Monday, September 1, 2008
Opposing RNC 2008: How Republicans Might "Outflank" Army Of Protestors
Photo by John Hoff
Above, preparations in downtown St. Paul for RNC 2008.
On most of the issues in my North Minneapolis neighborhood, there are no "republicans" or "democrats." HACC Chair Peter is some kind of republican, and while passing out fliers a few days ago we joked around about how I'd be at the anti-RNC protests, and he'd be hanging with his republican friends...
Shortly after giving directions to a lost (probable) delegate from Wyoming, I called Peter about some neighborhood business, and I found out something from Peter which made my head spin. Peter probably didn't even KNOW the full import of what he was telling me, and what might be inferred and deduced. Here is the deal:
Due to Hurricane Gustav, the Republicans are cutting short their opening day activities on "RNC 1."
Does that mean the PROTESTS will be cut short? Heck, no! It's not like all those non-hierarchical, non-centralized groups can just be called off. Clearly, the protests will go on as scheduled. But consider this:
Peter told me a delegation from South Carolina was looking for something productive to do in our neighborhood. So Peter was planning to find a way to channel their energy. I told Peter, hey, I'm ready to be bi-partisan. Have them do something good, take a few pictures, and I'll praise them on my blog. (Right after I wash my hair and get all the CS gas out, though I didn't say THAT part)
However, after I got done talking with Peter, sitting there at Arby's and re-using my beverage cup, I started thinking of the IMPLICATIONS of this. Would ALL those delegates be out doing some kind of community service while Hurricane Gustav's impact was resolved on Day 1 of the convention? Would they be doing this community service WHILE WE ARE OUT PROTESTING? Did orders come down from on high and ALL THE REPUBLICANS will be doing some kind of community service on "RNC 1?"
Are the Republicans moving to outflank the army of protesters in the eye of the public? Or is it more like one little group from South Carolina decided to do something good during the "RNC 1" downtime, and I simply caught wind of it, and I'm reading too much into it? Heck, maybe they'll all try to find their way to Mall of America around the bridge construction. Maybe they'll all start calling hookers to their hotel room.
We shall see. I must say, I'm grateful for any kind of attention paid to my neighborhood, and I might even bite my tongue about their SUVs. In the meantime, I doubt very much if the protests can be called off, even if such tactical "outflanking" became painfully obvious. And therein lies one of the weaknesses of non-hierarchical systems.