June 18, 2008

Democratic National Convention Countdown, No. 68, 67

Democratic National Convention Daily Digest and Open Thread
Wednesday June 18 and Thursday June 19, 2008--No. 68, 67


Abortion opponents announce their DNC protest plans:
Abortion opponents plan eight days of prayers, demonstrations and rallies surrounding the Democratic National Convention - and Wednesday they challenged Denver officials to respect their First Amendment rights.

In all, the groups expect as many as 1,000 out-of-town protesters to hit Denver for the convention scheduled Aug. 25-28 at the Pepsi Center, and they've already gotten permission to use Denver parks for gatherings.

They also plan to hit the 16th Street Mall, "encircle" the Pepsi Center, and maintain a presence outside the hotel of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, said the Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, a Washington-based group.

His organization and Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust announced plans for their demonstrations during the convention.

Mahoney said he hoped an afternoon meeting with Denver City Attorney David Fine would pave the way for an amicable co-existence between abortion opponents and law officers.
The group plans its encircling prayer vigil two days before the convention opens, and has no plans to enter the designated protest area:
Mahoney said that his group had filed lawsuits in New York in 2000 and in Boston in 2004 to win the right to demonstrate, and he indicated that it could pursue that strategy again if it fears that its First Amendment rights are being threatened.

"To the city of Denver - demonstrators are not terrorists," he said. "Don't treat us like that."

Among the events announced Wednesday was a prayer at the Pepsi Center on Aug. 23, two days before the convention starts, in which Mahoney envisions demonstrators circling the building and laying hundreds of roses in protest of abortion.

He also said his group would not be present in the demonstration area set aside in a parking lot adjacent to the Pepsi Center.

"I would never go to a protest pen," he said. "It is absolutely despicable. As far as I'm concerned, the First Amendment applies everywhere that I can see."
•Video--DNC parade route controversy, the Rocky interviews Glenn Spagnuolo, discusses the route and its effects on Denver traffic, businesses.


•Recreate '68 splinter group "Alliance For Real Democracy" promises non-violence, won't discuss split with erstwhile allies:
Members of the Alliance for Real Democracy wouldn't talk Tuesday about Re-Create 68 or the split.

But they released bylaws that say the group "will not use or return violence - verbal or physical - toward any person or other creature," and will not damage property, bring weapons to protests or use illegal drugs or alcohol during events.
•Spagz and co. urge everyone (along with band Freedom Kage) to "Come Up to Denver"--yet another protest group planning a little DNC action:

Enviromoonbats are planning a "Green Frontier Fest" the Sunday before the convention that will include human-powered carnival rides and the groove-a-licious "Consciousness Carnival."

All previous Daily Digests can be found here.

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