BOSTON – While the Democratic National Convention (search) sticks to carefully scripted themes, political chaos reigned just outside the tightly guarded gates of the Fleet Center on Tuesday.
In addition to Democratic Party loyalists, a wide range of political groups has descended on the city lining up on both sides of every major issue — and quite a few minor ones.
A satirical "pro-Bush" group, Billionaires for Bush (search), paraded through Boston's streets, facetiously stressing what Bush had done for them.
"There has never been a better administration for billionaires. The loyalty to the super-rich is wonderful. The Bush administration is willing to completely disregard the needs of the little people," said Mimi Nottieu, a "spokesbillionaire" for the group.
Wearing an evening dress and tiara, Nottieu marched with 150 other "billionaires" all dressed to the nines in tuxedos, top hats, and other formal wear. As they chanted "We’re here, we’re rich, get used to it," they carried signs such as "Widen the Wealth Gap" and "Corporations Are People Too."
The Billionaires for Bush plan to continue their demonstrations with a swing state tour called "Get on the Limo" that started Tuesday. The tour will include performances by the Bling Bling K’Ching Singers. At the Republican convention the group plans a Million Billionaire March, and on Labor Day they will have a "national day of action" to lower the minimum wage (search).
With pedestrians still recovering from the Billionaires for Bush, a group of joggers wearing blue shirts that said "Run Against Bush," tried to rally the onlookers on Boston's Congress Street with their jog-by tactics.
A few blocks away as delegates and media attempted to dodge activists of all stripes while on their way into the convention, they were serenaded by Lyndon Larouche (search) loyalists. One verse sung by the Larouche Youth Movement went: "Dubious is the convention if Larouche you fail to mention. For it is true, we’re watching you, so keep in mind what you do."
While some Larouche supporters sang, others handed out literature, including "Larouche’s Boston Platform" and a document titled "Children of Satan III: The Sexual Congress for Cultural Fascism." The magazine-style informational piece refers to the United States' "Hilter-like 'beastliness' toward mankind, of which only depraved man (sic) were capable of becoming." The document is a sequel to the 1960s screed against the "rock-drug-sex youth-counterculture" of the mid- to late-1960s.
With Boston chock full of every type of political activity, in a bar just steps from the Fleet Center, young people celebrated doing nothing political at all. At the Purple Shamrock, Americans for a Better Party (search) invited passers-by to party with them as long as they made no mention of politics.
With free and diluted Captain Morgan rum drinks and a band performing cover songs like the Beastie Boys "Fight for Your Right to Party," and Bon Jovi's "Shot through the Heart," the bar quickly filled up.
"With your help, we can try to reduce the national party deficit," said ABP co-founder Jeff Grace. Asked whether he and his co-founders Doug Manley and Matt Weatland were planning on voting, Grace said, "Of course we’re planning on voting. We’re voting for Captain Morgan."
The man who claimed to be the captain himself made an appearance surrounded by his Morganettes. "My party will be all-inclusive. Republicans, Democrats, Greenies, rummies will all be welcome."
Although organizers said the drinkers were all faithful partiers, who were sick of Republicans and Democrats and would only cast their votes for Captain Morgan, some patrons were a little less sure that that’s where their loyalty lay.
Lauren Filtzer, a student at St. Michael’s College in Vermont, acknowledged that in November she would be voting for Bush. However, she enthusiastically supported the idea behind the party. Asked whether Boston needed a little less politics, she replied, "Hell yeah. …It’s a great idea."
In Boston to work for the summer, Filtzer said she understood the need for the party in the city. "I’m a little overwhelmed with the Democrats," but she added that at least her commute had become easier as many Bostonians were taking vacations from the city during the convention week.