Inside their convention, Republicans spoke as though they had a lock on the values that Americans treasure. But on the streets of New York, thousands joined together to show the world real values. Contributing Editor Terry Allen closes out this extraordinary week of protest and creativity by exploring, through words and pictures, some new interpretations of well-worn themes.
Long days of spirited, but largely peaceful protest spread across New York as Republican delegates met in self-congratulatory isolation this past week. Within a heavily fortified Madison Square Garden, delegates were wined by corporations and dined on the red meat of Kerry-bashing. Out in the baking hot city, under the stare of surveillance cameras, the shrill of sirens, and the chup-chup of hovering helicopters, the streets rang with chants as hundreds of thousands of people denounced the Bush agenda.
Activists honored and mourned the victims of Bush administration policies: Iraqi casualties, U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, people targeted by the “war on terrorism,” as well as those whom the economy has left unemployed, uninsured, and worse-off than four years before.
During her National Guard tour in Iraq, Kelly Dougherty, a founder of Iraq Veterans Against the War, says she saw the United States “treat Iraqis like trespassers in their own country.” She accused the Bush administration of “perverting people’s sense of patriotism for their own greedy means.”