Converging on the GOP


When Republicans Gather in William Penn’S Fair City, an uncivil but enlightening counter-discourse will ensue. A list of events:

July 29 There will be a Call to Action to Save Healthcare, sponsored by health professionals and concerned citizens who think medical services should be a universal right. Gather at 11 a.m. at Franklin Square, 6th and Race streets, and proceed to a 1:30 p.m. rally at LOVE Park, 16th Street and JFK Boulevard. (267-253-5074,

July 30 Unity2000 is sponsoring what organizers claim will be the largest demo ever held at a convention, though it’s actually taking place a few miles away. Still, it fully intends to put both parties on notice to “listen to the people—not just big business and the rich.” The protest emphasizes human rights for all, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, or national origin, and a living wage for all. Gather at 30th and Market streets at 9 a.m. and proceed to an 11:30-4 p.m. rally on Ben Franklin Parkway. (215-627-5007,

July 30-August 3 Arianna Huffington, the onetime Gingrich rooter and author of How to Overthrow the Government, who has seemingly come around, is helping public interest groups put together an alternative Shadow Convention at the Annenburg Center. The aim: to revive substantive discussion of campaign finance reform, the failure of U.S. drug policy, and growing income disparity. Scheduled speakers include luminaries such as John McCain, Jesse Jackson, Jack Kemp, Warren Beatty, Russ Feingold, and possibly Ralph Nader. (

July 31 Although denied a permit to march down Broad Street to the Republican convention, Kensington Welfare Rights Union/Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign will proceed as planned. This event, billed as an “unpermitted” march, faces likely police repression. Assemble at City Hall for an 11 a.m. rally and begin marching at noon to the First Union Center. (215-203-1945,

August 1-3 The Philadelphia Direct Action Group is sponsoring a series of events not endorsed by Unity2000, including direct actions targeting the “Criminal Injustice System” (Free Mumia!) on August 1; disrupting the Republican convention on August 2; prisoner solidarity and “other surprises” on August 3. (