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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Quote of the Day

posted by on September 2 at 23:49 PM

Two Republicans at the convention watched from behind the barricade as a group of 2,000(ish) protestors briefly considered trying to topple the fence:

First Republican: “Oh shit. I think they want to jump the fence. You wearing comfortable shoes?”

Second Republican: “Yeah—I can run in Prada loafers.”

Also: No matter what you think about the protestors’ politics or methods, the police here are behaving like brutes. I’m not just saying that because I got pepper-sprayed several hundred feet from the protests (and after I’d identified myself as a non-protesting reporter with an RNC credential badge):

Yesterday and today, I saw police gratuitously smack and pepper-spray people (most of them peaceful protestors or non-protesting passers-by) who only wanted to get out of harm’s way.


So did CNN:

The protesters were noisy but peaceful as they approached the convention. Once they arrived, a police officer read an order to disperse, CNN reporters on the scene said.

But almost immediately, officers along the exit route opened fire with gas and projectiles. In one instance, a CNN producer said, an officer stepped out of line to hit a young woman with pepper spray as she ran for the exit.

Firing tear gas at your police-appointed exit route? Which will only drive people back into the fray that you’re trying to disperse?

That’s either gross idiocy or gross sadism.

There’s no other explanation.

RSS icon Comments


Fucking pigs protecting the pigopoly.

Posted by ga | September 2, 2008 11:59 PM

I've never been more embarrassed by the "friendliness" of my state.

Posted by Hannah | September 3, 2008 12:13 AM

I heard that Donna Brazile get sprayed. The police PR are gonna have a hard time smoothing over that if it's true.

And my humble apologies if this has already been Slogged.

Posted by MidwayPete | September 3, 2008 12:13 AM


It is true.

...but it appears as though she didn't mind it.

"The well-known Democratic pundit and strategist confirmed the incident, but declined to comment further."

Posted by unwelcomed | September 3, 2008 12:22 AM

I am desperate for the TV commentators to STOP USING THE PHRASE "RED MEAT" in reference to whatever the speakers are saying at the convention. Please, make them stop. Dan, help us!

Posted by Sondari | September 3, 2008 12:29 AM

Is there just simply no way that we can sue these pigs for their illegal actions??

Posted by justice now | September 3, 2008 12:35 AM

They are getting even with the liberal media for turning the sprinklers on Fox news.

Posted by Clint | September 3, 2008 12:48 AM

@6 yes sometimes you can sue, often you even win (some $, years later) BUT this does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to change the polices behavior. Business as usual to them is to do WHATEVER THEY WANT and "let the lawyers sort it out later". I've actually heard police say exactly that as they were (illegally) arresting me. Some large cities have slush funds in the millions of dollars per year to take care of the lawsuits inevitably brought against them due to the constant heavy handed tactics of their police. The very fact that they include this $ year after year in their budgets means that they have accepted the fact that their police will do whatever they want.

So, yes you can sue, but it won't do any good.

Posted by K X One | September 3, 2008 12:54 AM


Consider this, St. Paul received $50 million in federal grants to prepare security for the RNC. I believe the payouts Seattle made, (that we've heard of at least), for the WTO fiasco hovered around just 2 mil... hardly a dent in that massive influx of federal funds.

Meanwhile the mayor and chief there have made it clear they will cover for any incidents, they've publicly declared that the actions of police and national guard so far are "heroic".

So, it's like the police are being paid and rewarded to have a field day venting their frustrations out on the press and civilians out there... so that's what they do.

...and in the end, in any case, we're the ones stuck with the bill for their aggression therapy, not any individual officer or police department.

Posted by unwelcomed | September 3, 2008 1:11 AM

Called a police riot - and if you have not been in the middle of several - it is almost impossible to comprehend.

Officer Friendly, who rescues children and is kindly stopping you for the broken tail light becomes an animal. And yes, just like movies of the SS or Gestapo in action.

The recent posts mocking protests is one of the reason they have become so violent and could care less about freedom of speech.

When main stream folks say fuck the street actions, that is just what they do.

Where are the ACLU and Federal injunctions?

No where, the ACLU is fundraising at a party to do a forum about police relations and suburban moms ...

