It Would Not Be A Convention Without A Protest
Rice Park, a picturesque square situated one block away from the Xcel Energy Center. The park is filled with amusing statues of Charles Schultz’s creations, a life sized statue of F. Scott Fitzgerald greets visitors, flowing fountains and flower-filled baskets decorate the park. MSNBC chose this venue to set up their outdoor reporting platform. In doing so, perhaps purposely, the media outlet attracted what I label fringe rejects. Code Pink was a frequent visitor to Rice Park.
The Paulistans, Truthers, Obama’s lover and other assorted individuals jockeyed to place their signs where it could be viewed in the background of various MSNBC live broadcasts. After taking a picture of one massive sign with the message of Bush being a murder, liar and so forth, I asked the owner who they were voting for this election. She responded ‘Cynthia McKinney’. It was a wonder how I kept my poker face as I walked away. Like a bad penny, she followed me through the crowd to ask what media I worked for, so I told her ‘Blackwater News’.
Rice Park is a great place to savor a Starbuck’s caramel latte while chatting with a dog owner who renamed his dogs to Obama and Hilary for this week. In St. Paul, I didn’t have to seek them out, they found me!
Code Pink organized a small group of supporters who had trouble following along with the chants of the day. Interestingly enough, there was push back from the surrounding crowd. For a minute, I had the cameras focused on me instead of Code Pink when I explained the sordid history of this organization to two Code Pink hecklers. The crowd let out a laugh when a protester with a megaphone described Code Pink as wiccans and witches. I’ve seen what they did in Berkeley, and had to agree that it was a characterization not far from the truth!
Must say that meeting the blogger who captured the Don Fowler comments on a flight to Raleigh was one highlight of this adventure.
As much fun as it was to watch the spectacle going on at Rice Park, there were other areas that we wanted to explore.
The State Capitol Building sits on a hill and is a striking neoclassical building. On two occasions I wandered to the Capitol the peace protesters were nowhere to be found, although evidence of their existence could be detected by the trash found on the ground.
We finally encountered these often discussed and never seen protesters on Thursday afternoon. We watched as they converged on the 7th street bridge. The bridge was secured by Minneapolis robocops and horse patrols. I’d like to say I saw something new and exciting, but it was the same tired refrain I see every week in West Chester.
When we detected an odor of bleach around the protesters, it was decided that it would be in our best interest to head back to the Xcel Energy Center instead of sticking around to see the fireworks.
And so ends the tale of our protester quest in St. Paul.