Activists Divided Over Protest Tactics at GOP Convention

Many enviros will be among the hundreds of thousands of protesters flooding into New York City at the end of the month to protest the Republican National Convention — or rather, to protest environmental rollbacks, corporate cronyism, tax cuts for the rich, indifference to poverty, abortion restrictions, the Iraq war, abrogation of civil liberties, racism, and the annoying adhesive strips on new compact discs (they’re impossible to fully remove!). Some veteran activists, however, are concerned about the stated intentions of some radical types to engage in property destruction and violence; they worry about a repeat of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, when the televised sight of long-haired protesters clashing with police scared Average Jane and Joe enough to help propel Nixon into the White House. “The potential for violence is worrisome, and the potential to have it boomerang against progressive policies is great,” said Greenpeace USA Executive Director John Passacantando.