DNC Protesters to be Caged In

Shades of Boston in 2004...

In federal court in Denver today, the City and County of Denver and U.S. Secret Service made it clear protesters at the Pepsi Center for the August Democratic National Convention would be behind chain link fences.

The fence around the public demonstration zone outside the Democratic National Convention will be chicken wire or chain link, authorities revealed in U.S. District Court today. That may allow protesters to be seen and heard by delegates going in and out of the Pepsi Center during the convention.


The ACLU has now filed an Amended complaint against the city and county of Denver and the Secret Service seeking to prevent security restrictions from resulting in First Amendment violations of the rights of protesters and demonstrators.

Here are the changes being sought by the ACLU and 13 other advocacy groups involved in the lawsuit:

An increase in the size and location of the public demonstration zone in Lot A of the Pepsi Center so that people in the zone can access delegates through sight and sound and an electrically-powered sound amplification system.

Change the parameters of the zone to accommodate more people marching to the Pepsi Center during the convention.

Stop searches of people or possessions where such searches are based on a person's entry into the zone rather than "probable cause" or "reasonable suspicion."

Allow for the distribution of leaflets and pamphlets to the delgates.

Allow for parades that pass by the Pepsi Center along the south side of Chopper Circle and the adjoining east side of Ninth Street during times when the delegates are present.

Allow alternative parades requested by Recreate 68 to the federal courthouse on Aug. 25 and by Escuela Tlatelolco to Sunken Gardens Park on Aug. 26.

An all day hearing will be held July 29 and U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Krieger will visit the Pepsi Center site the night before.

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    New Obama slogan (5.00 / 9) (#5)
    by Pol C on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 07:29:15 PM EST
    Chains We Can Believe In

    Sheesh! (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 07:41:10 PM EST
    It's easier to protest at Abortion Clinics!

    These kind of restrictions make no sense to me, espcially not coming from the Democratic Party.

    Clinics (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Valhalla on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 09:42:47 PM EST
    Yes, this is my big thing.  Providers have to fight and refight the same d*mn battles over and over to keep anti-abortion protesters from harassing their clients -- just to keep them 100 feet back or whatever, but effing conventions get to send their protesters into the next town?

    And this isn't even about the whole Unity/Obama is The One shtick, because they did the same thing in Boston in  2004.


    Why don't they cage the Abortion clinic (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:07:30 PM EST

    Can you imagine owning a businesses selling cages for abortion clinic protestors?  ;-)

    I wonder what the Supreme Court would say about that?  

    (I should patent my idea for "Protestor Cages" before someone beats me to it!)  


    No protester.... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 09:52:22 AM EST
    should be caged.  We don't wanna get into which protesters are more equal than others...its a protected right that cannot be infringed.  Yeah, abortion protesters tend to be whackjobs....freedom means putting up with whackjobs.

    The cages are a shameful joke....sun god forbid the conventioners face free Americans with grievances.  You might rub up against a thousand dollar suit and sully it with free American sweat.  


    this must be that (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by cpinva on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 08:08:09 PM EST
    "new and improved" democratic party we've all heard so much about (sort of) from sen. obama and his minions.

    oddly enough, it looks much like the republicans.

    Not exactly new. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 08:33:13 PM EST
    First instance I recall was the 1976 Republican Convention in Kansas City, but the fences gave really good sight and sound.

    1976 and 1980 Dems in NYC there were only sawhorses, we had the sidewalk in  front of the Main Post office, very narrow strip so there was no depth from which to charge police line.

    1980 GOP in Detroit no permits granted except for 1 march past.

    1984 Republican, Dallas, the City announced a 1 1/2 mile "Security Area.' I was lead plaintiff on behalf of Rock Against Reagan. The Hon. Barefoot Sanders ordered the fence moved, so that we'd be "a stones throw plus 10 feet,' coming to 175 feet, but still behind chain link.

    More. (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 08:45:23 PM EST
    1988 I missed the Dems, GOP had fence all around, at ~250 feet, you could play anywhere along the fence.

    I missed both in '92.

    1996 D in Chicago, similar to 1998 New Orleans, fence at 250 feet, but the Fed judge ordered a small area by the entrance for leafleting, limited to 15 people at a time, in 1 hour increments.

