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Monday, July 07, 2008

Crashing the Party

A while back, we learned of an alliance of fringe liberal groups who were joining (sort of) to recreate the chaos of the 1968 DNC convention in Chicago and disrupt the DNC convention in Denver in August because the DNC just isn't radical enough for them. It looks like there is a bit of chaos in the planning of the chaos because some of the people want to have non-violent peace protest complete with community feeds and medical clinics, and some of the people are more in favor of riots and anarchy. Well, they have a little over a month to figure it out.

But that's not enough for the liberal fringe. There's a new group (well, new to me, anyway) called The RNC Welcoming Committee. (Their real website has crashed, so I had to put in the myspace page.)  They're not planning to be welcoming at all.
An anarchist group threatening to crash the Republican National Convention has taken to the airwaves. Ironically calling themselves the “RNC Welcoming Committee,” members of the group shared plans to wreak havoc during the RNC. Their plans include blocking bridges into St. Paul.

Those plans, called “Swarm, Seize and Stay,” call for members to try and cut off convention-goers and delegates from the arena.
Lovely, no? The St. Paul police are worried about them, as well they should.

The group has posted the routes 200 buses will take bring delegates to and from the RNC on their website. 
It includes detailed maps, pick-up and drop off locations, even the formation the buses will take. 
From their myspace page, we have this information. 
September 1st, 2008, we, the RNC Welcoming Committee, invite all anarchists and anti-authoritarians, all radicals and rabble-rousers, all those who are fed up with government lies and spectacles to show up ready for action and ensure that we leave no place for these expired politicians. What we create here will send the convention crashing off course into insignificance.
They're also calling for direct action (as opposed to passive civil disobedience), and they may or may not have ordered tasers for their members. And there's this quote (one from a police spokesperson, and a response by a RNC-WC spokesperson):
On Friday, July 5th, St. Paul Police dared the Welcoming Committee to use the document. “Go ahead, plan off that,” said Pete Panos, St. Paul Police spokesman. “That would be great for us.”

Helmsted responded, “Far out, Pete! We've been seeking endorsements of our Call to Crash the Convention, but the backing of the St. Paul Police Department is more than we'd dared to hope for. Now that we've got it, all bets are off.”
First, Jesse (I'm guessing Jesse is "Anonymous" that posted it) needs to look at a calendar. Either Pete Panos said that on Friday or on the 5th. One or the other.Second, "all bets are off"??? uh-huh... it sounds like a set-up, Jesse.

I may be naive, and I may be a reactionary, but it sounds more than a little like threats of terrorism (see the American Heritage and Webster law definitions). OK, maybe that's a stretch, and maybe they're actually covered under free speech, but I'm not going to be surprised if violence (which will be blamed on the police somehow, I'm sure) will break out in both Denver and St. Paul.

 I did a quick search to try to find conservative groups who might be protesting at either convention. I'm fairly certain that there will be some Pro-Life people at both conventions, and maybe Vets for Freedom or other groups like that, but I can't find any definitive calls to protest. And it's not like we have nothing to protest. But that's the difference between far-right conservatives (for the most part) and far-left liberals (for the most part)- conservatives are nice. We don't think that disrupting transportation in a state's capitol is a good idea. Violent protest happens in the Right from time to time, but it's condemned by the Right, not encouraged. It's just not the Right's modus operandi.

So, when the DNC and RNC conventions occur, you will more than likely see protesters on television. Maybe you'll see folks from the Right side of the aisle carrying signs advocating for one thing or another. Could be that you'll see people from the Left side of the aisle protesting anything from capitalism to the war and advocating everything from socialism to communism to anarchy. Perhaps you'll see some clashes between the Right and the Left. More likely, however, is that you will see clashed between the Left and civil authorities.

Makes me glad I live nowhere near either of those places.

UPDATE: edited to correct stupid grammar. 

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