I want to get into my spring fling a little more and respond to the Dear Reader who thinks I need to open my heart (based, evidently, on her daytime television doctorate), but the breaking revelations of the NYPD’s international neo-COINTELPRO operation to suppress political speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention here in NYC demands comment beforehand.
The lock-up of hundreds of lawful protestors at that time was an outrage, their concentration in a primitive holding camp for days a permanent stain on the technocrat who is still the mayor of the city’s financial elite. (It’s the rest of us who will end up paying the inevitable financial settlements against the NYPD, of course.) I attended protests at that time against the disaster that was and continues to be Bush II, so I have a personal stake in the issue; but as citizens of a liberal democracy this is something that should concern as all (barring the nationalists and fascist-wannabes yearning for a “unified executive” and/or military dictatorship; and don't kid yourself, there are plenty of them eagerly awaiting it). Here’s the Times's original piece from yesterday http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/25/nyregion/25infiltrate.html
As a student of history, I presume that marches and demonstrations will, as a matter of course, be infiltrated, and that agent provocateurs will liberally sprinkle fringe groups like the so-called "Black Block anarchists.” Sure, you can call me paranoid, as long as you see call me right, too.