And you thought the puppets were a bold move.
August 23, 2004 3:59 PM   Subscribe

Urban Guerilla Warfare. The upcoming protests outside the Republican National Convention are becoming less notable for the expected numbers and more notable for the extremes each side will go to. The GOP has decided to blame everything happening outside on the Democratic Party. Liberal groups are feared to be infiltrating the convention's own volunteer staff. And some right-wingers, feeling "compassionate conservatism" means abandoning people in the middle of New York, have taken to pretending to offer housing to out-of-state protestors. Has anyone else started to dismiss the idea of a terrorist attack simply as "too obvious?"
posted by XQUZYPHYR (65 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
At least people are being honest about their dishonesty...
posted by punishinglemur at 4:38 PM on August 23, 2004


Wow.

Should be fun, to watch on telivision. My sister is supposed to be moving to NYC on the 29th of august, actualy.
posted by delmoi at 4:45 PM on August 23, 2004


That whole thing about pretending to have space for people is extraordinarily shitty. freepers everywhere must be peeing their pants. And how telling is it that they can't even find volunteers that are on the level, even after tv commercials.

You left out people pretending to be protestors to ensure that violence and property destruction happens, thus ensuring that the photo-ops the Republicans want as a counterpoint actually happen.
posted by amberglow at 4:49 PM on August 23, 2004


You left out people pretending to be protestors to ensure that violence and property destruction happens, thus ensuring that the photo-ops the Republicans want as a counterpoint actually happen

how much do you think that pays?
posted by bob sarabia at 5:00 PM on August 23, 2004


That whole thing about pretending to have space for people is extraordinarily shitty. freepers everywhere must be peeing their pants.

Shitty, but pretty much on par with Ted Rall's comments about dirty tricks from the other side.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:13 PM on August 23, 2004


bob sarabia - enough. Do you doubt that this sort of thing is possible ? There's a long record of historical precedent stretching back at least as far as classical Greece - but likely far further. I believe that in recent US history this sort of corrupt political misbehavior fell under the purview of COINTELPRO :

( Wikipedia )"COINTELPRO is an acronym ('COunter INTELligence PROgram') for a program of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation aimed at attacking dissident political organizations within the United States. Although covert operations have been employed throughout FBI history, the formal COINTELPRO's of 1956-1971 were broadly targeted against organizations that were (at the time) considered politically radical, such as Martin Luther King Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

The origins of COINTELPRO were rooted in the Bureau's operations against hostile foreign intelligence services. Counterintelligence, of course, goes beyond investigation; it refers to actions taken to neutralize enemy agents. "Counterintelligence" was a misnomer for the FBI programs, since the targets were American political dissidents, not foreign spies."
[ : > ]
posted by troutfishing at 5:20 PM on August 23, 2004


These protesters are getting pretty soft. Not going unless they have a confirmed nice place to stay? I know New York in August is remarkably similar to hell, in climate at least, but I think they'll manage regardless.
posted by smackfu at 5:37 PM on August 23, 2004


smackfu: actually the weather has been very nice so far, unseasonably cool.

i was planning on avoidiing the convention like the plague but since I work from home and my gf keeps telling me to get out more, i might as well go have some fun.

but both sides are going to go at each other and it should be fun to watch. america is united in at least some since: They HATE! the other side.
posted by Stynxno at 5:41 PM on August 23, 2004


sense
posted by Stynxno at 5:42 PM on August 23, 2004


You never know...many people say that some of the violence in Seattle was caused by agents provocateur. The vast overwhelming majority of protestors coming are peaceful, so who's going to give the GOP the scenes they want for contrast?

Stynx: we have to go as a group : >
posted by amberglow at 5:45 PM on August 23, 2004


You left out people pretending to be protestors to ensure that violence and property destruction happens, thus ensuring that the photo-ops the Republicans want as a counterpoint actually happen.

Why bother when you already have these guys? They're giving it up for free.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:44 PM on August 23, 2004


Still hanging with the black helicopter crowd, amber... tsk tsk.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:45 PM on August 23, 2004


Krrrlson, you're so right--our government has never ever done anything like that--not in the 60s, not in the 90s...

