September 1st, 2008

Pixel Stained

More about St. Paul

The RNC has been delayed, but the police presence seems to be more than one might have expected, even looking at the arrests this weekend.

Beginning last night, St. Paul was the most militarized I have ever seen an American city be, even more so than Manhattan in the week of 9/11 -- with troops of federal, state and local law enforcement agents marching around with riot gear, machine guns, and tear gas cannisters, shouting military chants and marching in military formations. Humvees and law enforcement officers with rifles were posted on various buildings and balconies.

That's bad enough (and puts to shame the insult to the body politic of the "Freedom Cage" in Denver).

But listen to this. It's the arrest of Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now. The charge... that previously unused, "conspiracy to commit riot," which was the justification for some of the raids/arrests over the weekend.

What was she doing? Apparently the police decided to detain some of her staff. When she went to talk to the cops, trying to get her people released (or at, I assume, at the very least get some idea what her people were being charged with) they arrested her.

There are more reports that rubber bullets and tear gas are being used.

It ain't Tiananmen, but it ain't the America I grew up in neither.

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