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September 03, 2008

The Poor People's March

St. Paul, Minnesota.
September 2, 2008.

Do these people look like a ravening mob to you? A few minutes later, the police tear gassed the whole block after pushed the crowd back about a block or two.

What you can't see in the picture is that bicycle and riot cops were surrounding groups of people on the sidewalk and blocking the intersections at both ends of the block.


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Goopers play dirty. This is news?

This entire maudlin spectacle will mercifully be over shortly. But, not before...(drumroll)...


Cheers -


Thank you so much for the slide show, Lindsay. I linked it not at my blog, but at my live journal .....for a whole set of 'non-blog' readers to see what is happening.
Bless you for your courage...and may all the good Goddesses guard you.

Mayor Chris Coleman of St. Paul and Mayor R. T. Rybak of Minneapolis do not deserve to be re-elected after the way that protestors were treated under their leadership.

They don't deserve higher office, either.


GOOD REPORTING! I say this for all your work covering the two conventions, not just this post. I second the motion on your journalist stripes.

We need police who are well trained for effective crowd control, especially in our large cities. What you describe here is crowd harassment and crowd intimidation. It is an affront to rights of free assembly and speech.

Rhetorical question: Guess how well the main stream media is covering the protests and the behavior of the police?

Another rhetorical question: Where's that main stream media liberal bias we've come to expect?

I saw TV footage last night of cops firing chemical grenades into a crowd of perhaps twenty people and the anchor person was saying, with satisfaction, "the policy were successful in dispersing the demonstrators." WTF?

"We need police who are well trained for effective crowd control, especially in our large cities."

I don't think training is the issue; the police here obviously feel they have license from the department, their political leaders, and society itself to indulge their inner Black and Tans without fear of consequence.

Speaking, by the way, of licenses, I just wandered over from a libertarian website, which I found by following a link in an FDL thread. As you might expect, those champions of liberty are by and large going into orgasm over these displays of state brutality, putting on a display every bit as fawning and sadistic as what you'd expect to find over at Townhall or Slave Republic. Damn it, though, if we wouldn't find them stalwart allies should the state of Minnesota ever attempt to regulate dogs in the back of pickups.

Re: libertarians -

The U.S. flavour of "libertarian" tends to not believe in the Tragedy of the Commons and also tends towards Social Darwinism. That philosophy tends to attract people of above-average intelligence with an antipathy for authority, who did manage to use hard work, often combined with a little luck, to raise their financial and societal status. In a lot of ways they are the same personality types as the anarchists, with the main difference being the possession of money and status. Yes, there's also greedy and talentless "faux-libertarians" who inherited mommy and daddy's money and want to make sure they get to spend it all instead of some of it going to pay for a sick kid's medecine, but they're a relatively small part of the group.

Because they've managed to improve their lot through hard work, most libertarians don't see the protesters as people who are discriminated against by the system, but rather as parasites who try to use the system to make up for their unwillingness to work hard.

The truth is somewhere in between, I suspect. Among the disadvantaged, there are many who never got the parental support and opportunities to improve themselves. And there's a lot of failed jocks, screwups, and reprobates who sat in the back row throwing spitballs at the geeks instead of listening and studying. The technical/computer-oriented geeks who form a good portion of the on-line blog commenters are likely to have more experience with the latter than the former. That they would feel some schadenfreude in this situation is pretty predictable. People of above-average literacy like (hopefully) journalists, also often partially fit the same early profile and are more likely to have parallel interpretations as other elites on this point.

And sometimes, though not in this particular case, they have a point. Any system can be gamed, and there's always grifters willing to exploit any system for money, no matter who might get hurt in the backlash. It leads to an inevitable see-saw between providing services to the disadvantaged and cutting back on those services due to abuse by the unscrupulous. Libertarians are on the extreme edge of that see-saw, but due to human nature, every other point on that see-saw is also unstable, though not as wildly.

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