DNC 2008 Denver
Graham Nash and David Crosby Play in Denver During
Song Rallies Protesters to Denver
[Denver] -- For the 40th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic National
Convention in Chicago, Colorado activists have been using the song
Graham Nash wrote about the 1968 DNC to exhort peace activists to
"Come Up to Denver" for the 2008 DNC in Denver. In June,
Crosby, Stills and Nash played "Denver" for the first
time in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center. They brought the
house to their feet and dedicated their performance of the song
to Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, who was in the audience. Graham
Nash and David Crosby will return to Denver during the DNC to play
for Etown on Tues., Aug. 26 at the Temple Buell Theatre.
Graham Nash's original song, called "Chicago",
contained the lyrics "Won't you please come to Chicago?"
and "We can change the world, rearrange the world." These
choruses rang out as anthems for young people who were fed up with
the draft and the war in Vietnam. Unfortunately, the song was released
in 1971, well after the 1968 convention. So although the song sounds
like a call to the masses to converge on Chicago in 1968 and protest
the war, it was never able to be used for this purpose.
Colorado activists saw the opportunity to use this song as a rallying
cry for the 2008 DNC in Denver. With Graham Nash's permission, a
local Colorado band called Freedom Kage was enlisted to re-record
the song. They changed only the words from "Won't you please
come to Chicago?" to "Won't you please come up to Denver?"
The accompanying video, recorded on April 20, 2008, contains scenes
from the 1968 DNC in Chicago, as well as a cut from Chicago Mayor
Richard J. Daley to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.
When the Crosby, Stills and Nash tour stopped in Denver at the
Colorado Convention Center on June 26, they performed "Denver"
for the first time. At David Crosby's suggestion, Graham Nash slyly
dedicated it to Governor Bill Ritter, who was in the audience. The
Governor's office had no comment on how the Governor felt about
Crosby, Stills and Nash using their song to encourage protesters
to converge on Denver for the 2008 DNC. Even though all the protest
groups involved have pledged to act in a non-violent manner, the
city is spending up to $18 million on security equipment and non-lethal
weapons for the DNC, raising fears that the law enforcement is looking
for trouble, as they were at the 1968 DNC.
Laura Kriho, a Chicago native living in Colorado, is a spokesperson
for the "Come Up to Denver" campaign. "I hope that
activists around the country respond to the song and come up to
Denver for the DNC," says Kriho. "As in 1968, we need
massive numbers of participants to make an impact."
The "Come Up to Denver" campaign is encouraging all progressive
social change groups to come to the DNC in Denver, Aug. 24-28, 2008
and participate in a DNC Counter-Convention. There will be music,
art, speakers, workshops, marches, rallies and networking opportunities
for activists from around the country to plan "what's next"
after the 2008 General Election. Environmental, peace, social justice,
immigrant rights, human rights and the economy are just some of
the issues that will be discussed at the Denver Counter-Convention.