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Mass protests set for political conventions

Published Aug 24, 2008 9:55 PM

The nominating conventions of the two major parties representing the imperialist ruling class of the United States—the Democrats and the Republicans—are coming up. Massive demonstrations on the most important issues affecting the people of this country and the world will coincide with, and in some cases directly challenge, these conventions.

Schedule of DNC protests in Denver

In Denver the Recreate 68 Alliance has put together a series of events for the five days of the Democratic National Convention. The group has been organizing protests since the announcement early last year that Denver would host the gathering.

The protests are designed to show the Democratic Party’s complicity with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as expose it as a party of the capitalist class.

The week begins Aug. 23 with training and clinics from noon to 6 p.m. at Lincoln Park across the street from the State Capitol.

An Aug. 24 End the Occupations rally on the west steps of the Capitol begins at 9 a.m., and a march kicks off from the Capitol at 10:30 a.m. and goes to the Pepsi Center. Featured speakers at the rally include Ida Audeh, a Palestinian refugee; former Black Panther Kathleen Cleaver; Ward Churchill; Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. of the Prisoners of Conscience Committee; Larry Holmes of Troops Out Now Coalition; Larry Hales of Recreate 68 and FIST; Ron Kovic, author of ‘Born on the Fourth of July;’ and Cynthia McKinney, Green Party presidential candidate. Performances will be by Blue Scholars, David Rovics, M-1 and stic man of dead prez, and Jim Page.

On Aug. 25 a march and rally for human rights and in solidarity with political prisoners will begin at 10 a.m. at Civic Center Park in downtown Denver and proceed to the federal courthouse.

There will be special messages from Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier. Speakers will include Pam Africa from the MOVE Organization; Rosa Clemente, Green Party vice presidential candidate; King Downing, national coordinator for the ACLU Campaign against Racial Profiling; Ricardo Romero, national coordinator of the Mexican Liberation Organization; Natsu Saito; Jenny Esquiveo, speaking for political prisoner Eric McDavid; and Cha Cha Jiménez, founder of the Young Lords.

And on Aug. 28 the DNC National Mobilization for Just and Humane Immigration Reform will stage a march beginning at Rudy Park, 2855 W. Howard Pl., moving down Colfax Avenue to a rally at Lincoln Park.

An event billed as the Festival of Democracy will occur throughout the week, with speakers including Deb Sweet from World Can’t Wait and Ramona Africa from MOVE, as well as representatives of many organizations sponsoring and holding events on imperialism, the economic crisis, racism and the prison-industrial complex, sexism, homophobia, and many other capitalist ills.

Other musicians and spoken-word artists performing throughout the week are Savage Family, Rebel Diaz, Debajo Del Agua, DJ Cavem/Moetavation, Whiskey Blanket, Mindstates Music, Dario Rosa, DJ Asar Heru and Karma, Dinigunim, Slam Nuba and more. For details for all events, see recreate68.org.

Schedule of RNC protests in St. Paul

The Sept. 1-4 actions at the Republican National Convention focus on the following four slogans: “U.S. out of Iraq now! Money for human needs, not for war! Say no to the Republican agenda! Demand peace, justice and equality!”

The issuing call reads: “Whether you are building the labor movement in Peoria, Ill., building solidarity with Palestine, or are speaking out against the many injustices that face people at home and abroad,” people should go to St. Paul to protest the Republican National Convention.

The action begins Aug. 31 at 10 a.m. with a Solemn Funeral Procession organized by Vets for Peace at the State Capitol, with a display of Boots on the Ground, followed by a march with participants carrying tombstones with names of dead soldiers and Iraqis.

On Sept. 1, different groups start mobilizations at 11 a.m. for a 1 p.m. major march on the RNC, followed by a closing rally and music from 4 to 6 p.m.

Contingents include the Minnesota Coalition for Immigrant Rights (MIRAC), gathering on the West Steps of the Capitol building on Constitution and University Streets at 11 a.m. MIRAC says: “No to war against oppressed peoples. No to war against the immigrant community. No to state terrorism against Latin America.”

The Poor People’s Contingent is meeting on the west side of the Capitol Mall, and a Crash the Convention group organized by the RNC Welcoming Committee is also taking part in the march.

There will be A Solutions Driven Conference, called Peace Island, held at Concordia University on 275 Syndicate Street North in St. Paul, starting at 8:00 a.m. on Sept. 2 and ending at 8:00 p.m. on Sept. 3. Organizers say: “Nationally known speakers will participate in panels and discussions relating to their fields of expertise,” including Col. Ann Wright (ret.), Sara Flounders of the Troops Out Now Coalition, Leslie Cagan of United for Peace and Justice and many others.

For music, on Sept. 2 from 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. go to the RNC Music Festival at the Capitol Mall. This Political Festival says, “All ideologies welcome—intended to create a positive and welcoming space to organize for progressive change. A nonpartisan event, featuring Anti-Flag, Wookie Foot, the Sustainable Living Roadshow and more. Free and open to all.”

On Sept. 2 at 4 p.m., gathering at Mears Park in St. Paul, there will be a March for Our Lives! focusing on demands for “Money for health care and housing, not for war!” called by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.

On Sept. 4 people will rally at the State Capitol at 4 p.m. and, say organizers, “march to the Xcel Center where people will utilize a diversity of tactics to confront the RNC creatively and directly.” For details for all events, see marchonrnc.org.