A Note To Readers...
RNCWatch encourages all readers to check the NYC Indymedia site for all of the latest news on the RNC. We may be posting occasional news bulletins during the week but we do not have the resources to keep the site updated on a regular basis due to job comittments . Please support Indymedia in any way you can. If you see news breaking on the street call it into the IMC. Visit the website. Post articles, photos and video. Become the media...
Hundreds of Thousands Expected to March in New York...
Resisting the Bush Agenda in the Streets...
Jed Brandt has written a must-read commentary on this week of protest examining police tactics, direct action protest and the importance of the resitance movement. The entire article is online here at the NYC Indymedia site. Here is an excerpt:
"After the unprovoked mass arrests at the Critical Mass bike ride on Friday, August 27, we can expect police to use a pattern of a) attempted containment, b) surge, c) demonstrative violence, and d) mass arrest. We can expect liberals to fear the popular outrage at the war, Bush's contempt for democratic rights and the NYPD's suppression of legitimate and non-violent protest.
We are winning. The city is coming out. Energy is on the trains and in the streets. It's unprecedented....
A popular resistance to the war and domestic repression will energize tens of millions alienated from any political action, and will let people under threat of American cruise missiles and F-16s know that we do not consent. We are not "good Germans" doing the leaders' business. We are a free people whether the government gives us permission or not. If we have to choose between the warmongers and the world: we choose the world. Our audience is small town America, the city we live in and the rest of the world. The conservatives are a tiny minority and the liberals defeated. We believe another world is possible and we're going to show it tomorrow. We will not allow police to suppress the will of the people. We are marching and the world will know. With their help, we can win."
Parolees Ordered To Stay Out Of Manhattan During RNC
From City Limits: "A Bronx parolee planning to protest the Republican convention got a rude shock this week when he was warned to avoid not only the march, but Manhattan entirely. The parolee’s trouble began Wednesday, at a scheduled meeting with his parole officer in the Bronx. When he asked about protesting, the officer pulled out a notice, typed on New York State Division of Parole letterhead, and ordered him to sign. The document advises parolees not to enter Manhattan from August 30 to September 3, unless they have a verified job there. Those employed in the borough are barred from the “Red Zone” of 26th to 35th Streets, 6th to 9th Avenues during the same dates. 'Failure to abide by the above Special Condition will result in a violation of your parole without exception,' it states. The New York Civil Liberties Union was quick to blast the Division of Parole. 'The arrival of the Republican National Convention should not be used as a pretext to strip parolees of their rights,' said executive director Donna Lieberman. More
Over 5,000 Bike in Critical Mass; 260+ Arrested
In the first major protest connected to the Republican National Convention, between 5,000 and 10,000 bikers took to the streets Friday in the largest Crtical Mass bike ride in city history. As bikers left the starting point at Union Square, police distributed flyers warning of arrests. After a relatively quiet first hour, police swarmed in making mass arrests in three areas: near Madison Square Garden, just south of 14th Street and on Second Avenue near St. Mark's Church. The Village Voice reports at least 264 arrests were made. For extensive coverage of the ride including photos and video visit NYC Indymedia.
Code Pink Launches "Welcome Peaceful New York Police" Campaign
From Code Pink: Peaceful police officers will receive smiles and positive responses from RNC protesters, as well as discounts at several New York City stores, if they pledge to remain peaceful during demonstrations that are planned during the Republican National Convention. CODEPINK: Women for Peace obtained the discounts and designed the “peaceful New York police buttons” in an effort similar to the “peaceful political activist” program that was launched by Mayor Bloomberg last week.
Banner Drop Activists Face 25 Years in Prison
Gotham Gazette reports: "Police officers arrested 21 people at protest related to the Republican National Convention yesterday, over three times the total number of people arrested during the Democratic convention last month. Arrests took place on Eighth Avenue near Madison Square Garden, where naked AIDS activists blocked traffic; in Union Square, where demonstrators didn't heed calls to stop using a bullhorn; and at the Plaza hotel, where four people rappelled from the roof to hang an enormous anti-George W. Bush banner. The four were charged with assault and face twenty-five years in prison after a police officer on the scene fell through a skylight, cutting himself badly enough to require 38 stitches."
New Special RNC Issue of Indypendent Out Now
Russell Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit Action Network Pulls Out Of Monday Protest
Russell Simmons has called off his anti-Rockefeller Drug Laws march on the opening day of the Republican National Convention. The Hip-Hop Summit Action Network was supposed to co-organize a massive march with the Still We Rise coalition.
The Still We Rise march is still on but Simmons' decision is not sitting well with anti-Rockefellar Drug Law activists.
Elaine Bartlett, Executive Director of Life on the Outside said, "The people who are incarcerated right now, and their children are devastated because the light at the end of the tunnel has been put out once again. They were counting on HSAN to come through and generate the energy and attention that celebrities have the power to create... Let's not forget that our communities buy your records and your clothing lines-even though we can't really afford it. We would really appreciate it if you supported us too, like you said you would."
NYPD To Wear Wireless Helmet Videocams During RNC
From Engadget: "In preparation for next week’s Republican National Convention the Federal Protective Service is outfitting 200 police officers with special helmet-mounted surveillance cameras that can wirelessly beam a video feed back back to a control room so that service commanders can see exactly what’s going on in the streets and more effectively issue orders..."