Mr. Progressive

By Andy Martin

Denver has been a city under siege this week: by police. The normally tranquil and laid-back municipality has found itself under virtual occupation by local and area police forces, as well as goon squads of the Secret Service. The goal: lock down any sign of protest at the Democratic National Convention.

Downtown Denver was under a smothering nighttime occupation. There were police on bicycles, police on foot, police in Humvee-style vehicles, police everywhere. The only life on the city’s streets came after the convention adjourned while people briefly returned to their hotels.

The Federal Reserve Bank also looked under siege. It was eerie.

I’m not sure whether Denver officials copied the Beijing Olympics, or Beijing copied Denver, but the police state atmosphere in both cities was strikingly similar. Americans made fun of “protest areas” in Beijing that were far away from the Olympics. In Denver, the approved protest areas were also far removed from the convention. One group of pro-Hillary Clinton demonstrators was required to protest at a park that was so distant it was not on downtown maps along 16th Street.

We as Americans like to look down on the Chinese for prohibiting dissent while proclaiming free speech. We need to take another long, hard look at ourselves. We too proclaim free speech while steadily eliminating any traces of meaningful dissent. All in the name of “security.”

Until Wednesday night’s demonstrations, prostitutes outnumbered protesters in the city. “Working girls” always follow any convention, and they especially love the carousing Democrats, who are big spenders when it comes to companionship-for-hire. By comparison, Republicans are staid and bad for business. ContrarianCommentary.com did the research and determined there were more “professionals” in Denver than protesters. Until Wednesday evening.

Wednesday’s marchers approached the perimeter of the Pepsi Center. Before a riot could break out–and one was imminent–Barack Obama blinked and sent his operatives to accept a missive from leaders of the parade. This is what passes for approved “protest” in America today. Thursday night will bring closed highways and 75,000 Obamabots, but again no protesters within hearing or seeing distance.

Monday night I debriefed police officers who had assaulted demonstrators that the police claimed were “thinking” of marching down city streets. I am not aware of any legal doctrine that allows police anywhere to arrest people before they actually commit a criminal act. Even the crime of “attempt” requires an overt act. “Thought” is not a crime; neither is verbal hyperbole.

Tuesday, there was video of an unprovoked police assault on a demonstrator for protesting another arrest.

As a society we have to ask ourselves whether we still want to conduct national politics in the open, or whether we want conventions and mass meetings to be conducted in hermetically-sealed “bubbles” that are manipulated and controlled by the Secret Service.

Monday night I witnessed the absurdity of a Secret Service goon (and he was a goon) threatening someone for taking a picture of “security procedures,” namely a gate into the convention area; the Center was perhaps a third of a mile away. You could barely see the Pepsi Center from the perimeter that the police had created to immunize delegates from any evidence or sound of protest.

Perhaps smaller cities can no longer host massive conventions. But even New York Police were forced to pay millions in damages for excessive police tactics in 2004, including the use of plain clothes police officers as provocateurs.

With each passing election cycle politics becomes more remote from the people, and more under the control of the Secret Service, a politicians’ private protection force. The Secret Service is not interested in democracy, and only cares about “protection.” But protection can reach the point where it becomes a racket, where politicians are screened off from reality and meaningful protest is asphyxiated.

Barack Obama already operates under a more extensive security “bubble” than President Bush. Can anyone foresee how massive that bubble will become if Obama is actually elected? You will need permission to enter Washington, DC, which will become a walled city comparable to the Beijing Olympiad.

The last presidential inauguration prompted lawsuits claiming that demonstrators were forced away from Pennsylvania Avenue. In the name of “security.” While a court recently ordered protesters closer to Pennsylvania Avenue, no doubt Obama will challenge that ruling on the grounds of, you guessed it, “security.”

How far are we willing to deflect democracy? The question needs to be asked. And Answered. By the American people. Not the Secret Service. It’s time to prick the bubble.

7 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama

7 responses to “Mr. Progressive

  1. sisterrosetta

    “Party Unity My Arse!” Cristi Adkins on Clintons4McCain Radio Saturday August 30th 2PM Pacific – what really happened in Denver

    http://rosettasister.wordpress.com/2008/08/30/party-unity-my-arse-cristi-adkins-on-clintons4mccain-radio-saturday-august-30th-2pm-pacific-what-really-happened-in-denver/

  2. Good Morning, Obambi.blog.com

    http://maggiesnotebook.blogspot.com/2008/08/chicagoans-perspective-on-obama-rezko.html

    A Chicagoan’s Perspective on Obama, Rezko and Corruption

  3. peaceke3per

    maybe they were stopping your protests at the democratic convention not to withhold your free speech but your mindless jabber about things irrelevant to obamas credentials. I’ll also add white trash meth addicts conspiring to assassinate him are among you. So maybe thats why he has needs for protection. So stop bashing government agencies for doing their jobs. Makes just as much sense as voting for mccain and his soccer mom VP. Which will succeed him after he croaks and will not know what to do. All due respects but the oval office is not his place.

    This site is probably a branch of FOX news, because it is just as biased. Resorting to dehumanizing obama supporters to gain leverage with incompetant voters. Stop being a nuisance and start thinking about whats best for this country, let me give you a hint its not oil. Oil is the fuel for WW3 incase you havn’t figured this out yet. All mccain can talk about is, oh god russia will get the oil pipeline. Single pipeline on the other side of the world is, excuse me, not going to make much of a fucking difference when it comes to whether or not you can make it to work or not. Assuming your not pulling your trailer behind your truck. But hey this is a great country where you can make a piece of shit site and fill it with your “infinite wisdom”.. and actually have people read it over like the bible.

  4. peaceke3per says

    “I’ll also add white trash meth addicts conspiring to assassinate him are among you. So maybe thats why he has needs for protection. So stop bashing government agencies for doing their jobs.”

    “This site is probably a branch of FOX news, because it is just as biased. Resorting to dehumanizing obama supporters to gain leverage with incompetant voters. Stop being a nuisance and start thinking about whats best for this country, let me give you a hint its not oil. Oil is the fuel for WW3 incase you havn’t figured this out yet. ”

    George says, ” Can you say elitist bullshit ”
    I am Rolling on the Floor Laughing my ass off after reading peaceke3per ‘s coment
    Yeah we are all work for FOX NEWS here
    Can you say ‘ Paranoia’ ; a fear that has no basis in reality .
    DIO DIO DIO !!!

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