The face of Babylon and Dick Cheney's drinking habits

So much is unfolding around us. The whole place is filled with every stripe of people. Yesterday we went to Dag Hammserkold (sp?) Plaza across from the United Nations, where the protest for economic justice was building up to march into Manhattan without a license. Peter Gartrell took the train back to Philadelphia yesterday afternoon. The last I saw of him was in the avenue median in front of the UN, holding his camera. He called later and said that he'd run into Elizabeth Dole and Pat Buchanan on the way back to Penn Station.

Once the protest rolled out, peacekeeper groups marched with their arms locked around the first group of people, between the protesters and the police.

With hundreds of police officers around us we went down into the city as a line of NYPD motorcycles and bicycle cops separated the march from traffic. After a few hours we neared Madison Square Garden, and the whole thing ground to a halt at the barricades across the avenue.

I was around the front of it, and besides the helicopter, snipers and riot police behind barricades all around us, things seemed pretty calm, but about 2 blocks south, the police suddenly cut through the protest with barricades, throwing people out of the way and arresting several. Dan Schned saw much of what happened. A guy with dreadlocks said that "Tonight we saw the face of Babylon, people!"

I took pictures all along the way, but I can't put any up just yet for time and technical reasons.

Sunday evening was a hell of a time. A girl from Iowa showed us her video of the paper mache dragon that some anarchists famously lit on fire in near Madison Square Garden.

I was in the background on MSNBC Hardball, which had an outdoor stage going in a square on Broadway. I discovered that by jumping at precisely the right moment, I could jump above Chris Matthews' shoulder. Later, we were also chased away from the (Fox) News Corporation building.

Last night we found that there is an active movement to hassle Republican delegates as they go about town. There are IndyMedia and text messaging schemes set up, directing the groups of protesters running around. The intention seems peaceful: hollering on the street mainly. We came across an area near Union Square where people had thrown garbage and newspaper boxes all over the street, and then a whole bunch of cops came. Then we found out that Cheney was drinking nearby, and we saw the cops had blocked off the whole street.

So that's how things are going. Obviously it's not too easy to write because we are staying in Brooklyn and the party's in Manhattan.

Now that the heat is easing off, it's time for another round. We are staying safe as possible, but things are moving by their own pattern right now.

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