What does UFPJ have up its sleeve?
United For Peace & Justice will be holding a press conference tomorrow, Tuesday, regarding the march on August 29. A few weeks ago UFPJ reluctantly agreed to the West Side Highway site, but now they are saying that there are more and more problems with it. You can read their teaser statement on NYC Indymedia.
What are they going to say??? What can they say? As I wrote at the time, I think they gave up most of their bargaining power when they accepted the site. They want the city to provide shuttle buses to the subway, and other assistance. But at the time they accepted the site, the city in no way granted any of those things. The city got off the hook.
Since they agreed to the site, various calls -- including one by a Newsday columnist -- have gone out to ignore the official march route and just exit the march at 34th street and stroll up to Central Park. Sure, some people can do that, but then we have people in two parts of the city, and isn't that also losing?
UFPJ could announce that they are just going to ignore the city and march straight up to Central Park. That would be bold, exciting, and would make for incredible free publicity. But would it actually work? Besides, UFPJ has said that it just wants to include the largest number of people possible, and that if people want to do something more radical they have a whole week to do it at other events.
I'm guessing that they're going to release some sort of new information tomorrow. Just saying that the city has not agreed to their demand of providing shuttle buses, or of providing free water, would look stupid. Maybe they'll present new evidence that beyond refusing to help, the city has been actively obstructing their organizing somehow. Maybe they've caught a police infiltrator, and will out him or her, and use it to make an argument that they are being obstructed, and then that gives them more sympathetic standing to make a an argument for marching to the park. Or maybe they're just bringing in a bunch of experts to speak -- one person to explain how the grass in the Great Lawn would be ok, one person to speak on how a rally on the West Side Highway is a potential medical danger, etc.
I just hope they have something new to say.