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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Danger Zone

posted by on September 4 at 18:11 PM


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:

City Pages reporters are blogging from behind the police lines:

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.)


Another report from the streets:

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.

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I got a text from a friend who was there for the protests on the bridge. Apparently there is gas everywhere... big craziness.

Posted by Original Monique | September 4, 2008 6:15 PM

sorry...on the McCain/Palin note...

If what this lady says is can we possibly let this lady win??? Ugh.

Posted by BallardG | September 4, 2008 6:19 PM

Will their be any repercussion for the police in St. Paul? Do they get a free pass to act with violence toward the media? WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING TO THIS COUNTRY?

Posted by chaosbound | September 4, 2008 6:43 PM

In this case, freedom of the press appears to be interpreted by the police as "reporters have the freedom to be beaten and Maced just like any other protester."

Posted by LMSW | September 4, 2008 6:44 PM

No wonder Bush didn't say jack about China... someone on another blog actually suggested that protesters should have to apply for permission to protest. Beijing much? HAS NO ONE IN THIS COUNTRY HEARD OF THE 1st AMENDMENT?!?!?

Posted by Suze | September 4, 2008 6:56 PM

I'm speechless over the treatment of the press at the RNC. Will there be repercussions? Will anyone in the GOP ever be held accountable for anything? This shit is toxic & I think it's catching. Is the main(er)stream media reporting on the treatment of protesters at RNC? I've seen a tiny bit, but come ON! We have a RIGHT to protest. Without it we're totally irrevocably lost. So sickeningly sad.

Posted by insanity | September 4, 2008 7:16 PM

While the police seem to have gone particularly far overboard outside the RNC, behavior of the police in Denver last week was not a whole lot better. Though Republicans tend to condone this police state shit more than Democrats do, I blame the general public's complacency and the mainstream media's incompetency here. NPR's All Things Considered reported this afternoon on RNC protests but said *nothing* of all the arrests of journalists (including Amy Goodman, about whom they have sureky heard) or of the drug-bust-style raids of homes of protest organizers earlier this week in the twin cities. Where's the public outrage over police abuse? Where's the public outcry over the political-party-lapdog media?

I blame the Republican party for lots of problems, but they're barely worse than the Democrats in this case.

Posted by Phil M | September 4, 2008 8:36 PM

If you're going to Minnesota
Make sure you wear a gas mask on your face

Posted by kinaidos | September 4, 2008 9:30 PM

This is sickening. As far as I'm concerned, all police are scum.

Posted by Brandon J. | September 4, 2008 9:51 PM

Everybody who's there, get video of everything, please. And give the motherfucking pigs the finger for me.

Posted by Greg | September 4, 2008 10:05 PM

It's a shame riot police don't have giant names and numbers on their uniforms, like football players, such that they can be identified later and held accountable for their crimes.

Protesters need to follow suit and wear the exact same outfits (including hats and face masks) to avoid being singled out and brutalized.

Posted by Anon | September 4, 2008 10:15 PM

oh, yes. POLICE. what fascist turds. i love it when i say something negative about the police in a public forum (like this one), and get these mad yahoos writing back in response...YEAH! When some cop takes a bullet for your pansy faggot liberal ass blah blah blah! well, guess what? no one i know has EVER been "saved" in any way by a police officer of any sort--no cop has ever taken a bullet for anyone i know--but many, many, many have been harassed, bullied, beaten, or gassed, including me. they are not here to protect you, they exist to make a criminal out of you, and if you think any different, you are mad.

yahoo's "faggot liberal ass" response in 3...2...

Posted by adrian | September 5, 2008 7:59 AM

no repurcussions. the governor of Minnesota is a republican. the ACLU will sue, it will take 2 years for the vicitms to win, the cities of St. Paul & Minneapolis will pay out of the slush fund the RNC gave them, and the general public will never be outraged, remember or care. in fact, most Americans wouldn't have cared if the cops put them up against the wall & shot them dead.


Posted by max solomon | September 5, 2008 10:25 AM
Posted by Phil m | September 5, 2008 3:05 PM

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