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(en) US, See You in Philly on July 30-Even the Mainstream Press Gets It - they are not afride yet... but they start to worry.

From MWMorrill@aol.com
Date Thu, 24 Feb 2000 13:23:41 -0500

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Here's what the mainstream press is saying about us.  Please forward to 
friends and allies.  
If you are in the Philly area, the next meeting of the R2K Network is March 
13 at 6:00 PM at PCAN, 3001 Walnut St., 5th Floor.  The next Unity 2000 
Meeting is March 20, at 6:00 PM, same place.  
>From the Philadelphia Inquirer 2/24/00

Activists planning a show of force for GOP convention 
Organizers have dubbed the Republican gathering "R2K." They hope to build on 
last year's protests in Seattle.

By Thomas Ginsberg

They called the Seattle protests last November "N30." A protest planned for 
this April in Washington, D.C., is "A16." And the Republican convention this 
coming summer in Philadelphia will be "R2K."

Around the country, leftist organizers newly energized by the "Battle in 
Seattle" on Nov. 30 are trying to build on that event with protests 
elsewhere, often identifying their plans with something between a code word 
and a call to arms.

"Meeting the R2K Problem" is the title of a Web page put up last year by the 
R2K Committee, a coalition created by the Reading-based Pennsylvania Consumer 
Action Network for the Republicans' 2000 - hence R2K - convention here 
starting July 31.

Philadelphia-area activists who largely supported the cause of the Seattle 
protesters are planning a major rally July 30, called Unity 2000, to spark 
what they call a diverse, progressive movement in the region.

They want to follow it with a week of rallies by individual groups, 
coordinated by the R2K Committee, which also is setting up an independent 
media center.

"What we saw in Seattle was that people from labor and environment . . . and 
women's groups and gays came together together under one banner to protest 
free trade," said Alec Meltzer, an R2K organizer. "So what we'd like is . . . 
to bring together people with various interests in the region under one 
banner. There is no single issue."

While rally organizers cannot take responsibility for the actions of every 
single marcher, they do not plan to to "create another Seattle," said Michael 
Morrill, head of the Reading group.

Added Meltzer: "We are not advocating any civil disobedience. But we're not 
going to control what other people can do. . . . If there's another group 
that wants to practice civil disobedience, that's their right."

The July 30 march is one of scores of events by groups of every stripe now 
being planned for the convention week, from antiabortion prayer vigils to 
competing rallies over the fate of death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Despite the planning, there is no way yet to tell how many demonstrations 
will actually take place, how many people they will attract, and how orderly 
they will be. No group has disclosed any plans for civil disobedience.

Most of the events are likely to be peaceful, jostling mainly for attention 
from the 2,000 delegates and estimated 15,000 journalists, police and 
protesters predicted.

Even march organizers who were present in Seattle said it was only a few 
protesters there - reported to include black-clad anarchists - who ended up 
scuffling with police and provoking the harsh crackdown on the opening day 
that colored the whole event.

Still, both sides are sensitive because of Seattle. It was still unclear 
whether Philadelphia police would give organizers of the July 30 rally a 
permit for the march through Center City.

A sign of things to come could be "A16."

On April 16, thousands of protesters, including an unknown number of veterans 
of the WTO event in Seattle, are expected to converge in the nation's capital 
for a rally against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. It has 
been organized in part through an elaborate e-mail network linking activists 
from around the country and the world.

John Sellers of the Berkeley-based Ruckus Society, which helped organize the 
Seattle march and is helping with the IMF protest, said the Washington 
demonstration could encourage more protesters to go to Philadelphia.

While an anti-globalization message is the catalyst for the planned 
Washington demonstration, activists say, in Philadelphia it will be the 
influence of corporations in government.

"Campaign finance is where the rubber meets the road," Sellers said. "People 
are feeling left out, with more and more power consolidated into less and 
less hands. [When] people look around at where the compelling manifestation 
of corporate power is, it's those conventions."

Sellers said some demonstrators expect - and may hope for - some violent 
reaction from police in both Philadelphia and Los Angeles, site of the 
Democratic convention. 

"If we can't get a couple thousand nonviolent protesters' asses kicked in 
Philadelphia and Los Angeles, we haven't learned a thing," he said.

"Getting beaten up is not the goal. But . . . when you look at the 
civil-rights movement and the incredible brutality that those people 
absorbed, then if we really call these institutions of power into question, 
we're going to get a violent response."

Despite the provocative words, Philadelphia police are skeptical that many 
radical protesters who rallied in Seattle - including anarchists - will 
decide to target the Republicans, Deputy Commissioner Robert Mitchell said.

"We don't know at this point whether these types of people have a quarrel 
with the Republican or Democratic Parties, or whether they are going to be 
here," Mitchell said.

Nonetheless, he said, Philadelphia police will be in Washington to "find out 
who is there and what tactics they are employing."

Michael Morrill
Unity 2000/PCAN
529 Court St., #509
Reading, PA 19601

See you in Philly on July 30.  
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