Utne Blogs > Politics

RNC: Anarchy in St. Paul

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Politics, RNC, RNC Protest Videos, Republican National Convention, protests, protesters, Amy Goodman, arrests, tear gas, police, anarchists,

The anarchists trying to stop the RNC are organized. Many, though, still don’t know what to do. They’ve got maps, code words, and a system of text messages that tries to coordinate blockades and gives updates on arrest numbers. Many of the activists seem to know sign language, and have a coded system of communication set up. Some wear the black masks and makeup, but others are wearing preppy, non-descript clothing chosen to throw off the police and blend in. One young woman I talked to said that today was “the first time I’ve brushed my hair in years.”

The blockades, however, seem to happen at random, sometimes at inopportune times. I saw one group block an empty delegate bus, stopping a group of anti-McCain, Ron Paul delegates in the process. The most successful action that I witnessed was a young man in a black mask who slashed the tires on a Fox News truck and then escaped safely into a crowd.

Tear gas has been used and arrests have been made. A video of a protester roadblock can be seen below:

For more of Utne.com's ongoing coverage of the Republican National Convention, click here.