Outside the Convention

So I go to get the materials I'm supposed to be passing out at the RNC, only to find that somebody did not bother coordinating this with the hotel where the stuff is. They want faxed authorizations, etc. etc. So basically I'm out four bucks and three hours. Eh...

I have never seen so many cops in my life, and I was in Israel during the worst of the terror attacks 2001-02. The NYPD was definitely in full riot-control mode. They must have been kept pretty busy; I didn't see any violence where I was, but every minute or two a police van came flying by, sirens blasting, so there must have been something going on.

The M.O. of the protesters was interesting. They had a few guys at a particular street corner I passed, just keeping it warm; then a few minutes later, a ton of them showed up out of nowhere and started bringing down the house. Then, in a few minutes, they all dispersed again. I can only speculate that they were trying to keep the cops off-balance. The cops were tense as hell. I understand completely; I've been at a few protests, but the mood here was the most volatile I've seen, a sort of seething anger. Things weren't even that bad at U. of Michigan when we faced down a Palestinian protest at their "Divestment Conference," and some of those protesters were genuine terrorists!

But from what I heard talking to other guys, tonight was relatively tame. It did not seem like there were too many protesters, maybe a few thousand. On the subway back to campus I found a flyer for the "International Socialist Organization," decrying Kerry's unwillingness to advocate their utopia. I couldn't help but smile. Does this make Kerry a S.I.N.O.?

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