a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Beijing, MN cops trap, tear gas small crowd for the hell of it

Posted by Thomas Nephew on September 3rd, 2008

Lindsay Beyerstein (a.k.a. “Majikthise”) writes about it at firedoglake (“Police Gas Docile Crowd Outside the RNC“), and has a photo essay up as well.  From the latter:

For reasons that I don’t fully understand, the police suddenly tear gassed a whole block of people who were following their instructions and not acting the least bit threatening or disruptive.

Protesters and journalists weren’t the only people on the street. A lot of bystanders were just trying to get home with all the roads blocked off.

From the firedoglake writeup:

I stress that this wasn’t a loud boisterous march like yesterday’s, it was just a crowd of about 100 people walking calmly down the street. I wasn’t even sure they were demonstrating until I looked at my pictures and saw that some were carrying signs. I remember calling my editor from the scene to tell her that I couldn’t see any protesters. Actually, I was looking at them the whole time, they were just very subdued.

The police gradually locked down the intersections on either side, and a number of neighboring intersections as well. They started to push the protesters back down the block. The group backed up. Suddenly, there were at least two very loud explosions and multiple cannisters of tear gas were deployed. I think the noise might have been concussion grenades.

UPDATE, 9/8: “Uptake” video includes some footage of the events:

On the 2nd day of the RNC, the Poor Person’s March began with arrests, at the Ripple Effect Music Festival in front of the Capital Rage Against the Machine was threatened with arrest if they took the stage, the two events collided, combined, and ended with a peaceful demonstrators delivering a Citizen’s Arrest warrant through the fence of the barricade’s surrounding the RNC, and, after that, tear gas and concussion grenades. Oliver Dykstra and Leif Utne report. Footage from Oliver Dykstra, Leif Utne, and Corrine McDermid. Edited by Corrine McDermid.

One Response to “Beijing, MN cops trap, tear gas small crowd for the hell of it”

  1. » Blog Archive » The September 24 FBI ‘material support’ raids Says:

    […] Another common bond among at least some of the activists served with search warrants is that they were involved in the 2008 protests around the Republican convention in Minneapolis.  The events in Minneapolis surrounding that convention, mentioned at this blog and elsewhere, seemed to me at the time a veritable negative showcase of police surveillance, infiltration, and abuses.** […]

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