Pre-RNC Police Harassment. Minneapolis, MN.
On July 20th around 8:30 AM I stopped to look at a map at Bobby and Steve's, a gas station near the corner of Cedar and Washington, immediately following the construction of a freeway entrance. Apparently this is a common hang-out spot for the thugs. As I walked through the entrance of the convenience store I saw an MPD pig drinking coffee directly to my left. He was facing the lot and as he was positioned in front of the window, he had seen me coming. I hadn't slept the night before and had just walked a couple of miles with a heavy pack. So, beyond my inherent distaste for such swine, when he leaned back in his chair, folded his arms and flashed me a grin demanding my submission, I did not smile back but continued walking to my right where I would look for a map. At this point I had dismissed his degrading presence simply hoping I could buy a map for less than three dollars. When the cashier told me I would owe him eight fifty, I put it back on the rack and headed toward the door. On my way out I saw the pig approaching me. He attempted to block my path and asked, "You new in town?" I continued walking, and by the time I reached the door he added, "You're about a month early aren't you?" As I was with a friend who was taking a piss, I walked outside and stood on the sidewalk in front of the one-stop-shop-consumer-bin. He followed me out. "Now you can't just go around scowling at officers in this town, we'll be all over you." I'd had it, "Quit harassing me!" He mocked me and continued to follow as I walked away. Another "Here about a month early" and a "Take a bath, you stink." I told him he was the fucking Patriarchy embodied then he threatened to arrest me for offending him. "Fuck off," was my last defense before I completely left the lot. As I walked away he made a pathetic attempt to demand my ID and that was the last of the interaction. Unfortunately, I tried to remember the name he wore on his name badge, but by the time I collected myself and continued walking out of sight with my friend, it had disappeared from my memory.
In a recent article published in Southwest Journal, a "Biweekly Community Newspaper for Southwest Minneapolis", titled "Arranging for Elephants" is an excerpt too relevant, "In Uptown, Officer Butch Blauert will be getting an extra hand during his daytime patrols; that's about as much information as 5th Precinct Insp. Kris Arneson would divulge. Blauert said he's been plenty busy this summer dealing with transients in the area. He said he has already noticed more "travelers" than last year and he's expecting to see more as the convention nears. "It's a lot busier," Blauert said. "There's been an influx of travelers and they have completely inundated the whole area already. They say they're just traveling through, but they're not leaving." "
Though it may have been helpful to remember the name of the pig that harassed me, I think it's important to assume any pig in St. Paul or Minneapolis would similarly jump on an opportunity to engage in scare tactics if not for their very own sense of dominance and security. Equally important to remember is the amount of "experience" Minneapolis police has with encountering traveler kids as well as demonstrations and therefore crowd control tactics.
More recently, an individual associated with the RNC Welcoming Committee was confronted by two cops who identified themselves as officers from Hennepin County Sheriff's Department. The individual was walking to their car. The two cops had arrived in a black SUV. When they approached the individual, they asked questions about the RNC Welcoming Committee's promotional video released a year earlier
( http://youtube.com/watch?v=j6PLwOt0Bls). No names or badge numbers were collected, but the individual refused to answer their questions and left. Expect a more detailed statement from the RNC Welcoming Committee.
Not to be surprised, surveillance and harassment is poppin off! If you have a run-in or receive a visit from police regarding the upcoming RNC, publicize far and wide or contact the RNC Welcoming Committee. It's in everyones best interest to know who the enemy is and how they pathetically attempt to keep us down.