Wednesday, August 18, 2004 N.Y. Mayor to War Protesters: Shop Till You Drop, Too

N.Y. Mayor to War ProtestersWhy worry about antiwar views, anarcho-syndicalist politics and "Dump Bush Now!" placards when something serious is at stake -- like money?

The billionaire media mogul who happens to be New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided that if antiwar protesters are to descend on his city by the hundreds of thousands for the Republican Convention, he may as well turn them into shoppers. So with just a hint of the sardonic, Hizzoner announced Tuesday a "Peaceful Political Activists" visitor program modeled after the one offered to Republican delegates.

Affix a "Peaceful Activist" button and a protester can claim a free glass of Montepulciano wine with dinner at La Prima Donna, rent a room at the boutique Dylan Hotel ($150 a night) and get dibs on discounted theater tickets. Perhaps "42nd Street" for the Quakers from Kansas and "Naked Boys Singing" for the South Beach set?

Cowboy-booted Republicans and nose-ringed demonstrators: Everyone's welcome. If this sounds like marketing to Royalists and the Jacobins who would like to behead them, that's pretty much the idea.

"New York is the place to get your message out, any message," Bloomberg says. "It's no fun to protest on an empty stomach. So you might want to try a restaurant." Hizzoner offers another example: "Or you might want to go shopping, maybe for another pair of sneakers for the march."

By Michael Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer


Post a Comment

<< Home