Blogger's shout starts argument on Nicollet Mall
- June 20, 2011 - 10:52 PM
Conservative blogger and St. Paul attorney John H. Gilmore spent a night in jail last week after a sidewalk confrontation on Nicollet Mall with two women wearing traditional Muslim dress.
According to police reports, Gilmore, 52, called out the name of a well-known critic of Islam, author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to the women as they crossed paths on the sidewalk near the Dakota Jazz Bar and Restaurant Thursday night.
"He just shouted it out," said Anwar Hijaz, a Muslim woman who wears a hijab, the Muslim head scarf. Hundreds of progressive bloggers happened to be on Nicollet Mall that evening after attending the first day of a four-day conference known as Netroots Nation.
Hijaz and her friends told police they responded to Gilmore as he asked the women why they had come to the United States and why they were trying to change the nation. Gilmore continued taking pictures of people on the sidewalk and speaking for at least 20 minutes, said Elisabeth Geschiere, one of the friends.
Gilmore also called two blonde people standing on the sidewalk "dirty Swedes," told Muslims to go back to where they came from and said that Muslims should be documented in America, according to Matthew Glazer, one of the progressive bloggers. He called police, who arrested Gilmore in a nearby bar.
He was booked in Hennepin County Jail on charges of disorderly conduct and obstruction. The next morning he posted $50 bail and has a July 1 court appearance scheduled.
Gilmore, who could not be reached Monday evening, writes the blog "Minnesota Conservatives."
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