A Mini-Guide to the RNCby Williams Cole and Heather Rogers
The tens of thousands of visitors to our fair world city during the RNC will have an array of protests to choose from. For the past several months, scores of groups have been planning a wide range of events, including massive street marches, raucous interventions, art shows, film screenings, and lots of parties in honor of the occasion. Despite the New York Times’s constant assertion that city residents will be fleeing in droves in fear of terrorist attacks and general chaos, the counter-convention activities promise a lively show of resistance from locals and visitors alike. Here are just a few of the many noteworthy events. For more complete listings, check rncguide.com, imagine04.org, nysummer.org, nornc.com, protest.net, and Indypendent.org
—Heather Rogers & Williams Cole
--Stone Walk arrives in Manhattan: a 1400 lb. granite memorial honoring the "Unknown Civilians Killed in War" arrives from Boston. Check www.peacefultomorrows.org for more information.
--American Oligopoly (1:30PM at Washington Square Park Garibaldi Plaza, Washington Square Park). An interactive theatrical performance played on a gigantic Monopoly game! (presented with FringeNYC/The Present Company)
--Ring Out Against the RNC (5:30PM at Ground Zero). Check ringout.org for more information.
--Woman Against War (7PM at Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive Tickets: $10 Box Office: 1-800-838-3006). A music and spoken word performance with Eve Ensler, Holly Near, and Amy Goodman celebrate women against war. (presented with CODEPINK: Women for Peace). Check codepinkalert.org for more information.
--Clamor Magazine party (8pm at Southpaw, 125 Fifth Ave, Brooklyn) www.clamormagazine.org
--This Ain’t No Heartland (9:30 PM Pioneer Theater, 155 East 3rd Street Tickets: $9, $6.50). Film directed by Andreas Horvath about the invasion of Iraq as seen from rural America.
ONGOING THROUGH THE RNC
The Radical Reference Librarians – This new group has a blog currently up and running where they'll answer any question: www.radicalreference.info. Also they can be emailed: email@example.com. Keep your eyes peeled throughout the convention for librarians wearing light blue information "i" baseball caps. If you see one just ask for legal info, subway directions, a bathroom, or any other questions. They will also help journalists with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
The War Room: features paintings of war and its aftermath. At: chashama, 208 West 37th Street between 7th & 8th Avenues Tickets: Free.
The Freedom Salon 12PM-6PM--The Freedom Salon brings together politically and socially progressive artists (presented with Deitch Projects). At Deitch Projects, 26 Wooster Street Tickets: Free.
Freedom of Expression National Monument by Laurie Hawkinson, John Malpede, Erika Rothenberg. The enormous red megaphone provides a platform for New Yorkers. (presented with Creative Time and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council) At Foley Square, Lower Manhattan, Foley Square, Lower Manhattan
The World Says No to the Bush Agenda (noon--from W 23rd St and Seventh Ave uptown past MSG west on 34th St, down West Side Highway to Chambers St or "unauthorized" gathering on the Great Lawn) The defining massive protest organized by United for Peace and Justice that will likely set the tone for the protests in the week to come. Check www.unitedforpeace.org for more information.
Feeder Marches for UFPJinclude Gays Against Bushwww.gaysagainstbush.org—and RNC Youth Welcoming Committee whose slogan is "Books not Bombs" who can be e-mailed at email@example.com
Together for Peace and Justice: an evening of dance, music, and poetry. 7:30PM at Merce Cunningham Studios, 55 Bethune Street @ Washington Street Tickets: $12, $5 Box Office: 212-802-4800 (presented with Artists for Peace)
"Bike Bloc" Protest--This first day of mobile bike protesting will coincide with the UFPJ march. Time's Up! will be organizing Bike Blocs from Aug. 29th-Sept. 2. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for up-to-date convergence locations and more info.
Bowery Poetry Club sanctuary opens
24 hours at Bowery Poetry Club-- www.bowerypoetry.com
August 29 – September 3
Billionaires Buy Broadway (Theatre District, 4:30pm) As Republican delegates attend thoroughly vanilla plays on broadways, The Billionaires for Bush will welcome Republican delegates and have a fun, fun time in the process. For more info check billionairesforbush.com
Reports From the Global Village (8PM at Galapagos, 70 North 6th Street, between Wythe & Kent Tickets: $6 Box Office: 718-388-8713) Films & videos presenting the diversity of the "global village" (presented with Ocularis & GAS (Gigantic Art Space). See www.ocularis.net
Shorts Program including Rise Up: 60 Cameras Against War + We Was Robbed + Voting In America (9PM at: Pioneer Theater, 155 East 3rd Street Tickets: $9, $6.50 Box Office: 212-254-3300). Sixty New Yorkers document the February 15, 2003 anti-war rally.
Poor People’s March (4PM at United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza--check www.kwru.org for more up to the minute details). This will be an important march highlighting domestic social and economic issues rarely highlighted in US media.
The Cosmopolity Progressive Recruiting Station (10AM-12 Midnight during the week of the RNC at The Tank, 432 West 42nd Street). Drop by The Tank for info and anything else about UnConventional events during the RNC. Check www.cosmopolity.org.
