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Thread: Boston DNC & "Free Speech Zone"
Jul 24th, 2004 7:34 AM #1
Boston DNC & "Free Speech Zone"
In the name of Security? First off, is there anyone from Boston on the boards?
BOSTON, Massachusetts -- Amid final preparations for the first political nominating convention since the attacks of September 11, 2001, security officials are preparing to lock down a huge area of Boston.
Although the Democratic National Convention doesn't open until Monday, armed Coast Guard boats already are patrolling Boston Harbor. Manholes are welded shut, and there are few, if any, mailboxes and trash cans in sight.
Interstate 93, the main highway on which traffic flows in and out of the city, will be closed during convention hours because it passes within a few feet of the convention site at the FleetCenter. All together, about 40 miles of roads will be closed.
The Boston subway's North Station, a main commuter hub, also will be shut down. People are being randomly searched. Businesses within a mile of the convention are being pushed to close. Because of those closures, the city has asked workers to stay home during convention week. (Might as well forcefully shut them down)
Thousands of local, state and federal officers are helping turn the city into a veritable fortress. Extra "eyes" will be watching the FleetCenter after more than 100 high-tech video cameras were installed, according to The Associated Press.
Fencing has gone up around critical buildings, and those who want to enter must pass through security checks.
Some of that steel fencing, razor wire and concrete blocks surrounds the 28,000 square-foot area where protesters will hold demonstrations.
You have freedom of speech, and the right to protest... but do it in this prison cell, when and where we tell you. Here's the part where you ask me, "But MM!?!? WHAT SHOULD WE DO!?!?!"
Well **** if I know, but this doesn't seem right somehow.
Jul 24th, 2004 5:37 PM #2
- Join Date
- Nov 2003
i think the Democrats are being extra careful. rightly so. they may feel, not only distrustful of the current administration due to previous particularities [Wellstone], but everyone has been told that AQ will attack before the election. What a good (soft) target the DNC would be, if they didn't take any precautions.
I think Dean might be the target. He's the only one thats a threat to the establishment.
Jul 25th, 2004 12:30 PM #3
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
- Massachusetts, U.S.
I'm not from Boston MM, but it sucks to know that a potential terrorist attack is right next door. I'm close to about 20 minutes north up route 93 from Boston. It gives me bad vibes. I just hope everything goes well for everyone there. If I had a car now, I'd take some pictures of that area if I could. I know my bro wouldnt want to head to Boston to view the scene, he's not the type of fella.
About the free speech zone, here's more from CNN.
Something tells me by the look on those officers they are jerks.
Jul 25th, 2004 12:38 PM #4
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
- The West Tower of Kiamo Ko Castle
The Question I have is if they are going this overboard for the Democratic Convention becacus of possible terror attacks... What are they going to do for the Republican Convention? Might as well hold it at Alcatraz! or some other isolated area. And who would the terrorist be after... the democrats who are not in office... Or the Republicans who declared war on them. Oh it is all so strange and forboding.
Jul 26th, 2004 2:15 PM #5
Free Speech Zone-Boston Democratic Convention
Last night, I had my first direct experience with the so-called free speech zone. It left me with one conclusion: whatever you do, do NOT go inside. It’s not only a blatant offense to free speech, but also highly dangerous and unsafe. I would suggest protesting anywhere in Boston but inside of it.
No amount of hyperbole can accurately describe how disastrous the interior actually is. It’s like a scene from some post-apocalyptic movie – a futuristic, industrial detention area from a Mad Max film. You are surrounded on all sides by concrete blocks and steel fencing, with razor wire lining the perimeter. Then, there is a giant black net over the entire space.
[Pictures of the Boston "Free Speech Zone"]
That’s not even the worst part. 80% of the space is actually beneath a construction site. You heard me, most of the zone is actually under a partially constructed building, broken up by gates, iron girders and wooden rafters, in the darkness.
No helicopter will ever be able to see an aerial shot of the people assembled, negating the major points of mass protest: to let the rest of the public see your numbers. This forced'invisibility' is so painfully obvious, that it is hard to believe it resulted from pure negligence. What's more, the space fits only 1000 maximum by law, so the 1001st person who wants to express their rights, is shit out of luck.
That’s not all. If you go inside, you won't be left safely alone with your fellow protesters. Right above you will be a suspended catwalk of wooden rafters traveling down the middle of the protest area. This strip is not only covered with reams of barbed wire, but officers (or national guardsmen) will be strolling above you just feet from your head. After walking in, it took us about 2 seconds to agree; “there is no ****ing way we are stepping into this trap”.
And if you think that the civility of individual officers will make up for it, think again. As we were casually walking through the pen, our jaws open in dis-belief, a group of officers quickly surrounded us. Twenty-four of them. The first officer (Officer ‘Gately’) approached us swiftly, and declared, “Do you know that the willful destruction of public property in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a felony that carries 5 year in jail!” We were taken aback by this introduction. Other people in suit and ties were walking by, using the zone as a pedestrian shortcut. a bunch of peaceniks were walking through in our shorts and backpacks and we were immediately suspect of committing a criminal act. I guess this explains the meaning of the rule about those wearing ‘inappropriate clothing’ being searched. The overtly intimidating tone of the interaction didn’t cease, so we soon left.
