Protesters gearing up for RNC...will this effect the elections?

I was watching CNN tonight and they ran a story on New York city gearing up for the expected protesters (many of who are already beginning to enter the city in numbers) and thought I’d start a thread on it. What effect, if any, do you think this will have on the election? Will the protests be peaceful or will they go out of control, and how bad could it get? If the latter, does this effect your guess on how this will effect the election? How do you feel about these protests? What do you think the protesters should do?

The one more or less personal comment I’ll make in the OP is that this is a bit disturbing to me. The New York City cops looked like they were gearing up for a war. Maybe its all hype and all for not, but they were showing footage of protesters streaming into New York…and there have already been some disruptions of traffic and such (sort of pre-RNC protest protests).

I don’t remember such a protest at the DNC…nor so many who are expressing their commitment to seriously disrupt the RNC. To me this is really un-American. Protest…no problem. Peacefully. Knock yourselfs out, more power to ya. But to actually attempt to disrupt the convention just doesn’t seem right some how.

Anyway, comments?


Peaceful protest- benefit Kerry
Violent protesters that display an overwhelming kook fringe mentality to middle America - advantage Bush

Will New York 2004 be similar to Chicago 1968?

“just doesn’t seem right somehow”

As a Yippie, I must disagree.
Back when, they decided disrupting would show the government to be oppressive, which many didn’t believe.

Will it be the same?
Gosh, I hope not.
I have a feeling, maybe after reading too much conspiracy literature, they’ve got the camps ready and if someone you know is going to protest, make sure they get in touch with you regularly.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I will be watching with great interest.

If they come down too hard on the protestors, it will look bad for Bush, also.

I think it also depends on the appearance of the protestors.

Loud, college-age, dred-locked, inarticulate protestors with safety pins stuck in their eyebrows and Nazi Bush tattoos on their foreheads= bad for Kerry

White, middle-class-looking, next-door-neighbor-types carrying professional-looking signs, calmly expressing their opinion to the reporters on the scene = bad for Bush

Bad acting police = bad for Bush

Violence and obnoxiousness from the protestors = bad for Kerry

The protestors will absolutely need to get a hold of the media’s collective microphone AND put out their best representatives. The more they highlight the “everydayness” of the average protestor, the more effective they will be.

Definitely agree that if the protesters simply protest then its a net gain for Kerry. I have no problem with protests at the RNC whatsoever. My problem is if these guys try and disrupt the RNC with violence, etc . If this happens I think Kerry is going to take a pretty big hit in the polls and it might even cost him the election. I guess time will tell as the RNC is this week, but I think someone ought to try and impress on these folks that if they are interested in getting Kerry elected that their best bet is to protest, but keep it real.
So, vanilla, if I’m understanding your somewhat confusing post correctly, you are in favor of disrupting our political process via violent means? Would you support an ultra-rightwing group of religious nutballs violently disrupting the DNC (assuming you could actually put together a large enough group to do this)?


no. absolutely not.
I am a pacifist.
I am just explaining what the 68 Yippies intentions were.

I root the protesters on… the Republican party today is just a total piece of shit…

Speaking as someone who was in Washington Square Park a few hours ago, they seem pretty harmless (if occasionally loud) so far. New Yorkers on the whole are mostly nervous; everybody’s keeping an eye out for the Fifty Major Anarchists who are rumored to be on the way or already here planning havoc. People in my outer-boro neighborhood are especially nervous because a whole bunch of them are cops, on the one hand, and the rest of us have loooong commuter rides to work–on subways that have to go on tracks and buses that have to go on streets (driving into Manhattan is not an option).

As for the cops, they’ll probably be like American athletes in Greece right now. They’ve all had extensive training and had it drummed into their heads that the whole world will be watching and the cannot, whatever the provocation, go too far. They’ve been drilled in all the annoying or dangerous things the protestors are expected to goad them with and hopefully, it’s worked. I can’t promise all the cops will behave impeccably but I don’t expect the flatfoots to walk in there with billy-clubs a-swinging. And they have to wear all that gear (in horrible August heat) because all you need is ONE person out of all the hundreds of thousands of people out there with a chemical weapon and somebody’s got to help evacuate people and all. Cops can’t do much to help if they’re on the ground with everybody else.

