Not-So-Democratic Convention

"One cannot conceive of other elements [that could be] put in place to create a space that's more of an affront to the idea of free expression," said U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock, after touring the Democratic National Convention's "free speech" protest zone in Boston. The zone is "bordered by cement barriers, a double row of chain-line fencing, heavy black netting, and tightly woven plastic mesh," with "coils of razor wire" along elevated train tracks. A lawyer for activists challenging the zone compared it to "a maximum security prison, Guantanamo Bay, or a zoo" - comparisons Woodlock called "an understatement," although he upheld the zone for security reasons.