Progressive Calander 08.30.08
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 13:48:42 -0700 (PDT)
          P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    08.30.08
                          POLICE RAIDS

This whole post is devoted to pastiche of reports and comments on the
police raids beginning last (Friday) night 08.29.08 at 9:45pm in StPaul.
I will accept plain text email responses for possible publication here at
my discretion. Please send only your comments, not appending the whole
calendar. -ed

1 Berglund
2 Driscoll
3 Swope
4 RNC
5 Gerth
6 Berglund
7 Driscoll
8 Kahn
9 Berglund
10 RNC
11 Spaulding
12 RNC
13 Carr
14 Turck
15 Underwood
16 Underwood
17 Underwood
18 Overland
19 Strand
20 Swope
21 Howell

--1--

Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 22:12:44 -0500
From: Gena Berglund <gena [at] bergberg.net>
Subject: The Police are Raiding the Protesters Convergence Space on 627
    Smith Avenue

The National Lawyers Guild has attorneys on the scene, but as of 9:45 on
Friday, August 29th the lawyers were not being allowed to see if there
is a warrant. We do not know if there are arrests.

The media contacts for the National Lawyers Guild are Ted Dooley:
612-325-8433 & Gena Berglund: 651-208-7964.

--2--

Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 22:22:46 -0500
From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: [SPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

This is absolutely outrageous!!!
When will these Gestapo tactics cease??!!
Chris Coleman - end it now.
Harrington - explain this and stop it now!'
Thune - Where are you??
It is quite obvious the police have been given the green light to behave
precisely as they wish in the phony name of security.
Protest is NOT ILLEGAL !!
Organize! Resist!
--
Andy Driscoll, Producer/Host
Lynnell Mickelsen, Co-host
Truth to Tell & CivicMedia/Minnesota
KFAI Radio, 90.3 Minneapolis/106.7 St. Paul/Streamed@ KFAI.org
651-293-9039 / Fax: (same, call ahead) / Cell: 651-492-2221
email: andy [at] driscollgroup.com


--3--

Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 20:36:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: M Charles Swope <mcswope [at] yahoo.com>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>
Subject: [SPIF] RNC Report

Took a walk downtown tonight to see what I could about the arrangements
for the RNC. I was able to walk freely around the Xcel Center, Rice Park,
Kellogg Blvd and along West 7th Street. I doubt that'll be possible
tomorrow night though. There were numerous trailer-tractors unloading what
appeared to be fencing which I suspect will greatly restrict pedestrian
access to the site and surrounding blocks. Already vehicular traffic is
barred from a wide area of downtown. The most visible RNC related facility
is the large Fox News tent directly across the street from the Xcel
Center.

I did see a young woman approached by a private security guard as she was
taking photos of the Cathedral. Don't know whether he was trying to stop
her or not. However today's article by Ruben Rosario was disturbing in
this regard. If you haven't seen it, a fellow walking around downtown with
a camera around his neck was stopped by a security guard and then two
police officers and asked for ID, etc. because he was carrying a
sophisticated camera. http://www.twincities.com/rosario. The only place
I've seen anything like this is when I was traveling in the Soviet Union
in the early 1980's. And even there, the only camera restrictions were on
taking pictures of infrastructure like railway stations and airports.

So far, the RNC (and I'm sure the Democratic Convention in Denver) appear
to involve a massive intrusion on our civil liberties. I accept that there
needs to be a heavy police presence to quell any disturbances that arise
and the Republicans have a right to conduct their business without
interference. However, I am naive enough to believe that this does not
need to entail the ability of private citizens to walk peaceably the
streets of their city. What is happening here in St. Paul is a massive
prior restraint of ordinary citizens from exercising their right to
peaceably assemble. I also realize that St. Paul would not have been
selected for the RNC had our city leaders not agreed to this curtailment
of citizens' rights. For my part, I would have preferred to see those
leaders stand up for the rights of citizens rather grovel for the dollars
that will be spent in our restaurants, bars and other businesses catering
to the political crowd.

