While the New Yorkers and the nation are gearing up for the Repbulican National Convention in New York City this weekend, protesters are gearing up for what is likely going to be the largest public demonstration in a generation. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, will be in the street speaking out against what many feel is a dishonest if not outright corrupt administration - including a sizeable contingent from the Bay Area.

For those of you who want to protest but can't make the time or afford the Jet Blue ticket, you can join the legions of 'hacktivists' who are trying to take down websites and tie up communications among the delegates. The Black Hat Hackers Bloc is organizing an 'electronic sit in' by organizing denial of service attacks on the websites of the convention, the Republican National Committe and the George W. Bush election website. They will also be flooding the phone lines, fax machines and emails used to distribute press materials and communicate with the delegates - by phone bombing and fax bombing, respectively.

SFist thinks this is brilliant, if misguided, and it certainly raises questions about the role of the world wide web and internet in this election - both Republicans and Democrats have turned the web into a cash-cow after the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act limited individual contributions and the parties had to cast a wider net for donations. The short-lived Howard Dean campaign, engineered by Joe Trippi, stunned the Democratic National Committee (and in particular the Democratic Leadership Council, a centrist group within the party that many detractors see as pro-corporate) with it's fund-raising prowess during the primary. John Kerry even mentioned his own campaign website during his nomination acceptance speech at the recent Democratic National Convention - a first for any presidential candidate (take that, Martin Van Buren!).