Well, the RNC doesn’t even start until September 1st, but with a big hand from the police, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security out in the Twin Cities, coverage from this site has now begun.  I haven’t even cleaned my house and there’s a big ol’ BBQ happening here tomorrow, but so it goes I guess.  New reports have slowed- at the moment- but all day today has been nothing but a series of house raids, detained activists, guns drawn, shallow excuses from the police (after they pulled over a group of activists arriving into St Paul from Texas, ordered them out of the vehicle at shotgun point, and searched them, they were told they were pulled over and detained “because of bad information”), and intimidation.  Someone needs to tell these fucking pigs that no political belief is illegal, and as the late, great Utah Phillips said “you can’t jail opinion”.

Aside from what I detailed in the post bellow, news from St Paul is that a large cage is being put-up by police (presumably for arrestees).  Don’t you worry, the raids continue- someplace called “Seeds of Peace” is being raiding as I write this (no it wasn’t).  A 24 hour jail support/solidarity vigil for those arrested has been set-up outside the cop shop, and pigs from Phoenix, Tuscon, and Mesa, AZ are reportedly on their way to “observe and assist” (Phoenix is bidding for the 2012 DNC).

Back to more logistical stuff here at IP, aside from the Twin Cities IMC, those interested in knowing more about what’s going on than I have the time or resources to write about should be sure to check out the RNC Welcoming Committee, my new favorite indy media SubMedia, of course Infoshop, and maybe best of all, The UpTake, who had live video coverage of the raids as they were happening (those vids are still up), on-going live video feeds, plus a Google map of all the raided houses and public spaces.

So here we go.  We’ll see what happens for the rest of the night, and them tomorrow, and then the RNC will finally begin (and, what the fuck?! they’re starting their convention on Labor Day? all those Xcel Center staffers should be home BBQing, taking part in Labor Day parades, and otherwise celebrating the proud and powerful history of all that the wealth, prosperity, and security that the working class has provided for these Republican jackasses).  While the biggest protests in Denver topped off around 10,000 demonstrators, estimates for RNC protests range from 50,000 to 75,000, so there will certainly be more to report on.  That, plus the Republicans certainly have underestimated how liberal, and more so (and more importantly) tolerant and unimpressed by arbitrary State authority the people of the Twin Cities are.  The people of the Northern states, by and large, are independent-minded and not so interested in Big Brother intrusions on their (or their neighbors) liberties; that’s why we live in this harsh climate, to keep as far away from the LA/NYC/Washington mindset.  

And even though I came to my own personal decision, a few years ago, that these big demos aren’t the best way for me to be spending my time and energy, I’ve decided that I’m going to the next one, where ever it is, because I want a piece of the multi-million dollar civil suit settlements that are now standard operating procedure.

On a more reflective note: it’s obvious that the purpose of these pre-convention raids (and everything else) are meant mostly to intimidate, and send the loud and clear message to the young, edgier and more aggressive activists of the day: stay at home, don’t be involved, cheers for the Dem or the Repub, and most importantly, don’t speak or act up against the only legitimate force of authority and violence, the State.  If you follow these rules, you’re as free as can be.  Otherwise, you’re worthless.  The entire history of humans proves one thing: that strategy, and message, is going to blow up in their faces.

As well though, and I think this is obvious because of the level of involvement from Federal agencies: these fuck-o’s are using the centralizing of anarchists and anti-authoritarians in one place as an opportunity to expand their databases and cross all their “T’s” and dot all their “I’s”.  They’re confiscating tons of computers, and they’re recording everyone’s ID info (name, address, SS#, etc), and obviously noting who was where, with whom.  It’s the kind of information gathering that middle America only prays that they have on the real “terrorists” (which, I’d be, by and large they don’t).  This site is likely logged in there, somewhere, as I noticed that all those “unknown users” from Denver last week who were coming here are now “unknown users” visiting IP from Minneapolis.  Yes, we’re all so safe thanks to the fine folks at the Fed.

And one final thought, before I go vacuum: the pretense of all this “security” is, of course, the threat of violence.  Well, for the record, lets just look at the past 150 years- the acts of “violence” committed by activists, “anarchists”, and anti-authoritarians for their causes pale in comparison to the that of the capitalists and their agents (the police and military).  Through their control and manipulation of the media, messaging, and imagery, they have convinced far too many people to beware the “dangerous anarchists”, but let me tell you, I’m a million times more nervous about the violence of the State than of anything else.  You all should be too.

Now, me and my PBR tall-boy have some cleaning to do.  Good luck out there, and be careful.

UPDATE:  This is how this stuff works, folks: if you’re not in the Twin Cities, you can still be an “activist” by spreading the word (write articles on blogs and open source sites, refer people to sites like this or TCIMC, and generally just don’t let this kind of monster stay in the closet).  Also, you can take a moment and call the mayor of Minneapolis’ office (612-673-3000), the mayor of St Paul’s office (651-266-8510), and the local police and sherifs (no number for you at this time) and demand that they release political prisoners and stop the fascist harassment of leftists.  For instance, one person who was arrested was being denied his medication (for what, I don’t know); as well, he is a strict vegan but was unconstitutionally being denied a vegan offering for his meal while behind bars.  After the jail was overwhelmed by who knows how many hundreds of phone calls, they’ve given him access to both.  If, like me, you’re not in Minnesota, you can organized solidarity protests in your own city, demanding justice and freedom for those being persecuted.  If you’re planning on marching in your local Labor Day parade, a sign or banner of support, or even better, handing out some quick literature about what’s happening is a great idea.  This, kids, is activism.