Charles Swope
Ramsey Hill, Ward 2, St. Paul
Info about Charlie Swope: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/charlesswope


--4--

Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 20:06:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: rnc08 [at] riseup.net
Subject: [rnc08] Convergence Space  Raided

http://www.nornc.org/beautiful-convergence-space/

At 9:15 PM tonight unmarked police vans pulled up to the Convergence
Space.  Police burst through the door and then ordered everyone to the
ground. As if right now the entire block is blocked off.  Check
tc.indymedia.org for updates.
 More info to follow.


--5--

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 16:36:03 +1200 (NZST)
From: Diane Gerth <gerthkueny [at] aol.com>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

Andy, explain what you mean.  Is it the roundup, detention, and seizure of
the people and their property on Harriet Island?  The harassment of people
with cameras this last week?  The blockading of our streets?  The
inability to conduct business because we aren't allowed to mail letters
from our offices downtown?  The creepy cameras documenting our every move?
The inability to have clients meet with us because they can't get to the
offices we have chosen to keep in St. Paul, despite its vacant central
city?  The men in black staring at you no matter what? The burden placed
on people who are trying to get to their jobs, even when those jobs are
serving the conventioneers?

I hope we make it intact as a city over the next week.  I hope we retain
our sense of community and the desire to make this a better place to live
and do work as we welcome our visitors.  I hope at the end of it all we
can sit back, sigh, and say "Wow! Wasn't that interesting!" at the end of
it all.

Diane Gerth
Spanning the RNC by living in the West End and working Downtown


--6--

Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 23:57:12 -0500
From: Gena Berglund <gena [at] bergberg.net>
Subject: [GPSP] A tip for RNC protests/marches

Some info from the National Lawyers Guild about how to prepare for
possibility of arrest during RNC events:

1. Write this number on your arm and call it in case of arrest:
651-365-8635.  This is the line to National Lawyers Guild coordinators,
who are helping coordinate legal assistance for people who are arrested.
The number should be written on your arm because the police take anything
you have in your pocket at the time of arrest.

2. Bring identification. Arrestees are more likely to get cited and
released if they have identification on them.


--7--

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 00:19:22 -0500
From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

All of it and more, Diane. But this is what got my blood boiling tonight -
not having heard all the other stories, save the Minneapolis seizure of NY
journalists:

> Heads up--Rhoda Gilman's daughter just phoned me asking for
> Councilmember Thune's number--apparently police are hauling away
> protesters from an organizing meeting at the old hall on Smith Ave in
> St. Paul.  The thought is that it means the police are doing it now
> because the earliest protesters would be able to get in front of a
> judge is Tuesday, and that would be after the protest march on Labor
> Day.
>
> Elizabeth Dickinson

It's essential we hold all of our officials accountable for allowing this
behavior to go on - the paralyzing fear that police and Secret Service
personnel have used to infect City Hall notwithstanding. All of it straw
men to control speech and movement and destroy democracy. The elected
officials have been irrationally sucked in by all of it.


--8--

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 01:08:27 -0500
From: Bill Kahn <wjkahn [at] mac.com>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] RNC Limericks

Where is the creativity in St. Paul?

The Republican National Convention
Of St. Paul wants some protest suspension
So cops cart away folks
Tell them, "These are the yokes,"
Kiss your civil rights off for prevention

Bill Kahn (D)
Prospect Park, Minneapolis, City of Waters on the Brain
Info about Bill Kahn (D): http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/billkahn


--9--

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 08:27:18 -0500
From: Gena Berglund <gena [at] bergberg.net>
Subject: The Ramsey County Sheriff is Raiding 3240 17th Avenue South in
    Mpls this morning.

The Ramsey County Sheriff is Raiding 3240 17th Avenue South in Mpls this
morning.

The National Lawyers Guild has an attorney on the scene.

The media contacts for the National Lawyers Guild are Bruce Nestor:
612-991-9488 & Gena Berglund: 651-208-7964.


--10--

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 08:06:57 -0700 (PDT)
From: rnc08 [at] riseup.net
Subject: [rnc08] Activist Houses Being RAIDED NOW

Saturday, 10:00 am
At least three separate activist houses are being raided right now. We
have four confirmed arrests and believe more will follow. The identities
of the four arrestees are known, and we understand that they are being
charged with conspiracy to riot, and other conspiracy charges.

