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Protesters, police educate, gear up for convention

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Sara Burnett,
Rocky Mountain News
Friday, July 18, 2008

Dozens of protest groups are planning a full schedule of classes, concerts, marches and other actions during the Democratic National Convention, hoping to capture the world’s attention and recruit new activists.

They are both energized and organized, and most insist they are not looking for trouble.

“We are completely peaceful,” said Rob Weiland, a 37-year-old courier from Denver and member of the group We Are Change Colorado. “We follow the ideals of Ghandi.”

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The organization will be videotaping other groups and police during the DNC, scheduled for Aug. 25 to 28.

They’ll post the videos on YouTube.com or the group’s Web site so the public may see what’s happening without the filter of mainstream media, Weiland said.

If any protest groups are provoking police, he said, “our cameras will be on them.”

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

The Alliance for Real Democracy, a coalition of 18 groups, is planning a week of classes in City Park on topics such as non violence and how to organize a demonstration. A concert with Denver band the Flobots also is in the works.

The large-scale effort is being planned by six or seven different committees, focusing on areas such as fundraising, promotions and working with city officials, member Duke Austin said.

“This is on a much bigger scale than anything we’ve done so far, so it requires additional organizing,” said Austin, a 33-year-old Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado who leads the group Students for Peace and Justice.

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This article was posted: Friday, July 18, 2008 at 3:35 am

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