" that feature a drawing of the Statue of Liberty. Protesters can then show the buttons at participating restaurants, stores and theaters for a discount.

August 17, 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

I saw this on the local news last night. My thinking is that this is a response to the DNC only bringing in 10% of the revenues that Boston predicted. Bloomberg worked out a plan to milk the protesters' dollars since it doesn't look like revenues from the convention will pan out as predicted.

Posted by: Kim | Aug 18, 2004 11:48:45 AM

i think Bloomberg is using this as a cover-up of the refusal to let groups protest in Central Prk It is down-low and dirty.

Posted by: donovan | Aug 18, 2004 12:51:30 PM

What a hollow gesture. My family of four is coming from afar. We've had our hotel reservations for months. We plan to spend undiscounted dollars on the streets of New York so that New Yorkers feel the economic boost of our presence, unlike the GOP TV audience holed-up in the MSG for days, eating trucked-in catering. Those parasites will spent scant money around the city.

Hey Bloomberg, we'll be honoring the "invisible bloc" code, so fat chance in getting us to wear a stupid button that identifies us to the goon squads. Also, Mr. Mayor, we resent being referred to as "anarchists". We are a family of concerned citizens. It's opart of our family value system to practice democracy and express our copncerns.

See you in the streets.

Posted by: tomas | Aug 18, 2004 3:13:05 PM

Is there any way we can obtain (buy) buttons?
This is the strongest statement we can make nationwide, not just New York City.

Posted by: Bill Peach | Aug 19, 2004 1:46:45 AM

Businesses who have officially offered the 10% discounts to "protestors" should be boycotted, imo, as our protest against NYC's decision to reject a venue to peacefully rally in Central Park! Protesters didn't ask for a peaceful place to eat with a discount to support businesses who back the Bush regime.

UFPJ should encourage everyone to bring their own lunch!

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