FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Shame of the DNC

 

The free speech cage at the site of the Boston Democratic Convention should be left standing permanently as a monument in this city that is awash in symbols of the founding of the nation. It should be left where it is to remind future generations–and maybe people in contemporary America-how far we have moved away from the ideals of the Bill of Rights because of the current campaign of fear, a campaign that has now been adopted whole-heartedly by the Democrats under the leadership of John Kerry.

There was absolutely no justification for the Democrats of the DNC and the Democratic mayor of Boston to adopt the shameful strategy of the Bush Presidency for dealing with protest–fencing it in behind razor wire.

The protests planned for the DNC, mostly by A.N.S.W.E.R., have been and were going to be peaceful.

The alleged threats of terror, emanating from the Bush Department of Homeland Security and the Bush Department of Justice were absurd–a warning that the media would be attacked! Warnings of attacks on public transit! Look out! It was all calculated to embarrass the Democrats and, incredibly, it worked.

The fact that the Democrats fell for this kind of paranoia-inducing hokum shows how far into madness the American public has descended.

But the price for such lack of principle and of such cowardice and idiocy is high. A new low has been set for a Democratic Convention violating the right of free speech when even a silent protest in the hall led to a demonstrator’s being dragged out in handcuffs.

Bostonians will be paying for the $50 million in extra costs the city had to pay to put an extra 5000 cops needlessly put on the street for the four-day convention, just as Boston business owners will have to eat their losses after a frightened public decided to just stay home for the duration.

But we will all pay for this next step down the road of repression of dissent.

With Bush, Cheney and the Republicans, we’ve come to expect the jackbooted response to protest, the shunting of demonstrators off into fenced in detention facilities out of sight of the media, the arrest of those who refuse to be so muzzled. If Kerry and the Democrats now adopt the same approach to dissent, the only response will have to be massive civil disobedience.

If Kerry wins the presidency this November, progressives had better gear up for a return to the Johnson era of heavy police response to protest. Kerry has made it clear that he intends to prosecute the war in Iraq for years to come, and if he does so, he can count on an antiwar movement to challenge him in the streets of Washington.

The Democratic Convention gave a preview of how we can expect a Kerry administration to respond to such a challenge-with cops and razor wire, teargas and arrest.

Now it’s on to New York, to watch how the RNC and a Republican mayor deal with dissent and protest.

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” to be published this fall by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
September 20, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Unipolar Governance of the Multipolar World
Rob Urie
Strike for the Environment, Strike for Social Justice, Strike!
Miguel Gutierrez
El Desmadre: The Colonial Roots of Anti-Mexican Violence
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Pompeo and Circumstance
Andrew Levine
Why Democrats Really Should Not All Get Along But Sometimes Must Anyway
Louis Proyect
A Rebellion for the Wild West
T.J. Coles
A Taste of Their Own Medicine: the Politicians Who Robbed Iranians and Libyans Fear the Same for Brexit Britain
H. Bruce Franklin
How We Launched Our Forever War in the Middle East
Lee Hall
Mayor Obedience Training, From the Pet Products Industry
Louis Yako
Working in America: Paychecks for Silence
Michael D. Yates
Radical Education
Jonathan Cook
Israelis Have Shown Netanyahu the Door. Can He Inflict More Damage Before He Exits?
Valerie Reynoso
The Rising Monopoly of Monsanto-Bayer
John Steppling
American Psychopathy
Ralph Nader
25 Ways the Canadian Health Care System is Better than Obamacare for the 2020 Elections
Ramzy Baroud
Apartheid Made Official: Deal of the Century is a Ploy and Annexation is the New Reality
Vincent Emanuele
Small Town Values
John Feffer
The Threat of Bolton Has Retreated, But Not the Threat of War
David Rosen
Evangelicals, Abstinence, Abortion and the Mainstreaming of Sex
Judy Rohrer
“Make ‘America’ White Again”: White Resentment Under the Obama & Trump Presidencies
John W. Whitehead
The Police State’s Language of Force
Kathleen Wallace
Noblesse the Sleaze
Farzana Versey
Why Should Kashmiris be Indian?
Nyla Ali Khan
Why Are Modi and His Cohort Paranoid About Diversity?
Shawn Fremstad
The Official U.S. Poverty Rate is Based on a Hopelessly Out-of-Date Metric
Mel Gurtov
No War for Saudi Oil!
Robert Koehler
‘I’m Afraid You Have Humans’
David Swanson
Every Peace Group and Activist Should Join Strike DC for the Earth’s Climate
Scott Owen
In Defense of Non-violent Actions in Revolutionary Times
Jesse Jackson
Can America Break Its Gun Addiction?
Priti Gulati Cox
Sidewalk Museum of Congress: Who Says Kansas is Flat?
Mohamad Shaaf
The Current Political Crisis: Its Roots in Concentrated Capital with the Resulting Concentrated Political Power
Max Moran
Revolving Door Project Probes Thiel’s White House Connection
Arshad Khan
Unhappy India
Nick Pemberton
Norman Fucking Rockwell! and 24 Other Favorite Albums
Nicky Reid
The Bigotry of ‘Hate Speech’ and Facebook Fascism
Paul Armentano
To Make Vaping Safer, Legalize Cannabis
Jill Richardson
Punching Through Bad Headlines
Jessicah Pierre
What the Felicity Huffman Scandal Says About America
Tracey Aikman
President Trump, I’m One of the Workers You Lied To
John Kendall Hawkins
Draining the Swamp, From the Beginning of Time
Julian Rose
Four Funerals and a Wedding: A Brief History of the War on Humanity
Victor Grossman
Film, Music and Elections in Germany
Elliot Sperber
Captains of Industry 
September 19, 2019
Richard Falk
Burning Amazonia, Denying Climate Change, Devastating Syria, Starving Yemen, and Ignoring Kashmir
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail