Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Minnesota’d wince

Posted by Charles II on September 5, 2008

One of the amazing people to protest at the RNC convention was Cheri Honkala of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Program.

She did an interview with Amy Goodman that is worth listening to, or reading. Here’s an excerpt:

CHERI HONKALA: Yeah, I mean, I’ve been involved in large demonstrations for like the last twenty years, and I’m very ashamed of my home state. I’ve never seen so many reporters like yourself being detained. A Channel 5 reporter was trying to cover a story of us; he was thrown into an elevator. A couple other folks that we know that were trying to cover some of our events were also detained and then later released on two different occasions. We were inside the Capitol trying to have a peaceful demonstration during regular open hours of the Capitol, and the reporters were literally locked out of the Capitol and unable to come in, even though they showed their credentials. And so, I don’t quite get what is so horrible about covering a story of women and children and the elderly and people of all colors trying to come together to talk about the day-to-day reality of their lives….

we set up encampments, particularly during the Republican National Convention, for some place for people to sleep, because we can’t afford the W or the Hilton. And so, people were staying at the Bushville, and our first Bushville that we set up on Harriet Island, the first night we were surrounded by 200 police officers in riot gear. They turned on the sprinklers on our children while they were sleeping, turned off all the park lights and drove their police vehicles up onto the lawn with their brights on. And myself and a couple of our other leaders were then arrested, and our Bushville was torn down. Later through the week, they brought dogs to our Bushville, while the kids were sleeping, let the dogs bark and scare the kids, and then periodically would just go by and drive up and run their sirens at 2:00, 3:00 in the morning, just to make people afraid.

You know how few Christians there are in this country when police can use tactics like these against the poor.

6 Responses to “Minnesota’d wince”

  1. libhomo said

    Most Christian fundamentalists in this country strongly approve of police state tactics, especially among the poor. A common fundie belief is that of “abundance,” in which good Christians are rewarded materially by “God” while bad people are punished by “God” with poverty.

  2. Charles said

    I think there’s more variability in beliefs than you might think, LH. Remember that fundamentalism runs the gamut from white conservatives all the way to African American churches where sermons as radical as Jeremiah Wright’s jeremiads might be preached.

    The New Testament does teach submission to state authority, but it hardly teaches approval of it. I think the real problem we face is that authoritarianism is widely accepted everywhere in America. The fight against wiretapping was so difficult because almost no one genuinely supports the Fourth Amendment.

    As for the prosperity gospel, I have heard it condemned as well as supported in fundamentalist circles. I will concede that I’ve heard it supported more than I’ve heard it condemned. Wikipedia assigns it as a charismatic–not an evangelical or fundamentalist– phenomenon, and I think that’s right.

  3. The big irony is that most of the delegates were kept in a bubble for the four days they were here. They would never have seen the “Bushville” because they were never allowed to roam free, except in the Minneapolis skyways during lunch and dinner breaks. (That’s why Saint Paul restaurants didn’t get any business boost from the convention: The conventioneers were whisked to downtown Minneapolis to eat, where their eyes and ears would never be assaulted by the presence of Bushvilles, protesters, or pepper spray.)

  4. Dan said

    Charles/Phoenix Woman – I plan to link to your site this weekend WRT your coverage of security at the RNC. Your tags go to the entire WordPress site; do you have anything I could use to bring up those posts written just here?

  5. Charles II said

    I tagged a number of posts with “RNC Convention.” The ones specifically related to security, I also tagged “police overreaction.” This includes one post in which Phoenix Woman points out that not all the people at the demonstrations were peaceful.

  6. Thanks, Charles. (Charles is a much better housekeeper than I am. I often forget to check the spam filters; he always remembers.)

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