Anarchists: How do you like us now?

protest_violence.jpg

Should we still believe the whole “we’re just engaged in peaceful activities” mantra from the more extreme groups who gathered in St. Paul for the Republican National Convention? We don’t know — yet — whether the people inflicting the damage on downtown St. Paul at this hour are the same people who claimed innocence after last weekend’s police raids, but they succeeded in muting the point made by thousands of peaceful protests. And the Republican National Convention went on as scheduled at the Xcel Energy Center.

The RNC Welcoming Committee sent out an email to the media with a subject line “grain of salt.”

Just a quick note for all you media folks to remember. The police and the mayor are charged with maintaining order and the semblance of order. They lie to the media and they lie to the public. The people are in the streets and the spectacle of the RNC has been crashed.

And now for coverage of people who protested without violence:

Slideshow of the protest

And some video of the police preparations:

  • St. Paulie Girl

    Whatever point there were trying to makes gets lost in the violence. It was the same in 1968, except this seems worse. The police were not as well trained in 1968 and may have made things worse. That doesn’t seem to be the case now, from what I have seen. Let’s hope that no one is seriously hurt and that the convention will go on, as planned.

  • Elizabeth T.

    If they were real anarchists, they would just suck it up and accept that the law enforcement agencies are “raging against” the oppressive anarchist machine. Anarchy to these people apparently means “my way, not your way”, rather than “no adult supervision available”.

    Violent protests gives the rest of the protesters a bad name. Do the delegates intellectually realize that we’re not all idiots? Sure. Will the delegates vividly remember the marches? No, they’re remember having bricks thrown at them.

    I despise those who claim the rights of a democracy while concurrently trying to destroy it. If they were real anarchists, they would simply reject the oppressive regime’s benefits.

  • ntmoore

    What a bunch of a-holes. Violent protest like this is not acceptable in a modern democracy.

  • seriously

    Let’s put things into perspective a bit here:

    Whether or not you agree with the ‘anarchists’ or loathe them, I think it is worthwhile to make a distinction between property damage and talking about people like they are terrorists. To my knowledge, none of the so-called ‘anarchists’ raised a hand to the police or anyone else at the protest. I don’t have any sympathy with a bunch of knuckleheads that want to play revolutionary instead of speaking truth to power, but it’s amazingly disingenuous to even compare a handful of broken windows to the trampling of the constitution in the last few days. Police have not only entered homes with warrants, searched people without probable cause and detained people with no legitimate charges, they have specifically gone after journalists and other people whose expressed goal, and indeed their duty, is to document the event to make sure that we are, in fact, still living in a free country.

    To somehow bracket all of those concerns, or to suggest that people ‘deserve’ such treatment because a few idiots broke windows is insane. If you want to criticize ‘anarchists’ for being stupid, that’s fine. But you should probably think twice before you give credence to the same justifications being used to strip hundreds of other people of their most basic, constitutionally protected right to demonstrate and to speak their mind.

    In a few weeks, will you still be paying attention when the details of these egregious violations are more widely known, or will you still be shaking your finger at people for petty vandalism?

    Idiots? Yes. Terrorists? No.

    Try to look at the bigger picture here instead of getting hung up on the soap opera-esque details. It’s pathetic and shows your total disinterest in bringing attention to the more important issues at hand.

  • Joel

    Seriously,

    Does violence in response to violence really elevate ones argument?

  • Stuart L

    My complements to the St. Paul Police Department for keeping their collective cool under very trying circumstances. Thank you for your service to keep our community safe and in one piece.

    Regarding the so-called Anarchists … whether you’re for or against the war (and I’m against, by the way), the right to free speech does not include the right to trash my home.

    If you want to practice vandalism, assault, and wanton childishness, please go home and do it in your own city … don’t ask me to pay for your fun.

    But if you want to express your views for or against any particular policy, be welcome.

  • kevin

    the well-pressed jeans and matching outfits of the individuals in the photograph at the top, as well as the forced setup of the picture — the hammer in the foreground, the exaggerated pose of the individual about to strike the cruiser — tells me that these are not your typical anarchists. much more likely that these are cops dressed up as anarchists, part of the standard and reprehensible policy of posing as violent protesters to justify violent police crackdowns.

    you use the photo as the lead-in to your post, but don’t tell us anything about the source or context of the photo. please do so.

  • Makhno

    I’m an anarchist and somebody who appreciates Minnesota Public Radio. I’m disappointed with this story and how it frames anarchist actions yesterday. I support the actions yesterday of my comrade anarchists, as do most anarchists. It should be pretty obvious to readers and NPR listeners that you can’t make change through official channels. Writing to your congresscritters doesn’t work, electing Obama will solve nothing, and marching “peacefully” has not ended a war that has been going on since 1991.

    Violent protest is not acceptable in a modern democracy? What evidence do you have that we live in a democracy? In a democacy, thousands of people marching in the streets against war would prompt a government to change its policies. A democratic government would change its policies when 75% of the population were opposed to those policies. A “democracy” would not arm metropolitan police as fascist thugs and send them after protesters who break a few windows.

    Look, there are lots of people, especially young people, who are tired of waiting for significant change to happen through official channels. Their actions yesterday should serve as a wake up call. They are feed up. I’m a middle-aged guy who works with these (mostly younger) people. There are tens of thousands like them across the country who feel like they have nothing to lose. Smashing a window and going to jail is a blip in their lives. They certainly don’t give a damn that people dislike their actions.

    The criticism and outrage over property destruction and anti-police violence at these protests is incredibly misplaced. Who are the real violent people meeting in St. Paul this week? The Republicans. Last week their violent counterparts met in Denver. Both of these parties are responsible for wars that have killed millions of people. These parties have destroyed whole countries? And what exactly is so horrible about anarchists breaking a few windows.

    Compare. Broken windows vs. destroyed countries and millions of deaths.

    Or compare the violence meted out by the police vs. people fighting back when their rights are stomped on.

    Get it yet?

  • C

    well gee golly Beaver-

    maybe these are the children of the adults (including single moms) who were the result of Pawlenty’s Budget cuts on the social programs. Uh-hum RESOURCES FOR CHILDCARING, EARLY CHILDHOOD FAMILY EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE FOR ALL

    Perhaps they are angry, and have a right to be, having to take care of themselves while mom and/or dad went to work to keep a roof over their heads and something to eat.

    I am sooooooooo done with the way our country and local (LOCO) government is being run.

  • Robert

    Makhno,

    Your justification for the riots yesterday is ridiculous. “Compare. Broken windows vs. destroyed countries and millions of deaths.” That’s like saying, “I could punch you in the face or I could punch you in the back of the head.” It doesn’t matter which one is worse; neither one is good.

    There’s a way to get out your message, if you really do have one, and it doesn’t have to be through the “official channels”. But tackling cops, throwing water bottles filled with urine, tipping trash cans, smashing random car windows (yes, I did see someone with a hammer attack a random car, as well as a few police cruisers) and smashing store windows is not it.

    I got tear-gassed because you chose to hijack my message with yours. There is a major difference between “revolution” and “terrorism” and that difference is consent. Your actions were not in line with what the protesters that day were aiming for, and your acts of “rebellion” did nothing but overshadow anything positive that could have come from it. And while the children you hang around may not care what people think of their actions, if they’re going to start trying to influence everyone’s politics, maybe they should.