The Free speech zone at the 2008 Denver convention was a lot harder to get to than I thought. As I was crossing a street, a guy in plain clothes with a coiled wire stuck in his ear asked me where I was going. Did I look lost? As a matter of fact, I had just heard about something called “tent city” where there was a lot of free speech going on.
I found out later there was a huge event going near Confluence Park, but this guy directed me the other direction, up a dead end sidewalk. Three wheeled bicycle taxis, the kind they have in New Delhi, were carrying passengers with plastic identification credential cards hung around their necks. Everyone else was walking.
After twenty minutes or so, I arrived at a very controlled entrance. Only the people with the credentials were getting past that point.
A conversation with another security person directed me further along the sidewalk. Turn at Seventh street and go to Auraria, he said.
After another twenty minutes or so of walking, I found myself alone in the middle of nowhere, and there it was. The cage.
Only a 360 degree view made possible by the miracle of YouTube can do it justice:
I checked the speaker’s schedule, and by some streak of luck, it was my turn to speak. (Yes, it’s full size in case you want to download it and zoom in to read…. J. Stalin’s topic: “This is awesome”; A. Hitler’s topic: “I agree completely.” )
My words of wisdom, spoken across the empty, unbroken expanses of concrete? “El corazon tiene razones que no tienen razon.”
The silence was deafening.