by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
I was working in Denver for the (late, lamented) Rocky Mountain News during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. One of the concerns at the time was the possiblity that left-wing, anarchist protesters would disrupt the proceedings and destroy property as they had at World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle.
A “movement” called Recreate ’68 tried to cause trouble before the convention, but to little avail. From this interview with members of the group, you can see some of the seeds of what became Occupy Wall Street.
The more interesting development was something called Tent State University, another anarchist group that formed on several campuses in 2006 and tried to organize a massive squat in Denver’s municipal parks, at which overnight camping violates state law. Then-Mayor John Hickenlooper (a Democrat, who’s now Colorado’s governor) was instrumental in preventing several soft-headed city council members from giving the protesters a prominent place at one of the city’s better-known parks. Instead, they wound up at a little-used location not far from Pepsi Center.
Despite projections that as many as 50,000 Tent Staters would descend convention week on Denver, the actual number wound up being several dozen. … Until … they announced they would give away tickets to a Rage Against the Machine concert. Then the numbers swelled to, well, several dozen more, as this video shows.
Looks like Charlotte may get a better turnout, perhaps because it’s easier to get to Charlotte than Denver, or perhaps because there are more angry, unemployed young people today.