BOSTON – With black hoods on their heads and their wrists tied with a black and yellow striped ropes,about 30 people protested the confinement of demonstrators at the 2004 Democratic National Convention that gets underway Monday afternoon.
Enacting a prison scene reminiscent of prison photos out of Iraq,an instructor clad in a red DNC shirt told demonstrators playing the role of prisoners to hop on one leg and kneel with their faces on the ground.
“From Abu-Ghraib to Camp X-ray,Guantanamo Bay to the streets of Boston,” said the instructor,who declined to be interviewed. “We are gathered here today in solemn and silent protest at the incarceration of pro-democracy demonstrators in the barb wire cage known as the DNC free speech zone.”
Protesters at the convention are confined to a fenced area just outside the FleetCenter,where the convention is being held. However,a dozen police officers allowed the protesters to march a short distance before they entered the enclosure.
“The fact that they have fenced us is the most ridiculous thing this week. It’s like we are caged animals,” said Vicente Ortiz,44,a protester from Texas.
“What does it mean when Boston,a city built on the history of revolutionary dissent,builds a barbaric confine for people who want to express their democratic rights?” read a statements from the protesters.
The statement also read,”Welcome to camp DNC,Made in USA. As an embedded reporter you are invited to observe,film and photograph camp DNC. Follow the rules of this camp; Follow the direction of the press officer. Do not disturb the prisoners.”
A couple of soldiers in military fatigues watched the protests from an elevaed walkway, adding more reality to the scene.
The protest was organized by Save Our Civil Liberties,which raises public awareness about what it calls systematic attacks on civil liberties and human rights.