The search warrants are being executed by the Ramsey County Sheriff's
Department, and appear to be identical to the one executed at the Convergence
Center last night.

We are calling for a mass, public meeting at Powderhorn Park, 35th St. and 15th
Ave. S. in Minneapolis, at 11:30am today.

We will be holding a follow-up press conference at 4:00 pm in front of our
Convergence Center, 627 Smith Ave. in St. Paul.

-the RNC Welcoming Committee


--11--

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 10:30:32 -0500
From: Bob Spaulding <bob_spaulding [at] mac.com>
To: St. Paul Issues Discuss <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

Thanks for the reports, Andy.

I hope nobody hesitates to uses this space to report violations of civil
liberties - any and all - such as that described below.  That said,
there's always many perspectives to be heard, and I hope in anxious
moments such as this we consider everything carefully.  I understand law
enforcement has a news conference scheduled for this hour.

We leave the Bush years with key protections in our Constitution on a sort
of death watch.  I hoped locals wouldn't jeopardize civic goodwill, their
jobs, and the Constitution for the Republican National Convention, but
instead would leave all Constitutional violations to the "pros" in that
arena.

Here's hoping I haven't been barricaded onto my block as I slept, Bob


--12--

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 08:44:40 -0700 (PDT)
From: rnc08 [at] riseup.net
Subject: [rnc08] Names of Four Arrestees

The four individuals arrested in this morning's preRNC raids are:

Monica Bicking
Eryn Trimmer
Garrett Fitzgerald
Nathanael Secor

Search warrants for 2 of the 3 raided houses listed only one name apiece, each
of individuals not present at the houses and, thus, not arrested.

-the WC


--13--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 04:48:06 +1200 (NZST)
From: Jan Carr <jan [at] carrcreatives.com>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

Has anyone heard if there were similar "preemptive strikes" in Denver this
past week?

The Smith avenue incident also raises the question of just who is in
charge of "security" issues in the city during the RNC. From reading Mary
Turck's article, it appears the Feds are leading the charge (no surprise),
with Fletcher and the Ramsey County gendarmes as their willing
accomplices, and the St. Paul police playing little if any role in this
sorry affair.

Looks like it's going to be a long week for Mayor Coleman;  how he
responds to this mess will be his first real test. If he supports or
defends this Smith Avenue action, I predict his political career in STP is
over.

Finally, does anyone else wonder what was contained in the boxes of
"evidence" that were hauled away?  And does anyone else suspect the Feds
are entirely capable of "salting" the evidence to justify their actions?

Jan Carr
Summit U, St. Paul
Info about Jan Carr: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/jancarr


--14--

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 09:21:41 -0500
From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: BREAKING:TCDP:RNC:St.Paul Cops raid protesters space

http://tcdailyplanet.net/article/2008/08/30/police-break-down-doors-night-time-raid-anarchist-meeting.html

Police break down doors in night-time raid on anarchist meeti
By Mary Turck , Twin Cities Daily Planet
August 30, 2008

"I heard somebody saying, 'They're coming, they're coming!' And feet
pounding on the back stairs, pounding on the door saying they had a search
warrant. They busted through the door. They've got their guns cocked at
people." Sammy Schutz held tightly to five-year-old Gabe, who had been
watching a video with his mother and father and about 20 other people when
the police stormed into 827 Smith Avenue in St. Paul, ordering everyone
down on the floor.

"All I could feel was Mama Bear - do whatever you want to do to me, but I
need to get my son out safe. He was watching his dad get handcuffed. And
he's saying, 'Mommy, mommy, why did they crash through the door?'"

Gabe's question remained unanswered. Ramsey County sheriff's deputies said
they were executing a search warrant, but would not show a copy of the
warrant to lawyers or reporters. More than a dozen police vehicles, almost
all unmarked, and more than 20 sheriff's deputies and St. Paul police
arrived at the building about 9:45 Friday night and were still there at 1
a.m., when I left.

