Long ago, before there was yarnbombing or farm-to-table hatchet throwing or, hell, probably even YOU in Philadelphia, there was the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 2000. And frankly, it was kind of a shitshow. Hundreds of people were arrested, the city got sued for all kinds of money, and oh shit, no actual Republicans lived here in the first place and it was just a terrible, terrible idea from the jump street. Oh, and after that, the American people sort-of-but-didn't-really elect George W. Bush.
To put it too, too lightly, it was a different time. For the world in general, of course, but Philly perhaps more places than most. But that doesn't mean that, as the DNC draws ever closer, we can't still look at RNC 2000 for a taste of what the DNC could look like if shit goes very, very wrong. Now, we don't think it will — different party, different city, different era — but crazy is never-ending, there is no end to crazy, and those who forget old crazy are just plain stupid.
In the archives of legendary Philly punker Elizabeth Fiend's old public access show, Big Tea Party, though, we have a pretty ground-level view of RNC 2000, in all of its madness and shame. During the RNC, Fiend produced a video a day, all of which can be seen here, protests and all. (Eventually, Fiend strung all of these together into what became an award winning documentary featuring, among others, Ramona Africa, Johnny Lydon, and Jello Biafra.) Since then, Fiend has shown no signs of stopping a long career focused on social justice and filmmaking: Though Big Tea Party has obviously had to re-brand in the years since RNC 2000, she's getting ready for the DNC and even leading up a workshop of what to expect if you're an activist media maker this time around.