Magazine article Colorlines Magazine

I Got Arrested and It Got Me Laid

Magazine article Colorlines Magazine

I Got Arrested and It Got Me Laid

Article excerpt

AS WE APPROACH CONVENTION SEASON, I am reminded of the last one.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Three years ago, after partying the night before the Republican National Convention with some friends at my on-again, off-again college girlfriend's East 52nd street condo in New York City, we got dressed, ate some day-old bagels, gulped down some aspirin with cups of coffee and headed downtown to Union Square to protest. We would do our little part to end the war and chant our disenchantment with American politics, Bush's lawlessness and a racist war--hung over or not.

After a disorganized start, we were on the sidewalk and headed across Union Square East following a colorfully clad, fohawked marching band and some giant Wizard of Oz puppets. Passing a line of benign-looking cops who benevolently directed all of us down 16th Street, we marched. But suddenly, the police closed in from behind and in front of us, pushing the group of protesters inward onto itself. My stomach turned. I panicked. The cops surrounded us, yelling incomprehensible orders, but there was no way out--we had been set up and we were eventually packed into paddy wagons, transported to the warehouse and locked up without being charged with any crime. About 1,800 people were arrested and jailed at the Republican National Convention and held in ad hoc, chain link, barbed wire-lined pens within a cavernous and cold, grease-covered city bus depot. After two days of being moved from the pens to central booking, we were released onto the New York streets. I bought a hamburger and collapsed on a street bench.

Weeks later, however, back at my liberal arts college where we made up our own majors and used phrases like "discursively constituted," I began having another kind of experience.

The Village Voice and Democracy Now! were sounding a simple message--"Guantanamo's on the Hudson and nobody is safe. …

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