Progressive Calendar 09.01.08
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 16:01:32 -0700 (PDT)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    09.01.08
                           POLICE RAIDS III

1 Carr
2 Shove
3 Carr
4 Thorstad
5 Fratto
6 Fratto
7 Hare
8 Howell/Beyerstein
9 Dooley/Clemens
10 Permibus
11 Strand
12 Kelly
13 Nestor
14 Royce
15 Kelly
16 Gibbs
17 Western
18 Slade
19 Driscoll
20 Driscoll
21 Kelly/Salon
22 Driscoll/Villaume
23 Western
24 Garofoli (SF Chronicle)
25 Muller
26 Greenwald (Salon)
27 Gordon/Glidden

--1--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 01:07:25 -0500
From: Jan Carr <jan [at] carrcreatives.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] WHAT TO DO: Fletcher and the RNC

The important thing here is for all our elected officials to express
their views on the actions of the last 24 hours. If any of them can
offer a defense, I would surely like to hear what they have to say.

As for St. Paul, Mayor Coleman, Chief Harrington, and especially Matt
Bostrom have all spoken eloquently and persuasively in the run-up to
the RNC on their commitment to act responsibly and protect basic
civil rights.  They need to disassociate themselves and the city from
these repugnant acts of intimidation and preventative detention.

The question is whether they have the courage and will to do
so.


--2--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 02:01:56 -0500 (CDT)
From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu>
Subject: [SPIF] Urine of mass destruction (UMD)

Thanks to our beloved Sheriff Fletcher, the Pentagon has just wised up to
Urine of Mass Destruction! No more lost wars! Throw a bucket of urine on
'em and that's it - it's all over. Ausgespielt. Or, have our noble lads
standing duty up in helicopters, ready to unzip and do their duty for god
and country at a moment's notice, raining down on inferior foreigners
(they're all inferior) the unrefined essence of America, the Eau d' euess.
O no! they'd cry, We give! Uncle!

What we need now are beady-eyed inspectors roaming St Paul, with urine
sniffer dogs (they'd LOVE it!) and a mandate to arrest anyone with open
urine, or more treacherously, urine stored up secretly in body cavities
where police could not see it or taste it! So I say, No more urine! Outlaw
urine today!  The only good urinator is a dead urinator! We'd rather be
pissed off than pissed on!

I hope this post gives you material for many hours of meditation and
profound reflection. It takes an event such as the RNC to lay bare the
insidiousness of seemingly everyday things, such as a liquid we (most of
us) have been associated with since birth. It is now exposed for the
anti-life, anti-plutocratic juice that it is. (Rich people don't urinate;
it affects them the way krypton affects Superman).

You Betcher we're for Fletcher

Dave Shove
Roseville
Info about Dave Shove: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/daveshove


--3--

From: Jan Carr <jan [at] carrcreatives.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] WHAT TO DO: Fletcher and the RNC

to John Krenik ----
You're a smart and thoughtful guy.............. but you just don't get it.

I am completely baffled by your assertions that the government (through
the police) should be empowered to intimidate and arrest people based on
what they look like, or what their intentions MIGHT be.

Too often it happens -- but prior to the last 24 hours, it has been mostly
on a case by case basis, at least with citizens of this country. As the
government cast their dragnet for terrorists following 9/11, it now
appears they are trying to use the same tactics to round up citizens they
regard as suspicious, with the hope they will quell the ardor of
demonstrators.

I suspect just the opposite will prove to be true. These actions are very
likely to generate both anger and alarm, and drive even more people to the
barricades over the next week.

Personally, I was never moved to make the trip to the downtown area,
as wrong-headed as I think Republican policies might be.  But this is
a whole different thing...................... and it has nothing to
do with Republicans vs. Democrats.  These police actions have turned
the issue into "what kind of country do want for ourselves?"


