Political observers are predicting massive protests and civil disobedience at the Republican convention in Philadelphia and the Democratic convention in L.A. this summer. Many political analysts believe this new wave of militant progressive political dissent started with the outburst in Columbus in 1998 at CNN’s Town Hall Meeting on Iraq. The mood of protest escalated last fall during the battle of Seattle. The demonstrations turned into a full-scale movement this spring at the IMF/World Bank meeting in Washington D.C. Not since the New Left’s last stand against Reagan in Detroit in 1980 or the 1972 Republican convention in Miami have the major party conventions inspired such dedicated counter-demonstrators. News reports are even beginning to make reference to the legendary 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, and it looks like the whole world will be watching again.

If you want to know why such resentment and resistance now, read Jim Hightower’s new book (see the Review, page 22-23), particularly pages 152-153 showing that despite all the hype over the high-tech revolution, “The real job market is decidedly low-tech.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics points out that out of the 30 “fastest growing job categories” only seven require a bachelor’s degree and half of them pay less than $18,000 a year. The Brave New World of $12,000 child care workers, $13,000 teacher aides and cashiers, $14,000 waiters/waitresses, $15,000 nurse aides and $16,000 package handlers serving the new global corporate plutocracy is all to apparent despite the relentless propaganda from multinational media conglomerates.

Hundreds of media activists in Los Angeles have come together to form the Independent Media Center (IMC). Housed in an office building only a half mile from the DNC convention, which runs from August 14-17, alternative and independent journalists from around the nation will operate from this site.

The IMC plans to cover the demonstrations via the Internet with both audio and video webstreaming from their website: www.la.indymedia.org. The web radio station will run 24 hours a day during the convention. The IMC satellite uplink truck will operate outside the IMC center offering live connections to all network and cable stations. The Independent Media Coalition is looking for writers and editors – an IMC press pass costs $5 to work out of their office – to put out a daily convention newspaper, the LA Free Press.

The IMC is also searching for websites that will host their dispatches from the convention or post their articles. They can be reached at: chris@regenerationtv.com. A tentative schedule of planned protests includes:

  • Sunday, August 13 A Mumia Abu Jamal support march during the day and a large demonstration in the evening at the Santa Monica Pier where the DNC is hosting a megabuck fundraiser.
  • Monday, August 14 The “Human Need Not Corporate Greed” March For Our Lives kicks off at 3pm in downtown L.A. and culminates with a march to the Staples Center where the Dems are meeting.
  • Tuesday, August 15 The “An Injury to One is an Injury to All” march will focus on economic and environmental justice and ending racism and sexism.
  • Wednesday, August 16 A march under the banner of “Stop Police Brutality, the Prison Industrial Complex, the Death Penalty and the Criminalization of our Communities – From Youth to Seniors, We Demand a Future!”
  • Thursday, August 17 A closing march and candlelight vigil around “Global Economic Justice, Anti-Militarism and Worker’s Rights”
  • The IMC is also covering the Republican convention in Philadelphia July 21-Aug. 3.

    Philadelphia Republican Party National Convention Demonstrations

    The Philadelphia Direct Action Group (P-DAG) is planning non-violent direct action at the 2000 Republican National Convention in their city to protest and challenge the policies of the Republican Party. P-DAG is a member of the R2K Network and is the only group in Philadelphia organizing direct action throughout the convention. Join the Working Groups to help organize the demonstrations. Housing is available.

    Check out the website at www.theparty’sover.org.


    • July 30 Free Mumia-Shut down the Prison Industrial Complex, sponsored by the International Action Center 212-633-6646, www.iacenter.org.
    • July 31 March for Economic and Human Rights Sponsored by the Kensington Welfare Rights Union. March from Philadelphia City Hall, down South Broad Street to the First Union Center where the convention will be taking place.
    • Aug 1 Target – The Criminal Injustice System A demonstration focusing on the Prison Industrial Complex, racist and classist sentencing practices, the (Drug) War on civil liberties, prison reform, death penalty abolition and political prisoners – Free Mumia!
    • Aug. 2 Target – Direct Action Convention Disruption Stay tuned!
    • Aug. 3 Jail Solidarity and other surprises

    For more information on the IMC, contact: Joan Sekler, Coordinator, 310-458-6566.

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