Police at Republican National Convention

This post was getting too junked up so I split it three ways. The best sources are here; miscellaneous stories are here. On this page I’ll leave the story in sequence as I wrote it, from the bottom up. Tomorrow I’ll probably clean it up.

FDL 11 There have been mass arrests, but many have been released almost immediately. Some of the Uptake video people have been arrested.
UPDATE: (5:20 CDT) Apparently there will mass arrests now, and a large part of St. Paul has been closed off to traffic.
UPDATE: (5:00 CDT)
FDL 10. Video of “violence breaking out”. Someone has speculated that the police raids before Monday frightened off most of the peaceful demonstrators, producing a smaller but more militant demonstration.
Ellen Goodman of Democracy Now! has been arrested.
(4:00 CDT): FDL 9. One group of protestors is blocking traffic and doing vandalism, and tear gas gas definitely been used. The Jail and hospital where protesters have been taken are locked down — no one can have any contact with them. I haven’t even seen a ball park estimate of how many arrests, but it seems to be in the dozens [over a hundred now I would guess, but I haven’t seen an informed estimate].
UPDATE: (3:30 CDT) It looks as though the National Guard has come in. In any case the Uptake video shows camo rather than police uniforms. (3:54 CDT): It seems that there has been considerable disruption of traffic, and also that the police / Guard are preparing some sort of assault. Pepper spray has been used and reportedly tear gas also.
UPDATE (2:24 CDT): Quite a number of people have been pepper sprayed and/or arrested, including at least two reporters/ photographers from the mainstream media.
The police at the Republican Convention have been beefed up with federal money, and they’ve already made preemptive arrests of protest leaders. I have no special sources or independent information, but I’ve gathered some links so I can keep on top of what’s happening, and I thought I’d share them.
Ramsey County Sheriff Fletcher seems to be the local heavy. Fletcher is under investigation himself for corruption, and it’s quite possible that he’s now cooperating with Federal law enforcement in order to set up a plea bargain. Federal law enforcement is definitely involved. (Ramsey county includes St. Paul, but city police would normally handle this kind of thing and if I am correct, Fletcher was not called in by the city. In many American cities the police are almost autonomous, and not really under the control of civilian officials, and that may be the case at the moment).
I don’t have a link, but I read somewhere that informants are only paid if there are actual arrests, so the potential for provocation is very high.
UPDATE (Mon. a.m.): There’s still almost no national coverage, either of the demonstrations or of the raids. I’d post something if I could find it. Send me links if you see them.
So far intimidation and harassment seems to be the police strategy, with relatively few actual arrests.( In one case a houseful of unarmed college-age potential protesters was raided by about 25 heavily-armed, armored police. The Police have infiltrated the groups and their intelligence is very good, and they knew that they had nothing to fear.) The goal seems to be to cripple the groups by confiscating cell phones, cameras, video equipment, computers, and various other things. It may be that media and lawyers are especially being targeted.

Firedoglake 6. The police presence in the Twin Cities has been federalized and is being orchestrated by Homeland Security, the FBI, et al (with the help of $50,000,000 authorized by a Democratic Congress). This has been a real cash cow for the various police departments. As I understand, jurisdictional boundaries are being completely ignored — Ramsey County police have made arrests in Hennepin County.
A lot of good video here
Latest from Firedoglake (Lindsay Beyerstein): 2 a.m. raid (Update: apparently the house was not entered, but a car was impounded. This is consistent with the harassment and intimidation theory).

Attacking Palin

One of the strategies behind choosing Palin for VP is to set up a “grievance trap.” Much of the Republican appeal is grievance. “Those snobbish elites are picking on me again.” “Those millionaire East Coast New York San Francisco Democrats give special privileges to everyone but me.”
So anyone who criticizes will be cast as picking on strong women, etc.
But we have the perfect surrogate to lead the attack on Palin: Hillary Clinton. SHE can charge that this is an inexperienced “token” pick, a misdirection intended to fool people. SHE can charge that this is an anti-choice impostor, fronting for the old white male power structure.
So bring out Hillary, and sic her on Palin.

Two Short Dem Convention Videos

This is what the worst possible seats at a convention look like:

Actually no one was seated there and we snuck in because we couldn’t find any real seats. (I didn’t know there were special seats available for bloggers…)
Howard Dean threw a Blogger BBQ. Here is a short snippet of his talk:

Howard’s looking thin.

Democratic Convention Photos

Here is a slideshow of my photos from the 2008 Democratic Convention. I will organize and post videos as soon as I can.
The button in the lower right of this slideshow frame lets you see these full-screen. The “Info On” button at the top lets you see captions.

I think it looks better with a higher resolution if you go to Flickr to see them. AND you can see and download much higher-resolution versions of each pic if you want.


Why is the McCain campaign running an ad in which the word “hang” appears with a picture of Obama?
Is it just a mistake? Maybe, but the McCain campaign has a track record of running very carefully prepared ads that include code words designed to trigger a particular reaction from targeted segments of the Republican base. Recently the McCain campaign ran an ad about Obama being “The One” — meaning the antichrist. The McCain campaign denied it but the authors of the “Left Behind” series understand this to be the meaning of the ad.
So what segment of the Republican base is the McCain campaign reaching out to with this ad? And what exactly are they hoping to trigger?
P.S. read this about that Denver assassination plot I linked to in the previous paragraph.

Stunned By Palin

I admit to being stunned by McCain’s VP choice of Sarah Palin. She is a stunning beauty queen who has served a stunning two years as Governor of Alaska after serving a stunning two terms on the Wasilla, Alaska city council and two terms as mayor. (As of the 2000 census, Wasilla’s population was 5,470.)
I’m stunned that McCain picked a politician who is currently under investigation for abusing power by firing the state’s Public Safety Commissioner for refusing to fire a state trooper involved in a child custody battle with Palin’s sister.
I’m stunned (and insulted as a citizen) that McCain feels he can place a heartbeat away from the Presidency a hard-core creationist with NO foreign policy experience or even positions. She is not just a creationist but has so little respect for our Constitution that she advocates teaching “Biblical principles” and creationism in our public schools — in other words, forcing the teaching of one branch of one particular religion.
So yes, this is a stunning choice for Vice President.
*P.S. This is filed in STF’s “Party Over Country” category.