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(en) US, Media, Reporting from Denver - The Protests

Date Fri, 29 Aug 2008 09:35:49 +0300



Here's some shots of this morning's pro-immigration march through Denver. About
1,000 people showed up. In the background is the Denver Broncos Stadium where
tonight Barack Obama will give his nomination speech. ---- With the world
watching, I expected to see more demonstrations like this one, and bigger ones,
too. But they didn't materialize, unless I've been standing in the wrong places.
The cops, mind you, have still got their hands dirty. A reporter with us was
maced, and temporarily blinded, after getting caught up in an anarchist protest.
Here's a story and a photo. --- In all, a hundred people have been arrested this
week, including an ABC News producer, who annoyed police by blocking a sidewalk.

---------------------------------

Anarchists, rioting police and an Arab-American at the Democratic Convention
I'm in Denver with a delegation from the New York Community Media Alliance. One
of our number, Antoine Faisal, who is Lebanese, was on his way to an
Arab-American comedy show on Monday afternoon when, near the Sheraton Hotel, he
found himself in the middle of a confrontation between young anarchist
protestors and riot police.
Faisal is a publisher and writer for a New York-based paper, but he originally
trained as a photojournalist, and his instincts kicked in. A few minutes into
the incident, he was pepper sprayed by a policeman despite saying he was press
and showing his badge. He was hit in the eyes, but held onto the camera, and
focused it on himself, taking pictures of his agony and of the efforts of
bystanders to help him.
He shared the images with members of our group. His story will likely get some
coverage as a producer for public radio and a New York Times reporter have been
covering our trip.
After relaying his story in detail, and showing his dramatic pictures to us,
Faisal said: "I have a surprise for you." He'd been on his way from a panel
discussion and, it turned out, had inadvertently left his tape recorder on. So,
he also had a dramatic audio recording of the incident.
He described himself as a person who is generally sympathetic to-police but said
of these officers: "They don't honor or deserve the uniform they are wearing.
"As a journalist, I was doing my job. I wasn't threatening them. I didn't cross
any lines. This is why we have press credentials." .
He recalled the pain as the worst he's ever experienced, but given what has
happened over the past several decades in his home city of Beirut, he said "it's
nothing."
After his recovery, he went to the comedy show and took pictures there, too.
_________________________________________
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