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Gathering for Philando Castile – sad, warm, motivating by Ann Treacy
June 17, 2017, 4:52 pm
Filed under: St Paul

Yesterday police officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty of the death of Philando Castile, a young black man who worked in St Paul Schools. Last summer Yanez stopped Castile for a broken brake light – or some other minor, car-related violation. Minutes later Yanez shot him multiple times – while Castile’s girlfriend and her young daughter watched. She live-streamed his death (post shooting) on Facebook.

Last night approximately 2,000 people met at the Capital to demonstrate their disappointment in the event. And I say “event” because there are so many points of failure in the system for Philando Castile.

Tom and I went to the demonstration. We did so to show support for the community, to let people outside of Minnesota know that inside Minnesota many of us recognize the points of failure, to help community leaders see that we want change and honestly because it’s helpful to see that other people care when times are dark.

We listened to the speakers. One noted that this isn’t a black and white issue – it’s a dark and light issue. And while it’s definitely a black and white issue, the point is well made. It’s a dark time for all of us when one of our own (many of our own!) are unsafe doing daily tasks.

The police play an important role in civic society. We need our brightest and best in that role. Yanez was clearly not the brightest or best. He was fired but to read it in the paper, he was fired like a football coach who gets caught doing something bad. He’ll lose his job but some form of compensation is coming.

I don’t understand why the police officers who are our best (and they are out there!) aren’t more vocal about needing better team members. He clearly did not have the confidence to stop a black man without resorting to violence. So he should not have been in that position. That’s one of the first points of failure – and maybe the biggest.

It may be a bad analogy – but to this day it bugs me to see a bad waitress (or waiter) because back in the day I was good at it. When I see terrible service I want to go in and show someone how to balance a tray, how to pay attention (ketchup before the bill please), how to smile. A good cop has to feel the same way. Better training, better standards have to be in place. Collateral damage for a waitress in training is a broken dish and a hungry customer. If collateral damage for a police officer is death of citizens – that is unacceptable! As Nekima Levy-Pounds said – it’s our right to demand justice.

OK back to the demonstration. We heard speakers and singers. We heard from family, friends and folks running for office. In the crowd we met classmates of Philando Castile – who told us they will be holding an annual fundraiser for him akin to a class reunion.

I was proud to see Lily, Kate and Lucia (our adopted road trip kid) at the demonstration.

We stayed with the March for an hour or so. My favorite stranger was the young woman of small stature with the “Water and Snacks (free)” sign and backpack. My least favorite stranger was the young woman who (with her friends) suddenly covered her face with a make-do mask and then put on latex gloves. Unnerving in any setting.

People were saddened but warm. There was a lovely woman making stenciled posters and giving them away. I proudly carried it until I gave it to Lily to carry. We moved on feeling sad, warm and motivated to try to make things better. I am a huge proponent of transparency and I think a video in every hand, stories from every corner support that effort.

We were not there when the march moved to 94. It had occurred to me earlier that might happen but then later I was surprised to hear that it had. I thought the plan was to backtrack to the Cathedral via Selby. Ironically on the way back to Minnetonka I saw the miles of traffic backed up due to the protestors on the highway.

It looked like the police remained cool for the most part. I heard secondhand account of some pushing. And reading the paper today 18 people were arrested – after they were all convinced/shepherded off the highway.

I have mixed feelings on a protest on the highway – but I think it’s much less destructive than allowing unprepared officers on the street. And if helps bring better training to police (they clearly handled the situation much better than last year) and encourages police departments to really look at the skillsets on their forces then it’s an action with a purpose, which again is much more than we can say for Yanez’s actions!



Women’s March in St Paul: we march so that no one stands alone by Ann Treacy
January 22, 2017, 7:47 pm
Filed under: St Paul

march20Yesterday we went to the Women’s March in St Paul. I marched with my mom, Aine and my friend Mary. I thought I’d be marching with 20,000 kindred spirits – turns out 100,000 people marched!

I was reminded that patience is a big part of demonstrating – just as patience is going to be a part of change we need and holding ground we can’t afford to lose.

We waited – in sloppy, slushy, slippery muck of the St Paul College backfield for more than an hour before we began marching. But we cheered, we read signs, someone handed out donuts, another had chocolate kisses. The crowd was predominately women but lots a colors, a few languages and all ages – from strollers to walkers.

It was a march of solidarity. An important reminder that we stand together against predatory people in power – if we don’t remind ourselves we run the risk that some may imitate predatory, bullying actions and other may be afraid.

The march was the first step to build a momentum to make sure everyone can survive and thrive – we need to be vigilant and act for what we believe is right. But it was a really powerful first step!



