The Minneapolis Mirror has posted video of the Al Flowers press conference announcing his lawsuit, click here for that Mirror story with the video.
In this Mirror video, one sees...
A much different side of Al Flowers than was present at the JACC press conference, where he was an angry, repetitively-shouting, disruptive loon. He talks about his "right to ask questions" and yet the video from the JACC press conference, click here for a link, shows how Al Flowers shouted statements, over and over, and not always questions, i.e., "I got four residents that says you was illegal." In fact, he shouted about somebody having the audacity to stand in front of him.
When Flowers was loudly taking a cell phone call, and somebody asked him to take it outside, he snapped back rudely and proclaimed "I am the community." (The audio of his "I-Am-The-Community" response isn't as clear on the tape as the voice telling Flowers to take the call outside, but I heard and I have another witness who heard the--now infamous--"I Am The Community" declaration)
North To Minneapolis (You Go North, The Rush Is On)
One thing I do like very much about this Mirror video, however. Flowers describes North Minneapolis and the Jordan neighborhood as the site of a "gold rush." I tend to believe some of the same stuff. Bargains are everywhere, fine old houses that can be snapped up for a song and turned into owner-occupied housing in the next "hot" neighborhood. The demographics of North Minneapolis are changing from "hood" to "good" as revitalization takes its course.
Listen to Al Flowers: now is the time to buy, buy, buy houses in North Minneapolis.
Turnabout Would Be Fair Play?
Oh, also, one can't help but wonder what would be the reaction of Al Flowers, his two hangers-on, and his attorney if somebody came up and started shouting, over and over, stuff like:
DO YOU LIVE IN JORDAN, AL FLOWERS? YOU SAY YOU LIVE ON NORTH EMERSON, WELL, HALF OF NORTH EMERSON IS HAWTHORNE. WHICH SIDE OF EMERSON DO YOU LIVE ON, AL? NO, DON'T TALK ABOUT YOUR LAWSUIT, I DON'T HAVE TIME TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR THREE DOLLARS, I WANT TO KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE IN THE JORDAN NEIGHBORHOOD, BECAUSE UNTIL I KNOW WHERE, I HAVE MY DOUBTS AND OTHER FOLKS HAVE DOUBTS, TOO.
If readers have comments they want to shout at Al, at the top of their lungs, feel free to use the comment threads and your CAPS LOCK.
Al Might Have To Give Back His $3 Judgment
Oh, in regard to the photo...this shows my point of view, when Flowers shoved City Council Member Don Samuels. Was I a witness? You bet. Did I see Flowers get elbowed? Did I see Flowers have his toes stepped on?
No, I saw nothing like that. On the contrary, I saw Flowers shove Samuels because he didn't like Samuels standing in front of him, with Samuels having his back turned. It seemed to me Flowers had taken the role of a "protester" with his shouted statements, and Samuels was taking the role of a "counter protester" by standing directly in front of Flowers, back turned.
Samuels was within his rights to passively stand there, facing away from Flowers. The person who called 911 felt menaced by Flowers--who was shouting at the top of his lungs, seemingly without emotional control--and was scary. I moved out of the way, actually thinking fists and elbows would start flying, because Al was shouting so loudly, angrily, and REPETITIVELY. One definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over, hoping for a different outcome. When somebody shouts repetitively...they meet the definition.
The cops who removed Flowers didn't seem to be "doing the bidding" of Samuels. On the contrary, they showed up at an address in response to a 911 call about an angry, menacing guy shouting at the top of his lungs. They identified that guy easily and asked him to step outside. He didn't go cooperatively. They grappled with him, and he resisted, as one can clearly see from the series of still photos more so than from the videos. (Though the videos show, from a distance, some of Al's physical resistance on the walkway, as the cops demanded Al go ALL THE WAY TO THE STREET and Al didn't want to go)
I spoke to the officers and observed some of the interaction, out there in the street. The officers had looks on their faces which seemed confused. They didn't seem to understand why somebody had called 911, and then they were speaking to somebody like Ben Myers, who seemed to be taking authority and speaking in defense of Flowers. I spoke to one of the cops and said something like, "What's going on here is very political, I suppose it's tough to sort it all out." And the officer said something back like, "We just came to some address in response to a 911 call."
I'm Being Repressed! Oh, See How They Repress Me!
Tactically, it makes sense to announce a lawsuit quickly. That way, if Al gets charged with obstruction of legal process, he can say the charges are politically motivated and in response to his lawsuit.
But here's my prediction: this lawsuit won't go as well for Al Flowers as the other lawsuit, the one where he snagged $3.
No jury is going to enjoy seeing the "Mr. Jekyll" aspect of Flowers' personality caught so richly on videotape. They'll have to ask themselves, "Is somebody acting like this a person who is menacing, and should be removed from a public meeting?"
Al Flowers believes in free speech, all right. He believes in it for HIMSELF. When somebody else uses the right to free assembly to try to share the same floor space with Flowers, then we see Flowers the Thug emerge, shoving and shouting because somebody dared to stand in front of him while he was trying to heckle. It's also richly ironic to see complaints being aired of Flowers being "discredited" when, after all, that's what Flowers was trying to do, both to Samuels when he called Samuels a "house nigga" and with Michael Browne, when Flowers tried to say Browne was acting illegally.