Like kids who get their Christmas gifts a few days early, or, depending on how you look at it, like kids who get a pop quiz on the chapter they didn't read, New Yorkers were treated to some early protests. From naked ACT UP activists in front of Madison Square Garden (photo above from Daily News) to protesters taking their climbling skills to the side of the Plaza, New Yorkers started to feel pumped/weary/uncertain of the week ahead when the Republican National Convention kicks off. During the Plaza Hotel protest (where the Truth/Bush banner was unveiled) orchestrated by Operation Sybil, a police officer was injured when he fell through a skylight in the roof of the Plaza. Because of the injury, the four protesters were charged with first-degree assault on top of reckless endangerment, criminal trespass, conducting an unlawful street show, unlawful posting of an advertisement, and failing to obtain a license to hang a sign larger than 75 feet. An Operation Sybil spokesperson said the protesters warned the officer not to remain on the skylight, but their warnings were ignored. The naked protesters got the front page treatment from the Daily News, with strategically placed red boxes, and Mayor Bloomberg said, laughing, "This is New York. Of course, we had seven naked people on Eighth Ave. What's the question?" Hmm, Gothamist doesn't think Police Commissioner Kelly would be so happy with your laughing, Bloomby! Commissioner Kelly is stressing that protests should be peaceful, not anarchic. Most protest groups say that their events will be peaceful, shifting the question of violence to the police and their tactics.
The United for Peace and Justice's march will end in Union Square on Sunday. Marchers will meet at 7th Avenue and 14th Street at 10AM, make their way up and around Madison Square Garden, and then down to Union Square.