Posts Tagged ‘DNC’

Attempting to lighten things up…

In the midst of the politiking and all…there was one ray of hope.  One finaly chance for the world to be saved.

And it is in The Denver Area Ghostbusters that we find this long lost hope.  They were at the DNC…and well, just watch and appreciate my fellow nerds at work.  WOOT!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu7E-35p3js[/youtube]

Oh and this guy has a nearly fully functional Ecto-1.  Srlsy.  See the awesomeness:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW3JufvNowU[/youtube]

Yet another DNC post

So, my thoughts so far -

1. Despite the supposed huge presence of anarchists, what I have mostly seen is that capitalism is alive and thriving in downtown Denver. Although I did get a good chuckle out of one sign I saw that said, “Two cheeks of the same arse” and then had a picture of Obama on one side and a picture of McCain on the other side. Of course, after chuckling, I just had to shake my head. So what exactly do they think they are going to accomplish? Pretty much nothing. This is our system, folks. Work with it.

2. Most people seem interested in just seeing what is going on. I’ve seen some demonstrators and minor clashes with the police, including a group of police on horseback trying to keep a crowd back from what must have been an arrested protestor. I didn’t want to get too close, but the crowd was chanting, “Let him go, let him go” and the police were yelling for people to stand back. Eventually, the guy was taken off and not much else happened. But again, as I’ve walked around downtown, it mostly seems to be a lot of people just wanting to see what is all happening.

3. And then of course, there seem to be a lot of people just hoping to catch sight of a celebrity. I’ve heard one woman on her cell phone talking about Anne Hathaway – she obviously had met her. And I walked by Earl’s on Tuesday around lunch and a crowd was hovering outside, so I asked one of the 16th Street Mall guides and apparently Susan Sarandon had been spotted on the mall and Spike Lee was in Earl’s. By political standards, neither is very noteworthy. By normal standards of people who like to be star struck, pretty much par for the course.

I may be speaking too soon, but so far, it seems rather exciting for our city of Denver, but relatively tame in comparison to much more turbulent times.

I will have to admit that I did check out the MSNBC tower and while there I caught a glimpse of Jimmy Carter as he was being interviewed on the second floor of this tower, and then I caught a glimpse of him as he came down the stairs afterwards. Since you can’t really see much of anything on the second floor of this tower, it is obviously not built for the benefit of the public. It does give a nice view for the camera of Union Station and maybe?? some extra measure of security for the people being interviewed???? Not really sure…..

And since I plan to head back downtown tomorrow for a short time, it should be interesting to see what happens next. This time I’ll take my camera along, which probably means I won’t see anything noteworthy since I’ll actually be prepared for it this time.

Getting Political, Part 2

Well, it had to happen eventually.  The Re-Create 68 crowd can’t trust the police anymore.  And the leader has this non-commital thing to say when asked what “no more truce” means in the big picture,

Pressed for specifics on what the “ending of the truce” would mean on the streets for the final days of the DNC, Spagnuolo shrugged.

“Whatever happens, happens,” Spagnuolo.

Oh good.  Because Denver really needs more of this.  Having read through Littlegreenfootballs coverage (this post has the specifics) with Zombie (he’s a undercover conservative brother) and seen pictures of the urine bags in question…I have no doubt the police have their reasons for bringing a little heat (rhetorical heat mind you) to this situation.  I can only hope these guys wise up and protest peacefully and meaningfully, versus violently and pointlessly.

If any of our fellow authors feel compelled to post about this whole hulaboo and take a counterpoint I’m interested to see what you think.  I’d hate to be the only voice inparting my opinion.  :)

Getting Political, part 1

*update*  8/27/2008 Read this and then see the comments section below for some interesting back and forth*

I think this blog is going to see more political posts in the coming week than it ever has and I’m intrigued to see how my fellow authors in the Mile High City feel about the visitors from around the world. I for one have reached a love and hate point tonight. After Bisset linked us to the Met I looked through the posts and found myself conflicted.

When I see someone wearing a bandanna over most of their face, dark clothes covering their body and shouting words like “FU*K the WAR!” and generally behaving like over sized toddlers in the middle of 16th street mall where kids and families are…I tend to have a feeling similar to bile in the back of my mouth. When people in this modern age think that The Man is out to get them, that the Police have nothing better to do then to push them down and that somehow Anarchy is a better way of life, it troubles me.

I’m all for freedom of speech. Lord knows it’s been a tenant of this country since we all got started way back when. But there are certain things that come into play. Assembling yourself in a manner that is against the law, blocking traffic and generally causing more pain for regular Joes’ and Janes’…that I have a problem with. Maybe I’m getting too old and cranky. Perhaps its the (R) blood shining through.

