If you have been reading my blog you know I have been keeping an eye out for protesters. Despite the fact that they were sighted in Denver I didn't have any luck finding them. In Minnesota my luck changed. Saturday I saw a small group of about 50 protesters. They were marching in favor of medical marijuana. They seemed very happy to be there (gee, I wonder why?) and were totally non-violent. They were yelling, "make bongs, not bombs." Sounds sensible to me! I don't knowif this counts as a protest because there were only three of us watching.
Yesterday was the big sighting. According to reports, there were an estimated 10,000 protesters on the streets of St. Paul and 284 ended up getting arrested. I could see the massive protest from where I was standing, but the street was blocked and I couldn't get near them. Fortunately, I managed to run into what must have been a splinter group. It was only about 500 strong and they were marching down a street I could access.
I forged my way into the crowd and tried to speak to a marcher who had just dragged a trash can out into the street. I wanted to find out what he was protesting. Maybe he had a problem with organized trash collection. He seemed to be part of a group dressed in fatigues and wearing bandanas. As I approached the group I could've sworn I heard a woman in the group yell, "gather 'round, Radical Thematicals!" She was clearly some sort of leader and raised her hand to wave in the other members. Radical Thematicals? I wasn't quite sure I heard it right. I knew "Radical" was right but I wasn't sure about the second part ... except that it ended with "aticals."
Maybe they hated the conventions of punctuation and spelling and called themselves "Radical Grammaticals." That could make for some interesting protest signs. Maybe they were anarchists who just needed a vacation and answered to "Radical Sabbaticals." I needed to find out. "What is the name of your group?" I asked. She turned and pushed me away, saying, "We don't allow press here."
Hold on. A protester who doesn't want any publicity? "The constitution gives us both a right to be here," I said to her. "You have to leave,"she said more firmly. One of her cohorts, who probably weighed in atabout 275 lbs., body-blocked me out of the circle they were forming. As I stumbled back trying not to fall, the woman yelled, "We're just trying to be courteous." Maybe they are the "Radical Grammaticals." She clearly has no idea what "courteous" means.