Monday, September 01, 2008

Meanwhile, In St. Paul...


So, while my alter ego is enjoying small town parades, these are the images I'm getting from Saint Paul (near Shawn's work at the Minnesota Historical Society) where the Republican National Convention is happening....

9 comments:

Paul Lamb said...

Not my idea of America.

Douglas Hulick said...

To be fair, the largest confrontation so far happened between police and a smaller group of protesters about 10 blocks from the Exel Center (site of the RNC). There were 5,000 to 10,000 protesters in St. Paul today, according to NPR, and roughly 45 arrests total as of 5:30 (not including the item mentioned above). The number will liklely go up, but from what I have heard so far, interaction between police and protesters has been restrained. Of course, it is only day one (which isn't even over), so we shall see.

I am thinking of heading downtown Weds. to see what things look like on the ground.

Kelly McCullough said...

Actually, no they're not being restrained. They're arresting journalists and staging massive preemptive raids on the homes of peaceful protesters. link

Douglas Hulick said...

Actually, no they're not being restrained. They're arresting journalists and staging massive preemptive raids on the homes of peaceful protesters.

I was speaking specifically to the images posted on the page in regards to the protests on day 1. If you want to broaden out the discussion, that is fine, and I absolutely don't condone what was done in those cases. It plain sucks and in inexcusable, no matter how people may try to spin it.

But back to the pics: I get really tired of easy, stock "police = bad" images without any effort to present context on the immediate matter. A line of cops in riot gear always looks bad, and is a non-argument and non-statement to my mind. It's too damn easy. I was simply offering a bit of limited context as to what had happened up to that point *with the protests in St. Paul that day*, since that is what the cops in the photo were reacting to. It wasn't a defense of all police actions, good or bad, happening around the convention.

I have no issues with calling people loudly to the mat, be they cops or protesters, when they step over the line. My issue is with making blanket statements about either group, which is what I thought the photos were doing in this instance.

Kelly McCullough said...

That's fair enough, Doug, but I would say that the preemptive raids carried out before day one and arrests of journalists among others on day one is the context of those pictures. Yes, the police presence was restrained in one instance on the first day of the Republican convention, and I applaud them for that. But that has to be balanced against the ways that it has been unrestrained in several other instances on and before that same day in the broader context of the convention.

ryan v said...

Apparently it's the most police presence in Minnesotan history?

It would be nice to find a second source on that, because I heard that from one of the 'Cities newspapers.

Nonetheless. Brr.

Douglas Hulick said...

Point taken, Kelly, but I still think you are stretching it. From what I recall, the raids were spear-headed by the Ramsey Co. Sherrif's Dept. and the FBI. (I am sure I will be corrected if I err, which is quite possible. :) But if that was the case, showing the SPPD in riot gear and then linking that to lousy acts perpetrated by other law enforcement agencies is using a pretty broad and free brush.

If there had been pictures or accounts of the raids, then I think the inferrence is a fair one. However, these images are of the police presence in relation to the Day 1 protests in St. Paul -- protests which, with a couple of glaring exceptions (on both sides), didn't involve any kind of violent enforcement. To show only cops marching and lining up in riot gear gives quite the opposite impression, and that is what I was objecting to.

ryan v said...

Pictures... how about some video? I'm not sure I should post them, as any of my comments would probably be rather paranoid, but look up "Amy Goodman" and "I-Witness" on the Youtube. More brr.

Bill Henry said...

More grimness.