Let’s check the equipment list for peaceful protests.  Bullhorn?  Check.  Obnoxious signs?  Check.  Good walking shoes (Birkenstocks acceptable*)?  Check.  Bucket of urine?

Er … what?

Aided by informants planted in protest groups, authorities raided at least six buildings across St. Paul and Minneapolis to stop an “anarchist” plan to disrupt this week’s Republican National Convention.

From Friday night through Saturday afternoon, officers surrounded houses, broke down doors, handcuffed scores of people and confiscated suspected tools of civil disobedience.

The show of force was led by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office in collaboration with the FBI, Minneapolis and St. Paul police, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies.

But a St. Paul City Council member described it as excessive, while activists, many of whom were detained and then released without charges, called it intimidation designed to quash free speech.

“Excessive”?  Uh, sure.  Here’s a list of the other goodies police found in their raids:

  • Throwing knives
  • Bows and arrows
  • Flammable liquids
  • Paint
  • Slingshots and rocks

Sounds like what every “peace” protestor carries on the march.

Five leaders of the so-called RNC Welcoming Committee are under arrest, and a sixth is being sought.  The “activists” strongly deny that they planned to use these items in their protests.  Heck, everyone keeps buckets of urine around the house!

The best part of this story: police used a system of informants to keep apprised of what these nutcases plotted.  Every one involved in these groups have to be asking themselves who the moles are, and what else might the police know.  I suspect that a great deal of disillusionment set in among the fringies, and no small amount of paranoia, too.