Friday, August 15, 2008

2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

"Calling itself the RNC Flight Crew, it aims to organize a mass exodus from the metro area the week of the national convention.

"'We’re hoping to get a minimum of 30,000 residents to simulate an emergency evacuation of the city the first four days of September,' explains Eric Stoner, one of the co-founders of the RNC Flight Crew. 'We’d like to have 15,000 refugees escaping north along Highway 61 and another 15,000 heading southwest along 169....'

"'Our objective is to recreate scenes reminiscent of the evacuation of Paris or Warsaw in advance of the German Army’s approach,' Stoner says.

"Stoner says the idea for the Convention Exodus came after he and other organizers of the RNC Flight Crew studied The Society of the Spectacle during a community education class offered at Macalester College last year. Penned by Guy Debord, a French intellectual credited with co-founding the anarcho-artistic movement, the Situationist International, The Society of the Spectacle is credited with helping incite the 1968 uprisings in Paris.

"'Essentially, the Republican National Convention – like the Democratic National Convention – is nothing more than an empty spectacle, a perfect reflection of the empty spectacle of a consumer culture that has commodified every aspect of life, including politics,' Stoner claims. 'Nothing of note, or even of minor news value, is going to occur at the Xcel Center during that time.'

"But despite that, he says, 'The RNC is going to attract a swarm of 15,000 media people and tens of thousands of demonstrators, all of them drawn like moths to the flame by the chance to be part of the spectacle – and hence make themselves feel as if they are "real." As far as we are concerned, everyone involved in the debacle is part of, rather than a solution to, the stupidity of the society in which we live.'

"'What,' he asks, 'can any sane person do except run away from this kind of craziness?'"


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