Dictator Watch helped organize the Free Burma participation in the Unity 2000 march at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia (July, 2000). We also participated in the demo the next day by the Kensington Welfare Rights Union. The following photos document these events.

We should mention that while the Unity march had a police permit, the KWRU demo did not. Early on the morning of the demo close to a thousand people gathered at Philadelphia’s City Hall. There was a full-fledged media circus, and perhaps a hundred police, many on horseback. The official declaration was that if we marched down Broad Street, we would be stopped. At the appointed time, everyone held their breath, and the demo began. The police (and the mayor) blinked, and there were no arrests. The demo lasted hours, and was peaceful. What this illustrated is that the powers of repression can be successfully confronted. All it takes is organization, and courage.

(There were of course hundreds of arrests in Philadelphia, both at other demos and at a puppet-making warehouse. For the latter, the police used misinformation from inserted spies and agent provocateurs to close the warehouse and arrest all of the activists who were inside. It was a preemptive strike, and also illegal since it constituted unwarranted search and seizure. Of course, such concerns did not worry the police. Their view is that the law does not apply to them. And, thanks to the common rulings of U.S. courts, and also the existence of what is known as “qualified immunity,” which prevents individual police officers from being sued for their personal wrongdoings while they are on duty, they are right. They are above the law. Also, months later, all of the charges against the activists at the warehouse were dropped.)


One of the larger participants in Unity, the fabulous Billionaires for Bush (or Gore).




We must be legitimate, we have a banner!
(Thank you Spiral Q Puppet Theatre!)





Puppets are wonderful, but you wonder what some of them mean.


After the march, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway turned into an all day activist gathering,
a meeting of the tribes.




© Roland O. Watson 2001-3