How ignorant are you?
posted by amberglow at 6:47 PM on August 23, 2004


Protestors need to 1) wear suits and 2) actively try and stop people from destroying anything.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:51 PM on August 23, 2004


Police infiltrating protest groups
posted by amberglow at 6:53 PM on August 23, 2004


The undercover cop introduced herself to the activists from the Colorado Coalition Against the War in Iraq as Chris Hoffman, but her real name was Chris Hurley. Last March, she arrived at a nonviolence training session in Denver, along with another undercover officer, Brad Wanchisen, whom she introduced as her boyfriend. The session, held at the Escuela Tlatelolco, a Denver private school, was organized to prepare activists for a sit-in at the Buckley Air National Guard Base the next day, March 15. Hurley said she wanted to participate. She said she was willing to get arrested for the cause of peace. In fact, she did get arrested. She was just never charged. The activists she protested with wouldn't find out why for months.
Chris Hurley was just one of many cops all over the country who went undercover to spy on antiwar protesters last year. Nonviolent antiwar groups in Fresno, Calif., Grand Rapids, Mich., and Albuquerque, N.M., have all been infiltrated or surveilled by undercover police officers. Shortly after the Buckley protest, the Boulder group was infiltrated a second time, by another pair of police posing as an activist couple.
--from here
posted by amberglow at 6:55 PM on August 23, 2004


Now this is pretty clever. Hang a banner from a bunch of helium balloons and release it in Grand Central, so it floats up to the ceiling and just sits there until someone figures out how to get it down.
posted by smackfu at 7:01 PM on August 23, 2004


why should the terrorists attack us? ... give us enough time, we'll do it to ourselves
posted by pyramid termite at 7:05 PM on August 23, 2004


troutfishing: no, I was just looking for some extra cash :> actually, I imagine they're doing worse things than that. Although come to think of it, I can't think of anything more low than sabotaging your own convention.
posted by bob sarabia at 7:10 PM on August 23, 2004


ag, you do realize that:

A) You left out people pretending to be protestors to ensure that violence and property destruction happens, thus ensuring that the photo-ops the Republicans want as a counterpoint actually happen.

and

B) Chris Hurley was just one of many cops all over the country who went undercover to spy on antiwar protesters last year. Nonviolent antiwar groups in Fresno, Calif., Grand Rapids, Mich., and Albuquerque, N.M., have all been infiltrated or surveilled by undercover police officers.

...are different concepts, right? Infiltrating protest groups undercover, and being an agent provocateur and inciting violence or destroying property to make the group you're a "member" of look bad, is not even remotely the same thing at all.
posted by techgnollogic at 7:20 PM on August 23, 2004


The only possible excuse for going to New York as a protester is to have a bit of good, clean, violent fun. There's an adrenaline rush when you're charged by a line of policemen. If you're lucky, the mounted police on their fine horses will charge. This is awesome, I can tell you from first-hand experience. It's like being a 19th Century battle, or the Father Gapon scene in "Doctor Zhivago." You'll tell your grandchildren about it. The cops will love it as much as you do. The mounties will scatter you, but then you'll regroup on another street, and the line of cops with the big plexiglas shields will try to block you off, and you taunt them for a while, then charge, then a few of the biggest assholes in your group will get the crap knocked out of them will everybody else runs away, and you might get to hide in a vestibule with a beautiful girl who'll you'll marry and someday tell you kids the crazy way you met (be aware that NYC cops beat the crap out of people every day with complete impunity, and it means nothing to them to beat the crap out of you). It's going to be great.
posted by Faze at 7:26 PM on August 23, 2004


they're related, techgno. in many ways.
posted by amberglow at 7:27 PM on August 23, 2004


techgnollogic - Sure they are, but in practice history has shown that these different concepts tend to flow together quite neatly : the distinctions fall apart. The infiltrators (who might have legitimate reasons) are only human and so a polarized "us vs. them" illogic comes to dominate their perceptions (generally speaking).
posted by troutfishing at 7:34 PM on August 23, 2004


No, one is a criminal attempt to tarnish the image of an otherwise peaceful activist group, and the other is a sanctioned law-enforcement effort to prevent such criminal activity from occurring in the first place.

You're related to monkeys. Does that mean I need to keep a few bananas handy lest you start tossing steamy jungle loaves? I think not.
posted by techgnollogic at 7:36 PM on August 23, 2004


From here:
These peace-fakers included Rennie Davis, part of the notorious "Chicago Seven", whose father was a strategist and consultant to pro-war Richard Nixon in the White House. To misdirect dissent, Rennie, part of the Chicago Seven, created staged riots with the Chicago Police, in 1968, during the Democrat Presidential Convention. The upshot and purpose? To discredit Democrat Presidential candidates and assist Nixon taking over the Presidency and continuing the war.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:43 PM on August 23, 2004


(warning of annoying background music in the link I just posted.)
posted by Space Coyote at 7:46 PM on August 23, 2004


*tosses a steamy jungle loaf at techgno*
um...yes. yes you do.

