Tag Archives: RNC

RNC Protests in St. Paul

2008 RNC Protest MarchI went to a protest today. I didn’t really participate, more observed. And took lots of pictures (I’m still working on uploading them). And a video.

The event I went to was a peaceful march from the State Capitol to the Xcel Center and back. But things haven’t been so peaceful all day in St. Paul. The Pioneer Press has a good overview of the various skirmishes between police and protesters. It seems the 10,000 or so marchers were mostly peaceful, but some anarchist groups (for lack of a better description) have been causing mayhem downtown (breaking windows, slashing tires, blockading streets) and police are rightly moving in to stop them (tear gas and rubber bullets). The show of force is a little disturbing, but so is hurling bricks at cops. (It’s unclear at this point what’s rumor and what’s reality, so take what you hear with a grain of salt. At any rate, there was enough documenting going on that any police brutality should certainly come to light.)
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Police Raids on Protesters in St. Paul

If you don’t follow my Twitter updates, you probably missed much of the hubbub over yesterday’s police raids in the Twin Cities. In anticipation of the Republican National Convention, police have been raiding homes, detaining people and pulling over buses. Most of yesterday’s raids centered around a self-described anarchist group, the RNC Welcoming Committee. Five or six of their members were arrested on charges of conspiracy to riot and a number of weapons or potential weapons were seized (among them what could be some regular household items, what actually are weapons [slingshots mostly] and what’s just bizarre—buckets of urine, later explained by protesters to be a gray water system and not actual urine).

It’s all kind of bizarre, and as early stories come in it’s hard to know who to believe (like I just blogged, nobody just disagrees, we have to insult, mislead and insinuate).
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Director of Marketing Insults Journalists

Heard a story on NPR today about St. Paul being in the spotlight for the Republican National Convention. The part of the story that stuck out to me was when Erin Dady, director of marketing for the City of St. Paul, made this assumption about the national media:

“I would guess a significant percentage of the 15,000 members of the media who are coming to town couldn’t even locate St. Paul on a map,” she says. “So, what better way to tell our story to the world than to have 15,000 members of the media here in town? It’s really priceless media attention.”

Maybe Dady has some research to back up that assumption (in which case, why not use the research instead of speculating?) or maybe she’s referring to the fact that national reporters seem unable to distinguish St. Paul and Minneapolis (though that has little to do with locating St. Paul on a map)—I don’t know. But however you spin it, it seems like a really dumb idea for the marketing director of St. Paul to insult the intelligence of 15,000 journalists who are about to descend on our city.