One aspect of the Republican convention that could prove not only entertaining, but potentially important, is the demonstrations planned by leftist groups. They are already underway, and some expect them to be massive and possibly violent before the convention is over.
As we’ve noted before, some Democrats clearly intend to re-create the havoc wreaked by protesters at the 1968 Democratic convention. Tactically, this strikes me as a very poor idea. The Dems imagine, I think, that protests (and perhaps violent clashes between protesters and policemen), televised worldwide, will hurt President Bush as the 1968 fiasco is said to have hurt Hubert Humphrey. This analogy strikes me as misguided. I think it’s true that the 1968 protests hurt Humphrey, but not because most Americans were sympathetic to the protesters. Most Americans were firmly on the side of the police, and the reason why the demonstrations that summer hurt Humphrey is that most people thought Richard Nixon would be tougher on such lawless and anarchic elements. Likewise today, I think televised protests will help President Bush, not hurt him, although the press certainly won’t spin it that way.
In any event, I’ll be bringing my camera, and perhaps also my video camera, to New York. If protests become an important story, I’ll observe them and pass on what I see.
A year or two ago, there was a rash (so to speak) of nude anti-war protests. We covered them pretty thoroughly, for obvious reasons. Lately such events seem to have died out. But reader Rick Vatsaas points out that there was a nude Act Up protest in New York on Thursday; the objects of the protest were AIDS and the national debt–am I the only one who finds that an odd combination? Indymedia has photos from the scene, but I can’t recommend them on aesthetic grounds.
The Indymedia comments are about what you’d expect, except for this unexpectedly germane quote, which I don’t remember from the movie:
“Naked, angry, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”
-Dean Wormer, Animal House
That’s advice the Dems should take to heart!
If you follow the “Fred Askew” link at the bottom of the page, and poke around on his site, there are some more, including this one, of signs apparently awaiting the next march:
This is probably more representative of what we’ll see next week.