The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

It’s Only a Word

Apr 30, 2007

New York City sent police officers across the country for more than a year to harass groups proposing to protest at the Republican National Convention scheduled for September 2004.

They investigated such supposed "dangers’ to the Republican delegates as street theater companies, church groups, anti-war protesters, environmentalists and the satirical group "Billionaires for Bush." The group had prepared a hilarious street performance making fun of the rich. Members of the War Resisters League proposed a silent "die-in" on a New York street. The cops thought this was so dangerous that protesters were immediately arrested when they began to lay down to protest the convention.

Results of this painstaking year-long spying: 1806 arrests, with most charges dropped as soon as the Republican Convention left town. It was just a round-up of people who might embarrass King George W. Bush.

In February, a U.S. district court judge finally ruled in a lawsuit challenging such arrests that there must be "some indication of unlawful activity on the part of individuals or organizations to be investigated."

By their activities, the cops showed they think it is unlawful for anyone to protest the war, speak about dangers to the environment, expose the hold of big money over the political parties–or point up the stupidity of most politicians.

Democracy? Apparently only for those who agree with the powers that be.