Saturday, September 6, 2008

St Paul Follow Up

So what have we learned boys and girls?

In St Paul, planning -- and announcing your plans -- to protest and commit acts of civil disobedience at and around a gathering of very rich and very powerful Republicans will get your house raided by Agents of the Law, will get you pre-emptively arrested, and will get you charged with conspiracy, riot, and the furtherance of terrorism. Got that? The lesson? Keep your mouth shut, stay off the intertubes, keep your head down.

In St Paul, acting in any way that is not previously vetted and approved by the Authorities, or just being where anyone is or might act that way, will get you arbitrarily harrassed, surrounded, blasted, gassed, maced, peppersprayed, beatup, zip-tied, and hauled off to the Detention Center for Processing, where you also might get beaten bloody. It's all good. The lesson? Stay in your home, say nothing, do nothing, do not go out on the streets, do not witness events for yourself, do not question Authority.

In St Paul, if you are a journalist simply trying to witness and report what is going on, you might get beaten, gassed, arrested, held, have your equipment confiscated, your press credentials withdrawn. But then, lucky you, you'll be Processed ahead of Ordinary Citizens. The lesson? Stay away from conflict scenes, take testimony, attend press availabilities, do not witness and do not record on your own, do not defend your colleagues, do not question Authority.

In St Paul, if you are a Citizen, you have no rights the Authorities are bound to respect, not so long as very rich and very powerful Republicans are in Convention Assembled. And so you will understand that, a selection of you will be beaten, gassed, rounded up and arbitrarily "detained" and arrested by the hundreds, just so the lesson sinks in.

Yes indeed. This is what a Police State looks like.

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