Protesters unleashed a campaign of demonstrations all over Manhattan yesterday. Aimed at being a day of non-violent, civil disobedience, things actually got much hairier as police tried to clamp down and ended up arresting 900 protesters. Some say the police were being overzealous, even reneging on agreements with protest groups about their protests. The NY Times reported NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman's concerns:
"It's an example of the police suckering the protesters...It was a bait-and-switch tactic, where they approved a demonstration and the protesters kept up their end of the bargain. They undermined people's confidence in the police, and that's a serious problem as we go forward.
Naturally, the Post says demonstrations grew demonic, noting that 16 cops were injured and an intense confrontation with protesters spitting on delegates outside MSG. Gothamist loves the idea of these protests, but we get worried when we hear they get violent - both on the protesters' and police's sides - because that just means less flexibility and working with the police in organizing protests later. Sure, underground protests are effective and disruptive, but there are legitimate concerns about backlash from the heartland hearing soundbites about "demonstrators in NY hurting the delegates." Be good, everyone.