News from the “Freedom Cage” in Denver

Hey everybody, this is Jonathan Williams, I’m the Student Peace Action Network coordinator writing to you from Denver.  I’m here with SPAN activists, war veterans, grandmothers, teachers, and union workers gathered outside the Pepsi Center.  I wanted to reach out to you to tell you the stories you won’t hear on CNN about the Democratic National Convention – the stories of activists.  They are trying to contain us in a “freedom cage,” harassing activists while we sleep, and trying to suppress our power.  But we’re fighting their military state with the highest form of patriotism – dissent.

The thousands of protestors at the DNC are here for many reasons.  There are activists performing water boarding demonstrations, some others are focused on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. More still are fed-up with elected leaders who cater to corporate interests while ignoring citizens’ demands.

The number one issue on the minds of protestors is Iraq.  Regardless of party affiliation (or lack of it), the American people are sick of this war.  I spoke with a mother who took all her vacation time to come out to both conventions in protest.  She blamed Republicans and Democrats alike for our failing economy, the quagmire in Iraq, and high gas prices.

Yesterday, I joined the Iraq Veteran’s Against the War (IVAW) for Operation First Causality.  Watch the video of them in action in DC.  In a flurry of activity these former and current GI’s show what kind of work they did in Iraq – securing the area, interrogating civilians, forcefully detaining bystanders.  This is the real deal – and it’s the picture of Iraq the American people never see.

Today, we’ll march from the convergence space to the Pepsi center to deliver a letter to the presumptive nominee, Barack Obama, demanding we end the occupation in Iraq, take care of vets when they return, and provide reparations to Iraqis for the damage we’ve inflicted on their country.

The next stop is the Republican National Convention.  I’ll be meeting up with Peace Action affiliate groups there from Maine, Wisconsin, and California – we’ll send an update to you when we get there.  If the reaction to the Democrats is any indication the Republicans will meet serious resistance in St. Paul – and it’s about time.


Jonathan Williams

SPAN Coordinator
Peace Action 


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