They both are sanctioned law-enforcement efforts to tarnish and discredit otherwise peaceful activist groups and activities.

Read Space Coyote's link--this is not at all unprecendented or even unusual.
posted by amberglow at 7:46 PM on August 23, 2004


faze ... if that doesn't work, you can always get a job at an iraqi prison ... it worked for lynndie, it might work for you
posted by pyramid termite at 7:57 PM on August 23, 2004


Uh, first of all, arresting violent criminal vandal protesters is not "an effort to tarnish and discredit otherwise peaceful activist groups." It's fighting crime.

Second, I never said A) never happens... I pointed out how you made the agent provocateur accusation, and then start posting links to undercover infiltrations like that was some sort of supporting evidence, and it's not.
posted by techgnollogic at 8:01 PM on August 23, 2004


Well now there is some.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:03 PM on August 23, 2004


Are you being ironic? Chemtrail Central, seriously? I can't even navigate that page because the Floyd midi has infiltrated my computer and is trying to tarnish and discredit my brain, man.
posted by techgnollogic at 8:10 PM on August 23, 2004


Aug 68--Chicago Convention --FBI undercover agent advises "Chicago Seven" member Rennie Davis on how to bomb the convention center --US Army documents show that 1 in 6 demonstrators were govt agents--from a USCA political science class timeline

It is supporting evidence, techgno.
posted by amberglow at 8:16 PM on August 23, 2004


amberglow: metafilter meetup!
posted by Stynxno at 8:26 PM on August 23, 2004


You're trying to convince me to accept some class syllabus as supporting evidence that the Chicago riots were a government conspiracy, but you have to correct the material quote because the source manages to misspell Chicago. Are you for real? I'm beginning to wonder if you're not some crazy agent monkey provocateur sent by the North Vietnamese of the future to drive me insane.

Whatever, the 'Chicago' '68 riots took place on a sound stage in the Nevada desert anyway... Where's that Floyd midi?
posted by techgnollogic at 8:27 PM on August 23, 2004




You're saying the Chicago riots were a government conspiracy, not me, techgno. You really should stop putting words in my mouth--you do that all the time, and it's wrong.

I'm saying our government has infiltrated, and incited violence in order to discredit or hurt activist groups in our history, so to guess that it'll happen again is no shock or surprise. That's it. It's simple and easy to understand.
posted by amberglow at 8:46 PM on August 23, 2004


When is the last time Tom Hayden has made a smart decision?
posted by wendell at 8:49 PM on August 23, 2004


divorcing Jane?
posted by amberglow at 9:00 PM on August 23, 2004


Krrrlson, you're so right--our government has never ever done anything like that--not in the 60s, not in the 90s...

The point I was making, however, was that given the evidence presented by a bunch of potentially dangerous idiots on their own websites, the "secret government conspiracy" (tm) has absolutely no need to infiltrate the protesters, since a lot of them are actively planning to do stupid shit without any assistance from Bushitler and the crack anti-activist agents he inherited from the Satanixon era.

Also, you were referring to evidence of this in the 90s, what happened and where? (Honest question, cause I have no idea.)
posted by Krrrlson at 9:17 PM on August 23, 2004


...a lot of them are actively planning to do stupid shit without any assistance from Bushitler and the crack anti-activist agents he inherited from the Satanixon era.

A lot of them??? You're mistaken when it comes to violence. Up to a million people are expected, and by all accounts i've read less than a thousand are seen as a threat, or as people coming to do violence. Street protests, civil disobedience, street theater, marching, yelling, singing, etc, yes--violence, no.

I've heard from friends about the Seattle WTO protests in 99. (can't find a reputable link about them--maybe someone reading this was there or knows?)
posted by amberglow at 9:41 PM on August 23, 2004


A lot of them??? You're mistaken when it comes to violence. Up to a million people are expected, and by all accounts i've read less than a thousand are seen as a threat, or as people coming to do violence. Street protests, civil disobedience, street theater, marching, yelling, singing, etc, yes--violence, no.