Just think about the fact that they can get away with this with every camera in America turning ... god forbid they decide to beat you up with NO attention.

The grave danger cops call the shots zone concept started with reactions to terrorist and has now rooted in curtailing free speech from American citizens. Is anyone surprised?

And, yes, add in copious Federal dollars, cops at every level are flourishing with all that cash, new toys, gear of every sort, tanks, body armor, you name it.

Posted by John | September 3, 2008 2:08 AM

I live to fuck with cops. Cops make me sick.

Fuck the police state! PUNCH A COP IN THE FACE!

Posted by I HATE COPS!!! | September 3, 2008 2:59 AM

The really amazing thing is that after a day of beating up peaceful protesters and innocent bystanders, A cop will still tell you that he is a good guy - a public servant. Part of the reason cops are so psychotic is they believe their own hype.

Posted by Brandon J. | September 3, 2008 4:52 AM

Uh, yeah, there is a reason:

"But once the main antiwar march had finished, splinter groups embarked on a violent rampage, smashing windows, slashing car tyres, throwing bottles and even attacking Republican delegates attending the nearby Xcel Centre.

Many of those involved identified themselves to reporters as anarchists. These protesters, some clad in black, wreaked havoc by damaging property and starting at least one fire. "

Posted by John Bailo | September 3, 2008 5:00 AM
14's your print the truth!

New York Times retracts front-page Palin/secessionist smear

Posted by John Bailo | September 3, 2008 5:07 AM

Can you spot the black person in this photo?

Posted by John Bailo | September 3, 2008 5:23 AM

I can certainly spot the big blowhard doofus that seems to be glued to Slog of late. Can you, "Halo" Bailo?

Posted by Wowza | September 3, 2008 5:35 AM

There is recourse for victims of police misconduct and brutality... Please, if you or someone you know has been brutalized, the first step is to ask the cop for their card. Hard when you've been gassed, but in Mpls and St.P, they *have* to give it to you, so tape it on your phone, keep asking, whatever, until you get something. Then report the officer to the Mpls Civilian Review Authority - - or the St. Paul Civilian Review Board - - depending on where the officer is from. The more people do this, the stronger case we can make *for* the existence of civilian oversight and *against* offending officers.

Posted by Lindsay | September 3, 2008 6:05 AM


That's not a retraction. That's a source's asshole puckering up after taking too much heat for an original statement.

Posted by sw | September 3, 2008 6:09 AM

OMG, I am so ashamed of my city right now... I live less than a mile from the Xcel Energy Center, and all I've been hearing for the past two days is sirens, sirens, and more sirens.

Posted by DanFan | September 3, 2008 6:14 AM

Oh good lord. Sorry about your eyes. I realize this sounds odd coming from a military gal, but it looks like the cops went way overboard. Hope you're feeling better!

Posted by Kim Burke | September 3, 2008 7:33 AM

I can't speak for the protests yesterday but I was in the march on Monday. The police were model citizens on Monday. As thousands of peaceful protesters marched by the police just stood there and did nothing. As some idiots taunted them and yelled at them they stood there and did nothing. I've heard that some assholes even threw things at them and they stood there and took it and did nothing. You can't ask for more out of the police.

What started the problems were these shithead anarchists. I place 100% of the blame for all of these problems at their feet. These assholes broke off from the protests to throw rocks through Macy's windows (what did Macy's ever do to them?) among others. They slashed car tires randomly. They were on a rampage of destruction. That's when the police laid down the law (so to speak).

The ignorant asshat anarchists started this. I can't blame the cops for giving them the smackdown. Yes, they have likely taken it too far. Clearly they shouldn't be pepper spraying reporters but this is exactly the chaos the anarchists wanted. They break up into small groups, blend into the crowd and break shit. Want to stop the police beatdowns? Stop the anarchists. Want to completely discredit the antiwar movement? Let the anarchists go and ruin it for everyone.

Posted by Colin | September 3, 2008 7:51 AM

Keep in mind that some of those "anarchists" may be on the police payroll. And that's NOT paranoia.

Democracy Now's Amy Goodman and her two producers were arrested, despite press credentials dangling from their necks. The police actions are inexcusable. It is a police riot. (As was Seattle's WTO).

