Report Details Influence Peddling at Political Conventions

At this summer’s political conventions, the real winners will be corporations, who have a variety of ways to influence lawmakers and influential party members. According to a new report by Public Citizen, influence-peddling at the conventions is generally “business as usual.”

A new report from the watch dog group Public Citizen titled “Party Conventions are a Free-for-All for Influence Peddling” details how the political conventions are essentially “free-for-alls” for corporations and lobbyists seeking to influence lawmakers. While conventions are often promoted to local communities as opportunities for “civic boosterism,” the report finds that such claims do not match reality and that the conventions often cost cities in terms of lost business and negative publicity.

So, who is benefiting from the political conventions? According to the report, it’s many of the same corporations that fund the conventions. The conventions rely primarily on private money–much of it from unregulated corporate money–to fund the conventions. In turn, corporations receive a variety of benefits, some of which include time with party leaders and party members. The report details benefits for corporate sponsors at both the Republican National Convention (RNC) and Democratic National Convention (DNC):

The RNC Corporate Sponsorship Packet of the Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) host committee offers seven levels of sponsorship for the RNC convention. These are:

* Viking sponsor. For $50,000 or more, the donor receives credentialed tickets to convention sessions, invitations to all 2008 host committee leadership events, and is listed as a sponsor in official guide books and on the 2008 website.

* Bronze Sponsor. For $100,000, donors get the same perks as Viking Sponsors with additional access to “premier” Minneapolis/St. Paul venues for “corporate hospitality” events and to the Xcel Center Hospitality Suite. Companies that attain this level of sponsorship, such as Land O’Lakes and Waste Management, may also opt to sponsor volunteer uniforms and water bottles.

* Silver Sponsor. For $250,000, donors such as Cargill, Eli Lily, Koch, and Wells Fargo gain “special access” to all host committee parties and events and to the Host Committee Suite at the Convention Center. Their status as a Silver Sponsor also qualifies these companies to be the exclusive official provider of a particular service to the convention.

* Gold Sponsor. For $500,000, donors gain the added perk of participation in tours of the convention spaces and cities during “Get to Know Minneapolis/St. Paul Days.”

* Platinum Sponsor. For $1 million, donors such as Xcel, UnitedHealth, Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, and US Bank, win VIP access to the Xcel Center.21 Originally, Platinum Sponsors were also promised a private reception with Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sen. Norm Coleman, and the mayors of St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Bloomington. This perk was removed from the publicized packet after a number of critical articles appeared in both local and national press.

* Finance Vice-Chair. For $2.5 million, donors were also promised a golfing outing with Republican leadership, another bonus that was met with public outrage and subsequently dropped from the publicized packet.

* Finance Co-Chair. For $5 million, donors such as Qwest gain exclusive VIP access to the host committee media party and VIP tours of the Twin Cities.

The DNC Corporate Sponsorship Packet enumerates five levels of sponsorship and their respective benefits. These are:

* Mile High Plus. For $52,800, corporate donors of all levels receive invitations to host committee sponsored events such as the Media Welcoming Party and recognition in all host committee publications, as well as on the host committee website. Mile High Plus sponsors may choose to place products with the company’s logo in bags for delegates or the media, or they can opt to sponsor five information booths at the convention.

* Silver Sponsor. For $100,000, donors receive general tickets for convention sessions.

Gold Sponsor. For $250,000, donors such as ConocoPhillips, Eli Lily, and Staples gain access to the host committee hospitality suite and an invitation to attend a private event with Denver 2008 Executive Committee members. Executive Committee members include Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Sen. Ken Salazar, and Rep. Diana DeGette.

* Platinum Sponsor. For $500,000, donors are granted access to “premier” Denver venues for corporate hospitality events and receptions.

* Presidential Sponsors. For $1 million, donors collect VIP tickets to the Convention Center and “first consideration” for popular Denver venues. Presidential sponsors of the 2008 DNC convention include Qwest, Xcel, Level 3 Communications, Molson-Coors, and Union Pacific.