I called the BPD headquarters and asked to talk to the district 2 duty officer, in order to file a complaint about the rude treatment. When I asked him (Sgt. Ross) for Officer Gately’s ID#, he stated that he could not give me that information because after all, I could be “a member of the press, or an anarchist”. I guess myself (along with the press and anarchists) are no longer allowed to hold the police accountable for their actions.
A word of advice: Do not make the mistake of making your first visit to the free speech zone on your day of protest. It will be too late to realize what you are getting into.
It’s crazy to think that this is happening in Boston, a city that fronts a reputation of being a cradle of constitutional values. The city has tried to force free speech into a cage where it cannot survive. The only reasonable response is to exercise our rights everywhere but the protest zone.
By giving free speech an unacceptable location, the City of Boston has unwittingly declared that the entire city is now a free
Jul 26th, 2004 2:26 PM #6
America is really going to hell. It's turning into 1984.http://img28.exs.cx/img28/6052/evildeadbkground4fq.jpg
"Let's dance, I'll lead." - Ash
Jul 26th, 2004 3:16 PM #7
yOUR aBSOLUTELY RIGHT CHRIS....AND KNOWLEDGE IS POWER..They haven't won yet...
Jul 26th, 2004 3:40 PM #8
I know it's all in the name of security and stuff, but you're going to see this become a regualr thing, and more socially acceptable. Basically, what they have done, is turned Boston into a police state wet dream.
Jul 27th, 2004 1:33 AM #9
Isn't it just fantastic how things are turning out because of 9/11.....you guys can't tell me that things are not getting out of hand...damn.....just looking at the pics....you are right, it looks like a friggin cell.....
ugh....'They misunderestimated me.' - Boy George :yeah:
Jul 27th, 2004 1:49 AM #10
We got a ways to go before it turns into 1984...
I think the reason they are doing this is so that a suicide bomber cannot put on a bomb, pretend to be protesting near the politicians, and you can finish this off.
Jul 27th, 2004 6:05 PM #11
Please be careful prez! Dont become anyones target! I hope you are successful in whatever capacity you guys get to protest out there.
Jul 27th, 2004 6:10 PM #12
Free Speech Behind the Razor Wire
Groups of protestors are using text messaging as a means of communicating with each other.
Damn Prez, you could text message me and keep me updated.
Jul 27th, 2004 6:36 PM #13
Just 5 cents a message, right?The Peak Oil Forums - The Great Debate of the 21st century
Drop it like it's HOT
Jul 27th, 2004 7:23 PM #14Originally Posted by lotrfan55345
Jul 27th, 2004 8:47 PM #15
DN! Don't worry about me!!That story comes from writer Gan Golen at:
But thanks for the gesture..
I'm only able to try and be there in spirit a little bit..They're more scared of free thought, and Republican terrorism then AK terrorism i think..
Jul 27th, 2004 9:14 PM #16Originally Posted by prezhorusin04
Jul 28th, 2004 9:07 PM #17
- Join Date
- Nov 2003
Sometimes it's best to stop for a moment. . . .
. . .And see where we are headed with this. People, I am quite frankly as appalled as you all are at these very extreme measures, I am hopeful (optimist that I try to be) that we will 'get a grip' here. . .In light of this, I came across this article on the web. . .
DNC Delegates to Voice Opposition to the "Free Speech Zone" Today 3pm
July 28, 2004
Over the past few days many delegates have taken a moment to visit the so-called protest zone set up by the Boston Police Department, and are appalled at what they have seen. Understanding the need for some security measures, delegates are concerned that constitutionally protected rights to free assembly and free speech are being cut off and undermined by the cage which has been set up.
At least 50 delegates from around the country will speak out against the conditions within the protest zone. They will call on the Democratic Party leadership to also make a public statement opposing the zone.
WHAT: Press conference by delegates to the DNC to denounce the protest zone
WHEN: Wednesday, July 28, 2004 at 3:00 PM
WHERE: In the protest zone near the Canal Street entrance closest to Causeway
This press conference is being organized by an ad-hoc group of delegates to the DNC.
. . .Perhaps after we take a good, hard look at this we will regain some semblance of sanity and re-configure the way security is handled at these rallies.
- - -Submitted by Joe (Bigsky770)
Aug 2nd, 2004 4:10 AM #18
Thats an understatement Joe.
Aug 2nd, 2004 2:48 PM #19
Pictures from the Boston area... it sorta looks like some police state wet dream sorta thing.
Aug 2nd, 2004 3:07 PM #20
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
- Massachusetts, U.S.
Nice armor. I can actually see where some of the states money is going, hint hint. *sigh*
Aug 3rd, 2004 12:02 AM #21
I thought all americans got hard-ons from guns and the military?
A wet dream indeed.
Aug 3rd, 2004 2:16 AM #22
i think this free speech zone thing has been in effect for a while... its just becomeing more well known i guess...
now the kerry campaign was bad about it in houston when i went to his speech here at univ. of houston... but they only used plastic orange fences... not the ****ing berlin wall.
don't know what they are worried about though, terrorists like kerry over busch =)
(and yes, that was spelled like the beer on purpose)I'm sick of intelligent debate. Bring on the mad Libs.
The Academy for the Constitutionally Challenged
Aug 4th, 2004 7:37 PM #23Originally Posted by substand
Any ideas yet on how the GOP will rein in protesters?
Aug 4th, 2004 8:22 PM #24Originally Posted by DarkAce
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