Friday, September 05, 2008

Rage Against the Machine/RNC

... Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes
Not need, just feed the war cannibal animal
I walk tha corner to tha rubble that used to be a library
Line up to tha mind cemetary now ...

Bulls on Parade -- Rage Against the Machine

A standoff between rock fans and police led to 102 arrests Wednesday night when fired-up concertgoers took to the streets after a Rage Against the Machine show.

Several hundred fans of the band, whose songs include “Take the Power Back,” and “Bullet in the Head,” marched through downtown Minneapolis after the band finished its set at the Target Center arena.

The show ended at roughly the same time as the third night of the Republican convention across the Mississippi River in St. Paul. Fans of the politically radical band mixed with exuberant Republicans headed to exclusive parties where they toasted vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s speech.

As police in riot gear faced shirtless rock fans in the streets, Republicans looked on from the rooftop deck of the exclusive R. Norman’s steakhouse, where bigwigs like Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman pressed the flesh.

Many of those at the party were not impressed with the spectacle.

“They’ll claim police brutality, then sue and win and make enough money to come to the next convention,” one partygoer said.

“They can sit there all night because they don’t have jobs,” said another.

The protesters didn’t sit there all night, in fact. Police arrested 102 after they occupied an intersection and refused to leave, said Bill Palmer of the Joint Information Center.

Most were ticketed for presence at an unlawful assembly, but two were booked on assault and obstruction of legal process, Palmer said.

Notice their palpable disdain of the unwashed masses as they eat from a menu most normal people couldn't even sniff:

You don't really need any better indication of what today's Republican party really represents than their own statements:

"“They’ll claim police brutality" -- In their world, police brutality doesn't exist. Police and the military are never wrong.

"... sue and win and make enough money ..." -- They're always bitching about tort reform. Their precious polluting and worker abusing corporations cannot be slowed down by "frivolous" lawsuits.

"They can sit there all night because they don’t have jobs" -- Apparently, people who listen to Rage Against the Machine (liberals) don't have jobs. Somebody needs to tell these silver-spoon-in-your-mouth frat boys that living off your trust fund isn't considered "working".

Classic. They've managed to hit every single cliched conservative touchpoint. Republicans, the party of the "common man". Right.

I'm not saying that these protesters weren't raising some hell. If someone assaulted someone, they deserve to be arrested. My comment is more on the oh-so-typical response. And always assuming that police are in the right is a dangerous path, especially when they've, in effect, been given a free pass to bust some heads:

Organizers of the Republican convention were required by St. Paul, city officials to purchase a $10 million insurance policy to protect local police from false arrest and brutality lawsuits ...

... Traditionally, cities self-insure for claims, meaning they set aside a portion of the budget every year to pay for damages caused by lawsuits they lose or settle, he said.

But critics have questioned whether the insurance policies encourage police to be more aggressive in the knowledge that any damages collected through a potential misconduct lawsuit would be covered by insurance.

"It's an extraordinary agreement," Michelle Gross, who leads Communities United Against Police Brutality in Minneapolis, told the Associated Press. "Now the police have nothing to hold them back from egregious behavior."

I know it's largely anectdotal. But it's hard to argue that this scene does not show what the Republican party has come to represent. And it's difficult to see John McCain understanding the plight of the working man with his 7 houses and Cindy McCain with her huge inheritance and $300,000 outfits.

... As the polls close like a casket
On truth devoured
A Silent play in the shadow of power
A spectacle monopolized
The camera's eyes on choice disguised
Was it cast for the mass who burn and toil?
Or for the vultures who thirst for blood and oil?
Yes a spectacle monopolized
They hold the reins and stole your eyes
Or the fistagons
The bullets and bombs
Who stuff the banks
Who staff the party ranks ..

Guerilla Radio -- Rage Against the Machine

1 comment:

Laura said...

You're right, the whole scene is a metaphor for the GOP... rich white dudes eating $50 steaks drinking wine that costs god knows what, looking down into the gritty streets at a mass of regular average people who are fed up, all while blaming those average people for their own failings that caused them to not be able to eat $50 steaks and fine wine...