--4--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 07:47:30 -0500
From: David Thorstad <binesi [at] gvtel.com>
Subject: Saint Paul the police state

This is the second [PC] of such up-to-the-minute reports on the police
state tactics being implemented two days before the Republican convention,
in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul, brought to you by David Shove's
Progressive Calendar. The Secret Service appears to be in control of the
local police departments. This is like Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany.
Wake up, America! You live in a dictatorship. This is brought to you by
the Patriot Act that both Republicans and Democrats in Congress voted for,
including so-called liberals, one of whom is running for president. For
shame. David



--5--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 06:22:18 -0700 (PDT)
From: Mike Fratto <mfratto [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] WHAT TO DO: Fletcher and the RNC

Unfortunately, you are wrong Jan. While the CountyCommissioners are
responsible for the Sheriff budget, he can sue the Commissioners for a
budget he thinks is more appropriate. He has done this and won.

This issue was one of the issues studied when The Ramsey County Charter
Commission looked at amending the charter to change the way the sheriff is
employed. A motion to place this measure on the November ballot lost in a
tie vote due to the absence of one member.


--6--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 06:54:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: Mike Fratto <mfratto [at] yahoo.com>
To: stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org, hare [at] tcfreenet.org
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Buckets of urine, slingshots,
     anti-bus weapons seized in raid on a...

If you had the chance to read the Pioneer Press' article on the conviction
of Fletcher friend Mark Naylon in today's paper, you will have learned
Nylon was regularly used as a Confidential Reliable Informant (CRI) to
justify warrants.

I don't know what information was used to justify these warrants but I
would bet that if the Sheriff's department faked arguments to justify a
warrant in the past, they would certainly do it again.

The article begins with: "FBI agents had been investigating allegations of
corruption in the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department for some months;
while they had strong suspicions and tantalizing leads, the pieces didn't
yet add up to a case they could take to court."

It then states: "More than four years later, Arvin's cooperation resulted
in federal convictions last week for the cop, Timothy Conrad Rehak, and
the sheriff's spokesman, Mark Paul Naylon. Naylon himself is a close
friend and confidant of Fletcher he was best man at the sheriff's second
wedding and colleagues say he was given carte blanche in the department to
do whatever he wanted and answered to no one except the sheriff. Although
Naylon wasn't a licensed peace officer and had no law enforcement
training, he spent virtually all his time playing cop, testimony in the
trial in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis showed. He was assigned to the
investigations unit, and Fletcher let him carry a sidearm, participate in
arrests, conduct searches, seize and handle property.  When the need
arose, deputies even used him as their "confidential reliable informant"
when they filled out requests to judges to grant search warrants,
according to testimony. and do other work that state law generally
reserves for licensed peace officers." While this information doesn't mean
Sheriff Fletcher continued this practice in requesting these warrants. It
certainly raises questions.


--7--

From: hare [at] tcfreenet.org <hare [at] tcfreenet.org>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Buckets of urine, slingshots, anti-bus weapons seized in 
raid on a...
To: stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org
Date: Sunday, August 31, 2008, 12:16 AM

I can only wonder what a police raid of my house would look like in the
papers, given that I have an extensive library of books on chemical
processes, etc.

(I have a degree in Chemical Engineering)

Citizens have to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Public
officials, by definition, do not get that same assumption.  When there is
a raid and no one is arrested, you have to wonder what's up.  Our
Constitution was deliberately written to include protections for citizens
- not people with badges.  If you have trouble understanding why, a
refresher course on King George III might be useful.