Perhaps my point is that when I see pictures from The Met with “FU*K a PIG!” sprayed on a wall…I have to wonder. I have to wonder what the point of this aggressively explicit wordplay is exactly. Sure, getting your point out is one thing. Knowing your audience is another.

Perhaps that’s my point. Denver is not Seattle. Maybe Boulder could pass for the Northwest. Here in Denver we’re a little more…intellectual. Mind you as I walked the streets on Sunday I heard plenty of statements about the men and women in Blue that threatened to send me into a tizzy. But maybe, just maybe…adjusting the manner of broadcasting your message might be better suited? I can only imagine how tired people are going to get of this week long protesting and violent action.

I guess what I’m asking for is some discussion. Our comment section has kind of gotten some cobwebs lately. I know there’s plenty of people out there with a unique perspective. So, let’s see if we can have a civil conversation about all this.

Savvy?

Update: Here’s a sample of a protester from today, via BigBagNews (warning, their normal videos are VERY coarse)

[youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xti4va8-TM0[/youtube]

DNC Sunday Afternoonapoolaza

I am a stranger in a strange land, this is for certain.  Aaron DeLay (distantly related to famous Republican Tom DeLay aka The Hammer) stood in the midst of 16th street mall today…and managed to make it out with the (R) still next to his name.

Considering all the events in question, I was lucky!

All kidding aside, it’s a mad house that is controlled chaos downtown and I would suggest anyone and everyone take a run down to check it out.  Make sure you have someone with you (just in case the useless anarchists get a clue and start doing what they usually do) and enjoy the sights and sounds of Democracy in Denver.  Today I walked from one end of the mall to the other taking video and just observing.

That video is sitting in a pile on my laptop right now.  It’ll get there.

Things of note today.  I ran into Tom Brokaw.  Literally.  Outside Johnny Rockets and on the corner taking video of the cops and all…when suddenly I noticed someone down the street.  It couldn’t be.  Just him and his wife.  Nobody with him.

And it totally was.  He walked by us and did the voice we all know and love.  And continued on down.  9news reported today that most people didn’t even see him.  I think I saw him because I was looking.  And I couldn’t stop shaking after he had walked by.  Only Walter Cronkite would have completed the moment and I just might have had another stroke (jokes about my stroke are a-ok, in case you’re wondering) and go to heaven happy meeting two of my idols.

I observed guys that are probably famous in government that I don’t know about.  Secret Service and all kinds of law enforcement were out in well, force.  It was calm for the most part until some (I really don’t like anarchists…and I can’t apologize for the dislike because I really…just don’t think they have a cause to stand on) dumb arsed anarchists got the lame (and I do mean lame) idea to either occupy or hang out in a parking structure on Stout in between 15th and 16th.

They also were walking down a street that was wide open…and you just really can’t do that with Sunday afternoon DNC traffic.  I was up at Tremont and 16th when I heard on a nearby police radio, “Skirmish line at 15th and Stout…on the double” and the police moved pretty damned quickly.

At the time I had no idea what it was.  And in that moment I forgot all about my safety.  I wanted to be in the middle of that story digital camera, Twitter account and all.  When I got to 15th and Stout the police presence was…intense.  The video that I’ll upload will tell the tale but DPD (and the other jurisdictions in town) wasn’t playing any type of games.  Horses, bikes, cars, SUV’s and the SWAT squad (the guys with the big guns, big plastic masks and intense uniforms with all kinds of Batman-esque tools attached) were lined up creating one helluva terrifying image.

The message was clear.  Get the hell off this street that should be clear for traffic and light rail.  They had a truck with a speaker.  There were calls for them to move off the street and out of the parking garage.  At this point the police presence felt liked it outnumbered us.  And that was probably the intent.  Well, it worked.  And I was glad for it.

They closed off the street down at 16th and Stout and were playing it pretty tough.  I had passed officers pulling gas and mace onto their uniforms.  Now as I walked I realized what I was in the middle of and just where this could be headed.

People with DNC credentials were talking about why they should probably just go back to the hotel. I stood fast, videotaping and watching everyone was much as I could.

It took a little while but the anarchists blinked and played nice…for now.  They had behaved for most of the day, marching around on the mall and doing the smart thing.  Aside from the dark clothing and face masks (again, dumb and lacking serious courage…my bias is showing…dang) they had done the smart thing.

It even made 9news, if you can believe it.

The crowds dispersed a little more and the police moved on to simply watch the protesters and observe that they were indeed being lawful.  That is mostly what DPD did today.  Followed around the marchers of various groups and keeping tabs on what they were doing.