Check my pit thread about the Party. The link has an interesting bit of commentary. Apparently, there’s an anti-protestor group called . And the protestors just found their manhattan HQ. Protestwarrior’s manifesto makes no sense,after a brief analysis. I may not understand the perspective of the leftist protest groups, but I understand these guys have their heads up Limbaugh’s tailpipe.

It’s going to be bad. But the worst part is how empty the city was today.

Protestwarrior is hilarious. Check out the gallery section of their website.

The fat naked AIDS protestors have set a good precedent!

This is gonna be such a fun week!

So far so good. I was actually enjoying the coverage of the protests this morning on the news. The giant pink elephant especially was funny, as well as the manequin dressed up like a nazi with Bush’s face…and a Hitler-esque mustache. If it stays like this it will be a huge plus for Kerry I think.


If the protestors get violent, it’s a plus for Bush; if the protests are peaceful, Bush can turn round and say, “The right to peacefully protest is one of the things for which we’re fighting.” He may not win, but it’s going to be difficult for him to lose.

One thing that strikes me listening to the interviews on NBC’s coverage…nearly every person interviewed were saying they want the US out of Iraq right now (they were quite strident about it)…only a few said they were there for another reason. What I don’t understand is, if this is the case with the majority of the protesters, why are they supporting Kerry (seemingly…many of the ones saying this were carrying Kerry signs)? Why aren’t they supporting Michael Badnarik…or Nader I suppose, both of who have stated they WILL remove troops, immediately? Afaik (and correct me if I’m wrong here) Kerry’s position is pretty much the same as Bush’s (though he claims he’ll do it better of course) with the exception that he will try and court Europe more closely to carry more of the burden.

But, again afaik, Kerry has no plans to withdraw the troops from Iraq, at least thats what he’s saying…immediately or otherwise. So, I’m a bit confused here I suppose…either this isn’t really an important issue (in which case, why bother with this protest against the Republicans only, when the Democrats ALSO don’t plan to remove troops), or if its an important issue, why support Kerry? Lesser of two evils or do they think he’s simply paying lip service to the centrists and will pull the rug out from under the war if he’s elected??

Also, does anyone think this is the majority opinion of the protesters, or is it just the way NBC is reporting the protests? I’m really curious about this one.


After watching the protests for a few hours, I can say that it wasn’t a bunch of bong-smoking anarchists that just want to stick it to the man. There was a HUGE variety of people there and the one thing that was uniting them was that they are passionately against this administration.

One person struck me in particular, this black guy exploded on someone and I heard a string of uncensored curse words on CSPAN, he was saying “Fuck your agenda! Fuck this administration!” etc. Once he calmed down he explained to the interviewer that he felt like America wasn’t even his country anymore, and this grown man starting crying. He didnt come across as some liberal nut, I actually was very touched that some people feel so strongly about Bush.

I loved the close up they decided to get of one of the guys carrying a coffin. He was biting his nails.
“Hey, we saw you on tv dude!”
“Really? Did I look good?”

What would happen, though, if another candidate won, (hypothetically) and did take the troops out?
What would happen?

Vote Libertarian and see vanilla. Michael Badnarik has already said unequivocally that this would be the first thing he’d do. :slight_smile: Of course, thats easy for him to say as he has zero chance of getting elected unfortunately. If Kerry were to do this he’d be cutting his own throat…which is why he hasn’t even made any noises about doing this.


I see FoxNews attempting to minimize the number of protestors… while others are “neutral” about it. Police didn’t give figures.

If the media portray protests as small in number, violent or unruly that is good for Bush. If the protests are seen as “more spontaneous”, not violent and big in numbers it will be bad for Bush. Hopefully it shows that NY was chosen in order to use once again 9/11 as propaganda material… protests might awaken voters to this fact.

I’ve seen numerous threads here and elsewhere in the past portraying protestors against Bush or War as whiners. Very frequent labeling protestors as unhappy and anarchist. Or any other suitable label. That is pretty sad… goes back to the idea that people should support the president no matter what. (Britney Spears anyone?)

My understanding of the numbers were that the protesters were claiming 250k. No idea how accurate that is (sounds pretty high) but thats the only number I’ve seen thrown around so far. I didn’t watch Fox today though (except for a bit of pre-RNC hype and a bit about Bush saying he thinks people should drop the Swift Boats thing…and that in his opinion Kerry certainly WAS a hero, and that he, himself wasn’t. I was actually impressed in spite of myself).