31 August 2008

Convention Protests (or, how not to repeat Chicago 1968)

Before the DNC convention, there was a news story on CNN about the makeshift jail that Denver set up, just in case the protests planned in Denver got out of hand. The CNN story alluded towards asking if the jails were perhaps putting the cart before the horse, but the cops in Denver said that they'd rather overplan and not need the jail than underplan and find themselves with a lack of space to put protesters.

The DNC convention came and went, and as far as I've heard, there was no violence in the protests. There were plenty of protests (I loved watching the FOX 'News' reporter get lost in a sea of protesters shouting 'Fuck Fox News!'), but no news of violence.

In sharp contrast, let's take a look at security for the RNC, which, apparently, involves sending people undercover into protest groups in order to foil their plan. This page suggests that the infiltration is actually carried out by the federal government. There's a story of a protest group that had their bus siezed, leaving them stranded on the side of the road.

So, are we looking at how two different security forces deal with the same problem (Denver v. St. Paul)? Or, are protesters at a Republican event that much more dangerous than protesters at a Democratic event? Or, are high-ranking Republicans in the federal government authorizing these entirely inappropriate (illegal?) misdeeds in order to make the RNC go off without a hitch?

-in other political news-

There's a photo of Sarah Palin going around on the internet from back when she was in college. In it, she's sitting on her dorm bed, wearing a t-shirt that expresses pride at not being flat-chested. The photo is being used to discredit her, and I think that it's entirely unfair. First of all, the photo was taken when she was in college. College! Really, any photo from college that doesn't involve some sort of inappropriate nudity, drugs, booze, or language could be considered decent enough for a family portrait. And second, just a few years before Sarah Palin was in college wearing a cheeky tshirt, Barack Obama was in college shoving coke up his nose. So, really, let's keep some perspective. There are plenty of reasons that Sarah Palin is a bad choice, and we've got plenty of time to dig deep into them and destroy the McCain campaign. Let's not waste our time on cheap and easy attacks like this.

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