- uploaded: Sep 3, 2008
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Rage Against the Machine show at RNC stopped by cops; march and tear gassing ensues. 2.09.08
A peaceful concert on the capitol lawn took a turn when rumours started circulating that Rage Against the Machine would play. Supposed head liners Anti-Flag finished up their set and told the crowd: "Stay put: shits gonna get crazy."
What proceeded can only be described as organized chaos. As fans chanted "Let them play" and "Our Capitol," Rage band members could be seen on the capitol steps arguing with state troopers. After about 15 minutes of chanting and arguing with police, the band walked around the perimeter of the stage and into the crowd.
Grabbing a bullhorn, Zach de la Rocha asked the crowd to be quiet and sit down. He addressed the crowd with anti-war messages and then led the crowd in an a capella sing-a-long of "Killing in the Name" accompanied by band mate Tom Morello.
As the crowd began to get restless, de la Rocha and Morello led the audience of approximately 2,000-3,000 people on an impromptu march along Cedar Avenue. Coincidentally, or perhaps on purpose, the Poor Peoples' Human Rights Campaign was also conducting a march. The two marches converged on Cedar Avenue and collectively moved toward the Xcel Center, where thousands are now congregated.
The crowd is collectively rushing the barricades, yelling and provoking police. Black Bloc protesters have been spotted, and I personally overheard a riot cop telling others he was nervous because one was waving an Anarchy flag. The cop said: "they are here." There have been rumours of tear gas along the march. I'm witnessing someone washing out his eyes right now, but didn't witness any tear gas myself. The person rinsing his eyes out is holding a camera and appears to be a photographer.
UPDATE: The march bottlenecked in front of the Xcel Center, where the Poor Peoples' Human Rights Campaign intended to peacefully demonstrate in front of the Dorothy Day Center. However, with the addition of the nixed RATM show's attendees, the heat quickly rose between protesters and police. The crowd was told repeatedly to disperse, and I personally left the scene after the initial warnings due to a fear of getting gassed. The streets were lined with riot police, who were stacked two-deep at points, even perched on top of Mickey's Diner with pepper spray guns raised. Reports from my friends and colleagues on Twitter indicate that the crowd was given two more warnings, and was then tear gassed. Skirmishes between police and protesters were still taking place as I left the city, and 15-20 police cars and vans were headed into St. Paul on 94 as I headed out.
Here's a video of De La Rocha and Morello leading the crowd in an a capella sing-along.
Good article about Rage Against Machine on The Onion.
Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me! Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me! Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me! Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me! Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me! Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me! Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me! Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me! Motherfucker! Uggh! ;-)