Some snapshots of the shindig in Denver. Roberto Lovato@ Of América–
Today’s pre-Convention events here in Denver included a heavy dose of what has, since before 9-11, become a staple of coneventioneering: cops, paramilitaries and other displays of state power. I took the picture above while dining at Sam’s Diner downtown because it offers us a view into the cultural side of domestic militarism, how normal it is to sit within feet of several heavily-armed people in uniform.
I was especially taken at how the officer in the center of the picture looks like a little girl jumping out of her seat as the smiling waitress shows her a plate full of deserts. She might’ve jumped higher were it not for the weight of her thick revolver, her batons, her mace and other weapons she and others from among the thousands of police, secret service, FBI and other security agents attending the Convention wore. And though they weren’t wearing any of the ubiquitous red, white and blue plastic badges plastering chests all over this place, those wearing silver badges and paramilitary get-ups got VIP treatment as when those of us standing in line at Sam’s watched them cut in front of us on their way to eating cake.
Immigration: Too Hot for DNC?– Outside of the Pepsi Convention Center are hundreds of immigrant rights groups planning a major mobilization this Thursday – the day of Obama’s acceptance speech. They will protest what they believe is the unwillingness of Democrats and their Washington-based immigrant rights allies to seriously support what the press release of the March 25th Coalition calls “human legalization and a moratorium on raids and deportations.”
And ABC moaning about other corporations, so they must be different, hmmm-
abc news– Not even the emotionally charged speech by Sen. Ted Kennedy kept corporate lobbyists from carrying out their multi-million dollar campaign to wine and dine and influence Democratic lawmakers at a series of lavish parties last night in Denver. Nor did the speech by Sen. Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle. Dozens of private corporate parties continued through the convention hours, ABC News found. At one large party thrown by large financial institutions, including CitiGroup, Merrill Lynch and UBS, television monitors showed the speeches, but the audio was drowned out by a live jazz band.
Glenn Greenwald– Being in Denver has meant that I’ve been in the proximity of the herds of establishment media figures for the first time, to actually hear what they say and how they conduct themselves off camera, and it’s all exactly the same. The only topics they’re capable of thinking about are the same ones they chatter about on the TV — is Obama Making a Mistake by speaking in the stadium because the heartland Americans (who they know and understand so well) will think he’s too big for his britches? What Must Hillary Do? How will Michelle Play in the Bowling Alleys? To say it’s bereft of substance is to understate the case dramatically.
Ethan Persoff Boing Boing– My excuse for not having a photo is because just as I hit the shutter I swallowed in a gulp of pepper spray that misted through the air forcing me to recoil and lose the shot. But I’ll happily go in a court of law to say I saw a guy with no weapons run at a bunch of police, immediately get shot with rubber bullets, and then receive what looked very much like a pistol whipping. The sound of clattering metal billyclubs on the pavement, indicating missed shots, is something I don’t think I’ll ever forget either.
But there is an importance to this-
Nezua– Perhaps it is just the mood of the city’s residents anyway, or maybe it’s the day. But looking around at the people of color on the bus as well as those proudly sporting Obama buttons or hawking Obama t-shirts, I experience a sudden feeling of… hope. And happiness. And it has nothing to do with the Democratic Presidential Candidate’s placards or slogans. They are laughing with each other and the mood here is noticeably charged with joy. It’s probably my imagination, but I imagine It has to do with knowing that finally, people of color in this society can see themselves represented as something other than in positions of serving, savagery, or stupidity. Those of us who are not “white” — be it black, Asian, Latino, Native American and so on — suddenly feel our own positions shift, as the cultural map shifts.