For example, each time you walk by a street with the hundreds of people you are with who are trying to find a way out of the cage the police just marched you into, you see police in riot gear run up to the street and block it off so that you cannot splinter off and lead a snake march or something of your own creation after the action is over.
So, you keep walking and in many cases end up walking back to where the march began.
Tonight, as people were heading back to their cars, everybody came to a turn where the Poor People’s Campaign leaders left the march to go to where they were parked. They splintered off and walked down a street that the riot police quickly blocked off after Poor People’s Campaign members were through.
Now, what were left were the stereotypical protesters---the kind that can be easily marginalized in the press. You know, the ones that bring gear like gas masks and goggles to protect themselves and wear black bandanas to hide their identity from the police.
Mixed in were some people who were less interested in challenging police and who were more interested in ogling at the police’s weaponry, but most stopped and stalled on the street ready to take on whatever the police planned to do.
A report that can neither be confirmed or denied suggests that a police officer said, “Let’s go in for the kill! I’m sick of this sh*t.” And then, all hell broke loose with tear gas being fired and then down the street a ways concussion grenades were fired.
The National Guard was spotted throwing gas in front of protesters as they ran away from police who were firing.
A state of shock came over the group that had been trying to just leave and go home. Nothing happened to warrant any firing of anything.
Medic teams came in to assist those with spray in their eyes. People headed quickly away from the scene and back to the capitol to leave.
I’m not sure what the effect of this will be. A lot of this type of thing has been happening since Sunday. Police have been doing whatever they damn well please with tacit support from the mayor of St. Paul.
That’s the key difference between Denver security during the DNC and St. Paul security during the RNC---Police in St. Paul are less patient with protestors.
Nothing is stopping them from firing off tear gas, pepper spray, concussion grenades, or anything else that may be used for “crowd control.”
Whatever kept police under control in Denver isn’t keeping police under control here.