Saturday, August 14, 2004

RNC Convention Re-think

A month or so back, I flippantly opined that I wouldn't come within a country mile of NYC during the Republican Convention. From many different perspectives, the city is going to be a zoo from the time of "close of business" on Friday, 8/27 through to the end of the convention the following week.

I've had a wee change of heart. I'll be there on August 29th.

One of my favorite ASZ targets is the mainstream media, because the U.S. media tends to ignore or ridicule alternate voices that challenge the status quo. On the eve of the Republican Convention, though, it will be impossible for the media to look past hundreds of thousands of voices united in a common message as they walk past Madison Square Garden. So even though mine is a lone voice, when coupled with so many others, I'm hopeful that there's a peaceful synergy which finally transcends the media embargo of protests against the Bush administration and its policies.

Do you remember the scene in Fahrenheit 9/11 of Inauguration Coronation Day, 2001? How there were hundreds of thousands of protesters in Washington, D.C.? How the motorcade had to literally speed up the street to avoid calamity? Many, many people were incredulous at that scene in F9/11 - because television broadcasts of the event didn't show the protests.

This time, I hope it's going to be different, if for no other reason than the thousands of media outlets gathered in NYC will have little else of substance to discuss on the Sunday before the convention.

A few posts down, I commented that I've been very surprised at the number of geezers and geezer groups (my demographic) who are planning on being in NYC to protest. More than anything else, I think this is what tipped my decision. It might be a "last stand" for folks in my age group - we've done this before, but this time we need to get it right and make it last.

So that's my motivation. I'll be there on Sunday, August 29th, with a small contingent from my local area. If you plan to be in NYC at any time during the convention, please let your fellow ASZer's know by posting a little something in the comments section. If you need transportation or housing advice (getting to and staying in NYC is really cheap if you know how to do it), drop me an email.

Here's a couple of resources for anyone interested in alternate events taking place in NYC during the convention:

United for Peace and Justice (lead organization for 8/29 march)
Counter Convention - Republican National Convention Protest Tools and Resources
RNC Watch - be sure to download a souvenir copy of the "Indypendent"!
RNC Not Welcome In NYC
And, yeah, you bet I'm bringing my digital camera and should have some great images to share on ASZ afterwards!