"Those cops are fuckers. We weren't doing anything wrong."
-20-something female talking on her cell phone walking down a downtown Saint Paul sidewalk alone last night. She was nearly in tears and obviously shaken up.
"You're going to want to move into the lobby if those crazies start moving this way."
-Policeman in full riot gear to me, my wife and daughter last night a couple minutes after the girl from the previous quote walked by.
So the Republican National Convention is in town this week, just a couple miles from our house. Yay!
There are large protests and many arrests going on this week. Some of the arrests are, for sure, warranted. People have torn bricks out of buildings and thrown them at cops. Some even threw buckets of piss and shit at cops. That blows. That's obviously breaking the law with intent to harm another person. Not cool.
That said, a lot of arrests are not warranted. Sure, protesters may be breaking a law like marching past curfew or camping in a park that doesn't allow camping, but most of these people aren't hurting anyone. They aren't actively harming people or property. They don't deserve pepper spray and tear gas.
There's a great 2-part video on the theuptake.org. Here's Part 1 and Part 2.
Part 1 shows a group of protesters at a stand-off with police. The protesters threw first, I've read. I tend to believe those reports. But the stinger, Part 2, shows how innocent bystanders get rounded up with protesters. They all get arrested.
Sucks to be them, I guess.
Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have gone downtown two days in a row?
Why did I go downtown last night, you ask? We went to the taping of the Daily Show! It was a blast. You can watch the show we were at the taping for here.
The theatre was on lockdown for about 10 minutes after the show because of a march outside. Once they let us leave we couldn't walk too far without running into police or protesters, so we bided our time at a nearby restaurant. Mrs. Piggy and I left once things seemed to die down. We were lucky, I guess, since our friends who stayed behind told us that tear gas came rolling down the street minutes after we left. Our friends were still in the restaurant when the tear gas happened and the place had to close their kitchen vents so the smoke wouldn't get in. I'm really glad Mrs. Piggy and I were out of the vicinity by then.
Don't worry, Anna didn't come with us and she was barely ever in harm's way. She was being babysat in a condo downtown by friends' parents. Once we got back to the condo we had to take a cab back to our house (our ride couldn't get to her car, because, ya know, tear gas). We got stuck in traffic because of some fracas on the on-ramp. I told the cab driver to roll his windows up ('cause, ya know, tear gas) and lock his doors ('cause, ya know, I get sort of paranoid).
Anna she was sort of weirded out by the riot cops and the flashing lights of cop cars. I made a game of it. Said the cops were wearing the same helmets I wore when I pressure washed our house. Pointed out the flashing lights and asked her what color they were. Then laughed at them. She played along, but we could tell she was a little shaken. This morning she stopped at the top of our front steps outside and wouldn't walk down. When I asked why, she just said "scared."
I don't know what that was about. For all I know there was just a weird shadow she wasn't sure about. Or maybe the events of last night shook her more than we thought. At any rate, she was back to her un-scared joyful self by this afternoon.
So Mrs. Piggy and I went downtown again today. Why, you ask? Well, you sure are the asky one, aren't you? If you must know, we went downtown today for the ultrasound!
Is Kid B a boy or a girl? I'll try to throw up the ultrasound photos tomorrow for the big reveal.