The Dead Kennedys’ ever-quotable Jello Biafra made a brief showing at Sotheby’s, saying, “I’m tired of being ruled by Skull and Bones. Skulls and bones belong on punk and metal albums for people who can’t come up with more interesting artwork, not in the White House.”
At about 6, several hundred gathered at the New York Public Library at 42nd Street, planning to march to Madison Square Garden. The police were, as usual, a few steps ahead of them, and blocked the march before it began. About 30 people and a newsstand were netted and detained by NYPD’s low-tech but highly effective crowd-control weapon: long rolls of orange mesh.
Hundreds more protesters did make it as far as Herald Square, where MSNBC was conducting live broadcasts just a block from Madison Square Garden. For at least an hour Tuesday evening, every corner of the square, where Broadway and Sixth avenues converge at 34th Street, was filled with a sometimes volatile, occasionally ebullient mix of protesters, commuters, shoppers, lost delegates and police. The latter undertook occasional shoving campaigns to clear one corner or another, and arrested a few people, most notably one valiant soul who leaped four layers of barricades onto the MSNBC stage and made it to Chris Matthews’ side before he was jumped by a security guard.
At about the same time, 20 blocks to the south, a protesters’ gathering in Union Square turned into a spontaneous “moving street party,” as one participant put it, complete with marching bands. They barely made it a block. Police quickly closed off both ends of 16th Street, shoved the partiers against the wall, and arrested them en masse. The festivities continued in the park and moved on into surrounding streets where a dozen students from Knoxville took their Utopian Street Orchestra, marching off into the night, dancing, blowing their horns and swinging cowbells and tambourines, doing their best to compete with the sirens.