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Convention demonstration zone a dark, shadowy place
Bakersfield Californian ^ | 7/24/04 | Mark Jewell - AP

Posted on 07/24/2004 4:36:36 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

BOSTON (AP) - As thousands of delegates, journalists and dignitaries stream into the FleetCenter, protesters for the next few days will be enclosed in a shadowy, closed-off piece of urban streetscape just over a block away. The maze of overhead netting, chain link fencing and razor wire couldn't be further in comfort from the high-tech confines of the arena stage where John Kerry is to accept the Democratic nomination for president during the four-day convention that kicks off Monday.

Abandoned, elevated rail lines and green girders loom over most of the official demonstration zone that slopes down to a subway station closed for the duration. To avoid hitting girders, tall protesters will have to duck at one end of the 28,000-square-foot zone. Train tracks obscure the line of sight to much of the FleetCenter. Concrete blocks were set around streets in the area, a transportation hub on the north side of downtown.

Protesters likened the site Saturday to a concentration camp as they complained it is too far from the FleetCenter to get their messages across, even though the site is next to a parking lot where many delegates will pass on foot en route to the arena.

Authorities say - and a judge agreed - the discomforts are needed for security in the post-Sept. 11 era.

On a rainy morning made darker by overhead girders, protest leaders held a news conference at the demonstration zone Saturday to object to the site. Some called it a violation of their free-speech rights. As they spoke, pools of rainwater collected on pavement.

"We don't deserve to be put in a detention center, a concentration camp," said Medea Benjamin of San Francisco. "It's tragic that here in Boston, the birthplace of democracy, our First Amendment rights are being trampled on."

Two fellow protesters from the anti-war group Code Pink, who dressed in pink Statue of Liberty garb, taped their mouths shut. Some activists said while they understand the need for security, organizers went overboard.

"We are on high, high red alert for the protection of our civil liberties," said Claryce Evans, national coordinator for United Peace and Justice. American Civil Liberties Union and National Lawyers Guild attorneys asked a federal judge to open up or move the zone.

U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock this past week called the conditions "an affront to free expression" and a "festering boil." He refused to order changes, but is letting protesters march past the site Sunday. A coalition of protesters appealed to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Authorities said they were lowering the maximum number of protesters to 1,000, from a previous 4,000, because of concerns of overcrowding.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: boston; convention; dark; democrats; demonstration; marxlenin; peacejustice; place; shadowy; zone

1 posted on 07/24/2004 4:36:39 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

U.S. Secret Service agent guards the podium for the Democratic National Convention at the FleetCenter in Boston, July 24, 2004. Security is being gradually increased before the July 26 start of the convention, where Democratic candidate John Kerry (news - web sites) is set to formally accept his party's nomination. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)


2 posted on 07/24/2004 4:39:56 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi Mac ... Godspeed x40 ... Support Our Troops!!! ......Become a FR Monthly Donor ...)
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To: NormsRevenge

If I could be there, I would NOT stay in the concentration camp - I would be nicely and calmly walking down the street IN FRONT of the dimocrat politburo selections.

I would NOT be a peaceful victim if someone dared lay a hand on me.


3 posted on 07/24/2004 4:41:36 PM PDT by steplock ( www.spadata.com)
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To: NormsRevenge

Poor Guy....


4 posted on 07/24/2004 4:41:42 PM PDT by cmsgop ( Bong Hits, Fraggle Rock Reruns and DU is no way to go through Life.............)
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To: NormsRevenge

This is America! Give 'em all guns and front row seats!!


5 posted on 07/24/2004 4:45:16 PM PDT by Normal4me
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To: NormsRevenge
"Convention demonstration zone a dark, shadowy place" regardless of it's GPS coordinates.
6 posted on 07/24/2004 4:47:50 PM PDT by gorush (Exterminate the Moops!)
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To: NormsRevenge

Anyone wanna get a pool going on how long it takes the protesters to knock the fence down (rounded to the nearest hour)?

I'll take 5 hours.


7 posted on 07/24/2004 4:52:23 PM PDT by locochupacabra
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To: gorush

I really don't like that these measures had to be taken, but so many of these people have brought it on themselves. They have caused so much destruction in other places in the past. Couple that with the very real terrorism alerts, and this seems a good precaution to make.


8 posted on 07/24/2004 4:57:48 PM PDT by basil (I'm sick of politicking politicians!)
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To: NormsRevenge

They DNC can own Boston. We'll own cyberspace.


9 posted on 07/24/2004 4:59:51 PM PDT by Tax Government
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To: NormsRevenge

10 posted on 07/24/2004 5:00:37 PM PDT by glock rocks (will you tell me a story?)
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To: NormsRevenge

Well at least these security measures were laid down at the DNC convention first.

If the Republican convention had been first and something like this would have been erected to house protestors, can you imagine how the press would be screaming.


11 posted on 07/24/2004 5:01:24 PM PDT by dawn53
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To: NormsRevenge
Two fellow protesters from the anti-war group Code Pink, who dressed in pink Statue of Liberty garb, taped their mouths shut.
Good move! Need more tape? Let me know. I'll donate a roll. Or 10.
12 posted on 07/24/2004 5:08:27 PM PDT by samtheman (www.georgewbush.com)
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To: dawn53

Where is the ACLU? :-] lol


13 posted on 07/24/2004 5:09:48 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi Mac ... Godspeed x40 ... Support Our Troops!!! ......Become a FR Monthly Donor ...)
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To: dawn53

The Republican convention will likely have a similar "camp" for protesters, and it'll be viewed predictably bad by the press. Of course, said press will conveniently forget how the protesters were caged during the Dems convention...


