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Part 1: The Protest

Well Gardeners, it just HAD to happen to one of us…Given that so far heart, Algorythm, zeno, jan, zz, maggijo, yours truly and Cowtippa have all marched in anti-war demonstrations in our respective cities in the past weeks and months, it had to happen…CowTippa is our first arrestee dejour…Cow being the youngest of this elite club didn't quite know the ropes on how to AVOID such a happen stance…We'll teach him for next time though <wink>…And we'll teach him to let one of us hold his bail money NEXT time...

Alllie and I sat down very early Sunday morning with Cow to get this exclusive scoop for you…Cow hadn't recovered from his 16 hr ordeal with New York's finest when he first joined #news_garden around 11 am EST Sunday morning…He was cold, tired and hungry but just had to tell us and was too energized and pumping too much adrenaline to sleep. Later that night he gave Alllie and I a rough outline what it was like…Here in part is our take on what he experienced and in his words, too…

According to the weather channel, Saturday in downtown New York City was clear but exceptionally cold, with a high well below 20 degrees and light winds…Not terribly cold, but definitely uncomfortable if one is out for any prolonged amount of time…One of the first things Cow mentioned was that after awhile he couldn't feel his hands, feet, nose or chin…Otherwise he was bundled up really well…Shows you how COLD it was that day…(Protesters learn early on that they're going to be inconvenienced somehow, but you learn to deal with it because of your "passion")…

Cow started his protest track at "42nd street on the east side a couple of blocks from the UN"…Along with his friend who was carrying a sign they began their long trek down to the stage area where various speakers and protest musicians were going to be on a large stage…

Where he eventually ended up being "detained" by the police was in his own words "39th between 7th and 8th Avenues…Cow estimated that he had walked a good 7 or 8 miles that day trying desperately to get into some group of people along the route…Every side street was blocked from 42nd St and 2nd Ave up to 67th St (writer's note, I don't remember if a city block is an 8th or a 10th of a mile long been some years, but they are very long in between)

Cow explained that all along this route, people were barricaded into "boxes" with barricades on all 4 sides and police manning each side…To me it sounded as theses were points of containment, possibly with the hope of a riot breaking out and justification for police intervention...In fact it sounds suspiciously like a "set up"…But more about that

Cow told Alllie and I that the crowd of protesters were a mixed bag…There were tiny babies in cuddly baby slings under their parents' coats, to families with children in strollers and up through some of elder senior citizens…What a powerful message that SHOULD have sent to the Bush White House, but is being totally ignored…

There were some protesters there in costumes and many wore "anti-war" lapel pins...Those who had either homemade signs or printed signs were stopped and the handles holding the signs were removed and those who used card board tubing were looked through by the police for possible weapons…

Map of Area

In all of this, Cow was trying to get closer to the stage that was set up around 50th or 51st Street which is about 1.25 miles from where Cow started…Cow wanted to hear and see many of the speakers assembled there such as Rep. Barbara Lee of CA (who interestingly enough spoke at the March I marched in on MLK day), Angela Davis and Desmond TuTu…Fortunately several in the crowd were carrying portable radios and a well known local radio station (WBAI) was simul-casting the speeches and the musical guests…

At some point during all his wandering around town just trying to get into position, Cow and his friend got separated from each other…Cow told us that he went west at some point, a few blocks from where the people were being herded behind barricades at the main route and started to hang out with the others who could not break into the police barricades…Fights and scuffles were breaking out…There were NY Police on horse back (folks, NYC Police horses are breed to be a huge, a stallion…their backs alone stand approximately 6 feet off the ground…These aren't western style smaller horses…If you've ever seen them, they are VERY intimidating looking)…At one point the police began to scuffle with one of what was apparently a young protester and Cow saw the police shove the young man down into the pavement…When he was brought back upright Cow noted his nose was bloody and tried to see what happened to him but lost him in the crowd…There seemed to have been some intimidation of the protesters who were being withheld from joining the main crowd and this brought about all kinds of havoc…Cow milled around and watched much of the scuffling and the police using night sticks on several of the people on that corner…At one point he was trapped between 2 of the huge Police horses…

At this point Cow tried to make his way towards Broadway, but he once again met a Wall of Blue who were protecting the theatre district…

Cowtippa's snapshots of the day

Videos of the police action

Organizers accuse NYPD of misconduct at peace rally

Account of Rally from

Walking from 3rd to 1st Avenue: A True New York Horror Story

To be Continued...



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