WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Last night on 14th Street, the big-time TV news producer walking with me wanted to know, "What have you heard about the mini-Gitmo being built near the South Platte River?"
Stifling a yawn, I said, "Is this another Iraq story?"
"It's a DENVER story," he said, with visible contempt for my cluelessness. "People arrested at the Democratic National Convention will be processed at a facility some have compared to the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay."
Who the hell cares? Err, I mean to say, in the unlikely event this story becomes FAST-BREAKING NEWS and you don't want to be caught flat-footed, here's the primer:
This lyrically named warehouse turned jiffy-jail was created "just in case" mass-arrests take place during the convention. Officials claim they'll be able to process 60 arrestees an hour, triple the processing speed of the Denver city jail. (In your face, city jail!) Protest groups dubbed the facility "Gitmo-on-the-Platte" because it's near the South Platte River.
Remember freedom fries? Sprinkle a little irony on that concept, and voila! You've got another corny catchphrase. Dozens of large metal cages made out of chain link fence and topped by rolls of barbed wire have been placed inside Gitmo-on-the-Platte, to hold arrestees.
This is a five-syllable word for "inhabit." Officials are expecting to lock up a smart crowd.
Unconventional Denver is an anarchist group willing to call off their infamous publicity stunts if Denver City Council takes the $50 million security budget intended to "repress free speech" and invests it, instead, in the local Denver community. (Fat chance.)
Re-create 68 is a non-violent grassroots group that resists the two-party system. They want Americans to have many, many more parties. Hard to argue, isn't it?
Code Pink is calling on women around the world to rise up and oppose the Iraq war by weaving in and out of convention traffic on roller skates, while wearing cute pink outfits. I swear, I don't make these things up. This is just good journalism.
Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army
(It's a clandestine insurgent rebel clown army -- what more do you need to know?)
Festival of Democracy
Oddly enough, the Festival of Democracy isn't affiliated with the Democratic Convention, but takes place in downtown Denver around the same time. Enjoy free music, free food, and free workshops that discuss alternatives to the two-party system.
An archaic phrase, watch for it to be revived this week by television news pundits in the unlikely event someone gets stuffed in a freedom cage.