Folk, rap, and Rage on the RNC riverside

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On Monday I took the bottom photo above, which you can click to enlarge, and described what's going on in it here. But like most people, I've been catching up with the clashes between police and breakaway "protesters" online, mostly via Elephants in the Room and the Minnesota Independent, though I'm now checking out the live-video-powered theuptake. Fried from two days of reporting and writing, I skipped the Ripple Effect concert Tuesday and watched Rage Against the Machine perform through a bullhorn on Fox 9 News. (There's excellent coverage of this here, here, and here at cpculture.com)

I did get a kick out of the Take Back Labor Day festival Monday on Harriet Island, where I was during most of that day's isolated mayhem, and where Tony Nelson took the top two photos above, of Mos Def and Atmosphere. Here's my account of that concert (with many more Nelson photos), and some more of my own photos from Monday are below.

The event was large enough that I didn't find out about the mass arrests within earshot during the Atmosphere set until Wednesday morning. Check out the video at theuptake for footage of arrests with Atmosphere performing "Always Coming Back Home to You" in the background:

I didn't even see Andrea Myers, who reviewed the show here Monday night. At the bottom of this here blog post is my photo of George Porter Jr. (of the Meters) from Monday night's private First Avenue RNC benefit for Friends of New Orleans. Like a lot of these things, the party would have been better if it had been open to the public.

But now, as I write on Tuesday night at 9:00 p.m., I'm watching more "protesters" on the news at the RNC barricades attempting... to do what exactly? Only kids play at fake revolution, especially when they know it brings down real repression on people other than themselves. I'd like to have an open debate with one of my friends among the breakaway groups--I know I have two, at least--and ask them why they're doing this. I mean, even if you're not violent, where's the ironic spectacle value in having an illegal protest blocks away from one of the highest security areas this side of the Green Zone? What does it prove, exactly? That predictable shit happens?

The biggest disappointment for me Monday was how low the turnout was for the legal protest. It was that much lower because a number of people decided to take it upon themselves to have fun at our expense.

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