Beyond funding the convention and receiving sponsorship benefits that may allow for increased access to influential party members and leaders, corporations also use parties–of which there are over 400–at the conventions to influence delegates. The parties and receptions typically happen in the evening and are sponsored by a variety of corporations, lobbyists, and lobbying organization. While ethics rules recently passed by Congress are designed to curtail influence-peddling at these parties, Public Citizen reports that lobbyists are figuring out ways to get around the regulations:

“For example, even though the rules ban lawmakers from attending a party hosted by a lobbying organization that honors a specific member, AT&T appears willing to host parties that honor congressional caucuses, such as the “Blue Dog Coalition” or the “Republican Main Street Partnership.” This is an apparent violation of ethics rules.”

In order to change this paradigm, Public Citizen advocates that the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) reverse its decisions on corporate sponsorships of conventions. It also suggests that lawmakers steer clear of any parties that honor specific lawmakers or groups of lawmakers, as they may violate congressional rules. The best bet–for both lawmakers looking to avoid legal problems and democracy–would be to bypass the party scene altogether.

Repression Planned for DNC Protests

At this year’s Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Denver, Denver police and other law enforcement agencies have adopted a host of draconian security measures including restrictions on what protestors can carry, a fenced in “protest zone” out of sight of delegates, and a holding cell featuring chain link fence topped with barbed wire for the 1,200 protestors that the police plan to arrest.

Over the past several weeks, information has been coming out of Denver–the site of the 2008 Democratic National Convention (DNC)–indicating that police in the city are planning to engage in widespread suppression of dissent.

Most recently, a reporter with a CBS news affiliate in Denver uncovered a warehouse in northeast Denver that police are planning to use as a holding cell for the 1,200 protestors that it plans to arrest during the DNC. The warehouse–quickly dubbed “Gitmo on the Platte” in a reference to the United States’ prisoner at Guantanamo Bay–features chain link cages topped with barbed wire along with signs stating “Warning! Electric stun devices used in this facility.” The Denver police department has said that they will explain more about the facility next week. However, photos from inside the warehouse make it pretty clear that the goal is to suppress dissent:

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However, while the holding cells for protestors are starting to receive attention in the mainstream media, they are only the latest revelation in a long line of repressive measures adopted by the Denver police department to control protests. Media reports have detailed numerous security measures aimed monitoring and controlling protests including spy planes operated by the Secret Service, draconian restrictions on what protestors can carry, protest zones that are out of sight of delegates, and the presence of the National Guard. A map showing the distance from the “protest zone”–which will be surrounded by chain link fence and riot police–is reprinted here:

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All of these repressive activities are going to be coordinated through a combination of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Much of that activity is going to be directed through a so-called “fusion center” where analysts from a variety of agencies will be mining databases and other sources for information on “suspicious activities.” Fusion centers–of which there are now 40 across the country–typically have little oversight and engage in a wide variety of surveillance under the guise of protecting against terrorism.

New Paper on the RNC and DNC Protests Released

A new newspaper outlining plans and strategies for this summer’s protests against the Republican National Convention (RNC) and Democratic National Convention (DNC) has been released. It’s a follow-up to an earlier newspapers that contained a draft of the plans and a comprehensive critique of representative democracy.

Unconventional Action, a network of anarchists and anti-authoritarians organizing to crash this summer’s Democratic National Convention (DNC) and Republican National Convention (RNC), has released a new publication outlining the strategies and plans for the upcoming protests. The paper is a follow-up to two earlier newspapers–Unconventional Strategies that outlined early plans for the conventions and False Hope Vs. Real Change that presented a radical critique of the electoral process. Thousands of copies of those two newspapers have been distributed across the United States.

For information on organizing against the conventions in Michigan, visit the websites of Unconventional Michigan or ACTIVATE.

Party Conventions being Funded by Major Corporations

While their candidates run on platforms promising “campaign finance reform,” the host committees for the two major party’s conventions are relying primarily on unregulated corporate contributions to fund the Democratic National Convention (DNC) and Republican National Convention (RNC).

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A new report from the Campaign Finance Institute has found that while Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Barack Obama are both running campaigns promising “campaign finance reform,” their party conventions are being funded primarily by unlimited and unregulated contributions from corporations.

The Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention–both taking place in late summer–are relying on corporate donors to come up with the more than $55 million in private funds that needs to pay for the conventions in each city. According to the report, the more than 100 organizational donors to the two cities “host committees” (committees responsible for raising funds to pay for the conventions), are heavily involved in buying political influence. Since 2005, they have made nearly $100 million in contributions to federal candidates and parties via political action committees (PACs) as well as individual contributions. During the same period, they spent $700 million to lobby Congress and the Executive Branch.