    2000 GOP, Philly, no area anywhere near.

    2000 Dem, LA, similar to wwhat they're discussing in Denver, but also with a small area near dekegate entrance within the 'soft perimeter. Here the LAPD played a trick, you'd try and get through the soft perimeter checkpoint, and be sent to the next entrance clockwise, where again you'd be told to go to the next entrance.... I managed yto get in by hiring a cab, but was the only one to make it to the "individual protest" area. Then, after 40 minutes, I was ordered to leave, refused, and was clubbed 13 times, but not arrested. A USDOJ Civil Rights Division Uniform intervened, telling the LAPD "You can do whatever you like to him if you find him in an alley, but I've been assigned to protect his Civil Rights on this block." Collected a nice settlement from the City, but my Internal affairs complaint was dismissed Sept. 12, 2001, worst day ever for masking the papers.


    ah "security"! that word can be used (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by hellothere on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 08:51:32 PM EST
    with the other knee bender "terrorism" to make americans shake and quake. and what do we get in return? fences, gates, no admittance, big brother in our computers, etc. so we stake our hopes on the animal farm idea of one of our group having power. that's the ticket! oops, animal farm didn't turn out so well. truth is stranger than fiction.

    not to say i don't support security but the degree that is used says to me "shut up and don't get in our way."

    I just had a thought... (none / 0) (#20)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:11:54 PM EST
    If we can "cage" protestors for trying to exercise free speech, why can't we "cage" those "enemy combatants" in a similar way?  Who needs jails?  Just get chain link cages for everyone!  

    say that very softly! they might think it's (none / 0) (#23)
    by hellothere on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 11:02:22 PM EST
    a good idea snark

    So the PUMAs will be caged? (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by mrmobi on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 10:50:32 AM EST
    Well, that's just not right, and I've been a vocal Obama supporter from the beginning.

    The PUMA groups, which I suspect are mostly Republican ratf*cking operations (at least one of the groups was founded by a Republican), should be allowed to demonstrate. They have every right to oppose the candidate of the other party. They can even pretend to be Democrats, progressives, whatever. This is America and we should have free speech. Will Larry Johnson (agent flowbee) be there? Maybe he'll release his "whitey" tape. I just can't wait.

    Of course, however this is resolved, it will be Obama's fault.

    In this case, they're right (1.42 / 7) (#10)
    by AtomicWarBaby on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 08:31:45 PM EST
    What I worry about is some crazy wingnut "plant" who would "camoflage" him or herself, pretending to be a Protestor, but, having been agitated & incited by the Right-Wing Media on AM Talk Radio, FOX News or on the flaming crazies Internet blogs, going to the DLC and blending in with the real Protestors, intent on causing the kind of "Operation CHAOS" trouble that Rush Limbaugh has been agitating for; or worse, trying to be a John Hinkley & try to hurt Obama or others who are attending the Convention.

    Hillary Clinton didn't help matters, by having her primary campaign bring up "assassination" possibility in order to try to win, and the Right-Wing has so many brainwashed people in it, that as an OBAMA supporter I am feeling like we should err on the side of CAUTION, so in this case I think fencing off Protestors is warranted!

    I went to a Doctor's appointment today, and a male Drug Rep. was talking to a guy in the adjoining Doctor's Office. He was clearly a "Jock". The guy said, I know I shouldn't be telling this joke (in public), but... and he went ahead & told a "joke" about Barack Obama finding himself standing at the "Pearly Gates" talking to God, and telling God he is the President of the United States, that he'surprised to find himself there (at Heaven's Door), because he just became President 20 Seconds ago... then the jerk smirked and both he and the guy in the Doctor's Office, both laughed like it was Soooo FUNNY, a "Joke" about a President being Assassinated!

    The fact that these two idiots felt no need to tell their racist, ugly Joke when they were ALONE, but told it and laughed about it right there in the Doctor's Office WAITING ROOM, was pretty shocking to me. It tells me just how dangerous the Right-Wing are (shades of facism) and just how damaging Bush's presidency has been, encouraging & promoting such attitudes among his "Base".

    At least I managed to speak up, and the Drug Rep. looked a little "shame-faced" after I called him on what he was doing. But the Doctor's Office guy quickly motioned him to go into the back with him, obviously on his side & agreeing with the Jerk on Obama!

    I also managed to get in a few pertinent facts about John & Cindy McCain, including her Addiction to Drugs & Drug Thefts over 3 years!
    Only one person in the Waiting room seemed sympathetic to the Drug Rep, all the rest didn't , so that's a small consolation.

    AtomicWarBaby, was your comment satire? (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by Romberry on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 08:44:06 PM EST
    AtomicWarBaby, was your comment satire or are you really just that far off the path?

    The DLC is not the DNC.

    Hillary Clinton didn't "(have) her primary campaign bring up "assassination" possibility in order to try to win" and I find your recounting of the "joke" you supposedly overheard to be lacking credibility.

