Thursday, September 02, 2004

Notes From NYC, Part II

It is Thursday, and the City is bracing for George Bush's speech later tonight. Despite the fact that there have been approximately 1,700 protestors arrested, I personally haven't witnessed many of the protests themselves. This is not particularly noteworthy, however, as I have been mostly shuffling between work and home with no digressions into the protest rich environs of Madison Square Garden. Most of my less traditionally employed friends have a myriad of stories and anecdotes, but I will spare you the second hand accounts.

Because last night I witnessed my first full blown protest, as I left the office around 7:30pm. It was held on 6th avenue between 50th and 52nd St., which happens to be the juncture for the offices of all the major television networks (in addition to several of the cable news networks like CNN). Thus, it was apropos that the theme of the protest was about media consolidation and corporatization and all of the evils that have flowed from that trend. I posted a short piece on the topic

As to the nature of the protest, it looked pretty well organized, with the throng of relatively docile marchers ensconced safely inside parallel rows of police barriers. This was probably an authorized demonstration, judging by the cooperation between police and protestor alike. The message of the march was conveyed by a youngish looking activist with a microphone and an amplifier powerful enough that his words just might have penetrated the office windows of any media executives still at work. As for the impact on New Yorkers, most just shuffled by with a frequent craning rubberneck, and an occasional pause to chat across the police barricades.

There was one New Yorker that looked a bit exasperated though. About a half block from the protests sat a man at a table with a microphone and an amplifier. The sign hanging from the table read, "New York City's #1 Barry White Impersonator." I have no knowledge of his talents, but Barry himself couldn't sell his wares above the din from the nearby protest. Don't worry pseudo-Barry, this will all pass soon.

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