Little Mekong Night Market with a Black Lives Matter detour by Ann Treacy
July 25, 2016, 4:31 am
Filed under: St Paul

Little Mekong is an area in St Paul with lots of Hmong markets and Vietnamese restaurants. I think this is the third – maybe fourth year that they have had a night market in the area, which as the name would imply is a market that stays open at night. This year the market was open one weekend for Saturday and Sunday nights.

The food is great. There are plenty of choices. There are some break dancers, all sorts of singers, we even heard a Hmong comic. We also saw some guys doing a film that looked like some batman sort of thing. They had a mannequin dressed in all black and they asked everyone to just walk by without appearing to notice it.

I went to the Night Market both nights. On the way to the market on Sunday I was detoured. Folks have been demonstrated outside the governor’s mansion since the death of Philando Castile. We have been out of town most of that time but I have seen them as I’ve been driving. Tonight the road was blocked and several people were speaking so we stopped.

A friend of Philando Castile spoke. It was very touching to hear him. He told stories about Philando because as he said he was glad that more people got to know him – but sad for the reason. He mentioned a scholarship they were starting at Central High School to encourage more black men to go into teaching and into the schools. He noted that he himself had never had a black, male teacher. And how nice it would have made for him to see someone more like himself in a teaching position.

The speaker graciously thanked everyone for being there and supporting the effort. He said he didn’t see colors – and colors of people around the area were numerous – but that he just saw people.

Aine asked me why people were at the Governor’s mansion. I said that Governor Dayton had suggested/invited people to come there – rather than protest on highways. Then she asked what he could do to help the situation – to elevate the need to understand that Black Lives Matter.

As we talked we realized that it’s not for one person to take it on – that we all have to take it on to make changes.



Winter Carnival in St Paul: snow sculpture, ice sculptures and cold by Ann Treacy
March 10, 2014, 10:06 pm
Filed under: St Paul

It was roughly 400 degrees below zero during the St Paul Winter Carnival – so I’m super proud that we made it to see the snow and ice sculptures. The Twin Cities Daily Planet was kind enough to post our review of the sculptures – but I had a few more photos to share…

 



Summer in St Paul: Hot, hot, hot by Ann Treacy
March 8, 2014, 6:21 pm
Filed under: Minneapolis, St Paul

Last summer I spent more time in St Paul than I have in years. I enjoyed being too hot for a change. (Dublin is nice – but it’s not hot!) We did get out to see a lot of shows and festivals. Aine and I started writing music reviews in earnest, in fact maybe I’ll just start linking to the reviews we write here to keep track of our in-town activities a little more. For now I just thought I’d share a few pictures. You’ll notice that the youngest kid appears more often than her teenage sisters – especially when we are close to home. That’s because I think they would rather be seen in last year’s fashion than with their mom!



State Fair Scaenvger Hunt by Ann Treacy
September 2, 2012, 3:56 pm
Filed under: St Paul

Every year the Treacy Clan head to the Minnesota State Fair – scavenger hunt in hand. It’s not a huge challenge scavenger hunt – but an attempt to reign in rampant and disorganized spending led by the whims of the 7 kids. At least this way we get a calendar and spend time outside the arcade and cookie booth. Others have asked  me to share…

Minnesota State Fair Scavenger Hunt 2012!!!

 

  1. How big is the slab of butter used for the butter queens?
  2. 2.       What is the strangest food at the Fair? Was it good?

  3. Get a calendar with a family picture.
  4. Ride the Giant Slide at the Fair. (Be sure to have someone take your picture.)
  5. Pick up as many school supplies as you can. (Each kid should have their own bag!)
  6. How many tickets can you win in the arcade? (Each kid gets $2; no spending your own money!)
  7. Get an autograph from a famous person. (Or get a picture of the team with a famous person.)
  8. Get a bird’s eye view on the Skyride!
  9. Where can you find a plastic bottle tunnel representing 5 minutes of use of plastics bottles in MN?
  10. Name three local breweries – ask a parent which beer is best.
  11. How big is the biggest pumpkin at the Fair? (Win a honey stick while you’re nearby!)


Tickets for when? by Ann Treacy
June 23, 2012, 8:14 pm
Filed under: St Paul

So on Thursday I started to get ready for our flight to Dublin on Friday. I imagine my great surprise when I realized the tickets were for Wednesday. Absolutely the dumbest thing I’ve done in a year. We got ready in record time. God love the girls who truly rallied to get ready on time. We went to the airport and more of less begged them to let us on the plane. Luckily there was a big thunderstorm – so we actually made the flight. And on the positive side – it was one less day for me to worry. On the negative side, we packed poorly – as you do when you pack in a rush.




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