Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Day at the DNC


I spent several hours walking around downtown Denver yesterday, to see what was going on outside the convention. It was real fun, but sorry, no stories of rioters or cracked skulls. Here are some of the things I did see.

MSNBC was doing the Chris Matthews show live from an outdoor stage right on 16th St. near Union Station. Of course, television cameras will attract all the crazies, so there was quite a bit of chanting in the background, primarily by people who believe w. was behind 9/11. And crazies attract cops, so there were almost as many cops in riot gear standing nearby. Everything remained peaceful.

Nancy Pelosi apparently has to eat, and must have done so in a restaurant on Larimer St. not far from the Pepsi Center. The whole street was closed off so she could get into her black SUV (what happened to the green convention?....I saw a bunch of black SUV's shuttling VIPS. I turned the corner to walk down that block, and it was closed with a cop escort of about 4 cars, and her vehicle. Everyone on the street knew this was for someone important, but no one knew who.

Obamamania is everywhere. And if you don't think Democrats like capitalism, think again. On every corner there was something new with Obama's likeness on it. Most clever was "Obama in a Bottle" sold from a car that had a, well, giant Obama in a bottle on a trailer behind it. Only $1995!

The streets around the Pepsi Center are fenced off so that you can't get within a quarter mile of it without credentials. That means the main protesters, the really out there folks, anarchists, nut jobs, conspiracy theorists......they have set up camp in Civic Center Park, which is sort of at the other end of downtown. There was a "Green Safe Zone" where a bunch of hippies were lined up for free food, and some angry rap music (is there any other kind) being performed, and, even among the anarchists, plenty of counter-culture stuff for sale.

Of course, not all protesters were from the far left. The anti-abortion crowd is also here, with trucks with billboards ("Abortion is an Obamination") or trucks that are billboards. Also saw some guys walking down the street with McCain signs.

Just down the street from where I sort of caught a glimpse of Nancy Pelosi there was a group of women who called themselves Missile Dick Chicks (see photo) who sang a song called "Shop in the Name of War", complete with choreography. Very amusing, but don't buy their CD.

Finally, there were cops, police, law enforcement officers, the fuzz, pigs, the heat......you get the idea. Cops everywhere. Cops on foot, cops on bikes, cops on SUV's, cops on horses (the horses are wearing protective goggles!). Large groups from all over Colorado on every street corner.

The general feeling, despite the police presence, was festive and fun. Most people were there to have a good time, or to do business. And even the protesters I saw seemed to be protesting in a positive friendly spirit, except for some in Civic center who were angry at the arrests of a group on Monday night. It was quite a fun way to spend an afternoon.

I took a bunch of pictures, and will put them on photoshop express later today, then add a link to them here. So check back later if you'd like to see the back of Chris Matthews' head.

2 comments:

ginder said...

TTG, I moved to Iowa, the hotbed of election primaries, so am watching from afar. Me being a moderate conservative (therefore, hated more than the old John McCain), I am intrigued by your story of the day. I wanted to be a bouncer for a week, just to be at the DNC, although my wife made me leave town and I don't think they would take someone like me anyway because of my political preferences and I am too good lookin' (if you are tall and thin....). In any case, I am glad your have done your civic duty and have supported the right leaning, worst owners in baseball all in the same week. Chuck Ginder

ClaireWalter said...

I was a volunteer on the DNC's "media distribution team" and therefore had credentials for the duration. There was a weird disconnect between the advocates of every stripe and every degree of mental stability on the outside and the fervent Obama and Clinton supporters on the inside -- plus the media who outnumbered them. I blogged my experiences at http://travel-babel.blogspot.com (Aug 24-29 posts).

When McCain announced his runningmate, I thought it was either a Hail Mary pass or the smartest thing he could have done. She is an attractive and effective campaigner, even if the words out of her mouth are reprehensible. Right now, she seems to have been a smart choice, but I hope the media and the electorate get tired of her and wake up and see what McCain calls "America's fundamentally strong economy" collapsing around them. You know it's bad when a laissez-faire administration like the current Republican one starts bailing out (selected) failed corporations.