Naked City

A Real Laugh Riot

Last Friday night, inside the grounds of the Governor's Mansion, there was prosperity and posing. Outside the grounds, on the west side of Colorado Street, stood about 30 members of the Austin Police Dept., dressed in full riot gear and armed with truncheons and gas masks. A police helicopter buzzed overhead, its searchlight scanning the grounds.

The well-dressed attendees of the Austin Film Festival & Heart of Film Screenwriters Conference, who were attending a soiree at the mansion, weren't the issue. Instead, the cops, who came in three vans and two squad cars, were responding to the presence of about two dozen tie-dye-clad protesters who had walked to the mansion shortly after their protest of the Fortune 500 Forum in front of the Four Seasons Hotel ended. The protesters carried banners, pounded a few makeshift drums, and stayed for no more than 45 minutes before drifting off into the night.

The massive show of force by the APD was the last and perhaps most amusing law enforcement effort of the much-ballyhooed Fortune event. Although about 500 protesters took part in a Friday afternoon rush hour march down Congress Ave., there was not a single arrest, nor even a single bit of ugliness. APD Lt. Jim O'Leary, who was commanding the riot squad at the Governor's Mansion, said that despite dire warnings of potential mayhem, the march ended up being "a minor inconvenience for most motorists."

A few protesters even had nice things to say about the cops. "I thought it was great the way they escorted us down Congress," said Loren Clift, a Martindale resident who came to Austin to take part in the protest. Another protester, Dale Evans, said that although the massive police presence during the march was intimidating, "the cops were pretty well restrained."

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    George W.Bush passage in second debate should have voters worried. Jim Lehrer's performance in all three debates was poor. Hightower Radio goes off the air|

    Naked City

    In a truncated meeting the Austin City Council votes to allow the Austin Film Society to use hangars at the disused Mueller airport as film production space.
  • Naked City

    Travis County D.A. Ronnie Earle has the edge in contributions over D.A. contender Shane Phelps

    Naked City

    The anti-Longhorn Pipeline contingent rallies in the wake of a preliminary approval of the pipeline.

    Naked City

    The protests fizzled, and the speeches were a snooze: an overview of last week's Fortune 500 Conference.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Robert Bryce
If More CO<sub>2</sub> Is Bad ... Then What?
If More CO2 Is Bad ... Then What?
The need to reduce emissions collides head-on with the growing world demand for energy

Dec. 7, 2007

'I Am Sullied – No More'
'I Am Sullied – No More'
Col. Ted Westhusing chose death over dishonor in Iraq

April 27, 2007


Austin Police Department, Fortune 500 Forum, Dale Evans, Jim O'Leary, Lauren Clift

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle