Let’s allow the ridiculousness of this “map” of where protestors are going to be “allowed” to protest to sink in…
A lot of you never go here, but this is FDR Park, which is that big emptyish area you see on your right as you pass the stadium complex on the way to Phils games. You will remember just how wide Broad Street is down in this part of South Philadelphia. You will also remember how big the massive parking lot ocean is before you even approach the front door of the Wells Fargo Center.
What’s the distance, you ask? Here:
The closest you could ever get that Mayor Kenney will let you protest in hopes that a delegate smoking a cigarette outside the center might notice your tiny sign from far away? Here:
Of course, media will surely be hanging out in the First Amendment Containment Zone to gloss over the jumble of far-left liberal causes whatever activist in town and out of town hopes to get re-tweeted, but as for conventioneers themselves–Mayor Kenney is prepared to deploy as much of the Philadelphia Police as possible to ensure that no delegate coming here will ever have to be inconvenienced by political speech.
We’re a city that is fairly used to traffic-choking strikes and rando protests that shut down blocks and sometimes gridlock Center City. Marches up Market Street. Up Broad Street. Takeovers of Rittenhouse Square. I’ve had to endure tortuous bus stoppages for silly stuff like foie gras.
This level of “containment” and “management” of political protesting this far out and leading up to the DNC has a common theme. It’s the exact strategy that was pursued in 1968 in Chicago before Democrats arrived to that city for their convention. This is the only thing people remember from that convention:
If there was any lesson to be learned from that summer where “the whole world was watching,” it was that the best way to handle steam is to let the hot air vent itself out. Mayor Daley’s style to manhandle every aspect of the event was the phosphorous that set the match alight.
Those of us who work in Center City: we know better. We know protestors want to create traffic gridlock. We know they want to make our commutes hell so we can’t get to work. We know that it will be very difficult getting to and from the airport for a week. We know that the freeways will become parking lots. We know this because we’ve seen it before. The Republicans came here in 2000, and then they left. NBD.
I can’t fathom why only a handful of the two dozen of protest permit applications have actually been signed and the rest to sit in carefully orchestrated limbo, only making the activists behind those protests even hotter. A First Amendment Containment Zone for a constitutional amendment that isn’t limited to geography is royally stupid to anyone with a basic understanding of civics. Bonus: you’re shitting on grassroots people within your own party for doing that.
Does Mayor Kenney really want to see overturned burning cars? Is that what the DNC wants to see? Is that the image you want appearing on France24 for days?
C’mon, Jim. For once in your life, stop acting like a fucking bureaucrat and get real.