Saturday, September 06, 2008

a few further post-RNC reflections, facts, fragments

Sarah Palin is dangerous. This strategy has worked before: take an ignorant, inexperienced, smug and nasty psychopath and run them for office on the platform of ordinariness. She's Bush, with more rhetorical skill.

The left should have a massive series of theater workshops.

a securitization of major
preemptive raids of alleged

Dakota occupation of Coldwater Spring site near Minnehaha Park expected to end peacefully today... to reclaim the site for their tribe... but federal officials disrupted the plan from the start, granting a permit for the occupation, even though protesters hadn't requested one.

(Compare to the march-blocking strategy on Thursday)

In full riot gear, jokingly
refer to themselves as "turtles"

More arrests (818) than
at any convention except
NYCs in 2004 (1781)
(Chicago's '68 DNC had 589)
19 felony charges, 30 journalists

Cmdr Steve Frazer, head
of one mobile division, called
the parade route's end "Ground
Zero," called thrown shit
and piss "bio attacks"

mobile force field units
officers moving about "subtly"
"in soccer-mom minivans"

former Mpls police chief:
St. Paul could've handled security
with a few hundred extras. Instead,
an orgy of overtime
subsidized by the federal government
via the National Security Act

(much of this from the Star-Tribune, whose reporting has become worse, writing as if the police were constantly reigning in crowds of people bent on chaos and destruction, whereas they generally were blocking the progress of peaceful marches moving down clearly defined routes. These people weren't "keeping the situation under control"--we were.

The paper, however, is still emphasizing the gap between the language of counter-terrorism and the reality of the protests--a degree of nuance lacking in the "nonpartisan" CityPages, the Minneapolis paper that, like many free weeklies, features a broadly cynical tone, attempting to sound hip in the apparent absence of any work to actually find out what's going on. The latest issue describes the anarchist march on the 1st as "a cross between a disco and Hamas," and the writer doesn't seem to have taken the ten minutes required to find out that that march left an hour earlier than the official parade because the anarchists decided well beforehand to separate, spatially or temporally, their actions from those officially permitted.

But I'm getting away from the main point: the detached, "with-it" cool of the weeklies, uninvolved and uninvested, is worse than the police repression of the protesters. This is the attitude that renders anything it touches (which include the whole surface field of culture) unimportant, an object of easy mockery, a series of empty appearances for the entertainment of all. That's it--for the free weeklies, everything is "entertainment," presented by people who relish their power to dismiss. The invulnerability of such an attitude combines with a lack of real inquiry to produce a form of "news" much more conducive to totalitarian culture than any of the more obviously ideologically invested forms of journalism.)

The most important issues--they're not "issues"--are still poverty and imperialism, the techniques (they're not just "techniques") used to maintain them and their destruction of the basis for any acceptable form of human social existence.


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