This is a significant story in the post-“Protect America Act of 2007”-era— These were groups of peaceful protesters practicing their constitutionally guaranteed rights of free speech and free assembly that were treated like terrorists for holding viewpoints that might upset the houseguests.
The Republican Party is the civil libertarian version of Charlie Brown’s pal Pigpen, surrounded wherever they go with a nasty cloud that offends all decent sensibilities. Their 2004 convention is no exception.
Rather than the traditional summonses issued to protesters in NYC, those who picketed the Republican National Convention were actually fingerprinted and detained. In 2005, the city of New York paid $150 and legal fees for each of the 108 protesters that were detained even after a judge ordered them released, totaling $215,000.
We may never know the amount of money NYC spent on the covert surveillance of law abiding citizens speaking out against policies they disagreed with so the Republican Party could spend a week in a city that doesn’t like them. But two things can be certain.
- It was too much.
- The Republican Party will not subsidize it in any way. Corporate welfare=good. Funding to the cities=bad.