Fox: Anarchists planning to 'crash' RNC convention
Since last summer, an anarchist group calling itself the RNC Welcoming Committee has been advertising its intention to be present at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN this September, even releasing a video showing black-clad figures cheerfully spreading the word.
However, when a leaked plan for moving delegates in and out of the convention center was posted at Indymedia.org last week and online posts suggested the anarchist group was planning to blockade major bridges and intersections, the local Fox News affilliate became concerned that "the protesters goal is to block delegate access leaving the hotels on the six bridges leading to St. Paul, as well as into and out of the Xcel Center."
By Monday, Fox News was spreading this local coverage nationwide, telling their audience that anarchists "have plans to crash the Republican Convention" and featuring an interview on local community radio with three members of the RNC Welcoming Committee over the banner "anarchists plan to cut off the arena from entering delegates."
"We're not trying to influence the Republicans," stated one anarchist in the radio interview. "They already know that people are against the war. People are against pollution and global warming and racism. The Republicans don't seem to care."
"We don't think the political elite will stop because we ask nicely," explained another. "And so we advocate a strategy of direct action -- in this case, not letting them hold the convention."
Fox concluded ominously that "the RNC Welcoming Committee says property destruction is not part of their plans -- but they wouldn't rule it out either."
At the time of writing, both rncwelcomingcommittee.org and nornc.org were inaccessible, returning the message, "This account has been suspended.
Either the domain has been overused, or the reseller ran out of resources."
However, a MySpace page for the group lists blockades as part of its strategy and describes the overall goal as "Crash the Convention Ė We didnít get an invitation, but weíre showing up anyway. This party will be what we make of it. ... Together, we can derail the purely ceremonial show of this repressive system and remake it with our own hands and according to our own visions."
Much of the RNC Welcoming Committee's self-presentation has been tongue-in-cheek, making it difficult to know the group's actual intentions. For example, after the St. Paul Police Department ordered 234 tasers this spring, the RNC-WC announced it was doing the same -- although "due to a unique corporate-anarchist confidentiality agreement, the exact number of tasers or documentable evidence of this new order will not be disclosed" -- but that "convention delegates and attendees should feel free to enjoy their five-star hotels, three-course meals, and 'gentlemanís clubs' without fear of protest or disruption. After all, if they follow the law and donít start any illegal wars or anything, what should they have to worry about?"
This video is from Fox's America's Newsroom, broadcast July 7, 2008.