On Monday the 2008 RNC Convention is set to begin, that is if it isn't postponed. For nearly two years everyone with a stake in it have been getting ready, from the Republicans in D.C. and the Twin Cities to the police and the protesters. As Gustav strengthens and churns northward towards the Gulf Coast, the actors in and around the RNC are not backing down from their self-important roles. Take the police for example, who have been training for Armegeddon while protesters are readying themselves to take advantage of the First Amendment and specifically the right to assemble. Well those two prerogatives don't exactly match up and what you get is a curtailment of civil liberties in the process.
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) -- Police raided a rental hall used by a group organizing protests at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Friday.
The RNC Welcoming Committee, which describes itself as "anarchist/anti-authoritarian," accused St. Paul police of trying to disrupt their protest planned for Monday, the day the GOP convention is set to begin.
While no one was arrested, the group said police temporarily detained and photographed at least 50 people who were inside the building.
St. Paul Police spokesman Tom Walsh said they were executing a search warrant.
"The cause for the search warrant is not public at this time," Walsh said.
As many as 30 police officers entered with guns drawn, according to witnesses in the building.
Damn, there must have been some serious terror-inducing planning going on to provoke that sort of police response, right?
"The convergence center is simply a gathering place and is not used for illegal actions -- it is a place for workshops and trainings," a statement from the protest group said. "Tonight, we were watching films and sharing food."
"We are now accused of a simple fire code violation," the statement said.
Oddie Miller, a 19-year-old from Fort Collins, Colorado, said it was "just a space to get food, free Internet, community organization."
Having free food, watching television and surfing the web may sound innocent to most of us. But to the police in the Twin Cities, it warrants dozens of guns drawn while busting through the doors, wetting the pants of at least a few hard core anarchists.