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Mother’s First Vote

by 06/19/2012
Neighborhood: East New York, Featured

 My mother turned twenty-one, voting age, in 1932, during the worst of the Depression. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was running for president for the first time, trying to unseat Herbert Hoover. My mother had no job, but she had a cousin who was, of all things, not just a Republican but an active Republican. A Jewish […]

Ex Post Facto Intro

by 09/02/2005
Neighborhood: Midtown

Hello. Thank you for tuning into “The 1st Anniversary of the 2004 Republican National Convention.” Happy Birthday, Mr. President, indeed. Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood is proud to present twelve stories recounting the way that the Republican National Convention reshaped New York City, articulated from a wide variety of perspectives and in a wide variety of voices. […]

Dissent is a Marathon . . . Not a Sprint

by 09/01/2005
Neighborhood: Midtown

The revered pugilist/philosopher Iron Mike Tyson once mused: “Everyone has a plan until they get hit.” And get hit everyone will. Case in point: Many of the Anybody-But-Bush (ABB) protesters who took to the streets of the Big Apple during the Republican National Convention in August 2004. I don’t just mean blows suffered at the […]

Siddhartha of Central Booking

by 09/01/2005
Neighborhood: Chelsea

On the far Northern side of a vast concrete enclosure, we had been divided up into two parallel rows at either side of a narrow barricaded space and Jason, our Arresting Officer, stood between the two rows talking about sports, TV, and how he was looking forward to his retirement. Jason was a 23 year […]

An Open Letter to Paul Wellstone

by 09/01/2005
Neighborhood: Midtown

Senator Wellstone: I will not go on about the curious timing of your death. People are very impatient with conspiracy theories these days, even when past theories have revealed conspiracies. Still, I read with weary cynicism that you spoke to a meeting of war veterans in Willmar, Minnesota in October 2002 and told them that […]

Convergence

by 09/01/2005
Neighborhood: Chelsea

(Following is an excerpt from “Chapter 15: Prelude to Battle” of “Now is Not a Good Time,” a book-in-progress about (among other things) progressive patriotism, the antiwar movement during the first term of the Bush administration, and one woman’s attempt to learn to love her country and its people—if not its government—in complicated and troubling […]

A Cab Driver Prepares

by 09/01/2005
Neighborhood: Midtown

One morning last August, a week before the Republican National Convention, I took a cab to my studio in the Film Center Building on 45th and 9th. My cabdriver was wearing a natty chauffeur’s uniform, cap and all. Once we got going, he smiled at me in the rearview mirror and said, “I guess you’re […]

At the Edge of the Frozen Zone

by 09/01/2005
Neighborhood: Midtown

Take one large city already threatened into a constant state of low-level nervous breakdown with terrorism jitters and a rockpile of an economy. Scare away a large percentage of the population by placing a Republican Convention in the city’s center. Pour in 5,000 delegates, half a million protesters, seven billion journalists and a concentration of […]

Pregnant and Protesting The Lion King

by 09/01/2005
Neighborhood: Times Square

I saw your ad for RNC experiences and thought I’d share mine with you. My wife and I participated daily in protests against the RNC and our organizing efforts were filmed by a documentary film crew from Spain’s CANAL+ network. When we first heard the Republicans were holding their convention in NYC, we were outraged. […]

Vacation as Defiance

by 09/01/2005
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village

I had that week off from work. I hadn’t yet taken a summer vacation and figured that, like thousands of other New Yorkers, I would get the hell out of the city during that time. I’d walk in the August 29th protest march, make my sentiments known, and then hit the road. But as things […]

RNC Email Diary

by 09/01/2005
Neighborhood: Midtown

>From: "LL Smooth J" >To: Subject: RNC Diary: Day One >Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 04:59:29 +0000 > Hello Friends. Pat Flynn threw down the gauntlet with his Boston DNC diary, and no one’s picked it up just yet: Whatever, No Problem! I can do it! Day One of the RNC was quieter than expected, […]

New York Public Library Order Display

by 09/01/2005
Neighborhood: Midtown

I work in the New York Public Library in the Wertheim Study. Tuesday, August 29th, 2004 I decided to work there and show up at the demonstration against the Republican National Convention to meet at the front steps of the library. Not only did we opposed the war in Iraq, as an expression of an […]