The Republican National Convention, Days 1 & 2.
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Being that I work in Midtown Manhattan ( * ) and am quite opposed to the crook currently in the White House, I felt the need to join in on the protests going on around town.
( * ) Ok, I actually work in Gramercy Park, which is a bit south of Midtown, but basically, it’s a mile from Madison Square Garden. It’s also right by Union Square, which is a rallying point of the protesters, and the finishing point of the march on Sunday.
During that march, I was busy, so I missed it. And I was busy Monday evening, so for the first day, all I could do is wander around the park on my lunch hour. I snapped some pictures, which are on my gallery site (gallery down for time being). Lots of cops on bicycles, lots of tables selling T-shirts and buttons. Amongst the protesters, the Billionaires for Bush were the most interesting. Photos Here
Tuesday, I finally got into the swing of things. After work, I passed through the park again. Officially, it was a Pro-Choice rally, but there were protesters for all concerns there, including one woman I saw on Monday, now at a different table. Cool link for today Porn for Progress, a group which a created & is selling a porno to raise money for Kerry. But I was really just working my way to the subway station. I took the subway downtown to Ground Zero to join Rev Billy’s First Amendment Mob. The idea here is that a group of people wander around the World Trade Center PATH Train Station, reciting the First Amendment of the Constitution over & over (while pretending to talk on cell phones, so we fit in with the regular commuters) It started at 6:30, and I got downtown a few minutes later, but I walk around the World Trade Center site for a few minutes befoer entering the station. When I got there I immediately saw a couple people reading from crib notes, so I felt comfortable pulling out my copy and joining in. I had spent a bit of Monday night memorizing it, but you’d be amazed how difficult it is to say correctly from memory. (It’s “respecting “, not “regarding”, and “peaceably to assemble” not “to peaceably assemble”). There were probably 30 or 40 of us altogether, along several member of the media. About 6:50, we started get louder, and synchronizing, so by 7PM were shouting it.
That was followed by a song out on the street by the “choir” of Rev Billy’s “Church of Stop-Shopping”. Then the True Majority’s “Pants on Fire” car drove by. Since it didn’t have a red light, it could stop, so it drove around the block. On the second pass, the car stopped so the advance man could get something out of the trunk. Less than 15 seconds after the car stopped, several police descended on it to write up a citation for stopping in a “No standing” zone. And the plus side, for a cost of a ticket, they were able to set the trailer in a prominent spot for 10 minutes while the police wrote it up.
At this point, I probably just should have just gotten on the PATH train and gone home. But I wanted to see what was going on up around MSG, so I took the subway uptown to Penn Station — which is directly beneath MSG. I had no problem moving through the station, through there were a large number of cops there. Since none of the trains on my line are running to Penn Station this week, I just had to walk a block to the 33rd St PATH station. As I crossed the street in front of the Garden, I was smelled by a bomb-sniffing dog. I passed the test, but, as I was now moving away from the convention, wasn’t it a bit late
Now the funny part — The PATH station entrance was closed. Yes, I could move freely, directly below the convention, but a quarter mile away it was a restricted area. OK, I hike down to 23rd St. There the Hoboken train slams it’s doors in my face – Next one was about ten minutes later (It’s about 8:30 now). No problem, the next train to my home from Hoboken was at 8:58, so I had time. At Hoboken, I bought a September monthly train ticket and a soda and then discovered I was looking at the wrong line on the train schedule and miss the train. OK, I catch the 9:32. Day 2 photos here