Commentary: Peaceful demonstrators in St. Paul not amused by few violent 'idiots'
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 4, 2008 - I marched with the unions, the nuns, the WAMM, SDS, teachers, Iraq veterans against the war, immigrants marching for their rights, college students for change, Clyde Bellecourt, Colleen Rowley of FBI whistleblower fame, etc., all very regular people, quite respectful. And also, the headline grabbing "Urinebombers" at the peace march in St. Paul on Labor Day - and they are a bunch of idiots.
Chanting 1960s slogans, bleating like sheep when they were herded by the Xcel center, facing the police who were standing at the ready in their riot gear, taunting the police and the families of people in Iraq, and generally behaving like spoiled brats, Che Guevara wannabees with kerchiefs over their faces, showed their true mission: Crime. A few came equipped with gas masks. (The irony of a bunch of people herded together ..., bleating like sheep to imply that the police are like sheep, was not lost on those of us in front of them. We giggled about who were the real "sheep" who did not have a brain of their own)
Let me tell you, some of us who unfortunately ended up near them wanted to mace them ourselves! Or borrow some of the bats that the riot patrol had at the ready. The so-called anarchists were totally inappropriate, no purpose other than to create news, having the media focus on them and they ate it up, creating chaos "on cue" for the cameras.
We happened to be in front of them twice when they made a point of allowing space between us and them and then, like a wild pack of animals, charged at full-speed down the street, screaming and chanting, to see the reaction they would get.
The first time was perfectly timed for CNN etal at the Xcel center. The next few times were for the benefit of the riot squad in full gear, just to see if they would react. Angie, myself and many others jumped onto the sidewalk to get out of their way, as we were not sure what their plans were at that point. Mostly, they just stopped and then laughed at the reactions. I wanted to slap them. Or put them on the stage and actually have them tell us in 100 words or less exactly what they want, excluding rhetoric. It would be the sounds of silence. A bunch of hooligans, wrecking the town for their own amusement, under the guise of attacking the Republican Party. This was a bunch of narcissistic young adults with nothing better to do. I wanted to tell them to have a chat with "Sara Jane Olsen" aka Kathleen Soliah of the SLA and see how she feels 30 years and many prisons later - contrite and sad and ashamed. She still sits in a California prison and she was just like they are, a rebel without a cause.
So, I am not in jail, we learned about peaceful marches in St. Paul and that they can be done. The damage occurred after the march and was for no purpose other than PR. Forget jail time, make them clean the place up and get a job and pay for it.
Oh, and by the way, this is not about being red or blue, just about being responsible and respectful and allowing people a forum to express their opinions without jerks co-opting the media for their own glory.
Mary Kay Barrett was at the protests in St. Paul and sent this to friends and family.