A lot is not the same as most, jeeze. A thousand people is more than enough to cause violence, incite rioting among larger numbers, and distract the cops from more important tasks, such as potential terrorist threats. Protesting, on either side, is a right - sabotaging peaceful proceedings is a crime that needs to be deal with harshly.

Anyway, we can talk all we want but I think we should just wait and see what happens during the actual convention. I'll be perfectly happy if both our fears are unjustified.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:25 PM on August 23, 2004


One of the things that irks me most about this administration is how I'm starting to sound like a conspiracy theorist. From the web of connections between Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the Bush campaign, to the energy policy draft negotiations, there's not a lot I wouldn't put past this crowd, including the possible use of agents provocateurs.

In Florida during the 2000 election recount, I saw some "spontaneous" Republican protests. I also saw the "spontaneous" protesters filing off a bus a block or so away, being handed bagels, and proceeding to the county courthouse. I also saw the people wearing radio earpieces circulating through the Republican crowd, whipping them up whenever a party bigwig was about to emerge. And, I saw them congregate around TV crews: whenever the crews were interviewing Republican figures, they would stay silent and provide a backdrop of massed anti-Gore, pro-Bush signs. Whenever the crews were interviewing Democratic figures, they would push in much more closely, hurl torrents of abuse, and attempt to make so much noise that they would completely drown out the interview and make it useless for broadcast. (In many cases, they succeeded.)

I'm mighty interested in seeing what'll be going on during the RNC. My digital camera is charged and ready.
posted by Vidiot at 12:22 AM on August 24, 2004


There's an adrenaline rush when you're charged by a line of policemen

very true, I second that

, the mounted police on their fine horses will charge

no way they can't be that dumb. they must know that you only need to shank the horse and the cop is down for good. horses are higly unreliable animals.
sidecars are much more effective, as French/Italian/South Korean cops know very well

Still hanging with the black helicopter crowd, amber... tsk tsk.

yeah, black helicopters. like the Tuskegee Experiment, Operation Northwoods, etc

tool
posted by matteo at 2:34 AM on August 24, 2004


for our not-so-history-minded readers:

Tuskegee

Northwoods
posted by matteo at 2:37 AM on August 24, 2004


Whenever the crews were interviewing Democratic figures, they would push in much more closely, hurl torrents of abuse, and attempt to make so much noise that they would completely drown out the interview and make it useless for broadcast.

You mean sort of like the press cheer for Kerry but snicker for Bush? Ooh, and, uh, protesters making noise... so violent. The horror.


yeah, black helicopters. like the Tuskegee Experiment, Operation Northwoods, etc

This has what to do with protesters now? (P.S. Still no "supporting evidence" from anyone dating past the 70's.)

tool

*cries*
That's an effective rebuttal now, right matteo? Troll.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:48 AM on August 24, 2004


I'll be sitting in a lawn chair with a beer and some wings watching everyone slap the shit out of eachother. If a cop busts an ANSWER head, I'll give him a free donut.
posted by jonmc at 9:01 AM on August 24, 2004


they must know that you only need to shank the horse and the cop is down for good. horses are highly unreliable animals.

Not so, matteo, I've been in a sitdown protest that was charged by the cop cavalry and believe me, when they're bearing down on you, all you can think is "Shall I run now?" It would take an extremely cool head to formulate an offensive strategy with 30,000 tons of horse flesh thundering toward you.
posted by Faze at 9:52 AM on August 24, 2004


If a cop busts an ANSWER head, I'll give him a free donut.
What, are you already putting in for sergeant? No cops should be "busting" anyone, if it's in the violent sense. Even people you dislike and/or hate are allowed to protest, without being "busted." jeez.
posted by amberglow at 10:10 AM on August 24, 2004


Well, as much personal satisfaction as it would give me to see the members of ANSWER's skulls creased with a billy club, I am familiar with the first amendment.

Plus getting clubbed would only feed their martyr complexes, and twenty years from now, after they've been taken back into the familial embrace and are back working for Daddy's firm, it'll give them something to show when they brag insufferably about their "wild days."

I'm being satirical, but I'm starting to think that most people involved are halfways looking forward to violence breaking out. Thank goodness I'll probably be outta town when the shit hits the fan.
posted by jonmc at 10:28 AM on August 24, 2004


Protestors need to 1) wear suits black and 2) actively try and stop people from destroying anything destroy everything.

they must know that you only need to shank the horse and the cop is down for good. horses are highly unreliable animals.

i don't know about that. i've seen them start quickly riding in small circles, hooves a stomping. i don't know if you could effectively shank 'em very easily. and nobody wants to hurt a horse. that's why they use them. fuckers.

