Note to readers: Kevin Stark is live-blogging for WWire this week as Republicans gather behind John McCain and newly nominated Veep candidate Sarah Palin in St. Paul, Minn. Keep up with all the Streets of St. Paul entries here at WWire.
Last night, I took a red-eye into the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport on the eve of the Republican National Convention.
It is hot and humid here today as the city prepares itself for the convention—and Hurricane Gustav
. I will be writing about the events here from Sept. 1-4 in the streets of St. Paul and Minnesota, although the activities tomorrow (perhaps more) will be truncated because of Gustav.
In a press conference this afternoon, GOP convention organizers suspended all but essential opening-day activities here, saying, "This is a time when we have to do away with our party politics and we have to act as Americans."
President Bush and VP Cheney were slotted to speak, but they have already canceled their appearances as a result of the hurricane.
But Gustav hasn't curtailed tensions between protesters and police, which are already shaping up to be more lively than they were in Denver with seven people arrested at an march this afternoon.
And that isn't even the beginning. According to local media
, Ramsey County Police aided by the FBI raided at least 6 homes connected with the RNC Welcoming Committee
(a self- proclaimed anarchist group created to disrupt the convention) in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Police found weapons including bows and arrows and a gun, as well as urine and feces stored in plastic buckets, which they suspect the Committee was going to use to disrupt the convention, but many are calling the raids excessive.
Watch video of the police playing with all the confiscated loot here
I'll let WWire readers know how things pan out here. Check back to see if I get covered in waste matter at any of these protests.
[Photo courtesy of Startribune.com]