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10/24/2006

Taking it to the streets

August, 1968: The Democratic National Convention opens in Chicago, engendering what is at first peaceful protest from anti-war demonstrators.  Tempers rise in the summer heat, and when the protests grow more spirited, Mayor Richard Daley authorizes his police to use force — billy clubs, tear gas, and mace — to subdue the crowds.

November, 1999: The World Trade Organization convenes in Seattle, only to end in failure amid massive demonstrations and rioting that immobilize the downtown area for days.  Police resort to rubber bullets and tear gas to control the crowd.  Seattle's police chief resigns and the mayor loses his bid for re-election.

October 2006: The ASRM holds its annual meeting in New Orleans.  More than 4,000 professionals dedicated to the practice and advancement of reproductive medicine, some of them doubtless wearing matching ties and scarves that "stylishly show off the ASRM Logo in an understated yet fashionable way," present papers, attend seminars, share knowledge, and elbow each other viciously in the ribs in a grim bid to snag the last few free giveaways from the Proxeed booth.  And as the conference draws to a close, where are the nation's estimated 6.1 million infertile people?

At home dicking around on the Internet, of course.

But isn't there anything you'd like to say?  Don't let this golden opportunity pass you by entirely.  You can't take to the streets of New Orleans, stationing yourself outside the Convention Center with a cleverly worded sign, chanting a clever rhyme and waiting eagerly for a face full of tear gas, but you can do it here.

What's your slogan?  What's your chant?  What does your sandwich board say?  I've gotten you started.  Now it's your turn.  The person who makes me laugh hardest gets worked over with a nightstick, Daley-style.

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