The Republican National Convention in the Twin Cities

A collection of the links and commentary I wrote during the RNC. There's a few things in here not strictly related. Sorry about that.

6. September, 2008 - RNC wrap-up

I thought I was done with linkage about last week’s festivities here in town, but it turns out the best part is happening now, as folks look back on what went down. So there’s today’s collection of post-mortems.

I’ve also built a page containing all the stuff I linked to during and after the RNC: The Republican National Convention in the Twin Cities, which in nicely self-referential form, will include this. I keep thinking of moving the blog here to some other system, and then I find that there are things I can do with my homebrew version that just don’t work as smoothly in any other system.

5. September, 2008 - Let’s never do that again

So the convention is over, and all that remains are the tear-gas cannisters and the “out-of-town protesters” (some from exotic locations like Loring Park) swept up indiscriminately by police. Who knows when they’ll all be released.

But anyway, it’s passed. Good riddance.

4. September, 2008 - The Right To Be Here

Yesterday was a good day for me. Woke up, and puttered around the house longer than usual. I took the morning off from work, and went up to meet Don (NSFW photo) near St. Cloud and made a bunch of noise. I got up to Del-Tone/Luth Gun Club before they had opened for the day and checked in. Was on the range by 11, which was their official opening time (and it’s a pretty darned nice outdoor range). Don was running a bit late, and got there about noon. We talked about guns, photography, life and politics, and punched holes in paper until about 2:30 when it was time to go get a little chow and something wet for our dry throats. I ended up getting in to work for the day about 4:30. Thankfully no crises had appeared on my plate, so I was outta there by 6. Yeah, it was a pretty short day, but I figure it makes up for one of those Saturdays I had to work last month.

Locally, things continue to be interesting. The protests moved into Minneapolis with the Rage Against the Machine concert last night. But to me, the important thing is that in spite of some “touching” displays from the Sheriff, the police have not been entirely respectful of people’s rights. Sometimes by mistake, but in too many cases, they’re just rounding up everyone and letting the jails sort them out. That just ain’t right.

3. September, 2008 - in continuing news

Still plenty of activity over in St. Paul. And it’s starting to make the national news. Plus channel 9 had a reporter get tear-gassed. Unfortunately, she’s the one who made the statement that three homemade bombs had gone off, and it’s still on their website, in spite of an on-air correction just minutes later. Police said that the noises they’d heard were the 40mm rifles launching tear-gas and smoke cannisters, or concussion grenades launched by the police.

One of the questions I’ve been pondering is whether the police presence and raids before the convention have made things more secure around here or not. At the moment, I think it’s more likely that the pre-convention arrests have radicalized people who might otherwise have kept their heads in their protests, and the cops are making plenty of mistakes, prompted by a few assholes and a possible disinformation campaign. In any case, behavior on both sides has been disappointing.

1. September, 2008 - relatively calm

Things have been relatively calm around my house. I stayed in most of yesterday, ignoring the news from St. Paul.

I should make it clear that I don’t agree with some of the tactics used by the protesters, and this would be an immense pain in the ass if I lived closer to downtown St. Paul, but I strongly support their right to gather peacefully. And it worries me that police have been arresting people who haven’t (yet) committed any crimes, charging them with “conspiracy.” And let’s be clear here, while there are almost certainly some who were planning to commit crimes, I thought that the rule was still that you were innocent until proven guilty in this country. As Gary Schiff said: This country is better than that. And why the police decided to steal a bus that’s been in town for almost a month completely baffles me.

I also want to be clear that this isn’t limited to the Twin Cities or the Republicans. The same sort of thing went on in Denver last week when the Democrats were there. Neither is getting a ton of national press. As is probably right, Hurrican Gustav is getting a lot of coverage.

30. August, 2008 - it has begun

I expected there would be some “excitement” in town during the Republican National Convention, especially since the RNC Welcoming Committee has been pretty active and organized for months. Surprisingly, the first blow was not struck during last night’s Critical Mass ride, which was when I expected things to start getting interesting.

I’ll try to post more over the weekend, but if you want the latest news, hit Twin Cities Indymedia for updates.

Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 14:02:14.