Memo touts disrupting transport for the RNC

  • Article by: JENNA ROSS and LORA PABST , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: July 4, 2008 - 10:55 PM

An anarchist group claims it has plans that will help it create chaos at the convention.

An anarchist group claims it has official transportation plans that will help it immobilize the Republication National Convention, in St. Paul this September.

But police say they're not worried about the leaked document, which maps delegate routes to and from the Xcel Energy Center.

Pete Panos, St. Paul police spokesman, said officials aren't sure the March 5 document is authentic.

"It's not a document we're using," he said. "Anything put out now is going to be a working document."

Moreover, Panos, said the posted document contains mostly "common sense stuff."

"Are we using buses? Yes," he said. "Are we going to let the anarchists block the roads? No."

The self-described anarchist group calls itself the RNC Welcoming Committee.

The group provided a link to the "handy" document on its website Thursday and said that the information came "straight from the convention planners themselves."

Much of the document, posted on the Indymedia.org website, details where buses would be staged, loaded, routed and returned. It includes maps and numbers of passengers.

The RNC Welcoming Committee plans to block traffic and keep delegates from getting to the convention using strategies described on its site:

"Tier One" calls for creating 15 to 20 blockades -- "an inner and outer ring around St. Paul's Excel Center, where the RNC is to take place."

"Tier Two" is to "immobilize the delegates' transportation infrastructure, including the buses that are to convey them."

A response to an e-mail request for an interview said the group "will likely put out a statement about this issue by Monday after having had time to address it as a full group.

"Because we operate with consensus process and value our message over individual spokespeople, we rarely do individual interviews," the e-mail continues.

RNC spokesman Matt Burns declined to comment on the document's origins or how it was leaked. "We are confident we'll have a safe and successful convention," he said by e-mail Friday.

Panos separated the RNC Welcoming Committee group from others planning to protest the RNC, saying the police are working to make sure "legitimate, peaceful protesters" will have a voice.

jross@startribune.com • 612-673-7168 lpabst@startribune.com • 612-673-4628

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