By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
Although it's still a year before the Republican National Convention, activists here and around the country are already teeming with protest plans and ideas. Why in the world would the party of kleptocrats choose America's largest and most diverse city, hardly a GOP stronghold, as the site of their coronation of George W. Bush for a second term? Well, that's easy. Remember 9-11? And, come to think of it, with Wall Street headquartered here, the Republicans probably think it is their stronghold.
The GOP's power, however, will be met with power. A critical mass of demonstrators and activists is getting ready to swarm the fat cats like so many yapping dogs. Veteran activist Steve Ault, one of those involved right now in meetings with a segment of the troops, marvels at "the level of buzz and activity already." And why not?
"It's all scripted," Ault says of the convention. "It's a big public relations scam, and the people of New York are the fucking propsthe Republicans are using suffering as a prop." Of course, maybe the GOP wants confrontation for its televised circus.
In any case, what follows is a very preliminary and partial list of groups gleaned from those that have signed on at counterconvention.org and rncnotwelcome.org, plus assorted other organizations and websites:
Anarchists in New York!
Click on "nyc cop watch" for valuable information on dealing with Officer Unfriendly. And see the lists of disparate social justice groups, including ones for Indians and Filipinas. This site also features extensive readings, including background information on COINTELPRO, the infamous FBI action from 1956 to 1971 against activists.
Energetic Leninist revolutionaries' anti-war HQ page, with countless links to other groups.
P.O. Box 568, Brooklyn, NY 11211 " . . . an autonomous zone for arts radicals in both old and new media. We publish books on radical media, politics, and the arts . . . "
Act Up/New York
Wily veterans of AIDS protests offer lots of tips for activists.
An organization of "women of independent means" who follow Barbara Ehrenreich's dictum that "dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots." The Babes, along with the Ruckus Society (see below) and global exchange (globalexchange.org), hired a boat and welcomed Bush to the UN last September with a huge banner above the East River that said, "Earth to Bush: No Iraq War." (Check it out at earthtobush.com.) Now they're pouring money and energy into codepink: women for peace (code pinkalert.org).
Bands Against Bush
babnyc.org (New York City chapter)
Part of a nationwide movement of musicians. Next biggig: an International Day of Action this October 11.
Bring Them Home Now!
"A campaign of military families, veterans, active duty personnel, reservists, and others opposed to the ongoing war in Iraq and galvanized to action by George W. Bush's inane and reckless challenge to armed Iraqis resisting occupation to 'bring 'em on.' " P.O. Box 91233, Raleigh, NC 27675
Get your ammo here on what Bush and his pals are up to. Great headline service at bushwatch.com/bushreport.htm.
Looking to see how your bank fees and insurance premiums are being used? Keep an eye on campaign finance reports filed by this group, a vehicle (along with the New York City Host Committee) used by the GOP to finance its big show. The latest reports, incidentally, show the Republicans taking out huge loans from Wachovia Bank to start paying for their coronation activities. Apparently, deficit financing is OK for plutocratic celebrations, but it can't be used to pay for food, education, health care, and housing for the rest of us. Oh, and you try getting an interest-free loan from Wachovia, as the GOP did.
Working list of groups mobilizing against the RNC. Site includes a helpful list of protestable addresses, including those of the Carlyle Group (520 Madison Avenue, at 52nd Street, 41st floor) and Bechtel (21 East 40th Street, at Fifth Avenue, sixth floor).
Philadelphia's "newspaper for optimism and refusal," prominent during the 2000 GOP convention in Philly. Lots of good tips for demonstrators, including a link to the Lesbian Avengers Handbook: lesbian.org/chicago-avengers/avengerhandbook.html.
Allies from Oakland, California, who may be willing to be "involved in a mini food warehouse, communal kitchen, and bringing food to appropriate locations via bicycle cart."
Electronic Disturbance Theater
"Virtual Sit-In Performance Group." Civil disobedience in cyberspace.
Food Not Bombs Richmond
"We want to be a part of something huge and effective. We'll bring buses from Virginia and affinity groups as well, hopefully."
The George W. Bush 2000 Stolen Election Commemorative Coin