Unfortunately, these contributions are subject to only minimal scrutiny and disclosure. While only a small minority of contributions come from entities in the host cities, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) says that these contributions are “motivated by a desire to promote the convention city and not by political considerations.” Election law classifies host committees as nonpartisan “charities” or “business leagues.” Moreover, host committees are not required to report their contributions or expenditures until 60 days after the conventions are over. In the past, host committees have occasionally volunteered this information, but neither the Denver or St. Paul host committees have done so this year.

However, while host committees are classified as “nonpartisan,” their money raising efforts often include written and oral promises of special access to federal elected officials and national party leaders. In both Denver and St. Paul, formal sponsorship and donor packages have been sold promoting “private” events with elected officials. Similarly, corporations seeking to shape public policy, are giving to both conventions, with 25 corporations donating to both host committees ensuring that regardless of what party wins the election that their voice will be heard.

In 2004, convention host committees raised over $100 million for the conventions by relying on similar donations.

In the Middle of a Whirlwind: 2008 Convention Protests, Movement and Movements

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A new one-off online publication called “In the Middle of a Whirlwind: 2008 Convention Protests, Movement and Movements” has been released. The publication explores radical anti-authoritarian organizing in the United States across a variety of issues with the immediate focus being the upcoming mobilizations against the Republican National Convention (RNC) and Democratic National Convention (DNC). Through a series of interviews with groups organizing against the conventions and articles by people involved in radical movements across the United States, “In the Middle of a Whirlwind” provides an inspiring look at where we are at, where we have been, and where we need to go.

Here are links to interviews with groups organizing against the conventions:

* RNC Welcoming Committee

* Recreate 68

* Unconventional Action

There are also a number of articles offering examples of solid radical organizing. Some of the ones we particularly really liked were:

* The Precarious Economy and Its Discontents: Struggling Against the Corporate Chains Through Workplace Organizing

* Liberal Mayors & Liberal Funders: A Case of Racism, Classism, and Ideological Warfare

* A Look at Resistance to Interstate 69 (I-69): Past, Present, and Future

* Media and Activism: Creating and Maintaining Effective Movement Media

* Getting to know your city and the social movements that call it home

* Anti-Authoritarian Organizing in Practice

* Philly’s Pissed & Philly Stands Up: Collected Materials

Moreover, the publication encourages people to become involved beyond simply reading the interviews and articles asking “will you join us in the middle of a whirlwind?” To that end, they encourage readers to:

* Communicate with the coordinators and contributors.

* Utilize materials contained within Whirlwinds in your own organizing.

* Participate in our discussion forums to critique or dialog around Whirlwinds contributions (forthcoming).

* Host or attend one of the many “Of Friends and Whirlwinds” events.

* Make a contribution toward the effort and sign up on the email list.

* Distribute this announcement and “Will you join us in the middle of a whirlwind?” posters and postcards; available at your local radical infoshop and from Team Colors.

* Create an affinity group to prepare for the upcoming convention protests this summer.

* Inquire into, research, investigate, document, organize around and amplify the winds – refusals, struggles, activities – circulating through your everyday lives and communities.

Shut Down the RNC: Michigan Consulta – June 14

Unconventional Michigan, a group organizing Michigan participation in the upcoming protests against the Republican National Convention (RNC) and the Democratic National Convention (DNC) has announced plans for a Michigan-wide meeting to prepare for the RNC protests:

Shut Down the RNC: Michigan Consulta – June 14

This year folks from all over the country are organizing to shut down the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. Find out what is happening here in Michigan and how you can get involved. The group Unconventional Michigan will be holding a consulta to provide workshops on blockades, independent media, legal and medical support for protestors, and how to plug in to protests aimed at shutting down the convention.

WHERE:

The Northstar Center

106 Lathrop St

Lansing, MI 48912

WHEN:

Saturday, June 14th

Registration Starts at 9am

Consulta will Conclude Late Afternoon/Evening

COST:

$5 (Suggested Donation)

For directions, details, and more information visit:

http://uamichigan.wordpress.com

Unconventional Michigan Forms to Organize against RNC and DNC

A new group called Unconventional Michigan has formed to organize resistance to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) and Republican National Convention (RNC). The group is currently doing presentations about the planned protests and hopes to mobilize people from Michigan to attend the protests.

