Friday August 04, @10:15AM http://www.phillyimc.org/article.pl?sid=00/08/04/1015228&mode=thread
French Take on the Demonstrations By Daniesha Laquandria
THE DEMONSTRATORS STEAL THE SHOW
More than 300 arrests, Tues night, in Philly, some of the protestors wanting to disrupt the convention by any possible means.
Special correspondent to Philadelphia. Cécile Besson
[translated from the French, from an article published in L’Humanite]
In spite of their massive presence in the city, the protestors actions have hardly been shown at all on television. An American flag burning, a small group of peole who marched brandishing, one of Mao’s Little Red Book, a clash with police: this is the sum total of what we see in seven hours of news coverage. The Republicans are presented in an endless series of beautiful images, 4,000 suppliants applauding the “stars”, from John McCain to Laura Bush, really dull figures in comparison with the creative and spontaneous protestors.
They number in the thousands and they have come to Philadelphia with one goal: to disrupt, by any means possible, the Republican Convention. The Convention Center, a Sports Arena converted into a huge “Republican Village” , situated in an industrial suburb of Philadelphia, is too far from the city center to be easily reached on foot. It looked like nothing would be able to trouble the convention’s sessions, which were carefully scripted down to the smallest detail. But when Sunday rolled around, the streets of Philadelphia were transformed into a great stage of action, where dozens of separate demonstrations took place each day. Apparently spontaneous demonstrations were calculated to produce the greatest impact, and to attract the media. Organizers of the demos were all grouped around the R2K association, charged with maintaining relations with the press.
Each day, the militants from different groups oganize actions for putting before the public issues which they believe are being hidden by the two main parties. Monday, more than 3, 000 peoplele have formed a human chain in the city center to protest poverty. They were succesfull in blocking traffic for several hours. Tuesday the theme was social injustice, and the demonstrators marched in the name of Mumia Abu Jamal, protesting against the the death penalty, the privatizaton of the prison system, and against racial and sexual discrimination. Tues. night, for the first time, more than 300 demonstrators were arrested for having “marched without a permit”. Wednesday, actions of the protesters continued, with a beautiful march of giant puppets.
[trans. Daniesha Laquandria]
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