Amidst heavy local media coverage, of what will no doubt be the largest event of it's kind in Sacramento history, there is no question that police presence is a bit thicker than normal here in Downtown Sacramento. Local newspaper coverage has been surprisingly close to balanced, but unfortunately the TV news has been thick with footage of cops donning and training in riot gear. Local businesses, some of which have been approached by law enforcement, are highly aware of upcoming events, and one business owner that I spoke with yesterday while distributing information about the planned nonviolent activities, told me that "I've got two friends who are cops...they said everyone is on duty, and they are expecting heavy shit to go down." What this translates into for law enforcement is high sensitivity It is only Wednesday, but already one gets a strong sense of this heightened police presence.
Also, It is obvious that people are already trickling in for the convergence...the early birds. I live just a few blocks from the Convention Center, where the ministerial conference will be held. I would say it is somewhat easy to notice those from out of town, because Downtown Sacramento is home to a fairly tight network of movement-friendly folks. Tonight, I witnessed a very "progressive-looking" vehicle engaged in a traffic stop, with two City Police vehicles. I myself have been followed twice for extended periods - both times by Sacramento City Police, as I traveled back into Midtown/Downtown from outlying areas. My vehicle could certainly be considered "green in appearance, with several peace and earth-friendly bumper stickers adorning the rear window, and it comes as no surprise that a certain degree of "profiling" tactics are being employed by local Police, Sacramento County Sheriffs, and California Highway Patrol.
It is probably true that my own sense of awareness is high as the weekend draws near. However, it should be noted that local authorities have pledged to be fully prepared for the upcoming Sacramento Convergence. This means that anyone entering the Sacramento area to participate, will be wise to keep vehicles inspection-ready at all times, be prepared for "routine traffic stops" and open to friendly conversation with the authorities.