According to the following report-back posted around the Internet, Grand Rapids participated in protests against the 2008 elections called for by the group Unconventional Denver to build momemntum towards protests at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) and Republican National Convention (RNC) this summer:
We Vote No! Round-up of Super Tuesday Protests
While the presidential contenders were busy raising millions of dollars in a matter of hours trying to convince people to vote for them at the caucuses, some people took the Super Tuesday fiasco as an opportunity to bring up issues that both the candidates and the mainstream media have continued to ignore.
Unconventional Denver, a local group part of nationwide network of anarchists and anti-authoritarians organizing against the upcoming political conventions, called for last minute actions against the elections on Tuesday, February 5th.
Actions both initiated by and independent of the Unconventional Action call appeared in Boston, Denver, Grand Junction, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, and San Francisco.
Activities ranged from wheatpasting and banner drops to street theatre, soapbox speeches, and crashing the caucuses with lists of demands for the pro-war Democratic candidates.
These actions follow recent actions that have happened outside the CNN Democratic debates in LA, numerous planning consultas held across the country and other creative actions taken to show the alternative to the specter of the democracy the two parties insist is the only means of change.
Already, more activity is in the works with at least eleven campuses planning on hosting Tent State Universities that will lead up to a national one set up during the Democratic National Convention. More consultas are being planned, including one in Olympia, WA this weekend and the RNC Welcoming Committee is now touring the continent in preparation for the RNC protests.
Here’s a brief report on each locale:
The city of Boston was graced with four banner drops declaring “Nobody For President” and asking “Love Democracy but Hate Politicians?… Try Anarchy.” There was also liberal amounts of wheatpasting denouncing so-called representative democracy and promoting democracy that is direct. There was also several incidents of street theatre in the city.
A banner was dropped over the I-25 during rush hour declaring “Two Parties, No Voice” which was greeted by many honks of approval and one thumbs down by cop driving by. The officer later changed his tune when he went up to question the activists asking, “So what does that thing say anyways.” When he heard, he walked away muttering “Ain’t that the truth.” The action was also covered by the wonderful Fox News.
Just hours before the caucuses began in Grand Junction, a banner was unfurled stating “WE VOTE NO” on the new parking garage in downtown Grand Junction. Emblazoned with a red anarchy sign, the banner faced the Wayne Aspinall Federal Building.
Anti-election and anti-state posters were wheatpasted around the city of Grand Rapids and the banner drops continued, this one explaining frankly that “Elections Never Stop Wars,” accompanied by a sweet anarchy in the spirit of a new spring coming.
Milwaukee anarchists also joined in on this day with banner drops as well.
In the East Bay the newly revived Direct Action to Stop the War, the group that helped organize the shut down of downtown San Francisco the day the war began, organized their first return action on Super Tuesday by marching to the Obama and Clinton headquarters.
Demonstrators, accompanied by about a dozen San Francisco police officers, marched from U.N. Plaza, carrying signs and banners, to Clinton’s campaign office on Howard St. and were met at the door by Clinton staffers. After a brief dialogue, demonstrators tried to enter the offices and were denied entry. Police stepped in to keep activists from going inside. Demonstrators then taped up large posters on the building’s exterior, and Clinton supporters came out and ripped the signs down, claiming the right to do so because they were “defacing” the building.
After the confrontation at the Clinton office, demonstrators proceeded to the Obama office near Market and Octavia and were met by Obama staffers at the front door. This time there was no conflict, as demonstrators explained their concerns about Obama’s questionable anti-war credentials. After another 10-15 minutes, the demonstration broke up.
To keep up with ongoing movements against political banality and for true grassroots participation and change visit the following websites.