The National Governors Convention was a $750,000 party for 40 or so of the Governors of our 50 States. While they should have been discussing how to protect the citizens they claim to represent from the corporate monsters and an out of control Federal government, they invited the President to join their party. But not to worry, this party doesn't come from tax payers pockets, not as tax money at least. Corporate big wigs paid as much as $150,000 a pop for them or their people to rub elbows with the Governors. Yes, yet again those in power are the receivers of the benefits of our higher prices.
But again have no fear, they are spending our tax dollars to protect the Governors from "we the people", particularly if we want to practice our First Amendment Right to address our grievances to the governing bodies.
Saturday 7/8/2000 State College Pa is earning it's nick-name of " Police State College" in a big way. The Governor's convention will not be bothered by Protesters and citizens voicing their opinions, an extra 100 police cars, Secret Service, FBI, State, and Local police over-whelmed this small city with hundreds and hundreds of officers in uniform and out. Helicopters were a constant in the sky, roads were closed, areas were closed, people were being assigned designated standing spaces, many which were in little cells. The stated purpose is to protect those forty or so Governors and their paid corporate guests. Intimidation ruled the streets, as examination of bumper stickers and wholesale unconstitutional searches and questioning of citizens seemed to be their primary tactic. The real goal to keep those whose deserve to speak with the governors, from their right to do so.
Friday night and Saturday morning, were witness to many speakers, addressing media problems, non violent Civil Disobedience, Racism, Earth rights, Death penalty and practically every current movement in the USA. The speeches and seminars lead up to the noon event of Redirection 2000 the Peoples Convention, where citizens and groups voiced, what they thought the governors should be addressing at this annual meeting. With the police intimidation it was not surprising that only 100 or so people turned out. Two entire bus loads of people in route mysteriously disappeared while protesting at the east end of campus. The protesters communicated their situation via cell phone. They said that they were ordered to disembark from the buses, were then surrounded by police cars. The contact on the cell phone, said that police were letting them go, then the cell phone went dead. About 15 minutes later the two empty buses pulled in to the parking lot . One youth who was upset and stuttering badly said that he left the group as the police closed in, and walked to the rally. The fate of his 150 fellow travelers is unknown... The local press report was that 150 or so protesters had left their designated protest zone, but made no note of their fate. (Two days later it was announced that about 150 had been arrested for blocking a highway)
A march was planned on Sunday, The four block march became a rally, as dozens of activists made speeches. Scheduled to last an hour, the march tied up down town traffic for a least two hours. The various protests continued all over down, most met with arrest. Ralph Nader made an half hour speech via tele-conferencing. Redirection 2000 officially ended Monday evening with the arrest of Justin Leto, organizer of the general protest and his four co-conspirators who were booked as Jane Does.
Justice was done when at the preliminary hearings all charges were dropped against all protesters, without comment. Neat trick lock up the people for the weekend, all by the book. It's time to change the book...
Next up the Central Pa Arts festival and the 30 hour smokeout,
it's bound to be an interesting week...