Police in front of 827 Smith Avenue Convergence Center. After handcuffing
the people in the building (occupants said there were about two dozen on
the second floor and "about 40 or 50" on the first floor), police
processed them one by one. Each person was asked for identification, name
and address, and then photographed.

People who had been inside the building told similar stories of police
entering with guns drawn. They said police rushed past the security desk
on the first floor, and used a battering ram to crash through the second
floor back door.

"They said if you don't show us ID and get your picture taken, we will
arrest you and take you away," said Michelle Gross, president of
Communities United Against Police Brutality, who had arrived five or ten
minutes before the raid began, planning to attend a meeting. "They never
said what the basis for arrests would be. We were waiting for a meeting,
for God's sake! I cannot tell you how much like a police state that felt
to me."

After each person was released after being photographed, exiting the
building and crossing between police cars to a crowd of cheering friends
on the sidewalk across from the building. No one was arrested, but
sheriff's deputies remained inside the building.

Eventually, a city contractor arrived to board up the building, allegedly
for unspecified code violations.

"This isn't the way we do things in St. Paul." City Council member Dave
Thune

St. Paul City Council member Dave Thune said he was trying to find out who
ordered the building locked up and on what grounds. "This isn't the way we
do things in St. Paul," Thune said. "I don't want the city to get sucked
into something that the sheriff's office is concocting."

Thune said that someone had called in the city contractor and ordered him
to secure the building, but this was not done according ot St. Paul city
procedures.

"Normally," said Thune, "we only board up buildings that are vacant and
ramshackle. The fire inspector has no idea what's going on. He hadn't been
called. The person who is on 24/7 call was not called. I talked to him
trying to fid out who did issue that order and why."

The building at 827 Smith Avenue had been rented by the RNC Welcoming
Committee as a "convergence space," open to activists for meetings,
eating, and just hanging out. Earlier in the week, a large downstairs room
in the former theater held tables of literature and about a dozen
computers, set up for free wi-fi access for visitors. Large maps showed
downtown St. Paul streets. The kitchen was spotless, with stainless steel
refrigerators and a gas range, looking like a commercial kitchen in a
church basement. The second floor room, where Sammy and her family were
watching a video on consumerism Friday night, had comfortable theater
seats and space for meetings.

Search warrant: from soap flakes and X boxes to Molotov cocktails

A young man who would not give his name said that many people had asked to
see the search warrant. After "what seemed like a long time," someone was
allowed to read the warrant aloud. His recollection, affirmed by at least
two others, was that the warrant was very long and listed many items,
including soap flakes, X boxes, paint, computer operating support manuals,
caltrops, bleach, floppy disks with digital information, Molotov cocktails
and many other items.

Dave Thune reported that sheriff's deputies hauled out literature and
other items in boxes. Literature available in the Convergence Center
earlier in the week included "The Struggle is Our Inheritance: A History
of Radical Minnesota," "Anarchy: A Pamphlet," "a guide to 2008 antiRNC
organizing," and "Need to Know Basics: Coldsnap Legal Collective's
Minnesota Legal Primer for the RNC."

Police loaded confiscated items into a police vehicle.

The activists had studied their legal rights, and said they repeated asked
to see the search warrant, said they did not consent to searches, and
asked to see their lawyers. At least one person on the second floor
managed to dial a number for the National Lawyer's Guild (NLG) as the
police burst through the door. Though NLG lawyers arrived on the scene
early, they were not allowed to enter the building and no one in the
building was allowed access to lawyers.

"Here we are in this country trying to fight terrorism," said one
activist, "and I experience it ' a gun in my face!"

 Article Tags:
     * Government,
     * Public Safety,
     * RNC 2008,
     * St. Paul

Submitted by detainee (not verified) on Sat, 08/30/2008 - 02:36.

Thanks to everyone who waited outside the center tonight. These were the
most traumatic 2 hours of my life, and I can't express how much it means
to me that people cared so much about me and the others in there with me.
If I could have hugged you all I would have. You all are the real
Americans, not McCain, Obama, the police, or anyone else. I love all of
you, and you've touched 60+ lives in ways that words cannot convey. This
is mutual aid in action; whenever any of you are in trouble, you can be
sure that those of us who were detained inside will do everything we can.