A new group has formed here in Michigan to oppose the 2008 Republican National Convention (RNC) and Democratic National Convention (DNC) and to organize participation in the protest by people from Michigan. The group is called Unconventional Michigan and is part of the larger Unconventional Action network that has formed over the past year to organize against the conventions.

Aside from launching a website and MySpace page, the group has prepared a presentation on the protests planned for the conventions and the history of recent mass mobilizations in North America. Unconventional Michigan is currently in the process of contacting groups across the state to setup presentations:

To Whom It May Concern,

Unconventional Michigan* is a new group that is in the process of organizing resistance to the upcoming Democratic (DNC) and Republican (RNC) national conventions this summer and facilitating participation by folks from Michigan.

Over the past year, individuals involved with Unconventional Michigan have been impressed and inspired by the organizing that has gone into planning protests against the political conventions. Unlike 2004, there has been considerable advance planning for both conventions–with much of it focusing on direct action. In addition to large scale marches and protests, plans are in place to disrupt the DNC and to actually try to shut down the RNC. These plans are based on considerable study of what has worked in recent mass mobilizations in North America (from the 1999 Seattle WTO protests to the 2004 political conventions) and input from groups across the country. Moreover, there is on-the-ground support for the protests in both Denver (for the DNC) and the Twin Cities (for the RNC).

In order to encourage people to attend the protests, Unconventional Michigan has prepared a presentation that we want to deliver to groups, co-op houses, and anyone with an interest in the protests. In addition to talking about the protests planned for this summer, we include an overview of the major mobilizations of the past several years to show how the plans for the RNC and DNC are founded on thoughtful and strategic reflection of what has (and has not) worked in the past. We also leave plenty of time for questions about this summer or past protests.

We’re eager to share our excitement about the convention protests and would love to schedule a presentation in your city. We believe that disrupting the conventions offers a unique opportunity to take our opposition to the war, ecological destruction, and other institutionalized forms of oppression to the next level. We remember the excitement that permeated the movement post-Seattle and believe that the conventions this summer could offer a similar opportunity. Moreover, we believe that talking about direct action and the political conventions could increase interest in and facilitate participation in existing radical projects across Michigan while also inspiring new projects.

Please let us know if you are willing to host a presentation or know of a group or space that we should contact about giving a presentation.

In Struggle,

– Unconventional Michigan – http://uamichigan.wordpress.com

* Unconventional Michigan is currently made up of individuals from across Michigan involved in a variety of projects including ACTIVATE (Grand Rapids SDS) and Mediamouse.org. We’re a part of the larger Unconventional Action network organizing resistance to the political conventions.

Only One Direction, Trans and Queer Insurrection: A Reportback from the Bash Back! Anti-RNC/DNC Convergence

Here’s the latest report back from ongoing radical organizing against the Democratic and Republican National Conventions:

Only One Direction, Trans and Queer Insurrection: A Reportback from the Bash Back! Anti-RNC/DNC Convergence

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The Convergence:

The weekend of April 4th-6th, radical transfolk, queers, anarcha-feminists, from all over the country converged in Chicago for the Bash Back! anti-DNC/RNC convergence. In attendance were folks from Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Virginia, Tennessee, New York, Georgia, Missouri, Colorado, California and elsewhere. Groups including Bash Back!, Queer Action Network, the Revolting Queers, Unconventional Denver, The RNC Welcoming Committee, Anarchist People of Color, Roadblock Earth First!, the Pomegranate Health Collective, and Code Pink were represented. The convergence succeeded in creating a safe space for queer, trans, gendervariant and womyn anarchists to meet and articulate our plans to crash the conventions.

Workshops:

Friday night, representatives of Roadblock Earth First! shared information about the current situation in Indiana, where activists are working to stop the construction of the “NAFTA Superhighway”, Instersate-69. On Saturday, transgendered activist Midge Potts spoke about her experiences with creative activism and as the first transperson to run for a federal office. Later, Eric Stanley discussed the relationship of queer and trans people to the prison industrial complex followed by a screening of his film ‘Homotopia’ and the short ‘By any means necessary’. Later that day, several people attended a DIY sex toy workshop. On Sunday, representatives of the RNC Welcoming Committee and Unconventional Denver discussed the proposed strategies for the Republican National Convention (Sept. 1-4 in St. Paul) and the Democratic National Convention (Aug. 25-28 in Denver).

