Given that climate, activists are anxious to reach some understanding with the police -- to prevent confrontations and possible violence. “Due to the highly militarized state of the police and their history of being loose cannons, there is a real risk,” says D2K’s Fithian.
Activists have been equally unwilling to give in. “They want to quell us,” says Richard Mendez of the immigrant-rights group El Rescate, “but we‘re not going to sit back and not be heard.”
The ACLU’s Tokaji is optimistic: Previous federal-court rulings have struck down attempts to keep demonstrators 75 yards from the target of their protest. “The bottom line is, you have to be able to reach your intended audience, which in this case is the delegates.”