Monday, August 30, 2004

Yes, you made a little moment, and you stirred a little mud

One of the RNC's wackier protesters is terribly unhappy at NYC jail conditions: When I arrived in the Tombs, I was placed in a cell with around 30 other cyclists. They had spent the previous night in a location they were affectionately calling “Lil’ Gitmo,” a makeshift detention center on the West Side piers converted from a former bus depot. Lil’ Gitmo had cells sectioned off with chain link fence and razor wire, and a floor covered in motor oil, transmission fluid, and other toxic chemicals. The cyclists detained there were forced to sleep on this hazardous floor wearing nothing more than bicycling shorts and t-shirts. Consequently, several developed serious skin rashes the following day. After 36 hours most of the cyclists had been released with a pending court date. Oh, you poor thing! You purposely went out and protested in a manner that could quite reasonably be construed as vandalism, and were arrested for it - and got terrible skin rashes from dirty jail cells. Oh! It's just too much to bear! I have no sympathy whatsoever for this loser. Whether or not the messages written by his spray-painting bike-mounted dot-matrix printer wash off with water, he had to have known there was a pretty good chance of being arrested on vandalism charges. Here's an idea: Don't. Don't throw balloons filled with urine at police, or set papier-mache puppets on fire, or assault counter-protesters, or even - yes - paint anti-Bush messages on the sidewalk. Hold up a sign and chant a slogan if you want, don't taunt the cops, and be generally law-abiding, and you won't be arrested, and thus not get motor oil on your pretty little $50 bicycle shorts. Amazing, that.

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