Thanks to the miracle of cellular technology, I was able to talk to a homeowner while his house was surrounded by police. I reached Mike Whelan by phone at his duplex at 951 Iglehart Ave. in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Whelan is letting observers from the group Legal Watch stay in one half of his side-by-side duplex while they monitor RNC protests He describes himself as a supporter of the demonstrations, but says he is not affiliated with any particular group. “I want to build a country that’s based on good social values,” Whelan explained.