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Things to Do in Denver

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Just as I began my series of articles on the candidacy of Barack Obama and what progressives and other Americans should do in response to it, a conversation ignited on OpEdNews and on the Campaign for America’s Future website. I was not responsible for this.

The outbreak of conversation over what progressives can do to further define and influence Obama’s future presidency when elected was a product of an election that is now dangerously close (if you think polls are accurate) and was a product of the fact that the Democratic National Convention is being held in Denver, Colorado next week.

Such conversation is refreshing when you think about how progressives could have consumed their time talking about who the VPs will be for both candidates. Some did. Others let the pundits on the cable news networks run with that one and used their time a bit more wisely.

I’m now ready to go to Denver and be a part of all the events happening on the outside. Having not been to a corporate war party convention ever in my life, I think I will probably experience an adrenaline rush more than a few times while at the convention.

Of course, everybody is thinking about the police right now. How could you not be tuned in to the “freedom cages” and the quasi-concentration camp that Denver has set up to detain people when necessary? The ACLU has been all over this one challenging the way the city is handling the prospect of massive protests in Denver, but these days civil liberties don’t mean too much to those in the power structure.

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While being arrested is a worthy concern, so many groups have permits for locations nearby and around the Pepsi Center to talk with people, hold protest events, and even peddle their message and other merchandise to boost their group’s financial well-being. I do not intend to engage in acts of civil disobedience or nonviolent resistance while in Denver that may result in arrest especially since I do not live in Denver.

I imagine that there will be a veritable progressive flea market with people seeking to share ideas that are moderate and radical.

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Most of what I participate in outside the convention will be events organized by the group Recreate68 (a group who’s name I don’t totally agree with for reasons posted over at CommonDreams).

On Sunday, August 24th, at 9 am with Cindy Sheehan leading the way we will all gather around the capitol steps in Denver for a rally that will become a permitted massive antiwar march at 11 am. Others who will speak and march with us include Ron Kovic, Cynthia McKinney, Ward Churchill, Fred Hampton Jr., and Kathleen Cleaver.

There was a divide among progressive activists about whether a march should be held or not. But, since some groundwork was done, those objections have become null and void and any progressive there who does not join us is doing a serious disservice to the peace movement which energizes so much of what we like to call progressive politics.

After the rally & march, Public Enemy will do a free concert for activists. And, the speakers who were with us during the rally on the capitol steps will gather for an event to focus on no war on Iran that night.

On Monday, August 25th, activist leaders from World Can’t Wait will ask people to put on orange jumpsuits and participate in a Human Rights/Free All Political Prisoners Day to bring attention to some of the Bush Administration’s most egregious offenses.

Thursday, August 28th, leaders will march at 9 am in opposition to I.C.E. raids and the militarization of our border, which is how leaders have chosen to respond to problems with our immigration policy in America.

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That night, we will all be outside of Invesco Field as Obama gives his acceptance speech. We will be listening in while we bring our message of “No War on Iran” to the tens of thousands supporters who will be in attendance.

Outside of Recreate68, Tent State University has a free concert planned for those in Denver to attend on Wednesday. Hosted by Iraq Veterans Against the War, it will feature Rage Against the Machine, The Flobots, The Coup, State Radio, and Wayne Kramer (former band member of the MC5).

Tickets for the free concert are going to be awarded through a lottery and winners will be notified by email. Doors open at 9:30 am and the concert will be held at 11 am.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for
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