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    In what will surely become the oxymoron of the century a group of self described anarchists have banded together to threaten the city of Denver Colorado. Denver received $50 million dollars from the federal government to pay for security costs during the Democratic National Convention that runs from August 25th to 28th. These self described anarchists have demanded Denver use the money for community programs instead and have said they will sit out the convention if the money is redirected.

    Pardon me for laughing. There are so many holes in this offer I don’t know where to begin. Should I start with the organization of anarchists? Just writing “organization of anarchists” set off my irony alarm so loudly I think I woke people up six blocks away. Simply by the act of organizing makes anarchists less anarch-y, if you will. This is what 30 plus years of liberal created, feel-good, learn-nothing education will create, anarchists banding together.

    Now these “anarchists” (and I must use quotes on the word anarchist for the remainder of this article as these people simply do not understand the word they have decided to label themselves with) are telling the City of Denver, the federal government and the DNC they’ll sit home and be good little anarchists if the money is given to “the community?”

    Let’s say the City of Denver capitulated and used the 50 million for city programs instead. The city would have no security and these “anarchists” could sweep in unopposed to cause wreak havoc and mayhem. Now this is exactly what I would expect anarchists to do. Sweep in unannounced where they aren’t expected and cause all kinds of trouble.

    Or let’s try a different scenario. The city uses the funds for community programs, leaving the city unprotected and a different group of anarchists comes barging into town to wreak havoc and mayhem. How do we know there’s only one anarchist group out there? Why should the city of Denver (or any city over a few thousand inhabitants) be scared of any group of self proclaimed “anarchists?”

    The group, “Unconventional Denver” is planning protests and one of the organizers, Clayton Dewey, had this to say;

    "As anarchists, we feel the greatest problem with government is how its primary interest is to protect the profits of those in power, even when it comes at the expense of the general public”

    The group organizing the protests in Denver call themselves “DNC Disruption08.” They include groups such as “Recreate 68” or “R-68” for short. The goal of R-68 apparently is to recreate the riots that occurred during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where protestors and police clashed. The trials of the group that became known as The Chicago Seven, where seven people were put on trial for inciting riots may very well happen again to a new group of people if R-68 gets their wish.

    Right now their plan seems to be marching in the streets making as much noise as possible. This seems harmless enough, however in a very noisy setting calls for aid would go unheard and if someone were to keel over with a heart attack nobody would be able to hear the pleas for assistance.

    I can actually see the authorities rounding people up for breaking noise ordinances. I know in most cities any noise over a certain decibel level is considered a nuisance. For pure comedy you probably cannot top a group of protesters being arrested for being too loud. But worse than the noise is the very real possibility of these groups actually inciting riots and the culpability they would face if this occurred.

    In a post 9/11 world the charges could range from inciting a riot to terrorist acts. Imagine if some members of R-68 decide that making noise in the streets isn’t good enough and maybe burning a few cop cars would make a better statement. Or maybe they’ll decide (like every other group of anarchists) to exact revenge against their corporate masters by breaking windows and looting.

    If these groups stick to their plans to march and make noise I don't see trouble arising but it only takes one or two bad apples to spoil the whole barrel. It is not a far stretch for a group calling themselves “anarchists” to attract a group of destructive individuals who start breaking windows and causing damage. The mere fact of the group being labeled “anarchists” is enough to make many young people leave common sense behind and believe they are fighting for a cause that allows them free reign to do as they please, after all this is the essence of anarchy.

    Now the courts have rules the Secret Service is well within their rights to restrict access to the Democratic National Convention
    which is sure to raise the hackles of R-68 and their ilk. This will probably agitate them into even more radical plans which is almost certainly going to result in someone getting hurt. DNC Disruption has a schedule posted of classes one can take for self defense and how to be a legal observer but I don’t see these being sufficient to save the protesters when riots break out.

    The cops are better trained, better equipped and have the law on their side and no amount of training is going to keep this peaceful if a group of masked kids calling themselves anarchists show up acting like, well, anarchists. As an aside the tendency of these kids to wear masks is infuriating. I have faced off with these kids in protests myself and I always ask them, once they are in earshot, how embarrassing is it to take part in a protest where they must hide who they are.

    If the DNC convention goes off with relatively minor trouble I will be surprised. I think these groups are spoiling for a fight and are likely to get one. If the riots occur I am hopeful charges will be brought against those organizing these groups if for nothing else than to show the country that public safety is of utmost importance to us as a country.

    Furthermore, if these riots occur and people are brought up on charges expect the ACLU to defend their right to raise a riotous insurgency right in the middle of the country during a national political convention, after all the ACLU has a long history of defending terrorists.

    What the entire issue boils down to is a public safety issue, and the threats of riots by self proclaimed “anarchists” who have a well known history of vandalism and mayhem threatens the public safety of those who may be there to protest peacefully.

    Without assured public safety the tendency of those who dissent to speak out in protests and gatherings will diminish and this would be a loss of freedom to all of us.


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