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RNC – Local News from the Street

By all accounts day one of the RNC, though scaled way back and void of political rhetoric, went off without serious incident. Of the 15,000 some-odd estimated protesters in attendance (i’ve seen estimates as high as 20k and low as 10k so I’m saying 15k) the county’s final tally on arrests and charges for the days was:

– 284 total arrests
– 130 felony charges
– 51 gross misdemeanors
– 103 misdemeanors.

I question that total being as there are reports of some people being detained without charges (still) and people being released shortly after arrest. Even if this number is incorrect by a significant margin it hardly represents a large percentage of those in attendance. That aside, the day wasn’t totally without significant incident.

The major news networks painted a fairly low-key picture of the goings on but those of us privy to local independant media outlets saw something very different; liberal use of pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets and even one report of flashbangs (someone even said ‘concussion grenades’, which I’m VERY skeptical of). Independant [neutral, non-aggressive] media and legal representatives have been arrested for merely being near the crowds, crowds of people gathered in parks being surrounded and searched, even walking down the street was apparently enough to warrant a search by whatever agency happened to pass you by.

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Episode 1.04 and last minute change of plans

It’s funny sometimes how quickly things can change. I recorded this show this afternoon with plans to go out later in the evening. I got behind schedule, became subject to an impromptu dog-sitting, had to scrap my plans and found out that John McCain had all but canceled the RNC activites for Monday…all in the course of about 3 hours.

Take this episode as you will. Being as my RNC plans have changed (see above link) since recording it earlier this afternoon it’s only about 2/3 relevant. I’m leaving it as is and providing all links as usual. The police and FBI round-up of protesters and self declared anarchists has been swift and frightening over the past 48 hours and I’ve provided a bit of info and local links on that situation.

I’ll be doing a few 10-15 minute shows this week as well. No politics, I promise!

Stream, download link and relevant links below.

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We will act as Americans, not partisans


ST. PAUL, Mn. – John McCain tore up the script for his Republican National Convention on Sunday, casting himself as above politics as Hurricane Gustav churned toward New Orleans. “We will act as Americans, not partisans”, he declared.

McCain orders GOP convention curtailed because of Gustav; Bush, Cheney cancel

There is still going to be a rather large anti-[insert (proper)noun] contingent on site, potential protesters are still being rounded up by the police and the hundreds of national (and international) news agencies will be on hand but covering basically nothing. I imagine foot traffic down at the Mall of America will be insane…perhaps I’ll go hunting for Wolf Blitzer. I wonder which food court he’d hang out at…

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