14 posted on 07/24/2004 5:15:59 PM PDT by The Libertarian Dude (Why, if we can just pass a few more laws, we can ALL be criminals! - J.R. "Bob" Dobbs)
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To: The Libertarian Dude

Some liberal judge I think ruled that there can be no pens and that protesters can be free to wreak havoc on the city during the RNC in NY actually.


15 posted on 07/24/2004 5:20:39 PM PDT by sc2_ct (This is the way the world ends... not with a bang but a whimper)
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To: NormsRevenge

This is something that I dont understand. Are the people protesting the DNC convention left of the DNC or right of the DNC. Usually, when there is violence or riots it is always the far leftists and Anarchists. But why would those people bother to protest the DNC?

Also, I predict that the RNC will catch hell from the media for their security. Meanwhile, the DNC security is just to keep out terrorists.


16 posted on 07/24/2004 5:25:32 PM PDT by Mike1973
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To: Mike1973
The protesters are obviously to the left from the DNC. Judging by their pink garb, they're revolted by the fact that the convention is preparing to endorse a filthy rich pimp as their nominee for the leader... I mean, to lead them from the Socialist Commonwealth of Massachusetts to the Peoples Republic of the US.

Kerry would obtain their approval only if he divorced his billionaire widow and married a Communist transsexual defrocked priest... in Massachusetts it's legal, didn't you know?

17 posted on 07/24/2004 5:47:01 PM PDT by Neophyte (Nazists, Communists, Islamists... what the heck is the difference?)
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To: Neophyte
Er, something else. Given that the political and sexual orientation of the "protesters" is as described above, couldn't the Boston premises for them be made permanent, under the name Gitmo-2?
18 posted on 07/24/2004 5:50:44 PM PDT by Neophyte (Nazists, Communists, Islamists... what the heck is the difference?)
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To: NormsRevenge

Protestor Clothing for DNC Convention.



This is how they should look inside The Cage.

19 posted on 07/24/2004 5:53:14 PM PDT by gitmo (Thanks, Mel. I needed that.)
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To: NormsRevenge; locochupacabra

This same crowd of wackos was unhappy about the "free speach" zone set up for the 2000 rat convention in L.A. as well.

They rioted, and tried to assault the Staples Center but were out-manouvered by LAPD. The bad guys ended up being pushed up Olympic Blvd. all the way under the 110 freeway and right out of downtown.

(LAPD rocks!)


20 posted on 07/24/2004 5:54:14 PM PDT by BenLurkin ("A republic, if we can revive it")
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: samtheman
Two fellow protesters from the anti-war group Code Pink, who dressed in pink Statue of Liberty garb, taped their mouths shut.

They're going to have heat strokes. What a shame.

22 posted on 07/24/2004 6:14:09 PM PDT by holyscroller
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To: dawn53

***Well at least these security measures were laid down at the DNC convention first.

If the Republican convention had been first and something like this would have been erected to house protestors, can you imagine how the press would be screaming.***

YEP! The liberals sure know how to pick the sites and the times, don't they? IDIOTS!


23 posted on 07/24/2004 6:22:01 PM PDT by kitkat ("The democrats would rather win the WH than the war." - Tom DeLay))
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To: NormsRevenge

I wonder if the leftist rat demonstrators will get this treatment in New York? Not.


24 posted on 07/24/2004 11:21:12 PM PDT by Indie (Ignorance of the truth is no excuse for stupidity.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Don't fence us in: Activists shun `protest pen'
By Dave Wedge
Sunday, July 25, 2004

The city has permitted more than 100 rallies and protests during the Democratic National Convention, but just 10 are slated for the so-called ``free speech zones.''

Rallies by groups ranging from Vietnam Veterans Against Kerry to the Billionaires for Bush to the Bl(A)ck Tea Society have secured permits for various locations around the city, including Copley Square, Boston Common, Holocaust Memorial Park and City Hall. The Boston police union also has been permitted for pickets.

The revelation that most of the major protesting will not take place in the ``protest pen'' comes after a federal judge ruled that the demonstration zone was legal.

The fenced-in area, which is adjacent to the FleetCenter and shrouded in netting and barbed wire, initially was built to hold 4,000 people, but the judge reduced the capacity to 1,000. Protesters have vowed not to use it and are posting messages online to stay out of the ``protest pens''

``The caging of protesters at the DNC is outrageous,'' said Bill Dobbs of United for Peace and Justice.

Activists have posted a scathing report by a Gloucester security expert who claims the protest pen is a deathtrap - and security overall at the DNC is ``absolutely appalling'' in its weaknesses.

Security consultant Jim Atkinson says he's documented lapses ranging from unlocked gates around the FleetCenter to unprotected ventilation systems in the media pavilion.

Perhaps most troubling is his claim that more than 400 manhole covers in the area are unsecured and appear not to have been swept for explosives.

But Boston police spokesman David Estrada said security is tight. ``It's something we've been preparing for since the day we got word that the DNC was coming to Boston,'' he said. ``We're working with several federal and state agencies to be prepared for the worst.''
http://news.bostonherald.com/dncConvention/view.bg?articleid=37086


25 posted on 07/26/2004 5:38:46 AM PDT by anglian
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To: NormsRevenge
Let's print a bunch of these out, then go to Boston and hand them out to the protesters and the delegates:


26 posted on 07/26/2004 5:46:01 AM PDT by Ichneumon ("...she might as well have been a space alien." - Bill Clinton, on Hillary, "My Life", p. 182)
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