>From: eric a schuster <eschuster2 at juno.com>
>To: redyouth at debs.pinko.net, SocialistsUnmoderated at debs.pinko.net
>Subject: LA, Philly gear up
>Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 18:46:08 -0500
>Tuesday April 18 5:15 PM ET
> Protesters Plan to Target Political Conventions
>By David Morgan
>PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A day after thousands of protesters tried
>to disrupt a gathering of world financial leaders in Washington,
>on Tuesday turned to this summer's Republican and Democratic
>presidential conventions as the next targets for raucous public
> About 500 Philadelphia activists, representing causes
> AIDS research to labor rights and social justice, traveled to Washington
>to observe the
> so-called Mobilization for Global Justice, which brought much of the
>city to a standstill
> during meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
> It took thousands of police officers, using clubs, tear gas and pepper
>spray, to prevent
> disruption of the meetings. Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested.
> ``We weren't there to carry signs but notebooks, because we wanted to
>study every aspect
> of the leadership, the crowd and the police,'' said Cheri Honkala,
>director of the Kensington
> Welfare Rights Union, which is devoted to social justice.
> Protest leaders say crowds of up to 100,000 could flood into
>Philadelphia, the fifth-largest
> U.S. city, during the July 29 weekend. That would be more than twice the
> Republican officials, guests and journalists due in town for the
> A smaller crowd is expected in August in Los
> where the Democrats will hold their national
> Protest organizers say they do not expect mass
> there could be peaceful civil disobedience
>protests at the
> Staples Center, where the convention is being
> The Los Angeles Police Department, still smarting from criticism of its
>handling of riots in
> 1994, in which police held back as rioters ran wild, was tight-lipped on
>Tuesday's about its
> plans to control any demonstrations.
> ``We have a detailed plan, but having said that, we are not going to
>divulge what that plan
> is,'' a department spokesman said.
> The planned Philadelphia demonstrations are shaping up to be much
>different than protests
> that attended this week's IMF-World Bank session and the December 1999
> Organization meeting in Seattle.
> For one thing, protest groups have had to sue the
> government in U.S. court for space to hold their
> after convention organizers granted the Republican
> Committee the right of first refusal for virtually
> boulevard or open space in town.
> The move irked activists in the city where the constitutional right to
>free speech was minted
> in the late 18th century. But attorneys for both sides hope for a
> Philadelphia protest organizers also say that unlike their IMF and WTO
> aim is not to disrupt the convention at which Texas Gov. George W. Bush
>(news - web
> sites) is set to be named officially as the Republican presidential
> While IMF protests brought police tear gas and pepper gas assaults
> headquarters, the main Philadelphia venue would be Benjamin Franklin
>Parkway, a colored
> flag-festooned boulevard located miles from the main convention site at
>the First Union
> Center sports arena.
> ``We're not holding a protest, we're holding a rally for things we want,
> universal health-care,'' said Dr. Laurence Browne of the Ad-Hoc
>Committee to Defend
> Health-Care, which hopes to march thousands of supporters down Market
>Street on July
> 29. ``We're doctors. We don't want pain.''
> But others have not been so sanguine about demonstrations in the city
>where six MOVE
> protesters and five of their children died in a disastrous police
>assault in 1985.
> Honkala's Kensington Welfare Rights Union, a social justice advocacy
>group, hopes to have
> 30,000 followers hold a sit-in at the First Union Center on the opening
>day of the
> convention, which runs July 31 to Aug. 3.
> ``Let's put it this way. It's going to be a hot summer in Philadelphia.
>City union contracts are
> up, the kids are out of school and there are people hurting in America
>who are going to
> come to Philadelphia to make sure somebody knows about it,'' Honkala
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