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Insanity in Denver: Political street theater at the DNC

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Guffman_l

Guffman_lHere’s the latest report on the Democratic National Convention from our guest bloggers, Daniel Palladino and Amy Sherman-Palladino. For more Denver dispatches, click here.

We heard shouts in the street behind us. Then tumult, movement, people scattering, more shouting, and suddenly we were surrounded by an angry mob.

No, it wasn’t rabid Hillary PUMAs seeking revenge for our previous posts. It was a group called Iraq Veterans Against The War in the middle of a protest. And they know of what they speak. These are the guys and gals who volunteered to do what they were told was the right thing, then learned the truth on the sands of Iraq. They are the bravest of the brave. But nothing they faced in Anbar or Kirkuk demonstrated their bravery more than their willingness to perform street theater in front of the Walgreens on the 16th Street Mall. 

The crowd reacted with a unique mixture of indifference and confusion. They watched as the veterans, outfitted in camouflage and boots and holding imaginary rifles, reenacted a daily patrol through “hostile territory.” The veterans shouted military commands and used cool hand signals. One ran up to us screaming “Watch the tower!” as he pointed to a tall building just past the Chipotle Grill. They blockaded a Jamba Juice, temporarily obstructing the path of a Michigan delegate enjoying a Mango Peach Topper. They cautiously approached the piece’s denouement, confronting a separate group of “performers” portraying an angry Iraqi mob. A “street fight” ensued as the Iraqi citizens protested the handcuffing of two suspected insurgents. Alerted by hysterical shouts that did not include the word “Hillary,” Denver area cops rushed to the “theater,” followed by a tiny man in shorts and sporting a Berkeley beard yelling, “It’s street theater! It’s street theater! It’s street theater!” The cops pulled up, the action diminished, and the performers moved on to the 2:30 show on the next block. 

We appreciate their cause. We’re on their side. But the performance felt a little bit like a Corky St. Clair stage adaptation of Generation Kill

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