March 24, 2008

Professor: Groups Protesting 2008 Denver DNC "Peaceful, Creative"

A political science professor (University of Florida) has met the activists planning to disrupt Denver's DNC and says their agenda is, like, totally "non-violent":
Despite threatening words from one of the groups planning to protest during the 2008 Democratic National Convention, most of the anti-war protesters eyeing Denver this summer are peaceful and creative, an expert says. [Riiight--ed.]

Glenn Spagnuolo of Re-create 68 said Thursday that city officials were "creating a very dangerous situation" after the convention host committee was selected by lottery for a Civic Center park permit for the eve of the convention. He said his group would not "give up" the park for its demonstrations, which he hopes draw 50,000.

R-68 has been meeting with groups such as United for Peace and Justice, which organized 500,000 protesters for the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, and CodePink, a women's movement against the war that is another top-tier organizer.

"None of the mainstream organizations have any agenda like property damage," said Michael Heaney, a political science professor who has studied the anti-war movement since 2002 and who was in Washington, D.C., last week observing the many protests marking the fifth anniversary of the war.
No agenda for violence or property damage? Then why "Recreate '68"?
"What they are planning on doing is peaceful protests," Heaney said. "Basically their objective is to get media attention for their issues. They want to demonstrate to the Democratic Party that they have support for their positions."
Wow. You need a PhD to come to that conclusion? Thanks Captain Obvious.
R-68 organizers were furious Thursday when a party planner for the Denver committee hosting the convention won — in a random lottery — the right to a permit for Civic Center on Aug. 24, the Sunday before the convention starts. The convention runs Aug. 25-28.

The organizers want to start an anti-war march at the park and continue to the Pepsi Center, which is to serve as the convention hall.

Heaney met Spagnuolo and R-68 organizers Mark and Barbara Cohen in Atlanta this summer during a convention of progressives, and found them serious and well-organized. He said he thinks that, depending on the nominee and whether the convention will be brokered, Denver could expect between 10,000 and 50,000 anti-war activists.
Plus the assorted moonbats who have other agendas. Denver's DNC won't just be a target for the anti-war crowd.
Anti-war organizers say that if Sen. Barack Obama is the nominee, they expect much lower protester turnout at the Democratic convention. Heaney, who has surveyed the movement, says four of five anti-war activists support Obama.

CodePink's co-founder, Medea Benjamin, greatly doubts the 50,000 figure and says an Obama nomination could reduce interest to but a couple of thousand. Then again, Benjamin said: "We don't feel that either of the candidates will get us out of Iraq without strong pressure."

"(House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi will be the queen bee at the convention, and she has really disappointed us," Benjamin said.

Benjamin met with Spagnuolo in Denver several weeks ago and toured Civic Center and other sites. She said Denver's host committee shouldn't get the park and agreed with R-68's plan to occupy the grounds, but stressed CodePink would do so without violence.
Determining numbers this far out is pure speculation. The Democrats' own intraparty squabbles and the evolving campaign itself will only play one part in determining protestor levels. Given the activists' proclivity to inflate their own numbers, and the MSM's eagerness to play along, just a few thousand protestors could easily become "tens of thousands" in media reports.

And besides, it only takes a handful of crazy moonbats to stir up trouble.

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