You mean sort of like the press cheer for Kerry but snicker for Bush?

yeah, but have you heard what Bush said? these are humans, after all, not robots. it was fucking hilarious. most of the people laughing were conference attendees, not reporters covering the speech. that's a big difference. if they're not writing the story, who cares if they laugh at really stupid comments:

Mark Trahant: "What do you think tribal sovereignty means in the 21st century, and how do we resolve conflicts between tribes and the federal and the state governments?"

President Bush: "Tribal sovereignty means that -- it's sovereign. You're a -- you've been given sovereignty, and you're viewed as a sovereign entity. And, therefore, the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities."


could you keep a straight face?
posted by mrgrimm at 12:07 PM on August 24, 2004


"I'm being satirical, but I'm starting to think that most people involved are halfways looking forward to violence breaking out. Thank goodness I'll probably be outta town when the shit hits the fan."

Certainly not most - but it sure seems like quite a few are. This is as much a "righteous cause" for some one the left as it is for the far right and extremism tends to attract peopel who just like an excuse to bust stuff up. Hell, in many places a sporting event is enough reason.

We've seen the prototype for this at the WTO "protests" (riots) where people break anything they feel like to stick it to "the man" and then complain when next time the police are concerned about violence.

ANSWER must be thrilled with how this is all going.

On preview - I am really creeped out. While these people worry me for how insane some of them are, what worries me more is that I didn't want to sign up for their newsletter (to laught at them) because I ddin't want my email on a list at the FBI.

Seriously uncool.
posted by soulhuntre at 12:33 PM on August 24, 2004


I hope the protests in NYC are large, as freeky as possible, and involve significant damage to property. This will assure that a certain fence-sitting voting group will take offense, and decline to vote for Kerry. Bring it on!
posted by ParisParamus at 12:40 PM on August 24, 2004


(I will be hiding in Park Slope, one of the few non-Kerry voters for, probably blocks and blocks; maybe I'll venture to watch all these delluded people in Central Park, or whatever, act out their pathological self-hatred).
posted by ParisParamus at 12:53 PM on August 24, 2004




Homunculus: what the fuck are you babbling about?
posted by jonmc at 1:14 PM on August 24, 2004


I'm posting links related to the topic of this thread.

"Pulse Arts is inviting submissions during the upcoming Republican National Convention in New York City, encouraging folks to get out and active with a video camera to record what's happening on the streets, what they think of the convention doings--to spin the media's spin--and then put it up on CoDECK for viewing and discussion."
posted by homunculus at 2:09 PM on August 24, 2004


very cool, homunculus. i will definitely pass this along to NYC friends.

jonmc, read more.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:47 PM on August 24, 2004


mrgrimm, I read it. Sounds like pretentious twaddle.
posted by jonmc at 3:26 PM on August 24, 2004


Metafilter: sounds like pretentious twaddle?
posted by Krrrlson at 4:39 PM on August 24, 2004


homunculus: CoDECK = moblog, but with video?
posted by skoosh at 8:17 PM on August 24, 2004


Those CoDECK guys should get together with these guys and then we'd be talkin.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:43 AM on August 26, 2004


Meanwhile, on the 9th avenue bus last night (rush hour), the driver's complaining about the traffic (the passengers too), so everyone starts talking about the convention, and how cops were drilling in the west 30s to get ready...he, and an older woman both bring up 1968, and how this is going to be like that, and the woman says, "i was there, and saw how plainsclothesmen were coming out of nowhere, and forcing confrontations with the uniformed cops." The driver says, yup. Then he says, they might be comandeering regular city buses to take all the arrested people away if necessary--they've already alerted the drivers, so that people should maybe take the subway or walk next week. (the bus driver was hysterical tho--he said at the beginning, "anyone here a Bush supporter?" and the whole bus burst out laughing. )
posted by amberglow at 10:33 AM on August 26, 2004


hmmm...And young, sad, self-loathing devotees of such fringe groups as FreeRepublic.com and Protest Warriors will serve as the shock troops, spending hours trying to bait protesters into petty fights, recording the exchanges, and shipping the most ludicrous moments straight to Rush Limbaugh.--from here
posted by amberglow at 1:47 PM on August 28, 2004




hah! let ralph speak at the GOP convention
posted by amberglow at 4:41 PM on August 28, 2004


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