Caucuses:

At the convergence, space was created for a people of color caucus, a transgender caucus, and a womyn’s caucus. The POC caucus discussed the need for a future anti-gentrification conference to discuss strategies to oppose gentrification. In their reportback, the POC caucus also asked that anyone distributing the zine “Go Light” and three anti-RNC stickers featuring a white hunter and dead elephants, indigenous people, and ninjas stop doing so immediately. During the POC caucus, a white auxiliary caucus met to discuss strategies to confront white privilege and white supremacy. The trans caucus discussed several issues and challenges that needed to be addressed at the strategizing session to ensure the safety of transpeople during the conventions. Simultaneously a cisgendered caucus met to discuss what it meant to be a trans-ally. While the womyn’s caucus met, a caucus for male privileged folks and a caucus for those who didn’t feel comfortable in either met.

“DNC, We’ll fuck you up!”:

During the Sunday strategizing session, two proposals were consensed upon for the Democratic National Convention. Unconventional Denver has proposed themes for the actions each day of the convention. It was thus determined that trans and queer action at the DNC should fit within those themes. After the immigrants rights march on “No Borders Day”, it was agreed that there should be a “no gender borders” action targeted at assimilationist and transphobic elements of the convention such as the Stonewall Democrats. It was also decided that during the “Free Political Prisoners Day” there will be an action focused on freeing the New Jersey 4.

“Republicans, don’t fuck with us!”:

The strategizing session then shifted towards addressing proposals for action at the RNC. Bash Back! Chicago proposed a reclaim the streets style dance party blockade to fit within the three-tiered strategy – More specifically, a dance party coupled with hard defenses. The declared intention is to create a situation wherein it is possible to have liberating and festive action; an empowering situation of which we can defend and maintain. This will be an action for the first day strategy of the convention. The Idea was also proposed that the Log Cabin Republicans be targeted by actions.

The session also endorsed an idea proposed by the Revolting Queers of Minneapolis. They described an underwear bike ride action. This will be a more relaxing action to happen later in the convention.

Trans inclusion and solidarity:

Coming out of the trans caucus, it was very clear that transfolk (and womyn and queers) all face increased dangers in participating in direct action. While being arrested is a miserable situation for anyone, it can be especially horrific for trans and gendervariant folks. Thus we are determined to creating safe infrastructure for supporting transfolk at the conventions and within our movement. Firstly, getting transfolk out of jail will be the first priority of jail solidarity. Secondly, in mass arrest situations, we will refuse to be separated by gender and will give gender neutral aliases such as “Jesse Doe” as opposed to John or Jane. It should be noted that this is not only a tactic that will be practiced by those involved with the trans and queer bloc, but should be endorsed by all groups participating in direct action. Bash Back! will work to educate other groups on this tactic leading up to the conventions. Thirdly, we will work very closely with local DNC and RNC organizers to ensure that legal, medical and housing infrastructure all take into account the specific needs of transfolk.

“Wake up, bash back, trans and queer, pink and black!”:

Saturday night, over 100 convergence attendees took to the streets of Chicago. The action was a response to the one trans and/or queer person murdered every eight days in this country. We are being systematically murdered; and we set out to show that we are done with the violence and invisibility forced on our bodies. Starting in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, we took the road and marched through all the way through and into Boystown. Along the way, we first stopped to confront the Republican party headquarters of Chicago. There, we broke into a dancing and chanting. “We’re here! We’re queer! Republicans, don’t fuck with us! We’re here! We’re queer! And we don’t fuck republicans!”

The procession then marched to the district police station. Despite the cops’ rhetoric about being “LGBT friendly”, while the reality is that those very cops are complicit in violence against queer and trans people. Thus, we marched to the police station and confronted the perpetrators of anti-queer and anti-trans violence. After obstructing the movement of traffic (including a hummer limousine), for ten minutes, we marched to the LGBT center. There, we confronted the center for its trans-exclusion, its erasure of sex workers in the queer community, and its involvement with AIDS profiteers and vivisectors. After having marched through the roads for approximately two miles, police forced the march to stop. We then broke out into a dance party near Wrigley field. After continuing right in the face of the police for quite some time, the dance party disbanded and everyone got home without a single arrest.