-
The Minority Report's picture
Now you know the rest of the story...
Submitted by The Minority Report (not verified) on Sat, 08/30/2008 - 02:43.

FYI: This kind of bullying behavior on the part of the police is status
quo in the minority world.

The only reason this story is making any noise is due to the fact that
most, if not all, of the victims in this situation are white.

However, it should be pointed out that once again, white folks will get
preferential treatment as in this case. You see, nobody actually got
arrested. That would never have been the case had the victims been of some
other ethnic / racial makeup.

>From past experience, here's a point of advice if anybody ever gets in
this type of situation in the future:

As the police are storming in, quickly call a telephone number that you
know will be picked up by voice mail. Furtively put your phone back in
your pocket and let the voice mail record the raid. Often, the police will
use intimidating / self-incriminating language that may help your case if
you need to file some kind of complaint against them.

Even if the police realize you are recording their rants, it will be too
late as your voice mail will have caught them in the act!

Anyway, keep up the good work!

-
PRESS STATEMENT FROM RNC WELCOMING COMMITTEE AFTER SHERIFF AND SPPD RAID
OF CONVERGENCE SPACE

FRIDAY AUGUST 29 2008

Assitant Police Chief Bostrom has talked about the St. Paul Standard, and
on the anniversary of last years' critical mass police riot, we saw its
true face. The ramsey county sheriff's dept and the SPPD raided the RNC
convergence space and detained over 50 people in an attempt to preempt
planned protests of the rnc on Monday.

Looking for items found in any twin cities house like jars, paint, and
rags, this attempt to portray us as criminals and destroy our credibility
has already backfired as evidenced by the masses who have come to support
us.

We are now accused of a simple fire code violation - which is outside the
scope of the sheriff's department and clearly not justified provocation
for a forceful raid with guns being drawn. Children and elderly people
were inside the convergence center when the police violently busted down
the doors. The police may claim that the raid was executed according to
protocol - however, the violence inherent in this action may only be a
hint of the violence to be expected on Monday and beyond, and is only a
hint at the violence perpetrated daily by the police.

The convergence center is simply a gathering place and is not used for
illegal actions - it is a place for workshops and trainings. Tonight we
were watching films and sharing food.

This action will not deter us from our plans to protest the RNC on
September 1st. We want to invite all people who oppose this police
oppression to join us on Septemeber 1st. See you in the streets.


--15--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 04:03:02 +1200 (NZST)
From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

I have some updates on arrests and police raids, prior to the RNC.

First, let me give out my sources, The best two places I have found for
rapidly updated information are http://twitter.com/coldsnaplegal and
http://twincities.indymedia.org/ Coldsnap is a legal collective
(non-lawyers who help connect people with lawyers from the National
Lawyers Guild and so on).  Indymedia is a grassroots online news-gathering
location.  They also have the best calendar for RNC events at
http://twincities.indymedia.org/event/

Now the updates.

Last night, there was a large police raid at the convergence center on
Smith.  I have heard two alternate explanations for the raid.  First was
that it was supposed fire code violations.  Second that they were
searching for "bomb-making" materials.  According to witness present,
police broke through all doors simultaneously with weapons drawn.  Around
70 people were inside at the time, sold to lie face-down on the floor
(including a 4-year-old child).  One person was said to be arrested, then
later released.  Other occupants were detained, but released one-by-one if
they showed ID and consented to be photographed. The space is now boarded
up and the convergence center resters are prevented from re-occupying. All
computers have reportedly been confiscated.

According to one report, St Paul City Councilman was at the scene and,
also according to this report, Councilman Thune made the comment that
Ramsey County had no jurisdiction over any supposed code violations.  I
will allow Mr Thune to confirm or deny, as I know he participates in this
forum.

A 10 am press conference was scheduled at Harriet Island by the flagpole
for this morning (Saturday).  I don't know what happened there.

