11 July 2008

Unconventional Denver

Something to keep an eye on, maybe:

"We don't want history to remember the Democratic National Convention in Denver as something that went smoothly," said Tim Simons with the self-described anarchist group, Unconventional Denver.

I say "maybe" because the word anarchist always sounds so scary, but the truth of the matter may be much more, er, conventional. The group is in Denver this weekend to hold a "secret action camp to learn about medical training and legal rights and to practice nonviolent tactics," according to the Denver Post.

Sounds pretty warm and rootsy, actually. Which may not be far off the mark.

"The streets will be a wild and creative place," said Simons, a 25-year-old graphic artist who grew up in Boulder and lives in San Francisco. "We don't want to see a dark, evil atmosphere descending on Denver . . . . We want a festive atmosphere that celebrates grassroots movements."

From his mouth to Sonny Jackson's ears. The Denver police spokesperson says "We respect everyone's First Amendment rights . . . . We hope that the citizens will come in and conduct themselves in a law-abiding and responsible manner."

The newspaper further reported that local and federal law enforcement for the convention will be subsidized in part by a $50 million federal grant. Protest groups, I suspect, will not be so well funded, but could wreak havoc none the less by blocking intersections and staging protests outside of convention venues and popular Denver businesses. Should be an exciting time through and through.