This action was extremely empowering. It was the largest radical trans and queer action in Chicago since 2004. Beyond that, it was a march that was uncompromisingly confrontational, yet extremely fun. We took our rage and grief to the doorsteps of those responsible -cops, republicans, assimilationists and AIDS profiteers- and we danced in their faces.

Break-out Groups and Moving forward:

After the strategizing session, three break-out groups met; communications, legal and logistics. The people involved with the communications group bottom-lined reportbacks, calls to action, regional call-outs and working on a website and listserv (bashback@lists.riseup.net). Those in the logistics group talked about the specific medical and housing needs of queer and trans folks. The legal group further discussed the jail solidarity tactics, and the need for know your rights workshops and to raise legal funds.

We now have a little less than five months to the conventions, and we have a lot of work to do until that point. In may, we’ll be meeting in the twin cities for the pReNC 5.3. In June, during the weekend of Milwaukee’s pridefest, Bash Back! Milwaukee will host a gathering to further articulate the strategy for September. Thus, we must put out a call for transfolk and queers on the west coast, in the mountains, and in the sweaty south to host convergences and consultas. We’ve laid out the strategy; now we all need to find out how to plug in, work out the details, and shut this shit down.

Plug In:

BashBack@lists.riseup.net

unconventionalaction.org

dncdisruption08.org

nornc.org

Plans Announced for Protests against the DNC

Over the weekend, plans were announced by Unconventional Denver to protest the Democratic National Convention (DNC) that will be held in the city from August 24 to August 28. The protests will focus on a variety of issues including the Democrats’ support for war, their failure to substantively address global warming, their human rights record, and their position on immigration:

“Unconventional Action’s strategy at the Democratic National Convention will hold the Democratic Party accountable for promoting unjust policies: environmental degradation, the enforcement of arbitrary borders, attacks on the poor, complacency in war, and racist policing. We will expose to the nation that the Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin, both parties funded by the same corporations and upholding the same unjust political system which fails to meet the needs of the vast majority of people.”

While protests against the Republican National Convention (RNC) have been planned for quite some time and have gained attention here in West Michigan, organizing against the DNC was considerably less further along. Now that there is a clear strategy for people to plug-in, organizers hope that the people will consider both protesting and disrupting the DNC.

The call to action is reprinted below:

Anarchists and Anti-Authoritarians: join us in Denver, Colorado, August 24th-28th as we engage in coordinated Direct Actions against the Democratic National Convention, its corporate sponsors, and the military/police occupation of public space. Respecting diverse tactics and the autonomy of affinity groups and individuals, Unconventional Action has created the following framework to maximize our impact as we disrupt the DNC.

Unconventional Action’s strategy at the Democratic National Convention will hold the Democratic Party accountable for promoting unjust policies: environmental degradation, the enforcement of arbitrary borders, attacks on the poor, complacency in war, and racist policing. We will expose to the nation that the Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin, both parties funded by the same corporations and upholding the same unjust political system which fails to meet the needs of the vast majority of people. Anarchists and Anti-Authoritarians are urged to engage in a broad variety of tactics to disrupt fundraising events and prevent Democratic delegates from voting for no-choice candidates. Unconventional Action will honor and support autonomous actions while coordinating a highly publicized assault on the pageantry, violence, and abuses of the Democrats and the two-party capitalist system.

Unconventional Action will target a variety of the 1,500 proposed fundraisers, countless delegate hotels, and designated institutions perpetuating global injustice. Using space reclamation, street theatre, direct confrontation, positive action, and a broad array of other tactics, we will force the national media to question the Democratic Party’s failures, hold Democratic candidates accountable for their abuses of power, and engage in

direct actions that reflect our ultimate goals of joy and liberation through creativity and confrontation.

Below we have outlined our anticipated schedule of direct action for the DNC. While rough, our outline can be used as a guide to schedule and develop actions. Our calendar is a flexible work-in-progress and will shift as needed. Unconventional Action Denver will provide updates on the website, www.dncdisruption08.org. This is at best currently a rough outline, and will most likely change and solidify as the weeks progress. Take this as a guiding schedule for your actions, and expect to hear more from Unconventional Denver about these events and actions. Denver organizers have designated certain themes for particular days. We have indicated these themes in parentheses. Consider coordinating the message of your actions based on each days theme.