Also according to Indymedia and Coldsnap sources, at least 3 raids have
occurred this morning in Minneapolis, at 2301 - 23rd Ave S, at 3240 - 17th
Ave S, and at 3500 Harriet Ave S.  At the Harriet Ave address, there were
no arrests and no injuries, but the house is now secured by the police and
a search is being conducted; no one has seen the warrant.  At the 23rd Ave
house, there were 4 total arrests (5-year-old Gabe is out safe).  There
was 1 arrest at the 17th Ave location.

A large meeting at 11:30 this morning, has been called for Powderhorn Park
near the park building.  One report said that Powderhorn Park will now
replace the closed Smith Ave (St Paul) convergence function as a meeting
place and community bulletin board.

I want to end by saying that this is all fast-breaking and that I have not
been able to confirm this information.  What seems pretty clear is that
the convergence center has been closed for "fire code" violations by
county and federal authorities who have no jurisdiction over those
violations.  It also seems clear that a number of activist medical and
legal support people have been targeted in anticipation of the convention
next week.  I would remind readers that those people may be held without
charges for over a day, and that the clock doesn't start until the weekend
ends on Tuesday morning.

I am heading over to Powderhorn.  I'll try to get an update to this list
as soon as I can.

Charley Underwood
Longfellow (SD 62 A), Minneapolis
Info about Charley Underwood: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/charleyunderwood


--16--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 06:21:03 +1200 (NZST)
From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

OK, so here is an update from the 11:30 am meeting at Powderhorn Park
(Saturday, 8/29).

The 627 Smith Avenue convergence center was raided at 9:15 last night.
About 50 or 60 people were inside at the time.  Doors were broken down.
Those inside were handcuffed face down, including a 4 (or 5 ) year old
child.  Laptops, literature, all electronic devices, and a foam map of St
Paul was confiscated.  No arrests were made.  No bomb-making or other
material was found.  The raid was conducted by the Ramsey County Sheriff's
department, with assistance by the St Paul police.  The building was
boarded up, on the pretext of fire code violations, although the St Paul
fire inspector was unaware of any violations, nor was the inspector
informed of the raid.

According to several reports, Councilman Dave Thune was present last
night, commented that Ramsey County had no fire code jurisdiction.  I just
heard that Dave Thune has consulted with the city inspector and that the
house will be unboarded and allowed to be occupied at some point later
today.

At 10 this morning, a spokesperson from Sheriff Fletcher described the
arrests as stemming from Welcoming Committee members conspiring to commit
"serious criminal acts" and having "blatant disregard for the law."  (I
should report that the two hundred or so listening to this at Powderhorn
Park broke out in prolonged laughter.  Apparently the feeling is that it
is Sheriff Fletcher's office that has a "blatant disregard for the law.")

In Minneapolis this morning, 3 houses belonging to or rented by members of
the RNC Welcoming Committee were raided.  4 Welcoming Committee members
were taken into custody and are being held without charges at the Hennepin
County jail, on probable cause for conspiracy.  Since this is a weekend,
it is unlikely that they could be released before Tuesday or Wednesday at
the earliest.

One of the houses at 3240 - 17th Avenue South is being emptied.  Old tires
are being removed from the garage as evidence, as well as things like a
foam bedding from the house.  The house is scheduled to be boarded up this
afternoon, unless the owner appears (she is one of those being held
without bail until next week).

Several of my own thoughts:

Matt Bostrom, who has been heading up St Paul police work on the
Republican convention, said last fall at St Thomas University that his
prime interest in local police involvement was the civil liberties of St
Paul citizens.  He was reminded that other jurisdictions often take over
these events and asked if he would consider resigning if people illegally
lost their civil liberties.  He thought for a long moment, then replied
that he would, in fact, resign.  I suggest that it is time for Matt
Bostrom to examine the evidence and consider doing exactly what he
promised.

Second, this is preventative detention, with things like fire codes being
used simply to suppress a particular point of view.  These sort of police
raids do nothing to increase any democratic dialogue or political
involvement.  They do nothing to put St Paul on the world map in any
positive way.  And this sort of police action increases the likelihood
that this RNC convention will eventually prove quite expensive for St
Paul, due to the legal judgments and legal settlements coming out of civil
liberties violations.

