RNC Day One: “Are You Serious?”

Jeremy Gantz

Don't miss this video, full of disturbing footage of what appears to be a completely unprovoked mass arrest on Labor Day in St. Paul (i.e., the first day of the RNC):Thankfully, I did not happen to be "rioting" in that riverside park when the police closed in. (That was the charge, according to the arts/activist/video production group Glass Bead Collective, which released the video with this press release yesterday.)It's unclear from the video what time those arrests took place, and it appears that absolutely nothing justified them. But my feeling, looking back on that afternoon (I attended the main - peaceful - rally early in the afternoon, went across the river to check out the SEIU concert at 3:15, and then went back across the river at 3:45 and immediately encountered tear gas/national guard/arrresting madness), was that after isolated acts of property destruction like this occurred early Monday afternoon…(Courtesy of my good friend Steve Ritchey, who witnessed plenty of Monday's madness.)…the cops were ready to throw down. And so they did on Monday, and again on Thursday:All of this raises a basic question: Why would any sane city want to host a political convention? Is St. Paul run by hoteliers?

Jeremy Gantz is an In These Times contributing editor working at Time magazine.

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