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Thursday, Sep 4, 2008, 12:35 pm

Street Views: Midday Downtown St. Paul Snapshots

By Jeremy Gantz

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Downtown St. Paul's afternoon energy level is palpably higher than yesterday, as the convention heads toward its finale and crescendo tonight. Didn't see any organized protests, although there was a (relatively) small band of riot cops parked outside the Hilton on Minnesota St. around 1 p.m., when I stepped off the bus. But the downtown is still quite lively. A couple quick snapshots:

Alan McKoy, of Washington D.C., who voted for Hillary Clinton and plans on voting for Barack Obama, sells a popular t-shirt for $5 in Rice Park, a stone's throw away from the convention perimeter.

"It seems insane to me," said Ben Siemen, of Bemidji, Minn. "It doesn't make any sense, our foreign policy, there's so much blowback." Siemens, who attended the Minnesota Republican Party's state convention in May as a Ron Paul supporter, said he plans on voting for the libertarian or constitution party candidates.

Angle Obscure, a young nu-metal (for lack of a better term) band from Minneapolis, rocks out on a corporate plaza at the corner of Wabasha and 5th streets.

Jeremy Gantz was the Web/Associate Editor of In These Times from 2008 to 2012. His January 2011 cover story for the magazine, "Terrorist by Association," was selected as a finalist for the Molly National Journalism Award 2012. He is now a contributing editor to the magazine, focusing on labor issues.

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