Ask yourself this question: If you were on the jury listening to the
testimony of a 4-year-old who sobbed while the doors were broken down and
was forced to lie face-down on the floor with uniformed officers pointing
loaded weapons at him, how much money would YOU be inclined to award his
family?

Up next: There will be a press conference in front of the closed
convergence center (627 Smith Avenue, St Paul) at 4 p.m. this afternoon
(Saturday, 8/29).

What you can do:
   Be at that press conference.
   Be at the house at 3240 - 17th Avenue S in Minneapolis and witness the
   police boarding it up.


--17--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 07:15:02 +1200 (NZST)
From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

So, John Harris, is it your belief that people should be arrested BEFORE
they have done something illegal?

And what if that arrest itself has been judged illegal, with many court
laws and court cases and the constitutions of both state and the nation?
In other words, what sort of legal position do you think Sheriff Fletcher
is in right now?  And what sort of legal situation is the St Paul Police
Department for participating in a likely illegal raid?

Of course this will all take years to work through the courts.  My point
is this: It's going to be very expensive for the citizens of St Paul, when
all is said and done.  And not just in terms of money.  My greatest
concern has always been with the likely deterioration of relations with
the police and with our local city government.

Charley Underwood
Longfellow (SD 62 A), Minneapolis
Info about Charley Underwood: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/charleyunderwood


--18--

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 12:21:30 -0500
From: Carol A. Overland <overland [at] legalectric.org>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

A friend from Denver reported that security was tight but not harassing,
and she didn't have any reports about the blatant police state tactics
we're seeing here.  She's part of a "No New Coal Plants" effort and walked
with a big sign up and down their 16th Ave. Mall without incident, having
boisterous conversations with the very present coal plant promotion
workers paid by coal lobby.  Maybe it's because she donned little black
dress and pearls just for the occasion???!!!???

It doesn't sound to me that it's a case of "St. Paul police playing little
if any role in this sorry affair."  Seems they're right in the thick of
things...  Minneapolis police too.

Interesting, seems the indymedia.org site is now down...

Carol Overland
(observing from 1200 miles away unfortunately)


--19--

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 14:36:15 -0500
From: David Strand <lavgrn [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [GPSP] Late-breaking news

...
I just hope they are and were treated better than those poor young people
from Sister Camelot's were years ago before ISAG.  I hope they are
fine and we are able to confirm that.

I lived just behind the Hyatt where ISAG was held and recall how
outrageous and over the top police behavior was during that most expensive
to date police action in state history.  The actions of the police around
these events looks as though they will be even greater and more absurd as
ISAG was post Seattle but pre- 9-11.


--20--

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 12:45:01 -0700 (PDT)
From: M Charles Swope <mcswope [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

It looks to me as though we are seeing tactics used here similar to those
employed in NY during the 2004 election season. NY is still dealing with
the lawsuits stemming from that convention (after having already paid out
millions in settlements). These preemptive detentions of protestors are
unacceptable in a free society. The summary boarding up of homes with no
notice or opportunity for a hearing (mainly in Minneapolis) on the pretext
of housing code violations also looks like a denial of due process. We are
witnessing serious curtailments of civil liberties and it looks
increasingly like outright denials of constitutional rights.

Anybody notice in the paper the story about Carol Molnau and the Capital
Area Planning Board's attempt to stop TrueBlue from setting up a Jumbotron
with protest messages on it? This was stopped temporarily at least by a
judge.
http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/conventions/27680509.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUs

Using building code and other safety regulations as a pretext for shutting
down dissent is a disgraceful abuse of power. The people doing this need
to be held to account.

The Twin Cities may have won the convention but, increasingly, it looks
like they have sold their souls to do it.

