FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

A29 Could be a Very Slow Day

 

On Wednesday evening, exiting the EasyPass lane and preparing to enter the Lincoln Tunnel in Hoboken, I had to brake suddenly to avoid running over a wayward traffic cone. The guy behind me in the Volvo SUV, who was tailgating and not paying attention, slammed into me, sending my right signal assembly to taillight heaven. It wouldn’t have been so bad-no one was hurt and the other driver acknowledged his fault and gave me his insurance info and phone number, offering to pay for the damage-but then two cops from the Port Authority then came over and said they wanted to write up an accident report.

45 minutes later, the SUV driver and I were both still waiting for what, ultimately, was a short form with all the complexity of a parking citation.

If it took two cops this long to handle such a simple matter as an uncontested fender bender, how are New York Police going to handle the thousands of arrests that can be expected on August 29 should Mayor Michael Bloomberg persists in his Ahab-like obsession with forcing protesters to accept a rally site down near Chambers Street on the West Side Highway instead of the natural and appropriate site on the Great Lawn in Central Park.

Tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people who plan to march August 29 are expressing their anger at the mayor’s intransigence, with many saying they plan to ignore him and make their way to the park, permit or no permit, police or no police.

To make things more interesting, New York’s heroes in blue, the guys everyone loved after 9/11-along with the city’s fire fighters–are taking advantage of the looming crisis to demand a big fat raise from the city, threatening a strike during the rally and the Republican convention if they don’t get what they want.
That raises several possibilities. You could have angry police simply not interfering as protesters pushed through their lines and headed to the park. You could have police decide to have a slowdown, making the booking process in arrests even more slow and painful for arrestees and for the city. Or you could have a Blue Flu, with cops simply not showing up on the job on the appointed day, or during the convention, which might force Gov. George Pataki to call up the National Guard.

My guess is Bloomberg, a Republican mayor obviously acting on behalf of President Bush and his Republican campaign handlers who, no doubt, are hoping to have a lot of rampaging protesters down right near the site of the World Trade Center attacks to point to during their convention), will ultimately cave in, or be forced to give in by the courts, and the estimated 250-500,000 anticipated anti-Bush demonstrators will be able to peacefully make their way up Broadway and Seventh Avenue to the Park.

If he doesn’t, and persists in his loony stance, my experience at the Lincoln Tunnel suggests that the city’s police stations and the courts will be clogged for weeks as New York’s finest and the city’s lumbering legal system try to book, arraign and untangle the arrests of thousands of people who only wanted to peaceably exercise their constitutional right to protest an unelected usurper and the war he tricked the nation into.

If you’re a demonstrator planning to attend the Aug. 29 festivities, my advice is: bring a toothbrush.

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
September 16, 2019
Sam Husseini
Biden Taking Iraq Lies to the Max
Paul Street
Joe Biden’s Answer to Slavery’s Legacy: Phonographs for the Poor
Paul Atwood
Why Mattis is No Hero
Jonathan Cook
Brexit Reveals Jeremy Corbyn to be the True Moderate
Jeff Mackler
Trump, Trade and China
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima’s Radioactive Water Crisis
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Democrats and the Climate Crisis
Michael Doliner
Hot Stuff on the Afghan Peace Deal Snafu
Nyla Ali Khan
Spectacles of the Demolition of the Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh and the Revocation of the Autonomous Status of Kashmir
Stansfield Smith
Celebrating 50 Years of Venceremos Brigade solidarity with the Cuban Revolution
Tim Butterworth
Socialism Made America Great
Nick Licata
Profiles in Courage: the Tories Have It, the Republicans Don’t
Abel Prieto
Cubanness and Cuban Identity: the Importance of Fernando Ortiz
Robert Koehler
Altruists of the World Unite!
Mel Gurtov
Farewell, John Bolton
Weekend Edition
September 13, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
The Age of Constitutional Coups
Rob Urie
Bernie Sanders and the Realignment of the American Left
Anthony DiMaggio
Teaching the “War on Terror”: Lessons for Contemporary Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: They Are the Walrus
T.J. Coles
Jeremy Corbyn: Electoral “Chicken” or Political Mastermind?
Joseph Natoli
The Vox Populi
Sasan Fayazmanesh
The Pirates of Gibraltar
John Feffer
Hong Kong and the Future of China
David Rosen
The Likely End to Roe v. Wade?
Ishmael Reed
When You Mess With Creation Myths, the Knives Come Out
Michael Hudson
Break Up the Democratic Party?
Paul Tritschler
What If This is as Good as It Gets?
Jonah Raskin
Uncensored Tony Serra: Consummate Criminal Defense Lawyer
Ryan Gunderson
Here’s to the Last Philosophes, the Frankfurt School
Michael T. Klare
The Pompeo Doctrine: How to Seize the Arctic’s Resources, Now Accessible Due to Climate Change (Just Don’t Mention Those Words!)
Luke O'Neil
I Would Want To Drink Their Blood: God Will Punish Them
Louis Proyect
The Intellectual Development of Karl Marx
Tom Clifford
How China Sees the World
Kelsey Hawkins-Johnson – Negin Owliaei
Who’s Burning the Amazon?
Yasin Khan
Rideshare Drivers are Employees, Not Contractors
Ralph Nader
Big Business Lies Taught a Watchful Donald Trump
Binoy Kampmark
The Sacking of John Bolton
Andrea Maki
Wild Love Preserve Founder: Our Path Forward
Jeremy Kuzmarov
The War in Eastern Ukraine May be Coming to an End But Do Any Americans Care?
Tim Davis – Stan Grier
Protect the Sacred Grizzly Bear, Follow Those Who Know Grandmother Earth
Clark T. Scott
Super-Delegated and Relegated
Jim Britell
Lessons From America’s Greatest Grassroots Campaigns 
Howie Hawkins
Workers Need More Rights and Economic Democracy
Ramzy Baroud
‘Justice is Indivisible’: Screams of Israa Ghrayeb Should Be Our Wake-up Call
Jill Richardson
It’s Not About Your Straws and Your Light Bulbs
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail