2008 Danger Zone
posted by September 4 at 18:11 PMon
Inside the hall, delegates are going bananas over themselves and that old Top Gun song: “highway to the dangerzone, gonna take you right into the danger zone.” (A vote for McCain is a vote for danger!)
Outside, riot police are surrounding a group of (peaceful) protesters and refusing to let them march to the Xcel Center. The protest group is surrounded—I wasn’t able to get inside the perimeter. Maybe that’s for the best:
6:46 p.m. We just got our asses beat by the cops. We’re both fine. What happened was: the police at 12th and Cedar wanted to eject a small group of protesters, they surrounded the group and threatened tear gas. Andy Mannix and I were standing outside the circle, between the protesters and police, trying to take pictures and report. The police said we needed to leave, we showed them our press credentials. I said I was a reporter and that it was a public street. An officer struck me and knocked me backwards over a curb. I tried to get up, and three or four officers shoved me to the ground. Andy was maced. I got up, told them I was a member of the media, I asked them where to go. One of them struck me with his club. Eventually they jostled and threw me out of the circle.
(Thanks to commenter Phil M for the link.)
At about 8:30pm a young woman, maybe 20, stood with her arms raised in front of police in riot gear on University Avenue in St. Paul. After the pepper bombs went off she was standing there by herself and she kept saying, “I’m for peace, I’m for peace.” Then the 30-50 cops approached her while her hands were still up and then at least 5 of the cops maced her with super soakers so heavily that she fell to the ground screaming. This was a young woman, unarmed. All they had to do was handcuff her. The only warning she got was, “get off the street of you’ll be arrested.” They never said she’d get maced. It was one of the most horrible things I’ve ever seen.