Archive for August 26th, 2008

August 26, 2008

Denver: Profits and protests

My working lunch on the patio of the Capitol Bar was interrupted by (a) bad WiFi, and (b) a nearby confrontation between bullhorn-wielding pro-lifers and bullhorn-wielding activists with the Revolutionary Communist Party.

The blonde with the bullhorn is pro-lifer Kaitlin Mahoney. She’s yelling that the RCP guy has no coherent argument for his pro-choice position. Of course, he is a communist, so he didn’t have coherent arguments for anything.

This scene took place on 16th Street at Court Place, right in front of the Sheraton, where Hillary Clinton was inside addressing an Emily’s List gala. The noise was such that even with headphones I couldn’t hear the audio I was trying to transcribe. I’ve now relocated to the world’s noisiest Starbucks, across the street. Christina Bellantoni of the Washington Times is also trying to file her story from here.

Meanwhile, for street vendors in Denver, the Democratic convention is mainly an opportunity to profit by selling Obama-themed merchandise.

Hope is a very popular commodity on the streets of Denver this week.

Here’s a person who is a self-declared “atheist, lesbian, male-to-female transsexual.” Amazingly, “Jessica Sideways” is not a DNC delegate — but is, however, a blogger.

Well, I’ve got to write an article for the American Spectator, so things will be slow on the blog this afternoon. I’ll be back to liveblog Hillary’s big speech tonight.

UPDATE: “Jessica Sideways” got linked as a headline at Ace of Spades and got her own post at the Jawa Report. Some of the comments at Jawa aren’t exactly sensitive and tolerant.

August 26, 2008

Dang: I missed the riot

VodkaPundit, Charlie Martin and I had been enjoying refreshments Monday afternoon on the patio outside the Capitol Bar at the Sheraton on 16th Street. I’d already filed for PJM, and Vodka and Charlie had covered some excitement at the Denver Mint. We’d had a long day, and I was eager to get somewhere to plug in the laptop and watch the primetime convention proceedings on TV. So we headed back to PJM HQ in a high-rise condo a few blocks away.

Bad decision. We were leaving the scene of what, in a little more than an hour, would be the scene of a semi-riot — the closest thing to Chicago that “Recreate ’68” has so far produced. Zombie filed an on-the-scene report.

But as we left the Sheraton, all was still calm. We noticed large groups of police in riot gear on street corners as we walked down 16th Street, but thought this was just a precaution. Apparently, the DPD had intelligence that trouble was brewing. There was some sort of protest at City Center, and it seems that some of those protesters had the idea to march on 16th Street. Police were not going to let that happen.

When we got to PJM HQ, I was surprised to find Michelle Malkin herself blogging there. Founding Bloggers videographer Andrew Marcus and his crew were editing footage from the day’s excitement, when Truthers had swarmed Malkin.

After about an hour, my cell phone rang. It was Evie Brown, who had been visiting friends in Denver (not for the DNC) and was at the Capitol Bar when we were there. Gregarious as always, I’d given Ms. Brown my business card, and now she was calling with an urgent message: “They’re rioting! The Sheraton is on lockdown!”

I was tired, and didn’t feel like walking back for what might prove to be a false alarm. But Jim Hoft and Charlie Martin decided to take a video camera and go check it out.

No false alarm: Police had cordoned off a street and surrounded protesters who were trying to reach 16th Street. And the center of the action was right at the Sheraton. If we hadn’t left the Capitol Bar, we’d have been right in the middle of it. Grrrrr.

Ah, well. Bad luck or bad choices. Either way, there’s action all over town, and you can’t be everywhere. I’m blogging this basically to give you an idea of how difficult it is for one person to cover the entire convention scene, and why collaborative reporting via the blogosphere provides the best panoptic approach to the experience. Just hanging out at the Capitol Bar, however, I made contact with a source who later tipped us to the action, and that Jim and Charlie were able to capitalize on that tip to provide coverage. Teamwork.

As Vodka says, exhaustion is setting in, and it would be nice to have more sleep. But the excitement overcomes the exhaustion, so I have to force myself to shut it down.

Tuesday: The Women’s Caucus. Imagine me in a roomful of liberal women, some of them possibly heterosexual. Frightening. Oh … yeah, met an ex-Edwards delegate. Heh.

August 26, 2008

‘There are a lot of nutballs here’

So says Michelle Malkin, and she’s not talking about the PJM Crew:

Federal authorities have scheduled a press conference for Tuesday afternoon amid reports that a fortunate traffic stop by Aurora Police may have disrupted an assassination attempt against Barack Obama.
KUSA-TV is reporting that two men have been arrested on weapons charges after the traffic stop early Sunday.
The first man, identified by the station as Tharin Gartrell, 28, was charged with suspicion of being a felon in possession of a weapon after police found two rifles, a high-powered scope and methamphetamine in his car after the traffic stop.
When police accompanied Gartrell to his hotel in Glendale, a second man jumped from a window and was injured in a four-story fall, according to the station. That man was then arrested, but has not been identified by police.

We’re still waiting for Andrew Marcus to load the video of today’s “nutball” incident when the 9/11 Truthers threatened Michelle. (Guess who’s sitting about 10 feet from my left elbow? C’mon, guess.)

UPDATE: Just got word that there’s a riot going on a few blocks from here. The Sheraton is reportedly under lockdown. The streets of Denver are crawling with cops in riot gear. Livecam.

UPDATE II: Reportedly seven arrests already in the riot. Zombie is on the scene.

UPDATE III: Charlie Martin just called in from the scene to report that he and Jim Hoft are watching “the world’s most boring riot.” They’re getting video for Founding Bloggers. Charlie says the ratio is 12:6:1 of cops to media to protesters.

UPDATE IV: Jim Hoft has a report on the Truther/Malkin confrontation this afternoon.

UPDATE V: Michelle now has her own post, and links her favorite person named McCain.

August 26, 2008

Truthers threaten Malkin

VodkaPundit and Charlie Martin of PJM just returned from the Denver Mint where they were covering a protest. Michelle Malkin was there, and was “verbally assaulted” and “physically threatened” by a group of 9-11 Truthers led by Alex Jones. Charlie intervened to protect Malkin during the confrontation.

PJM cameraman Andrew Marcus was on the scene and captured “explosive” video. Will update when video is online.
August 26, 2008

Cheers from VodkaPundit

The man on your scene.