Q. Like many a lefty, I’m looking forward to sharing a piece of my mind with the GOP when Bush and company come to New York next month. But aside from standing on 34th Street and shouting at the top of my lungs, I’ve got no clue what I should do. Any cyber-resources you can point me toward?
A. And how, dear reader. A comprehensive compendium of websites blasting the Republican National Convention would take up every line of this week’s Voice. Let’s just hit the high points, which Mr. Roboto will define as well-designed sites that don’t veer into conniptive fits when the words “Bush” or “Cheney” come up.
The most fetching of the bunch may be RNCNotWelcome.org, featuring Ed Koch’s smiling mug beneath the word “Traitor.” There’s a lengthy list of tune-up meetings, tons of background material on who’s funding the convention and how much it’s costing ($186,250 for Porta-Johns?), and a handy primer on surveillance cams. You’ve also gotta love the Photoshopped MetroCard pic that reads “NotWelcome.”
The other clearinghouse worth visiting is counterconvention.org. Join the twice-monthly mailing list for updates on pre-RNC events, like the Time’s Up bike protests. Counterconvention.org also has a housing board, in case you want to offer up your abode to a visiting activist.
If you’d prefer your updates in blog format, then you should bookmark RNCWatch.org. There’s about two fresh posts per day, and links to scrappy home-brew actions like LightUpTheSky.org, a call for silent protesters to register their dissatisfaction by toting candles and flashlights on August 30.
Mr. Roboto has no clue as to how fervently you wish to protest, but if you’re really gung ho about it, maybe Democracy Uprising is the project you’re looking for. It’s a month-long march from Boston to New York, though you’re free to drop out if you need to, you know, work or something. No clue as to whether they’ll pull this off—that Providence-to-Hartford stretch will be brutal—but big ups to them for creativity.
Flabbier activists can opt instead for the protests planned by RingOut.org. As far as Mr. Roboto can tell, their basic plan is to get lots and lots of folks ringing bells on the streets of Manhattan. Sort of like those Salvation Army Saint Nicks times 10,000. Good thing Mr. Roboto’s audio modulators are equipped with on/off switches.
There’s always the risk that New York’s Finest won’t take too kindly to your bike riding or bell ringing or what have you. So make sure you give a good gander to the National Lawyer Guild‘s special RNC site. The FAQ is particularly useful for those who might be facing arrest, or just want a simple explanation of New York’s arcane permitting system. Hey, who knew that “three or more people cannot wear masks within an undefined proximity of one another in a public place”? Mr. Roboto will remember that this Halloween, when he’s definitely not going out as Spider-Man.
Raise your hand if this has happened to you: You’re all set to go drinking in deep Queens, you’ve got the location spotted on mapquest.com, but you can’t figure out which subway to take. So you end up staying home, drinking a 40 of Private Stock, and ruing your lackluster subway skills. Well, the good—nay, great—hopstop.com is here to save you. Just enter your starting address and your destination, and the site will find out the best subway (or combo of subways) to get you there—not to mention walking directions for once you emerge from the station.
Over the years, Mr. Roboto’s gotten more than a few blurb ideas from the InfoSec News mailing list (c4i.org), run by an ever wise Chicagoan named William Knowles. Well, poor William’s in a cash crunch now, and he’s desperate to keep ISN ad-free—y’know, ethics and all that. So won’t you please think about kicking a dollar over his way? There’s a donation page on his site, and the information security realm will be much the richer for your generosity. Oh, and a $50 donation earns you a T-shirt and a sticker. Pretty sweet.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 6, 2004