Here's the drill that we know so well from the WTO:

  1. Protesters bashed, illegally detained.

  2. Media coverage is sympathetic to the cops, focuses on the

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Cops vs. Kids in St. Paul

Here's the drill that we know so well from the WTO:

  1. Protesters bashed, illegally detained.

  2. Media coverage is sympathetic to the cops, focuses on the window-breaking stupidity of 1% of the protesters.

  3. Brief outrage is followed by legal action that takes years to finally fizzle to an unsatisfactory non-conclusion, when everyone has long forgotten about #1.

In regards to how this pattern is playing out in St. Paul right now, my Twin Cities relatives add some details. The short version: Most of the trouble is being caused by dumb kids in black and dumb non-local cops, also in black.

My dad on the cops:

The cops doing the pepper spraying wear black uniforms with no ID. The St. Paul cops have ID giving their names, and, say some who took part in the march and saw bad stuff, are not the ones being brutal. Some of the people who live downtown and who took part and saw bad stuff think Homeland Security, or maybe the Secret Service, is running the show. The local Ramsey County Sheriff took part in some excessive early preemptive searches for members of the Welcoming Committee, which was an umbrella group of protesters; but he was probably outranked by the feds when it came to the march.

My sister on the kids:

We were at the rally and march, and we saw many small groups of young adults, dispersed through the bigger crowd, with bandanas over their faces, wearing gas masks, backpacks loaded with who knows what (we now know that nails were thrown on intersections). They were absolutely cruising for a bruising, and although law enforcement WAY over-reacted, these kids absolutely were behaving in a confrontational manner. They were clearly looking for a fight, and came completely prepared to provoke one. To be clear, they were a very small minority of the marchers.

 
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