Twins fans are excited again

"Hey Bo Bice! You suck!"

Last week, we witnessed the return of the state's greatest inhabitant: the rowdy Twins fan.

It happened over the course of ten innings, as the rally of all rallies moved the team into first place, sweeping the Ozzie Guillen-infested White Sox. Fans bellowed heckles with the passion of a Scandinavian Khrushchev: "FUCK YOU, CHICAGO!" and "YOOOOOU SUCK, THOME!"

Somewhere, Hubert H. Humphrey was smiling.

Earlier in the season, such yells of baseball passion were absent. The Metrodome fans cheered like early 20th-century Englishmen watching lawn tennis. There were many white-gloved golf claps but nary an F-bomb.

For the memory of Saint Harman Killebrew, thank god this changed.

If we can peg the rebirth to one moment, it came during the sixth inning, when a grubby-looking White Sox fan stood up and started making drunk-guy taunts. And the Twins fans, obeying their sworn oath to act polite, sat quietly, still down by two runs and unable to decide if they wanted to wait this one out in the smoking section outside. But that's when a tiny—4'5" on a good day—gal stood up to him and began to pump her fist in his face, yelling, "Sit cho' ass down! Go Twins! We're gonna beat cho' ass!" She then turned to her fellow fans and chugged a Bud Light while continuing to pump her fist.

The show of support woke up the outfield bleachers from their Summit-induced buzz and soon everyone joined in to scream for the Twins. Out came the rally caps, and heckles flew at any South Sider who dared to wear black and white to the game. One Sox fan with long brown hair, a beard, and too many ear piercings got the full brunt of it: "How's it feel now, Bo Bice? You fucking sucked on American Idol like your team sucks now!"

After the game, the streets around the Metrodome filled with honking horns, more screams, and fans hanging out their car windows giving high-fives to other fans hopping around as if Kirby Puckett came back to smash an opposite field blast. One fan elbowed a reporter and said it felt like 1991 again.

"Let's just hope," says Mike Herman, director of Twins communications, "that they'll be saying the same thing in a month." —Bradley Campbell

International incident

You know something went terribly wrong during the Republican National Convention when residents of Northern Ireland are calling foul on actions by the St. Paul Police Department.

Breandán Mac Cionnaith, a member of the Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition, based in Portadown, Ireland, wrote the St. Paul mayor's office last week to protest the treatment and harassment of Eileen Clancy and other members of I-Witness Video, an organization that works to protect civil liberties by probing police response to protestors.

"Ms Clancy is...being subjected to unnecessary and potentially illegal and unconstitutional harassment by members of a police department within her own country," writes Mac Cionnaith.

Two days prior to the convention, police raided a home where members of I-Witness Video were staying, entering despite having a search warrant with the incorrect address on it. The videographers were held at gunpoint and handcuffed as the home was searched. Though several members of Clancy's team were detained, none were charged with any specific crime.

"We were basically, you know, indoors, minding our own business, and the police came to us," says Clancy. "The whole thing was very surprising.... We just don't know why it happened to us."

During a time when bombings and police violence were all too common in Ireland, Clancy "helped record and publicise cases of unprovoked brutality and assault by the members of the British Army and police force in the North of Ireland against the civilian population," Mac Cionnaith writes in his letter demanding that Mayor Coleman, who is of Irish decent, assist Clancy. "Without these international observers, particulary those from the USA, [communities in Northern Ireland] would have been alone in trying to state the case for justice and equality." —Beth Walton

MoA police state

Last week, members of the Twin Cities-IWW Starbucks Worker union announced that they're filing labor charges against the Mall of America—though the allegations they're leveling aren't your typical unfair-labor-practices fare.

On August 31, about 40 union organizers boarded an MoA-bound light rail train to escort organizer Erik Forman back to his barista job at the ground-level Starbucks. They were met with—stop me if you've heard this before—riot police, who prohibited union members and bystanders alike from getting off the train. (In addition, a large police presence, including at least two FBI agents, was spotted inside the mall's rotunda.)

As of Friday, the MoA had not received the complaints filed against the mall, and thus had little to say. Doug Reynolds, the MoA's director of security, says his department worked with the Bloomington Police in formulating the blockade.

"From their website, we knew they were coming," he says. "We decided it was best to turn them away at the light rail station. We didn't want them to cause a disruption or affect business."

But why was everybody on board barred from leaving the train, including a seven-year-old girl who, according to her mother, was in need of medical care?

"We didn't want to say, 'You can get off the train because you look a certain way, but you can't,'" says Reynolds. "It's a slippery slope."

He's right. Before long, everyone will assume that they can freely exit a public train. —Matt Snyders

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