Posted by DOUG. | September 3, 2008 8:02 AM

You know...I don't have a problem with this. This is kind of on par with stealing Slats' hat.

Posted by Excellence | September 3, 2008 8:09 AM

I'm not questioning that there may be a couple of under cover officers and possibly some under cover secret service officers. There are not 150 undercover officers. The vast majority of that group that's out there breaking shit are anarchists not cops and they've been planning this for months.

Trust me, I'm the first to Jump on the cops for brutality. I've been to the Rainbow Gathering for several years and there have been plenty of incidents, this year one of the worst (cops firing pepper spray paintballs at children) where the cops, or undercover cops, start shit to create an excuse for violence. Having watched how this played out first hand (how many of the commenters on this page are actually in St Paul?) this looks like anarchists causing trouble and the police trying to get things under control though clearly overstepping their bounds in the process.

Posted by Colin | September 3, 2008 8:16 AM


Good news. I saw Slats on Monday night; he either got his hat back, or he got a new one. Either way, he is no longer hatless.

Posted by Moe | September 3, 2008 8:19 AM


That's a shame. Here's to hoping somebody steals it again.

Posted by and then they piss and shit on it | September 3, 2008 8:21 AM

Can we fuckin' REVOLT already? The "violent splinter groups" went nuts AFTER the pigs attacked.

RNC, We want to treat you to WTO-style protests. Come to Seattle, and fall properly!

Posted by HowMuchMoreShitWeGonnaTake? | September 3, 2008 8:29 AM

Colin @24: You don't need 150 undercover cops. It only takes a couple to antagonize and instigate a crowd. It is the epitome of yelling "FIRE" in the crowded theater.

Posted by DOUG. | September 3, 2008 8:35 AM

@11, how many cops have you punched in the face? If it's less than one then you're a fucking bitchmade pussy.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 3, 2008 8:41 AM

par for the course. NYC had the exact same experience, except more citizens sat in jail until the RNC was through.

@9 has it exactly right. it is a deliberate strategy to exploit holes in the justice system, & simply remove any & all protest that interferes with the televised narrative.

do you think one republican gives a shit that donna brazile got maced or amy goodman was arrested? if they had their way, they put them up against a wall & shoot them.


Posted by max solomon | September 3, 2008 8:51 AM

I love blaming the cops as much as you do but sometimes they're just doing their job and doing it well. Having been there and watched it happen it looked to me like the cops handled the situation as well as could be expected.

The anarchist groups have been making it clear for months that they were going to wreak havoc in St Paul during the convention. Now they're doing it. These groups have been "yelling fire" for months. I have a hard time blaming this on a couple undercover cops "yelling fire".

Posted by Colin | September 3, 2008 9:02 AM

It doesn't seem to matter how badly the police behave, there's always protesters who make them look moderate by comparison.

I'm talking to you @1, @11, @27, etc.

Posted by blank12357 | September 3, 2008 9:05 AM

@31, 32

The problem is this, not all of the people being sprayed, gassed, smacked, and detained are the anarchists or even protesters.

To justify the indiscriminate arrests of bystanders and journalists by saying it's because a few people caused problems is nothing different than suggesting that we should all expect to have our rights curtailed because there are criminals out there somewhere committing crimes.

Just because someone else might have committed a crime, no matter how horrendous, is not justification to arrest or otherwise injure you as well.

Posted by unwelcomed | September 3, 2008 9:21 AM

Many policemen are pigs, and protests like this are pointless. Did we really learn anything new from this?

1. People gather for impotent protest.
2. Aggro cops take out buried personal rage on protesters.
3. Liberals and bloggers express impotent outrage.
4. Lawsuits.
5. ???????
6. Lawyers PROFIT!!!!

Posted by Gomez | September 3, 2008 9:57 AM

Some of these protest groups can't even spell "agent provocateur".

Posted by Breklor | September 3, 2008 10:32 AM

Anarchists didn't force the police to tear gas and pepper spray people trying to use exits as instructed. Anarchists didn't force the police to deliberately gas identified journalists. The brutality is extreme and deliberate. This is shock and awe being used against American citizens. This is fascism.

Posted by Pam | September 3, 2008 10:38 PM

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