96 days and counting


by Mary Turck, 5/27/08 • The Republicans are coming. So are the media. And the Anti-War Committee, RNC Welcoming Committee, Women Against Military Madness, ANSWER, the Call ‘Em Out Coalition from Detroit, the Latinos Against War from Los Angeles, the Madison Ragin’ Grannies, and probably hundreds of other protest groups.

The Republicans estimate that 45,000 people will show up for the convention. Their estimate includes 15,000 national and international media, but doesn’t include the protesters. A small oversight—maybe no one told them. Estimates of the number of protesters range from 20,000 to 60,000.

We invited editors, writers, organizers and city officials to a meeting on May 27 to talk about RNC coverage: issues, stories, sources, suggestions. The amount of information people had was impressive, and inspired me to put together a little quiz.


1) How many of the following organizations can you identify?


2) If you were a downtown business, would you

a) tell your employees to work from home so they don’t have to fight their way through the Republicans, lobbyists, press and protesters to get to work
b) close your doors until September 5
c) hire a helicopter to deliver employees from a safe zone at the St. Paul airport to the rooftop of your building

3) True or false: The Secretary of Homeland Security declared that both conventions are National Special Security Events.

4) The number of extra police officers being assembled for convention security is:

a) 1000
b) 3000
c) 8000

5) The RNC COA is:

a) the Committee On Acronyms – somebody’s got to keep a list.
b) Cherish Our America, a group organizing patriotic counterprotests
c) the Chapel Of America, which will be open 24 hours a day during the convention
d) the Committee On Arrangements, now headquartered in downtown St. Paul with 100 employees from across the country.

6) How will the Daily Planet cover the RNC?

a) articles from citizen journalists
b) re-published articles and videos from community media partners
c) a blog with stories from lots of different people
d) all of the above – and maybe more. What can you add to the mix?