Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Bit of Quiet Outrage

My Minneapolis office is located just around the blog from the downtown precinct station, and yesterday when I left work at 5:30, about 80 swat team members were gearing up for the night's activities in this RNC-plagued twin cities.

Rage Against the Machine was playing at the Target Center, and there was an assumption right from the get-go that this might get ugly.  At a stoplight, I paused for a moment to chat with a young policeman pulling his riot helmet from the back of a black SUV.  "Bet you're ready for all this to be over, eh?" I said to him.

"Nah. They haven't yet assigned me to St. Paul, so this might be the only chance I get to mix it up. About time," he said.

And sure enough, some hours later, when a couple of hundred concert goers lingered around downtown Minneapolis after the concert, there came a moment when the cops ordered them to go home. When the concert-goers got a bit indignant (after all, the parties for the official delegates don't even get started in downtown Minneapolis until 2:00 am), the cops reacted instantly by hosing them with pepper-spray and arresting 100 of them.  

Other than verbal shouts, there was no physical provocation visible in any of the footage. 

I"m not sure how many of these anti-riot squad members have come in from out of town, but I can tell you that my opinion of local law enforcement is dropping by the day.  At the moment, there's no effort to "keep the peace," but rather a distinct wish to provoke confrontation. 

Republicans partying at the Aqua club downstairs from my office littered the sidewalk outside with vomit, beer cans and wine bottles last night from 2:00 to 4:00 am.  I don't think any of them were maced or clubbed for the offense. 

1 comment:

M@ said...

That's awful. I remember the obnoxious attendees of one of D.C.'s inaugural balls way back in January 2001....

I'm all for law and order and enjoy living in a gentrific neighborhood but... what pigs! Two different classes of people there.