Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Outside the DNC

Tuesday afternoon, my friend, Stefanie Valovic, contacted me suggesting that we check out the "free speech" pen outside the DNC. So I picked up some extra film and we started walking over to the Fleet Center.

Meanwhile Ann had made it into the Fleet Center as a DNC volunteer. I called her on her cellphone as she was staffing a handicapped entrance high up in the nosebleed section. As Stefanie and I circled the Fleet Center, Ann witnessed all the speakers and came home with a big Obama sign.

All the publicity-seeking crazies were out. Outside Faneuil Hall we found two hell-and-brimstone preachers. However, both were happy to mug for my camera.

Outside the Fleet Center itself security was tight. On the top of the surrounding buildings we caught glimpses of soldiers, probably sharp-shooters.

Just outside the "free speech zone," the authorities had posted comprehensive restrictions.

Inside the pen, disgusted demonstrators had left signs before boycotting the space altogether and taking their actions to the streets.

The only group that bothered to use the pen that evening was Fred Phelps and his homophobic followers. I just tuned him out but Stefanie quickly became bothered by his shrill and hateful rhetoric. I took a picture and we left.


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