The militancy of the painted face


Some would-be protesters at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul today ran up against a group that may be more likely than the cops to give them a hard time — reporters.

Today, the Anti-War Committee announced a protest at the Xcel Center on September 4. The group received a permit for a protest, but not at the time it wanted.

“Day 4 will be for a committed and more militant group of activists….” Committee spokesperson Misty Rowan said at a news conference. (Listen)

Militant?” Say what?

“Anything and everything that will bring a strong message to Republicans,” she said. “Our hope is (the convention) will go on with a bang instead of a fizzle.”

Guess what the first question was. “Like what?”

“I don’t think it’s bad to protest with something that’s loud and spirited,” co-speaker Katrina Plotz (pictured above) said. “Creative tactics that aren’t going to be at the traditional march.”

On her list? Painted faces.

What about what most people think when they hear a term like militant, violence, for example?

“The violence that I’m worried about is the violence that’s being carried out in Iraq right now,” she answered, which isn’t really an answer.

“You’re not answering my question,” a blogger said, uttering the five words that mark a great political journalist.

“I know,” she said, adding that she doesn’t consider the blockades being planned — allegedly — by other groups “violence.”

“That’s not what we’re planning,” she said.

“We worked very hard to make the Day 1 march on the Xcel something that you can bring your family to and you can all come out for the war. And we believe Day 4 is for the truly committed and for the people who really want to see change and expect that to be a little harder to come to than just showing up with the kids and the balloons.” (Listen)

That sounds almost militant. Perhaps, too militant, because the other speaker jumped in to spin that answer…

“If people are wondering about Day 4, is it going to be safe, is it going to be OK to bring their families, we would say ‘yes.’ I think the more the better.”

A few minutes later, however, she said militant might mean that “people face a little more risk by coming down.” (Listen)

After saying there wouldn’t be any “sit-ins” or “die-ins,” that led us back to the question of how the second protest is more militant than the first? “I would say if people have questions, they should get in contact with us,” she said.


She said people should go to an organizing committee meeting to find out what the protest is going to look like.

Listen to the entire news conference.

(h/t: Tom Weber)