The calendar is as follows:

SUNDAY AUG 24: ANTI WAR/OCCUPATION DAY

AM: All are encouraged to participate in an Anti-War/Anti-Occupation March and related actions.

PM: Directly following the march, Unconventional Action Denver will plan for a low to medium risk reclamation of space somewhere in the city, as yet to be determined.. This action will be widely publicized, although the location may be revealed only in the lead up week or two, and will be designed to show our strength and ability to create our own systems of organization. After our reclamation, we will PARTY ALL NIGHT LONG!!! From this party, affinity groups will be encouraged to depart and engage in autonomous actions targeting those who profit from wars and our oversized military.

MONDAY AUG 25: Free Political Prisoners/Human Rights Day

AM: Participate in a Free Peltier/All Political Prisoners march ending at the capitol across from civic center park. Because Peltier has a vital hearing later in the week that could free him from his long illegal imprisonment, Unconventional Denver encourages all to attend this march.

PM: SHUTDOWN THE FUNDRAISERS!!! The DNC/Democrats are hosting a giant party to raise as much money as they can. On this night, we will interrupt this flow of capital and disrupt the fundraisers. Our theme: no business as usual. The Democrats and their corporate backers will be unable to continue their celebrations of environmental, economic, and social destruction, political corruption, and failed policy. UD will provide more information about events/locations.

TUESDAY AUG 26: Environmental Issues/ No Global Warming Day

AM: STOP THE VOTE!!! WE VOTE NO!! Tuesday is the day when all the delegates put in their vote for who will represent the Democrats in the election, BUT THEY ONLY HAVE UNTIL 6PM TO VOTE and it is a long, arduous process. We encourage people to focus on ways to stop the delegates from getting to the Pepsi center to vote. Our targets: hotels, intersections, and transportation systems. . Special attention will be given to keeping the so called “super-delegates” (what funny comic book characters they would be…) from being able to attend the vote. ALL TACTICS WELCOME AND ENCOURAGED!!! Come prepared with a plan and ready to make a stand with your affinity group and friends.

PM: Tonight, we’ll target fundraisers of corporations profiting from and furthering global warming. We will also shut down actual sources of environmental degradation and greenhouse gas emissions. Get creative and use a diversity of tactics.

WEDNESDAY AUG 27: NO BORDERS DAY

AM: A NO BORDERS march will be planned by other groups. Unconventional Action hopes to see no actions during the time of this march that compromise the safety of march participants. Our goal is to ensure that the march is safe for all people, regardless of documentation status.

AFTERNOON/PM: At the People’s Feast we will share food around Denver with as many people as we can, especially those negatively affected by the DNC’s presence in town. Focus on food liberation. Do the delegates really need that much food?

PM: Concrete decentralized actions. Guerrilla gardening, free school/workshops, gentrification reclamation, informational bike rides, helping negatively impacted communities, impromptu dance parties, and anything else you creative people out there can think of. Thematically, we call for people to engage in actions targeting corporations and individuals profiting from the criminalization of immigration and contractors in Denver working on the border-fence.

THURSDAY AUG 28: End Racism/Imperialism Day

AM-PM: Today we will engage in visually stunning, media attracting actions targeting the Democrats’ complicity in racism in Denver and nationally through gentrification, police brutality, criminal injustice, the prison industrial complex, etc. We will target institutions and corporations that bring US imperialism and racism to the rest of the world and inflict it upon us

Late PM-Friday AM: Tonight we will party, sleep, and support our comrades before heading to Minneapolis to disrupt the RNC…

Organizing Continues against the RNC and DNC

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Organizing for protests against the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention is continuing to increase. Since the “pReNC” meeting in August that we reported on, there have been additional meetings in Milwaukee and Denver, with even more scheduled for the future. The RNC Welcoming Committee out of the Twin Cities has announced plans to tour the country promoting the RNC protests. A newspaper Unconventional Strategies has also been released to promote the protests and is being distributed around the country.

Here in Grand Rapids, ACTIVATE/SDS recently announced that they endorsed the general strategy that was agreed to at the pReNC meeting.