Here we go again! Or maybe not.

…in November, when some 10,000 union members and retirees demonstrated at a free trade summit in Miami. They were met by 2,500 cops brandishing new crowd-control weaponry, paid for in part by a little-noticed $8.5m appropriation tacked onto the Iraqi reconstruction bill. Videos taken at the scene show nonviolent protesters being beaten with wooden clubs, shocked with Taser guns, shot in the back with rubber bullets and pepper-sprayed in the face.
The above from a The Guardian’s report of the planned NYC lockdown during the Republican National Convention.
And this also:
There’s a showdown coming to Manhattan. Backed by the most intense security the city has ever seen, the Republicans are about to turn the blue-state bastion of New York City into the backdrop for George Bush’s coronation. The RNC chose New York because it was the site of the September 11 terror attacks, which to Bush’s opponents and even some ordinary New Yorkers seems a brazen provocation.
On one side are 36,000 cops – a force that city councilman Peter Vallone Jr calls “perhaps the world’s 10-largest standing army”. On the other side are at least 250,000 protesters expected to converge on the city from all across the United States and Canada – a demonstration six times larger than the legendary antiglobalisation protests that rocked Seattle in 1999. They’re facing off at a time when police are increasingly adopting military tactics in response to protest, and protesters are responding likewise, conducting their own reconnaissance on Republican plans and plotting actions designed to hit where the cops are weakest.
The police have infiltrated the protesters, but the protesters have infiltrated the convention; according to anti-RNC organisers, they have at least two moles working undercover with volunteers the city has recruited to help makes things run smoothly at Madison Square Garden.

Plans to oppose the convention are multiplying, suffusing activists with a giddy, growing tension. Marches and rallies, legal and illegal, are being planned for every day that the Republicans are in New York. There will be street theatre, including a Roman-style vomitorium in the East Village a few days before the convention starts, meant to signify Republican gluttony. Cheri Honkala, an organiser from Philadelphia, is mobilising homeless people, public housing tenants and others for a big, illegal “poor peoples’ march” on August 30. Activists are holding weekend workshops where direct-action novices practice street blocking, and DIY medics learn to treat victims of pepper spray and police violence.
No one knows where it’s all going – whether it will look like Chicago ’68 or Seattle ’99 or something altogether new. But activists see the coming conflict as history-making. “I want to see something so gigantic that it can’t be misinterpreted,” says Jason Flores-Williams, a political writer at High Times Magazine, who’s been playing a dual role as a journalist covering the movement and an organiser shaping it. An intense man in his 30s with a shaved head and silver earring, Flores-Williams recently published the High Times Activist Guide to the Republican National Convention, which is part primer and part call to arms.

No, it’s not going to be “here we go again.” This is going to be a “once in a lifetime.”

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