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johnny cash RNC protest

Posted on 01 September 2004 by Caryn Rose (1)

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They took my city. They took my streets. They tried to take my park. They pilloried Pearl Jam because of “Bushleaguer” (which, to be fair, is a mediocre song, they could do so much better). They tried to obliterate the Dixie Chicks. The backlash Bruce Springsteen is receiving is mindboggling and unprecedented.

So when I heard about The Man In Black Bloc to protest the RNC’s co-opting of Johnny Cash… well, that beat attending the “Shut-up A Thon” over at Fox News.

It started at 4pm, and at first there were maybe a dozen protestors there. We were herded into this tiny, narrow protest pen kitty-corner from Sotheby’s. At one point, the media present outnumbered the protestors.

media_op

A few splinter groups showed up and started walking by Sotheby’s, chanting, and then the Radical Cheerleaders showed up, leading us in a chant of:

“Whose Cash?
Our Cash!”

As long as you’re less than 20 people and you keep moving at all times, they legally can’t arrest you. After a few more minutes of this, we decided to abandon the protest pen to go stand in front of Sotheby’s. The cops just moved the barricades over there. They seemed alternately confused and pissed off, but I guess that’s business as usual these days.

cops

Indymedia estimated 600 protestors and 100 cops… and if there were 100 RNC members present, I’d be surprised.

ifeelsafer

fu_rnc

well, i feel safer now. or, to quote the boyfriend, “There better not be any capital crimes being committed in Manhattan right now.”

musicians

Gentleman with the backwards baseball cap is none other than Dan Bern. Someone on NYC Indymedia claimed that Jello Biafra was present, but I sure as hell didn’t see him. There was a lot of singing, but not enough, and a very narrow spectrum of JC’s catalog was represented. I also learned that a lot of people don’t know all the words to “This Land Is Your Land,” nor do most of them realize that it’s a protest song.

As usual, creativity in signs. Most of the protest besides singing involved booing and flipping the bird at the RNC delegates leaving Sotheby’s, en route to the convention festivities. It was surprisingly satisfying.

Chant of the day:
“You’re evil!
You’re ugly!
You’re fascists and you’re liars!
The GOP belongs in a burning ring of fire!”

sign

Or, #2:
“Welcome to New York! Now go the fuck home!”

sothebys1

Towards the end of the march, we were visited by none other than Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. The funny thing was, there were more than a few protestors who don’t have television and didn’t know who he was at first. The gentleman below agreed to be a good sport once the concept was explained to him, although at first he protested, “All I know is that there’s this talking dog in my face, and I’m trying to get Bush out of office.”

triumph

A bystander did report that Triumph heckled some of the departing delegates, yelling something along the lines of, “Take all your money and shove it up your ass.”

Ah, this is what Democracy looks like…

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One Response to “johnny cash RNC protest”

  1. Kristen says:

    Wow, Caryn. What an amazing thing to have been a part of. “Second-class citizen” choked me up, as did much of your writing. Thanks for the heartful posts and images.