Last updated Sunday August 31, 11:18 p.m. MST
Previous DNC coverage: DAY FIVE:FRIDAY - DAY FOUR:THURSDAY - DAY THREE:WEDNESDAY - DAY TWO:TUESDAY - 1500 Tijuana Bibles on the way to DNC and DAY ONE:MONDAY
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Final comments, August 31 2008
There was a great amount to write about this past week. Here are a few items that didn't make the cut each day but we think are still stories and moments worth sharing.
First up, we're happy to mention that due to a few loaned DNC floor credentials, we managed a healthy distribution of McCain Tijuana Bibles directly onto the convention floor itself, and to many delegates and public officials. Our thanks to C-Span, BoingBoing and uncivilsociety.org for coverage of the item. We are currently aware of two bootleg variants. If you're in Minneapolis this week, feel free to use any of the art for any flyer, poster, street stencil, etc. We'll post a two-page PDF for easy xeroxing soon.
See our DNC giveaway - Read the original item
Second, in terms of promises made, we had mentioned we'd be posting a few photos from Monday night's hostile altercation. Those are now posted, along with a brief video shot of police imitating cows to move newspeople from covering the confrontation.
Click to view photos
I should say, however, as severe as Monday was (our photos don't do appropriate justice to the mood and noise in the air, to tell the truth...) - anyway, as severe as Monday was, it seems to be nothing compared to the police actions in Minneapolis going on right now to attack any planned demonstrations during the RNC. What cowardly wimps those Republicans are. It looks like the end of the week might be a set of dueling police states, and despite Denver's offenses it might be the winner of what sort of cop-control you want, giving a black joke edge to the Democrats over Republicans in terms of where our country should head.
A couple links on the threat tacticts:
THEUPTAKE.ORG (constant RNC news aggregator)
Police raid RNC protest sites in Twin Cities - and from the RNC Welcoming Committee's site, we pass along:
The convergence Space is open as of 2 PM today. The police ransacked the building Friday night, bursting in with guns drawn, throwing people to the ground, and breaking down doors inside the space. They took with them computers, boxes of protest literature, maps, cell phones, digital cameras, a video camera, the landlord’s pvc piping, and poster making supplies. The evidence receipts given contain no mention of feces or human waste, and the landlord can attest to the lack of sleeping mats on the premises. The Ramsey County Sheriff’s office then closed the building for a “fire code” violation. Fire code violations are also being used to close the houses of activists, with officials saying that if the doors on homes that they knocked down aren’t fixed by tonight they will board up the homes. (full post)
And now, for a little fun, here's some edited pieces that didn't make it into daily coverage:
Sunday: The Yippie Truck
One of the funnier parts of life is sometimes how much sense it can make, even during the silliest moments. When the first march of the week began (see report) I initially pulled back from the crowd to get a sense of how many people were participating. At the very back of the march was an orange pick-up truck. "You a protester get in" said an older grizzled overweight guy in the passenger seat. It was delivered without a question mark, but I recognized him immediately. The driver seemed somewhat younger with a nice sun-bathed face and pony tail, but himself probably 45 or 50. I remember not saying anything and just walking on - but they would be the first group of people I'd meet that week, and a few hours later the recognition caught up to me. The next day, Monday, there was the same group again, now gathered on the perimeter of the large crowd that would later be attacked by the cops at dusk. The grizzly guy was now walking around in a silver cape, aided by a cane. "Aron" I said, "Yeh" - no explanations. That's how you run into the Yippie Pie Thrower. Aron was part of the second wave of Yippies, or Zippies as they called themselves, and despite some attacks made on Rubin and Hoffman in the early 70s the Zippies had managed to maintain the spirit of the group, all changing their names officially back to Yippie after the 1972 presidential conventions. Aron Kay is known in countercultural circles for a series of pie pranks involving politicians and other targets. I'd see him regularly throughout the week, and though significantly affected by age, much of his personality seemed to remain intact and I liked speaking with him. The source of my appreciation for Kay stems from this photo from the 70s of him handing a joint to New York Mayor Ed Koch:
Pieman was very entertaining, particularly in his guileless orders on anyone younger than him, the younger the more compliant, and in his overt flirting with women a quarter his age. Despite the sense of harassment, I couldn't help but get a kick out of it; especially as he's become quite a beastly sort. But a typical exchange:
"You (to a teenage hippie girl w/ braces) let me see your buttons. (examines) Nice. Hey go get me a plate of food."
(they always returned with a plate of food!)
"What's your name?" (they would provide name) "Where you from?" (again, an answer)
"Me, I'm from New York City. Do you know who I am? I'm the Yippie Pie Thrower"
And that was usually the end of the conversations as I'd see it, but Aron impressed or amazed me in his many assistants. He grabbed my phone for ten conversations. "I was wondering when you were going to call Guam" "not yet" his response. Now bound to a motorized walker or cane he yelled at everyone for everything. Rudely, but not without charm. He completely kept up, too. During Wednesday's long five-mile march, it was right at the end of the line, approaching Pepsi, that I once again heard his voice,
"SOMEONE GIVE ME A PUSH! ... SCOOTER COMING THROUGH! .... I'M THE YIPPIE PIE THROWER!"
And of course, the following day, he led the front of the pack for the pot rally to Inesco.
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