The Peace Demonstrators at the Democratic National Convention

The Denver police are prepared to arrest thousands of people at the convention, having converted warehouses to holding tanks. My question is why were arrests on such a massive scale anticipated or at least prepared for?

The Democratic Party overseeing the herding of demonstrators into warehouses? Surely they were not anticipating massive demonstration from people on the right. Placards saying “Save Gitmo,” “keep our troops in Iraq'” “Don’t Tax the Rich,” “no welfare for injured troops,” “support pharmaceutical companies,” “a pox on the middle class,” “Let
Them Eat Cake,” that sort of thing. Probably not likely.

The demonstrators are largely involved in peace demonstrations. To my knowledge there has been no hint of unruly behavior other than some groups being in the streets. There is something a little off putting about abruptly jailing these people as the self declared but now apparently hedging candidate for peace accepts the party’s nomination. Presumably many of those jailed are people who voted for the candidate inside the building secured largely through corporate sponsorship.

I wonder if they fear something like the 1968 Chicago demonstrations which resulted in a police riot and seek to avoid that by the early jailing of anyone protesting. Kind of an ironic solution.

I wonder if this signals that Obama and party leadership are aware of a significant cleft between the party and the peace movement.

I wonder whether the peace demonstrators will be able to see from the warehouses the speech that Obama will give on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. King of course led peaceful demonstrations against the Vietnam War. Pretty ironic that they want the streets cleared of anti-war demonstrators so they can commemorate a great anti-war demonstrator.


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