I went looking for trouble this afternoon.
With the early part of the day seeming a little strange, I started playing reporter, stopping activists, protesters and police officers throughout LoDo. They were all quite friendly, except for one religious protester yelling at some hair salon stylists because one girl had tattoos. She was extremely lovely, and gave me one of Code Pink’s “Make Out, Not War” stickers. Obviously I liked her.
Her coworker stood in the middle of all of the religious crazy people with a sign saying, “I’m not a protester, I’m a barber.”
I asked if Jesus came in for a haircut, what would she suggest? “I would pamper him to death,” she replied.
The Planned Parenthood Action Find Committee handed out condoms that said “Protect Yourself From John McCain” on the streets, while also adorned in pink. They have about 80 women on the streets trying to get signatures for their 1 Million Strong petition.
The religious and pro life folks were the only trouble makers I noticed. One was throwing an unknown liquid at passers by, and when questioned by police, another pushed the officer. This caused the only arrest I saw all day. There was a young man wearing a “Fuck Bush” tshirt who got a ticket for riding his bike where he shouldn’t have, but he and the officers (dressed in full riot gear except for the two bike cops pictured) were laughing together throughout the entire process.
I saw some celebrities. Nothing really that impressive happened all day though. I was oddly attracted to Andrea Mitchell from NBC News, who is far too old for me. A bunch of high school girls at a rally for Leadership Challenge squeeled at the opportunity to be within a thousand feet of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. I was there to see the speaker of the house, but ended up hurting my ankle and needing to leave that event. I was more excited to meet Daily Kos’s Markos Moulitsas Zúniga at the Google lounge while sucking down free blueberry smoothies.
There is stuff happening in the convention too. Caroline Kennedy just spoke. We’re getting ready for Michelle Obama. You can watch that all on TV, but…
“I am here tonight to pay tribute to two men who have changed my life, and the life of this country – Barack Obama, and Edward M. Kennedy. Their stories are very different, but they share a commitment to the timeless American ideals of justice and fairness, service and sacrifice, faith and family. Leaders like them come along rarely. But once or twice in a lifetime, they come along just when we need them the most,” is what Caroline Kennedy said on the convention floor that almost had me in tears.
What can I say, I’m a sap. I cried when Willow’s girlfriend was shot on Buffy the Vampire Slayer too.
The media’s making a big deal about Clinton supporters for McCain, but the big discussion amongst print reporters is that the TV folks are blowing that out of proportion. Yes, there is a small percentage of disgruntled Clinton supporters out there being vocal. What REALLY is happening on the streets of Denver, are McCain people trying to recruit those Clinton supporters. A party to do just that will happen tonight.
Props also have to go out to the extremely creative street merchants of Denver. Check out these guys pimping their wears on the mall.
Just a few more points before I watch the convention speeches and go out hitting the parties.
Are Clinton splinter cells ruining the convention? No. Even a columnist from the Wall Street Journal I met told me that is a conservative conspiracy to distract people watching at home.
Is Denver a police state? Not at all. Every officer I spoke with told me that people have been respectful, and everyone I spoke with who had been interacting with the police told me how nice they were.
In short, other than traffic, this place is pretty incredible right now.