links open in new window

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

La Cage Aux Imbéciles...

Photo Credit: AMERICAblog

My friend (and fellow Canuck) Thagg sent me this Wired piece on the "free speech zone" (pictured above) at the Democratic National Convention:
...activists have been largely united in one civil action: their boycott of the so-called free-speech zone carved out by the U.S. Secret Service and local authorities, the only spot where protesters will be able to shout their messages to the delegates arriving on buses in a nearby parking lot.

The protesters are also coordinating actions outside the free-speech zone by sending text messages on their wireless phones. Some protesters for a short time Monday converted the zone into a mock prison camp by donning hoods and marching in the cage with their hands behind their backs.

The protest zone, which most people here simply call "the cage," is beneath an elevated section of disused subway tracks near a newly paved bus parking lot.

Activists say the zone resembles the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

The zone, surrounded by two layers of chain link fences mounted on Jersey barriers, draped with black mesh and topped with razor wire, violates the protesters' free-speech rights, said a legal observer for the Boston chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
Thagg also offered his own comment on the piece:
"We knew this was coming - now it is here.

My only hope is to be strong enough to be one of the first lined up and shot while taking a stand rather than slowly watching my rights atrophy.

Fuck we have a pretty police state. The illusion of being free while
usually being gently controlled by technology. As we have said in many conversations - a pretty cell we have here. Can hardly see the bars (except on occasion)."
To which I can only respond:

No...THEY have a pretty police state, and we're not part of THEM...yet. Besides, when WE cage OUR protesters, WE give them lots of fresh air and sunshine (weather permitting, of course) and adequate condiments for snacks....

...and besides, WE also have dedicated selfless public servants who are looking out for those very real horrible threats to the Canadian way of living....

But the slow march to the abyss does seem to continue apace...

Cynically yours in (semi-) freedom,

Strange note: When Thagg's e-mail came in I happened to be listening to Garbage's theme from The World Is Not Enough. Seemed to be an appropriate background tune (on repeat, yet) for writing this piece. And so it goes...