    We spent years complaining about the restriction of constitutionally guaranteed free speech with "first amendment zones" -- most of us though that the entire United States of America was a first amendment zone -- and now you're saying that they are a good idea and ought to be embraced? Count me out.


    amen. (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by maladroit on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 09:03:13 PM EST
    I mean really, shouldn't the entire United States be a First Amendment zone? I remember being outraged when this happened to us at the RNC protests in 2004...

    I meant DNC, okay? (none / 0) (#16)
    by AtomicWarBaby on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 09:24:35 PM EST
    Hey, I meant the DNC, gimme a break! And yes, the anecdote is true, about the drug rep's "Joke", I happen to live in a rural KY "Bible Belt" area, so I guess maybe I shouldn't have been surprised -- only Talk Radio they get here on "free" radio is right-wing, Rush, Hannity, etc.

    Are you saying YOU are so off the path, that you actually don't realize that there are some really dangerous fanatics on the Right?  I just don't trust that the Protest Zone will not be "Co-Opted by such Fake Protestors and/or by COVERT Bush/Cheney Operatives, like NIXON used during Vietnam War to infiltrate Protest groups & Marches. Remember the Jackbooted Republican THUGS that the Bush regime sent down to Florida during the 2000 RECOUNT (on the ENRON private Jet), who scared the Palm Beach officials doing  the counting  so badly, they shut it down, out of concern for their physical SAFETY?

    You are naive, my young friend, I lived through the Protests of the 60's and this is a whole different thing, OBAMA is the ANTI-Iraq War candidate, remember.

    And I don't lie, period!


    Last response... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Romberry on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 09:53:52 PM EST
     I just don't trust that the Protest Zone will not be "Co-Opted by such Fake Protestors and/or by COVERT Bush/Cheney Operatives, like NIXON used during Vietnam War to infiltrate Protest groups & Marches.

    Ya know, freedom is often messy and I'm not ready to trade it for some guarantee of safety. Wasn't it Ben Franklin who said "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety"?  Yeah...I believe it was.

    The whole "Ohmagawd! Someone MIGHT get in and start sumthin!" line is just a variation on the line of BS we've been getting from Bush on terrorism. It amounts to "Be afraid. Be very afraid." Again, no thanks.

    On your joke story, who am I to say that it isn't true. It's just that when you are talking college educated pharmaceutical reps and doctors who just happen to be making jokes like this where you can just happen to hear them, I am more than a bit skeptical. Sorry if that offends but ya know, on the 'net, anyone can claim anything and I find a bit of skepticism is warranted.

    For my America, no fences.

    This land is your land, this land is my land...


    You have to love the USA (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:32:11 PM EST
    They want to restrict freedom of speech yet let everyone own a gun.  



    DNC statureless (1.00 / 1) (#21)
    by fctchekr on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 10:31:41 PM EST
    Don't kid yourself there's really only one wing-nut media in 2008 and it's the left.
    We've done such a great job emulating our opponents, we've morphed into something as sinister: a mob of angry supporters who ran half the party off with hate speech, now they have to fence us out at the convention. We are so pathetic, we can't even pull off an election cycle long enough to get the candidate to the finish line..notice I didn't say to the White House, because we know we don't do that either.

    deja vu all over again? (none / 0) (#1)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 07:12:26 PM EST

    Same set up at the GOP convention (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 07:14:55 PM EST
    in San Diego.  A tourist attraction, actually.

    Free speech zones... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 07:17:32 PM EST
    make me sad, regardless of which party enforces them.

    So the PUMAs (none / 0) (#4)
    by pie on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 07:21:23 PM EST
    will be caged?


    No democracy in action in America.

    Reminds me of an old Tears for Fears song (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Pol C on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 07:49:57 PM EST
    You better love Obama and you better behave
    You better love Obama and you better behave
    Puma in chains
    Puma in chains

    We call the man the great shining hope
    Don't argue or jump the links or we'll gag you with rope
    Puma in chains
    Puma in chains


    We'll have to poke our knitting (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by samanthasmom on Mon Jun 30, 2008 at 07:54:10 PM EST
    needles through the links.  But seriously, PUMAs have never threatened violence. Who are the groups that are, and who do they support? All of the threats that I seen have been from Obama supporters, including Donna Brazile. Obama will be the nominee.  Why would they stage any protest at all - let alone a violent one?

    I was gonna say.... (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 12:25:47 PM EST
    it reminds me of the zoo, but in this case the animals are outside the cages.

    Chains we can believe in (none / 0) (#28)
    by withoutparty on Tue Jul 01, 2008 at 05:26:05 PM EST
    I can't wait to be caged up.
    Maybe I'll even buy a bullhorn....