Photographs by Iraqi Civilians, 2004 & The Massacre of El Moote 20 Years Later (10AM-7PM at Tisch School of the Arts, 721 Broadway, Gulf & Western Gallery at rear of lobby). Photographic exhibits presented with PixelPress.
Patriot Act: A Public Meditation + Tony Kushner’s "Only We Who Guard The Mystery Shall Be Unhappy" (7 PM at: New York Theater Workshop, 79 East 4th Street, Box Office 212-460-5475). An expose of threats to American democracy and freedom (presented with New York Theater Workshop). See www.nytw.org
The Moth Presents A STORYSLAM (7PM at Bitter End, 147 Bleecker Street, $6). Stories and much more hosted by Andy Borowitz and featuring special guest Lewis Lapham.
Vigil for Corporate Welfare (2PM at Union Square & 4PM at the United Nations)
Billionaires for Bush will hold a series of vigils to bear happy witness to the no-bid contracts, tax-abatements, corporate subsidies, and public property giveaways that the Bush administration has bestowed upon them over the last four years. The Billionaires will march between two vigil sites.
Giuliani’s Prime Time Speech: Plying his resurrected and somewhat specious 9/11 image, our divisive ex-Mayor will deliver one of the opening speeches for the convention. Get ready for lots of platitudes and bromides about terrorism and freedom, a character trait of the modern major politician wannabe.
Pro-Choice New York rally (5-7PM at Union Square) For more information check www.naral.org.
A Day of RNC Parties (that you can choose to visit or not): 9:30AM, finance roundtable sponsored by Bank of America at Tavern on the Green CPW and W. 67th St; 3PM, Luncheon sponsored by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca at St. Regis Hotel, 2 E. 55th St; 10PM, post convention party sponsored by American Gas Association at Noche, 1604 Broadway.
All day non-violent direct action—check www.a31.org for details
Five-mile-long unemployment line (8 AM, Broadway, from Wall Street to Madison Square Garden)— From exactly 8:13 AM to 8:31 AM, 5,000 will form an unemployment line to protest the greatest period of sustained job loss since the Great Depression. See www.unemploymentline.org
New York City Central Labor Council march—check www.nycclc.org for details
Demo: A Demonstration In Words: A poetry reading on the RNC, President Bush and the crisis in Iraq (8PM at St. Mark’s Church, East 10th Street, Free). Leading American poets (many from Hanging Loose’s recent volume of political poetry Present/Tense: Poet in the World) including Bob Holman, Hettie Jones, John Yau, Carl Hancock Rux, Kimiko Hahn, Vijay Seshadri, Katha Pollitt, Sapphire and Cornelius Eady come together for a night of poetry and activism. Hosted by Jen Benka and Ram Devineni. A special newspaper will be printing featuring poetry and fiction on the War in Iraq and poetry about the RNC and President Bush.
Patriot Acts – Patriots Gone Wild (7PM at PS 122, 150 First Avenue at 9th Street; tickets $15). Live Patriot Acts: Patriots Gone Wiiiiild! lampoons patriotism.
Medium Cool + Battle for Broad (4PM at Pioneer Theater, Avenue A and East 3rd Street). A film screening of a classic of the 1968 Chicago protests plus a recent film by Pam Yates about the protests during the 2000 RNC in Philadelphia. Both great antidotes to the mean streets of New York and perfect for recharging batteries by seeing how people fought back in the past.
Billionaires Coronation Ball (9PM at The Frying Pan, Pier 63; Sliding scale of $15 to $1,000,0000). On the eve of the nomination, Billionaires for Bush invites all supporters to join them for the most anticipated party of the RNC—the Coronation of George W. Bush! Following the success of their Spring Bling Ball, the Billionaires throw yet another bash as only we know how. Entertainment, cocktails, DJs and possible Supreme Court justice cameos will make for an evening to remember.
A Night of Political Docs (6PM to 12AM at Triskelion Arts in Williamsburg118 N. 11th St. btw Berry & Wythe. FREE). Presented by Lichtenstein/er Information Services, here is a night of films that are important in explanation and insight into the current administration. The program begins with The Jesus Factor, a pivotal film essentially about how W turned to Evangelicals to believe he was chosen by god to be president and continues with Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War at 7:15PM, a compelling film that was distributed by grassroots before Fahrenheit 9/11 got the mainstream. At 8:30 is Unprecedented a film that breaks down what happened and what mechanisms Republicans used in the November 2000 elections lest you forgot. The evening ends with Outfoxed at 10:30PM, the Robert Greenwald film about Fox News.
Anti-RNC Cloudbuster Operations: For the increasingly desperate there’s this Reichian event. From an undisclosed location on the Brooklyn waterfront, the Brooklyn Orgastic Politics Collective will be redirecting the flow of Orgone Energy above Manhattan, attempting to "suck the fascism" from Madison Square Garden as G. W. Bush is re-nominated. Check bopcollective.org for info.
Get Drunk and Hope for the Best as Bush is re-nominated.