To: City of Saint Paul
From: Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
I caught part of the Black Lives Matter protest over the weekend. Everything turned out OK – partly due to BLM’s leadership’s abrupt change in tone, from “we’ll meet resistance with resistance” to Saturday morning’s “de-escalation training”, and partly due to the heavy presence by the Saint Paul Police, who blocked off most of Snelling Avenue for a fair chunk of the day.
The police also directly intervened in a few incidents where “counterprotesters” – I think that exaggerates their numbers and role, but whatever – heckled the march, moving to screen the “counterprotesters” off from the march in what was likely a prudent effort, but wasn’t one of the First Amendment’s shining hours on either side.
But enough pleasantries; I have a question for you.
If I wanted to have a Tea Party march from Hamline Park up Snelling Avenue, completely blocking traffic during one of the busiest money-making days of the year for Midway merchants – say, next Saturday, also during the State Fair – could I expect the same level of accomodation and forebearance from the City that BLM got? While, like BLM, not bothering to get a city permit to use a street and block traffic?
I mean, forget for a moment that 2/3 of the people in my parade likely won’t be the white liberals and union people that made up 2/3 of the BLM march, and also keep your bosses, Mayor Coleman and his city council, in office.
What would your response be?
That is all.