Charles Swope
Ramsey Hill, Ward 2, St. Paul
Info about Charlie Swope: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/charlesswope


--21--

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 15:48:56 -0500
From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
To: MPC <MinnesotaProgressiveCaucus [at] yahoogroups.com>
Subject: URGENT!:4pm TODAY!Activists respond to police raids on homes and
    protest center

****URGENT!Activists are calling for the peace and justice community to
come to apress conference at 4pm today (Saturday) at the RNC-WC
Convergence Center,627 Smith Avenue at Wyoming, in St. Paul, to condemn
the raids.

Anti-RNC Activists respond to police raids
by Lydia Howell Aug. 30, 2008 3pm Minneapolis, MN

Ramsey County Sheriffs Department didn't stop with their raid and shut
down of anarchist protest group,RNC-Welcoming Committee's St. Paul
convergence center on Friday,August 29. From around 9am to noon, on
Saturday morning they crossed the river to hit at least three homes in
south Minneapolis.

Activists are calling for the peace and justice community to come to a
press conference at 4pm today (Saturday) at the RNC-WC Convergence Center,
in St. Paul, to condemn the raids.

Word went out via the Internet and cell phone messages and about 150
activists gathered at Powderhorn Park to share eye witness accounts of the
raids and plan the activist community responses.

Eyewitnesses described being made to lie on the floor for hours and that
police had a broad search warrant that netted no weapons at all. However,
police seized lap top computers, a big laminated St. Paul map. and
political literature.

A St. Paul building inspector on the scene closed the building Friday
night. After St. Paul City Council-member, Dave Thune expressed
objections, the center at 627 Smith Avenue South, at Wyoming, is being
allowed to reopen Saturday afternoon.

Four RNC-WC members were arrested and are being held without bail on
various "conspiracy" charges. Civil liberties advocates note that such a
charge is termed "the prosecutor's friend", as "conspiracy" often amounts
to little more than allegations with no concrete evidence.

At the Powerderhorn Park gathering, news of the south Minneapolis raids
continued to come in. The raided homes were: Food Not Bombs home,at 23rd
Avenue; the Harriet House on 35th Avenue; a home on 17th Avenue, where
three arrests were made, including one with no bail for "probable cause".

The search warrant for the raids included such items as:
  puppets, nails,, screws, electronic equipment fromm cell phones to
I-pods, vegetable oil, and  "gray water". A building inspector at the
house on 1734-17th Avenue South was said to have ordered the home
boarded closed. Minneapolis City Council-members, Elizabeth Glidden and
Cam Gordon were being contacted about the raids on homes in their wards.

Longtime activist and south Minneapolis resident Dave Bicking said he
observed "Police were taking mattress pads and other items out of the
garage" of one of the raided houses.

Another activist, Michelle Gross with Communities United Against Police
Brutality said she returned home Friday evening from the St. Paul
raid to find her garage broken into. Since expensive athletic equipment
remained untouched, while file boxes were strewn about, she felt law
enforcement were responsible.

Undercover law enforcement had been at the activists health center and
legal assistance space, but, by noon had left.

Ramsey County Sheriffs issued a press statement, that National Lawyers
Guild member Jordan Kushner, read to the gathering, which included
allegations not substantiated by any specifics, such as calling the
RNC-WC "a criminal enterprise intent on criminal acts before and after
the Republican National Convention".

"We now know how St. Paul intends to respond to the people exercising
our rights of free speech--with an abuse of power, "said one spokeswoman
to the crowd of mostly young people at Powderhorn. "But, we also have
our power to act and we call on the community to stand with us and
condemn these actions. We will not be stopped by these raids. We will be
in the streets on Monday."

The press conference will be at 4pm, Saturday, Aug,30 at the RNC-WC
Cinvergence Center at 627 Smith Avenue South, at Wyoming, in St. Paul.

http://www.nornc.org

RNC protesters Legal Help Hotline number is:
651.356.8635.
Housing of out-of-town activists remains needed. If you can help:
Housing Number, 612.419.7809.  In order to expedite housing
arrangements,we are hoping to shift from the housing board to this
number.If you have housing to offer, please email wc_orientation [at] riseup.net

Lydia Howell is producer/host of Catalyst on KFAI Radio and an
independent Minneapolis journalist.


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