Police presence was heavy, but (from what we saw) police did not obstruct the permitted rally or march. We did not see any bags searched during the march, and many groups set up literature tables unhindered. MIM suspects some of the more draconian "security measures" that did not materialize were leaked to dissuade people from attending. Another reason to "dare to struggle:" the cops might be bluffing. On the other hand, bags in the subway have been searched and the actual DNC has not started yet.
The march passed by the Massachusetts State Hall, a beacon of Amerikan liberty. It also passed by the local FOX affiliate, where protestors chanted “FOX lies! FOX lies!”
The march went by, but did not enter, the infamous "protest pen" set up by the City of Boston as a "free speech" area. This pen is surrounded on three sides by metal barricades topped by razor wire and covered by an abandoned rail line (seen here with police). Organizers sued to have the pen dismantled and a better site chosen, calling it an "internment camp." A judge denied their request, at the same time noting, "One cannot conceive of what other elements you would put in a place to make a space more of an affront to the idea of free expression than the designated demonstration zone."
The overwhelming majority of protesters shared this womyn's opinion of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. A speaker at the kick-off rally pointed out that Kerry has called for more U.$. troops in Iraq, increased funding for Special Forces, and believes the occupation of Iraq should continue for the rest of the decade. However, even though the "anybody but Bush" crowd stayed away from this march, there was still a range of political trends present; electoral politics was by no means absent. Some marchers were DNC delegates, hoping to influence the Democrats' program "from the outside." Others supported third-party candidate Ralph Nader (apparently taking an "Anybody but Kerry or Bush" line).
MIM supporters passed out about 600 copies of MIM Notes. The response was generally encouraging, although a not-insignificant proportion of protesters still dismissed the paper out of hand. Several said, "I'm not a Maoist, so I don't want it." Hey: If you're not a Maoist, you should want it! (And you're who we're writing for. Only a miniscule portion of MIM Notes readers considers itself Maoist--or Communist, for that matter.) As we've written before, a progressive outlook requires non-stop efforts at self-improvement. Those in the anti-war movement need to look around and see what is working and what isn't. Pandering to the usual liberal electoral claptrap is decidedly not working--last we checked U.$. troops still occupied Iraq and Afghanistan while the draft still looms on the near horizon.
This was arguably both the most interesting and most correct sign of the day. Indeed, the Iraqi people's resistance is the principal factor undermining support for the war among Amerikans and stretching the U.$. war machine towards its breaking point.
There is an interesting parallel between the trial of Saddam Hussein and the trial of Jack Idema, the "former" U.$. Green Beret charged with torture in Afghanistan. (The capture of Idema was the cover story of the August 1st issue of MIM Notes handed out at the march.) Both argue that they committed their crimes with the support of the United $tates. Although both are trying to exonerate themselves, the tribunals in Iraq and Afghanistan should investigate these links thoroughly. That would be in the best interests of the Iraqi and Afghan peoples and be sign of true sovereignty. We are skeptical that either tribunal will uncover full U.$. culpability in these cases, as they have been set up by U.$. puppet governments.