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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 is a contributing editor at the magazine. He is the editor of The Age of Inequality: Corporate America's War on Working People (2017, Verso), and was the Web/Associate Editor of In These Times from 2008 to 2012. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, he worked as a reporter for The Cambodia Daily in 2007. After graduating from Carleton College in 2004, he lived in Sri Lanka on a Fulbright scholarship, studying the intersection of ethnic politics and public education. His articles have also appeared in Chicago-area newspapers, Alternet and the Onion’s A.V. Club.

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