Dealing with a Braying Donkey in Their Backyard

Protestors, some Bostonians, give Democratic National Convention a cold reception

| July 2004 Issue

  • dnc-medea-benjamin

  • dnc-medea-benjamin

BOSTON -- Even before the 2004 Democratic National Convention kicked off in a puff of pomp and patriotic smoke, much of New England had already grown sick and tired of the whole ordeal. A three-city-block radius of prime expressways and urban thoroughfares around the Fleet Center downtown had been closed off, as well as sections of the city Transit line to deter any would-be terrorist mischief. Senior citizens living in the neighborhood were told to keep forms of identification on them at all times, lest they be mistaken for Al Qaeda sleeper cells. Worst of all, the state security apparatus had erected a "free speech zone" in damp quarters hidden under the train tracks and surrounded by barbed wire and netting, into which the authorities will seek to confine the thousands of protestors expected to crash the big party.

Analogies to Guantanamo Bay -- even Auschwitz -- abounded.