Here’s proof that irony did, in fact, survive 9-11: A collective of protesters fighting the Bush administration insists on using Pentagon tactics to curb media access—mere weeks before that administration throws a week-long lovefest in their backyard.
RNC Not Welcome, a coalition of progressive activist groups planning to protest before, during, and after the Republican National Convention next month, has drawn up a draconian “media policy” that requires journalists to “check in” with a media liaison before meetings, wear identifying stickers, and announce themselves at the start of each meeting. No photographing or taping is allowed, and any documentarians must submit proposals to the noRNC Clearinghouse for approval.
What’s more, the group has discussed plans to “embed” journalists with activist groups, just as the Pentagon embedded reporters with troops during the invasion of Iraq. Isn’t using the language of the enemy one of the first steps towards becoming the enemy?
Members say media saturation will prove a distraction to the protests themselves. Others cite the possibility that authorities will tape meetings and use the contents against protesters. Dissenting members contend that keeping the media out will limit the group’s ability to spread their message and implies wrongdoing of some kind. Whatever the reason for the media embargo, it may help to ensure that protests will be noted only by the participants. How ironic.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 13, 2004