Monday, September 1, 2008

Daily Twin Cities Craziness Round Up

I have decided to journey up to the Twin Cities Wednesday evening and see for myself what happens as the convention concludes the next day.


Glenn Greenwald continues his biting criticism of the police's authoritarian tactics thus far:
Perhaps most extraordinarily, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now -- the radio and TV broadcaster who has been a working journalist for close to 20 years -- was arrested on the street and charged with "conspiracy to riot." Audio of her arrest, which truly shocked and angered the crowd of observers, is here. I just attended a Press Conference with St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Police Chief John M. Harrington and -- after they boasted of how "restrained" their police actions were -- asked about the journalists and lawyers who had been detained and/or arrested both today and over the weekend. They said they wouldn't give any information about journalists who had been arrested today, though they said they believed that "one journalist" had been, and that she "was seemingly a participant in the riots, not simply a non-participant." I'll have video of the Press Conference posted shortly.

Brendan Kiley had an experience of the type I'll be attempting to avoid on Thursday:
A voice behind me said: “Hey! Keep moving!” It was another phalanx of police. Stupidly, I flashed my media credentials and said “You go on without me. I’m just reporting on this.” I felt a cool shower over my head and heard the cop throw the canister on the sidewalk. She dumped the whole damn thing on me.

(She was a lady. I’ve always wanted to be pepper-sprayed by a lady.)

In a couple of seconds, I was a blind, wheezing, snotting, doubled-over wreck of a man, trying to push my bike toward safety while being jabbed in the back with a baton and told to hurry up. I bumped into several small trees along the way.

And Ben Westhoff described just how surreal the situation in his city has become:
While folks inside the air-conditioned, Wi-Fi accessible Xcel Center were taking off their Republican hats and putting on their American ones, outside giant trucks were blocking off bridges, riot guards were manning corners and stepping in horse poop, and the dirty, sweaty masses were screaming about tyranny. (Yes, it was almost exactly like Children of Men.)

Sounds, eh, fun? Trust me, I'll be doing my best to avoid physical pain. I always do. Any suggestions for accessories other than a helmet and clothes nice enough to make it clear I'm not a dirty hippy anarchist?

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