Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Continuing Coverage of the Buildup to the RNC

23. June 2004 • Ari Paul
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Elliott Mallen, the Michigan Daily’s dissident columnist, urges people feed up with the Bush-Cheney junta to use their protest the Republican National Convention in New York City this summer. Could Mallen forsee another Chicago 1968?

“I am not going to New York to protest our country’s millions of Republican voters. The impoverished farmer in Idaho didn’t lie about pre-war intelligence. The 85-year-old Florida retiree didn’t torture detainees in Iraq. I’m not protesting my Republican father (whose vote is always cancelled out by my Democrat mother). I am driving to New York a week before class starts to protest the Bush administration. Despite what many people will tell you, not all Republicans are evil people. I would not have protested the 1996 convention that nominated Bob Dole or Bush Sr.ís 1992 re-nomination. I am protesting only a handful of people: George W. Bush and his neoconservative inner circle.”

New York City, as is its tradition, is doing its best to silence any public opposition to the American war machine.

“The city of New York is doing everything in its power to prevent significant protest. The Police and Parks Departments have denied an application for a 250,000-person march by Madison Square Garden and then on to the Great Lawn in Central Park. The reason for the denial is that if it rains before the march, having people walk on the grass will damage it, meaning it might have to be re-sodded. I wasn’t aware that our First Amendment rights could be thrown out in order to prevent grass in a public park from being trod upon.”