New York Magazine



     
  The Convention Kicker: Dispatches from the convention center, the parties, and the protests. New York Magazine blogs the RNC.  
     
  George and the Jungle: The Republicans are leaving New Yorkers with unexpected emotion: envy.  

 
  Intelligencer: Why Ben Bradlee's birthday bash left Barbara Walters peeved.
 

     
  Meet the Press: How Hustler, High Times, US Weekly, and YM are covering the convention.
 

     
  Talking Points: The convention proved, in the memorable words of the Bush twins, just how “unhip” the Republicans are.  

     
  The Big Question: If Bush's presidency ended today, what would it be?  

 
  Protexting: How are activists monitoring civil disobedience by cell phone? A sampling of the reports.  

 
  Write Your Own Acceptance Speech in 8 Easy Steps: Former presidental speechwriters explain.
 

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The Protest Barometer
You know Bush must go but which protest is right for you? Some protesters are angrier than others. Some will be closer to the GOP Zone. And, some are sending signals that a law or two may be broken. We've laid out your ten best options and rated them on how hot we expect them to get.
 
By Carla Spartos
 
A31
August 31, all day, concluding with a 7 p.m. swarming of Madison Square Garden
An ad-hoc collective of anarchist groups has called for a day of direct action, which kicks off at 9:30 a.m. outside Tavern on the Green and culminates in a mass swarming of Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m.. Says a31.org: "A radical affront to democracy calls for a radical response." Think theatrical, yippie-style mayhem, with property damage by more mischievous rabblerousers a distinct possibility.

Expected Crowd Size:
Thousands

Rage: 10
The West Side Highway is for wimps.
Proximity: 10
Strikes at the heart of the GOP Zone.
Outlaw: 10
Permit? What permit?

Overall Rating = 10

United for Peace and Justice March
August 29, 10 a.m., gathering from 14th to 23rd streets, between Sixth and Eighth avenues
UFP&J may have nixed its rally after the State Supreme Court denied its request for Central Park, but the big march is still on: Protesters will proceed up Seventh Avenue, past Madison Square Garden, turning east on 34th Street, and down Fifth Avenue until Union Square, where marchers will disperse.

Expected Crowd Size:
Hundreds of thousands

Rage: 10
A litany of complaints to do Michael Moore proud.
Proximity: 6
Barricades should fence out protesters until they are safely on the other side of town.
Outlaw: 10
Unpredictability inevitable in a crowd this size.

Overall Rating = 8.7

Chaos on Broadway
August 29, 4 p.m., Times Square
The Hubbub Collective is a group of loosely affiliated militant activists who balk at protesting on the fringes of Manhattan, as United for Peace and Justice has agreed to do. According to their call to action, "The Republicans will be carousing on Broadway, watching shows, drinking martinis and laughing at our ineffectiveness. Or will they?" Participants are directed to bring streamers, noisemakers, and other attention grabbers.

Expected Crowd Size:
Hundreds

Rage: 6
Merry pranksters don't take too much seriously.
Proximity: 8
Broadway convergence rings MSG.
Outlaw: 8
Protesters warn of "police snatch squads and assaults." Ouch.

Overall Rating = 7.3

Manhattan Libertarian Party Unauthorized Protest
August 29, noon, Great Lawn, Central Park
The four-year-old group sets out to prove staunch capitalists know how to protest too. The United for Peace & Justice people couldn't get a permit for the spot, but the MLP won't be deterred. Warning: the NYPD is prepared for this one.

Expected Crowd Size:
Dozens to hundreds

Rage: 7
They're both mad and moneyed.
Proximity: 7
If enough protesters siphon into the park, things could turn ugly.
Outlaw: 8
An act of defiance in the spirit of the founding fathers.

Overall Rating = 7.3

RNC Critical Mass
August 27, 7 p.m., north end of Union Square
Once a month, the environmental group TIME'S UP hosts a "critical mass," in which thousands of bikers and inline skaters take to the streets. Chaos erupts in the form of angry drivers honking and cursing, which only emphasizes the car's pollutive qualities. For this special RNC edition, expect a slow, disruptive ride up Eighth Avenue into tourist-heavy midtown, wrapping up with an info-sharing party at Pier 63's Frying Pan.