I will applaud DPD and various other agencies for doing a great job so far in keeping the area safe and well protected.  Also, men in uniform are all kinds of attention grabbers for girls, especially the ones tagging along with me today.  A note to the women in uniform today: I saw you.  I crushed on you.  I almost tried to talk to a few of you…even the four foot four cutie pie.  But I knew that since she was short and a women in blue everyone had probably messed with her…so I figured I’d stay safe and stay away.

Looking forward to everyone being smart about the convention this year…please, let’s keep it safe and free.  Leave your opinions and DNC experiences below.  If there’s some good stuff I’ll even move it to a main page post!  Woot!

the DNC and you (or how to avoid a riot)

Hey, all. Just thought I’d give a shout since it’s been a while since I posted here.

I’m going to be covering the DNC for The Metropolitan, and a lot of the protests surrounding it. I’ve got a feeling the DPD won’t be putting up with anything, if this CBS4 report is any indication. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail, but I’ve got a respirator rated for CS gas in case (can’t take photos with tear gas in my lungs, right?).

And Rage is coming to town! All things aside, that should be a good show. So what are you all doing to get ready for the traffic nightmare that will be the convention?

Protesting at the DNC

This is an excerpt of the information being distributed to employees all around the Downtown area about the DNC.

“There are five main web sites coordinating locations for several protest groups:

www.recreate68.org
www.unconventionalaction.org
www.crashtheconventions.com
www.dncdisruption08.org
www.tentstate.org

Some peripheral groups will include both Pro and Anti-abortion groups, Anti-war groups,
All Nations Alliance, Earth Liberation Front, the Animal Liberation Front and the
Anarchist Movement.”

While I’m hoping no one gets hurt or no property is destroyed, I love the idea that major protests will happen in our Mile High City. I was 3 years old and living in Chicago during the 1968 DNC. I can’t believe 40 years have passed and now I live near the city where a DNC will be held, and one group, Re-create 68, is drawing on the past to protest for the future.

I can’t help but wonder how large the turnout of protesters. The city is calling for a combined total of 30,000 protesters and other visitors. This number seems low. Again, is the City of Denver anticipating protester turnout based on more recent conventions of the past ten or so years? It seems to me that issues like the environment, gas prices, war, the economy, etc are more heated this time around. But I guess all we can do is wait and see.

————-

In case you missed this article, here’s a link to more info on protesting: Arapahoe County mulls protest rules.

More DNC Reassurance

I’m impressed!Lots of consternation related to the fact that no one notified the public about the training exercise. In a real life event, though, no one notifies the public beforehand. I’m thinking that testing the 911 and other lines was part of the drill.  A whole week of this is pretty amazing.(photo from rawfish.com) 

A Sneak Peek of the DNC & Reassurance

Yesterday there was an article in the Post on providing a sneak peek at the Pepsi Center right before the start of the Democratic National Convention. Great idea! I’d love to see the place all dressed up! If you’re interested, you’ll have to watch for tickets to go on sale. The article doesn’t mention price or dates.

Interesting, half way through the article it takes a twist, and once again reassures us that traffic and “quality of life” will not be an issue during the convention. No mention on parking issues in this article, but if you go to Q&A page on denver.org, the city assures us that “It is important to remember that 50,000 (expected attendees) is less than the number of people that come downtown for Rockies’ Opening Day or for a Broncos game. Denver has hosted games in all three downtown stadiums at the same time, involving close to 150,000 people.” If you go to the Q&A page and search on the word “park” you’ll also find other reassuring statements that residents, business owners and employees should expect little to no interference getting to and from downtown locations, despite the fact that the Pepsi Center will not be accessible for parking.

Do I find their reassuring statements comforting? Not really. We just happened to be downtown on a Rockie’s opening game day this year, but were there for a show at the Performing Arts Center. For those of you that drove downtown for the game, expecting to find affordable parking, you instead found $40+ parking prices around the stadium? So, those attending the game parked in the Performing Arts Center parking garage–can’t blame ‘em–and filled the garage to capacity. When we showed up an hour in advance for our show, traffic was jammed for blocks while cars were rerouted into the Convention Center’s parking garage, because their parking garage was full. What a MESS! Once in the Convention Center Parking garage we saw long lines of people trying to get into elevators while we continued to ascend floor after floor searching for parking. By the time we were able to park, we had ten minutes to get to the theater. Needless to say, we missed our show. We complained with the Performing Arts Center. They were apologetic, and referred us to the City of Denver, who runs the parking garage. The City of Denver’s response is that they don’t care who parks in the garage, they don’t care about the price gouging around the sports arenas, they have no intentions of addressing parking issues and our complaint was not appreciated. So again, do I find their reassuring statement comforting? Not really.

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