Monday, September 8, 2008

A Just Cause?

So you figure people who subject themselves to tear gas, plastic handcuffs and a night in jail must have something important to say.

Not necessarily.

While attending the Republican National Convention, I talked to several people who were arrested on everything from misdemeanor unlawful assembly to felony rioting following a clash with police along the Mississippi River in St. Paul.

Their message? I'm not sure ... and neither were they.

The first guy, who was released with no charges after eight hours in the company of the city, said he "got caught up with the wrong crowd." When I pressed for details, he said he was "just trying to eat a sandwich" when police came.

Shortly after this conversation, I encountered two other protestors. One was charged with a misdemeanor; the other with a felony. With so much at risk, they could certainly enlighten me on the urgency of their civil disobedience.

"We were just trying to get to the concert," one explained.

Oh, well. I guess dissent was alive and well at the RNC, even if only for dinner and a show.

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