Expected Crowd Size:
Thousands

Rage: 8
Can you say Kyoto Accord?
Proximity: 7
GOP-area street closures don't begin until August 29, but still...
Outlaw: 3
These bikers are no Hell’s Angels.

Overall Rating = 6

The Naming Project
August 30, vigil begins at 10 a.m. and continues indefinitely, St. Mark's Church, 10th Street at Second Avenue
Theaters Against the War, an international collective of anti-war theater groups, is collecting the names of every person killed in U.S. military action since September 11, American or Iraqi, military or civilian. When the convention kicks off, the names will be read as part of a continuous vigil that's sure to be a long, grim reminder of the climbing death toll.

Expected Crowd Size:
Dozens to Hundreds

Rage: 10
Roll call of dead evokes palpable emotions.
Proximity: 1
Welcome to the East Village, the birthplace of American anarchism.
Outlaw: 4
Progressive St. Mark’s Church is a haven for city protesters, but it’s still a church.

Overall Rating = 5

Ring Out the Republicans
August 28, 5:30 p.m., World Trade Center site
With Democrats and Republicans battling for symbolic ownership of Ground Zero, RingOut.org hopes their simple plan to ring as many as 2,500 hand-held bells at the site will resonate with the masses. New-music pioneer Pauline Oliveros will debut an original work for the observance.

Expected Crowd Size:
Thousands

Rage: 6
Transcendental-like philosophy radiates hope.
Proximity: 3
Far from the GOP Zone physically if not spiritually.
Outlaw: 6
The setting ought to blunt crowd anger, or will it increase it?

Overall Rating = 5

Billionaire Croquet Party
August 29, 10 a.m., Central Park, location TBA
In top hats and formalwear, Billionaires for Bush often get confused for real Republicans. (They've even been known to fire up unsuspecting GOPers with their "Four More Wars!" chant.) The group calls this event, "the real reason United for Peace and Justice was denied a permit for Central Park." Followed by a noon Million Billionaire March outside the Plaza Hotel at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Expected Crowd Size:
Dozens to Hundreds

Rage: 1
Tongue-in-cheek "campaign" to privatize Central Park.
Proximity: 7
Far from midtown, but not necessarily from the police.
Outlaw: 6
It's illegal to stage a rally of more than 20 people in a public park, but are they protesting or playing?

Overall Rating = 4.7

Reverend Billy's First Amendment Mob
August 31, 6:30-7 p.m., World Trade Center Path Station
The RNC marks the final installment of the first-amendment flash mob, which has mystified New Jersey commuters every Tuesday since March as part of Reverend Billy's "Ground Zero Performance Festival." The anti-corporate activist and his followers chant the first amendment into their cell phones, seemingly unbeknownst to one another, growing louder until they "become a crowd with one common statement." (Reverend Billy will also be performing bring-your-own-vows "weddings" on Central Park's Great Lawn two days earlier, starting at 1 p.m. on August 29)

Expected Crowd Size:
Dozens

Rage: 4
Dada tactics mean confusion over message.
Proximity: 3
Jostling of elbows with New Jersey Republicans fairly likely.
Outlaw: 4
Will New Yorkers notice people talking on their cell phones?

Overall Rating = 3.7

Involver
August 31, 8pm, Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway
THIS CONCERT HAS BEEN CANCELED. The Involver newsletter has become a national forum for youth-friendly music-centric mobilization, and this night of culture with a downtown bent is no different. Think of it as an edgier version of Moveon.org's "Vote for Change" tour, with everybody's favorite hipster comic David Cross hosting indie-artist headliners Sleater-Kinney and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

Expected Crowd Size:
Thousands

Rage: 6
Mad enough to spend $78.50 on an orchestra seat.
Proximity: 1
The U.W.S. about as far from the G.O.P. as it gets in N.Y.C.
Outlaw: 1
Attendees tried to skip town but couldn't wrangle Hamptons beds.

Overall Rating = 2.7

 
 
 
 
Published on August 19, 2004.