Sunday, July 25, 2004

more on boston protest zone

The city of Boston, and more specifically a Boston cop named Bobby Dunford is responsible for the security plans, including the free speech zone.

From the Boston Globe:
"{Former Boston police commissioner Paul) Evans said that while Dunford's plan is tactically sound, he believes there will be trouble. He said he believes civil libertarians will sue over what they see as Draconian security measures that crush free speech.

"'Nobody's better prepared, but anybody who thinks this will go off without a blemish is kidding themselves,' Evans said."
Personally, I think trouble won't be limited to lawsuits. Bush/Cheney has got to be dreaming about protesters getting injured or killed as a result of this site. I will not be surprised one bit if Dems turned around sometime next week and discover that somehow Bush/Cheney has reclaimed the high ground (in the eyes of the public) on free speech. Argh.

The Dems at the convention need to be planning something to highlight this issue. If they didn't have a role in setting up the zone, then they need to register their disgust with it, at the very least by acknowledging it and making sure protesters have the opportunity to be heard.

I'd really like to see some kind of Dem reverse protest--maybe a group of delegates going to the "free speech zone" to hold some kind of solidarity event. It would be great if Kerry and/or Edwards come out to view the crowd (not to preach, but to listen). It would resonate, I think, if Kerry did something do demonstrate that he's not afraid of being confronted with dissenting voices.

It really feels like this could be a gigantic black hole, but it has the potential to become a gigantic opportunity for Kerry--if he has the guts to do it. The media love conflict. There is no way they wouldn't cover, and cover huge, any Kerry/Edward interaction with protesters.

Also, to some extent this would be throwing down a gauntlet to Bush--a way of driving a message rather than simply reacting. It would be really interesting to see how the Bush/Cheney Rove machine would counter that kind of move next month. You can guarantee that Bush wouldn't do the same thing--he's ideologically opposed to connecting with people who disagree with him (see NAACP). My guess is that whatever they would do would come off lame and completely staged--like having a small hand-picked group of people to "air" their concerns, which would be something like "stop being so perfect, you perfect man". So please, Kerry--do it!!!