May 12, 2008

DNC Protestors Facing A Crackup As Recreate '68 Struggles To Retain Power; DNC Sponsors Bring Money To Politics

"The conflict was over R-68’s unfortunate name – a reference to the bloody 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago – and the rhetoric of the group’s leadership, interpreted by many as needlessly aggressive and reckless. Despite this blatant rift, Spagnuolo and the Cohens stuck with their assertion that their group would be playing host to “tens of thousands of protesters” this August"--Westword

Things aren't going well for Glenn Spagnuolo and his allies at Recreate '68--seems a rift in the movement has developed as power struggles plague the groups preparing for the Democratic National Convention:
So Tent State University is on the outs with their protest brethren at Re-create '68. What gives? Last Friday, when the ACLU held a press conference to declare it had filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Denver and the Secret Service, it seemed that all was well in the land of DNC protest. On hand at the confab were representatives of Re-create '68 – Glenn Spagnuolo and Mark and Barbara Cohen – as well as those of Tent State University, Code Pink and Escuela Tlatelolco and the American Indian Movement of Colorado. But more significant were the additional groups listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit: United for Peace and Justice, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, and the American Friends Service Committee.

This list was important because all three of the pacifist outfits had told Westword last October that they were NOT interested in working with R-68, which had pronounced itself the umbrella organizer for DNC protests as early as January 2007. Leaders of the Colorado Progressive Coalition, the Colorado Green Party and the national ANSWER Coalition expressed similar sentiments about R-68. The conflict was over R-68’s unfortunate name – a reference to the bloody 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago – and the rhetoric of the group’s leadership, interpreted by many as needlessly aggressive and reckless. Despite this blatant rift, Spagnuolo and the Cohens stuck with their assertion that their group would be playing host to “tens of thousands of protesters” this August.

So the fact that orgs like United for Peace and Justice – a national network of 1,400 groups – had signed on to the ACLU lawsuit suggested that R-68 and the peaceniks had resolved their differences. But appearances can be deceiving. In advance of the lawsuit filing, apparently critics of R-68, as well as some of their former supporters,had been quietly lobbying Spagnuolo and the Cohens for weeks to back off their leadership roles -- but the trio declined to transfer organizing authority.

Now it seems that the shit has hit the fan for R-68. Sources within the DNC protest movement say that assorted organizers are meeting today at an undisclosed location to discuss building a network outside of R-68. But things could get tricky when it comes time to divvy up the park event permits that Spagnuolo and company hold after winning them in a city-sponsored lottery. Will R-68 go quietly into the good night? Stay tuned.
So despite all the protestations of non-violence and the assertion of working together to achieve their radical left goals, they continue to face inequalities of power within their own movement.

Apparently the moonbats have their eyes on the prize--and it isn't fighting against imperialism, capitalism, or any other -ism. The prize is the coveted media spotlight, and the preeminence available to the group who asserts authority first. Spagnuolo and company have attempted to seize control for themselves, and it now appears that that tactic is beginning to backfire.

How exquisitely ironic. Radical socialists and anarchists facing internal turmoil because of power struggles.

Meanwhile, Drunkablog takes a look at modern convention financing and corporate sponsorships for the DNC:
Everything is for sale, and this summer's Democratic National Convention in Denver is no exception.

More than four dozen national corporations have signed up as sponsors of the convention - everyone from Allstate to Xerox. And almost all of them have the same thing in common: They either have business with the federal government or they lobby on pending issues.

And that prompts a myriad of questions.

Are the big companies simply being good corporate citizens? Or are they looking for access - maybe not to the presidential nominee, but to members of Congress and party officials who can help make sure their issues get heard?

The answer is simple, said former Denver City Councilwoman Susan Barnes-Gelt: "It's always about access."

"Here's the reality," Barnes- Gelt said, "and this comes from the experience of an old fundraiser: The first people you go to for money are people who have an interest in making sure you're in a decision-making position. And that's true whether you're the DNC, the president of the United States or the local city council person."
Seems that even Democrats aren't immune to having money in politics.

Shocker.

And conflict is arising between the city and the DNCC, over fundraising priorities:
The committee staging the Democratic National Convention is concerned that Denver's fundraising efforts have been hampered because local officials also are raising money for several cultural events that are expected to be part of the week-long event.

The host committee was about $5 million short of its March fundraising goal of $28 million, and is supposed to have about $40 million raised by June. Meanwhile, the city is planning and trying to raise additional money for several cultural events.

"Every host city can and should develop a plan to showcase its culture, diversity and attributes on the international stage that a political convention offers," the DNC Committee said in a prepared statement Friday. "Numerous host cities from conventions past have had tremendous success in this regard, and we think that's a good thing.

"But to ensure a successful convention for all parties, fulfilling the contractual obligations that brought this convention to Denver in the first place must remain the top priority.

"Given all the host committee and the city have to support during convention week, we would hope they would be very selective in limiting both the number and costs of any auxiliary events requiring their support."

The DNCC's concerns have raised some internal conflict.

"They should call me and talk to me about it," Mayor John Hickenlooper said. "I'm happy to sit down and explain to them that obviously we understand the importance of putting on a good convention.
Obviously! Can't have those Democratic delegates and the media thinking this is some sort of cow town . . .

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