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RNC Welcoming Committee orders tasers for every protestor
The RNC Welcoming Committee (RNC-WC), an anarchist and anti-authoritarian organizing body based in the Twin Cities, announced today that it has ordered tasers for each of its members and friends. The announcement comes on the heels of last month's St. Paul City Council approval of a St. Paul Police Department (SPPD) request for 234 tasers. Due to a unique corporate-anarchist confidentiality agreement, the exact number of tasers or documentable evidence of this new order will not be disclosed.
Opinion: RNC Welcoming Committee orders tasers for every protestor
Both the SPPD and RNC-WC taser orders are scheduled to arrive before the September 1 so-called Republican National Convention (RNC) in St. Paul. However, "The RNC Welcoming Committee's order of tasers has absolutely nothing to do with the upcoming Republican convention," said Ann O' Nymmity of the RNC-WC. "These deadly, yet humane, weapons are needed simply to protect the safety of members of our community on a day-to-day basis. The timing is purely a coincidence."
Last month, St. Paul police spokesperson Tom Walsh made similar statements to the Associated Press, saying that in regards to the RNC, his department's purchase is "in no way related [to the timing of the RNC in St. Paul]. It simply isn't."
During scheduled protests of the RNC, local police and federal agents are likely to get violent. In Minneapolis last August, police used tasers and pepper spray to attack a nonviolent Critical Mass bike ride which coincided with the “pReNC”, a weekend of radical organizing in preparation for the RNC.
The RNC-WC does not have state-approved funding revenues. O' Nymmity explained: "Our plan is to finance the purchase through raids on local WMD manufacturers, such as Alliant Techsystems." The SPPD is funding their taser purchase through $210,000 from drug raids. O’ Nymmity added: “Through their website, the RNC Welcoming Committee is also accepting contributions from the public.”
Tasers, manufactured by Taser International, Inc., range from $300 to $1,000 and the fashionable weapons come in a variety of styles, including "black pearl," "electric blue," "metallic pink," "leopard print," and "forest camo." O' Nymmity noted, "We imagine St. Paul police will be visiting us soon, and now we'll have something to talk about when they do. For instance, I can't wait to compare my leopard print model to St. Paul police deputy chief Matt Bostrom's metallic pink one!"
Once the RNC-WC order is finalized, the St. Paul Police Department will no longer have a monopoly on the weapons that have been implicated in hundreds of deaths nationwide, including the killing of a Fridley man by Minnesota State Troopers in January.
The Welcoming Committee has no plans to purchase machine guns, rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, concussion grenades, batons, water cannons or helicopters, all of which will be at the disposal of local police and federal agents in September.
O' Nymmity concluded, "Convention delegates and attendees should feel free to enjoy their five-star hotels, three-course meals, and "gentleman's clubs" without fear of protest or disruption. After all, if they follow the law and don't start any illegal wars or anything, what should they have to worry about?"
©2008 RNC Welcoming Committee