Critics Complain about NYPD keeping 2004 GOP Convention Safe

Apparently it's now a violation of civil rights to protect the eeeeeeeeeeeevil Republicans.

What else is one to think when "protesters" sue the NYPD for arresting violent demonstrators outside the 2004 GOP Convention?

Here's a list of some details about the planning of the demonstrations:

Eight weeks before the convention, activists designated Aug. 31, 2004, in online postings as a day for civil disorder, the "Day of Chaos," or "A-31." Groups of anarchists began identifying protest targets in public advisories, press releases and on Web sites.

For many, Madison Square Garden, the convention site, was "ground zero," which activists discussed entering with false identification. Others planned to prevent delegates from reaching the convention by blinding bus driver windows or disabling charter buses, lying under vehicles, and using rented cabs and flotillas of bicycles to clog bus routes.

A least 24 hotels throughout the city hosting state delegations were identified on Web sites as delegation hosts at which protestors could converge to harass delegates and disrupt normal hotel business. Reinforced police presence at the Warwick, the Westin and Roosevelt, Commissioner Kelly said in a 2004 speech, prevented demonstrators from "rushing" the delegates' hotels.

The intelligence files show that activists had also planned, and later attempted unsuccessfully, to close down Wall Street, disrupt traffic at Herald Square and elsewhere, crash delegate parties, stage sit-ins in hotel and office lobbies, seal off subway stations with arrest tape and switch subway signs to disorient delegates. There were plans to vandalize retail stores like Starbucks and McDonalds with what Mr. Cohen called "brick and bomb tactics"; activists were also urged to disrupt Broadway performances attended by delegates on Aug. 31, designated as "Chaos on Broadway."

Other businesses seen as hostile to the activists' agenda--the Carlyle Group, Chevron, the Rand Corporation and Hummer of Manhattan--were designated for "direct actions" ranging from blocking entrances to breaking windows and setting fires. The files showed that activists with previous arrests for violent conduct were monitored by NYPD plain-clothes detectives, and that information about their convention plans was shared with police departments in other states and counties.

Activists discussed the use of disruptive tactics that had worked so well in Seattle--Molotov cocktails, ammonium-nitrate bombs with nails, live CS canisters, Tiki Torches (soup cans filled with flammable substances attached to the end of a stick) water guns filled with flammable liquids and chemical irritants, urine or paint, and mobile infrared transmitters to change traffic signals.

The files document at least eight training sessions in New York and outside that were organized by anarchists and other experienced activists. Techniques for evading or countering the police were taught. The New York City Anarchist Tribes, for example, held martial-arts training in Manhattan in January, 2004. The Syracuse Peace Council, in Ithaca, N.Y., which planned to block traffic in New York, held weekend training aimed at "building our own radical activist infrastructure."

The "Constitutional Rights Enforcement and Support Team," an Internet-based group, stated on its Web site that "many people who join this group will die, be wounded, or jailed" in its efforts to counter "police brutality." Ashira Affinity, a Colorado-based anarchist group, urged members to join protests that were "strategic, ruthless, efficient, as well as chaotic."

In addition to the usual crackpot threats posted in Internet chat rooms, such as the one by a writer who vowed to "fly a 767 into the convention and take care of the American problem on Thursday"--which the police nevertheless could ill afford to ignore--came vaguer if still troubling counsel from would-be protestors: "Give them the New York they are afraid of," urged one listing.

In Queens, police arrested three "Black bloc" anarchists who had three imitation handguns, a butterfly knife, pellets and a map of New York City. A man arrested on Aug. 20 for criminal trespass and possession of burglary tools in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, had been arrested more than 25 times in California for various offenses.

I'd say the NYPD had plenty of reason to keep an eye on these folks.

But noooooooo, the NYPD watching and in some cases attempting to infiltrate the groups planning this is wrong, because they were protecting the eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil Republicans!

Imagine if that sort of planning had been going on for disrupting the Democratic convention. How would the ACLU and ABCCBSCNNNBCPBS react?

That should put it in perspective.