Unpermitted Dissent in the Streets of St. Paul

Decentralized, unpermitted protests took place throughout the streets of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota on September 1st to mark the start of the Republican National Convention (RNC). Following the permitted demonstration organized by The Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, various items were pulled into the streets, some corporations had their windows broken, and people danced without permission. There were mass arrests by the police who deployed a wide range of weaponry, including concussion grenades, tear gas, pepper spray, batons, charging horses and hard rubber bullets.

The RNC Welcoming Committee, an anarchist / anti-authoritarian organizing body that worked for over a year preparing for the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, wrote a statement about the events that unfolded on September 1st.

You can read the full press statement at:
9.2 – Press Statement from The WC
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/09/02/18532398.php

Here is an excerpt,

“The actions taken yesterday prove that the [government’s] tactics of intimidation, harassment, violent oppression, the snatching of specific individuals, and the profiling of activists will not stop committed people from taking to the streets for what they believe in and putting their bodies behind those convictions. These tactics were seen in the targeting of medical workers, journalists, legal observers, and the public. They are the same tactics used daily by police and governments around the world to terrorize and oppress those that they claim to serve.

“The infrastructure that has been created for these actions with the help and support of the twin cities community has been amazing. 100’s of people in Minneapolis and St. Paul have opened their homes to 1000’s of protesters. Locals and [out of town guests] have taken time off work and from their lives to cook meals, provide medical care, legal support, and transportation. We understand that it must be intimidating to see people organizing for themselves around the idea of mutual aid and solidarity, but in doing this we are actively creating the world we want to live in. This is work that we will continue to do for the rest of our lives.”

For more information, please see:

Resistance in the Streets of St. Paul Despite On-going Police Violence
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/08/30/18531223.php

Crossposted at Indybay.org: Part I & Part II

Author: Bradley Allen

Bradley Allen is a reporter and photographer in the Monterey Bay Area, and a collective member of the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center (Indybay). Follow him on social media: @BradleySA.