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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Take the Protestors Bowling 

The New York Times reports today that the Bloomberg administration is trying a new tactic to keep anti-RNC protests from going out of control:
In a transparently mercantile bid to keep protesters from disrupting the Republican National Convention later this month, the Bloomberg administration will offer "peaceful political activists" discounts at select hotels, museums, stores and restaurants around town during convention week, which begins Aug. 29.

Law-abiding protesters will be given buttons that bear a fetching rendition of the Statue of Liberty holding a sign that reads, "peaceful political activists." Protesters can present the buttons at places like the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Sex, the Pokémon Center store and such restaurants as Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too and Applebee's to save some cash during their stay...

Mr. Bloomberg conceded yesterday that not everyone who wore a button would be strictly vetted for his or her peacefulness. "Unfortunately, we can't stop an anarchist from getting a button," he said, though he doubted any of them would want to wear one.
You can find out more about the specials on offer here. These buttons are going to be a hot ticket. I predict that New Yorkers with no interest in the RNC will find ways to peacefully protest, just so they can score a button and treat themselves to every Manhattanite's dream date: a trip to the Staten Island Zoo, browsing the latest in Pokemon merchandise and scarfing down a yummy dinner at Applebee's. Actually, come to think of it, this just may be a way for the Mayor to support Democrats even though he has to pretend to be a Republican to keep his job.

Pretty clever, Mr. Bloomberg, but you won't get me to protest! I'm leaving town.

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