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RNC Protest Pit
by repost
Friday Jun 25th, 2004 12:39 PM
There is growing evidence that the NYPD is planning on setting up a "protest pit" during the convention
There is growing evidence that the NYPD is planning on setting up a "protest pit" during the convention. They have been offering people who have requested march permits, a rally permit instead for 8th Ave. south of 30th St., which is near the convention. My speculation is that they will work to prevent all marches during the convention and force people into the one approved rally area.

Given past practice, my assessment is that this rally site will be ringed with multiple layers of steel barriers and the crowd will be subdivided into one block groups. In addition, crosstown streets and one or more lanes of 8th Ave. will be kept open to vehicles. There will be limited entry and exit points and police will look people over and possibly ask to search them upon entry. Groups that agree to this will probably experience no additional problems with the police regardless of the content of their demonstration.

People who protest outside the approved area can expect massive police response, although it is my guess that they want to avoid excessive use of force, and will instead rely on huge numbers of officers to "box in" any unauthorized protests, followed by dispersal in small groups or mass arrests.

If the Direct Action events are planned as CD's the police will probably peaceably accommodate them. Mobile tactics and other disruptive actions could see some force used in the form of pepper spray and aggressive arrests, but I personally doubt we'll see the use of horses, water cannon, or tear gas, unless "disobedient" crowds at any one location go above 5,000 people or if there is property destruction or violence. In that case, all bets are off.

For more on the policing of demonstrations in NYC visit my web site: http://www.nyc-justice.org

Alex Vitale
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shutdown nycamoFriday Jun 25th, 2004 4:20 PM

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