--8--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 09:47:02 -0500
From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: [Discuss] RNC:BOOKSTORE WORKER'S HOME RAIDED BY POLICE

Mike Whelan is the peaceful leader of the Arise Bookstore Collective in
Minneapolis. During the 12 years that I've known Mike, he was always
committed to nonviolence. Lydia Howell, KFAI Radio producer,
Minneapolis,MN

-
VIdEO OF ST PAUL POLICE RAID ON HOME OF NON-PROFIT BOOKSTORE MEMBER
(Text INTERVIEW W/HOMEOWNER AFTER VIDEO LINK)

> http://the-uptake.groups.theuptake.org/en/videogalleryView/id/647
> <http://the-uptake.groups.theuptake.org/en/videogalleryView/id/647>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5ju0Xn6xsc
> <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5ju0Xn6xsc>

http://www.arisebookstore.org <http://www.arisebookstore.org>


Inside an RNC Raid
by Lindsay Beyerstein

> http://majikthise.typepad.com/majikthise_/2008/08/inside-an-rnc-r.html
> <http://majikthise.typepad.com/majikthise_/2008/08/inside-an-rnc-r.html>

Thanks to the miracle of cellular technology, I was able to talk to a
homeowner while his home was surrounded by police conducting an
RNC-related raid. At approximately two-thirty this afternoon, I reached
Mike Whelan, a waiter and army veteran, at his duplex at 951 Iglehart Ave.
in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Whelan said he'd invited independent observers from the group LegalWatch
stay in one half of his side-by-side duplex while they monitored RNC
protests.

Whelan described himself as a supporter of the RNC demonstrations, but
said he is not affiliated with any particular group. "I want to build a
country that's based on good social values," he explained.

When I spoke to him, Whelan was waiting in one half of the duplex with his
roommates, Dan and Julian. The three were afraid to go outside because the
police were still there. Whelan said he thought that the police were
inside the opposite side of the duplex, where the legal observers were
staying. "I think they are detaining people," he added.

Whelan, who seemed remarkably calm for a guy whose flower garden had just
been trampled by police with drawn automatic weapons, said he'd just
returned from a morning of garage sale shopping when the commotion
started. That would have been about one o'clock local time. He described
what happened:

"About an hour and a half ago 20 to 30 heavily armed police officers
surrounded the house," Whelan said. "One of my roommates said, 'I want to
see a warrant,' and she was immediately detained."

"Are they still outside?" I asked.

"Oh, yes, they're still outside," Whelan replied cheerfully. "The streets
are blocked off."

"How you did figure out there was a raid going on?" I asked.

"It sounded like people were falling down on my porch," he said. "Cops
were running up both sides of the house onto the porch.

Whelan says his roommate, Erin Stalmaker, went out to talk to talk to the
police. She asked the officers why they were there. The officers asked why
people were running away from them. Erin reportedly told the officers that
their drawn automatic weapons probably had something to do with it. She
was detained after asking to see a warrant.

"Are you scared?" I asked.

"No, I'm a veteran," he said. "I was in the army. I was a military police
officer. I wouldn't have done this."

Whelan said it was especially perplexing that the police would target his
home.

"There's nothing here," he said. "These are the 'checking' people. They're
not even going to be in the demonstration. Some are lawyers."

Whelan was watching a large crowd of legal observers gathering across the
street, many wearing red or green hats. The police officers he could
identify were from Saint Paul, but he thought there might be other forces
on the scene as well. The officers were wearing black uniforms. Their
vehicles were "non-descript" vans, not police cruisers. TV cameras were
also on the scene. Whelan couldn't be sure because a tree was blocking his
view, but he thought City Council member Melvin Carter had arrived. Whelan
called him when the raid started. (Talk about constituent service.)

"You figure this would be going on in South Africa, or Russia, not in
Saint Paul," Whelan said, marveling at the incongruity of it all. "Saint
Paul is nice."


--9--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 09:30:02 -0500
From: Ted Dooley <614grand [at] winternet.com>
Subject: a lovely statement      Fwd: Why I risk arrest today

From: Steve Clemens <steveclemens [at] msn.com>
Date: August 31, 2008 8:54:22 AM CDT
Subject: Why I risk arrest today

Personal Statement on Why I Risk Arrest at the Republican National
Convention. August 31, 2008

This immoral and illegal war against the peoples of Iraq must stop now!

I am required by the Nuremberg Principles to not be complicit with this
war of aggression that the UN Charter calls a grave war crime.

I have written and called my Members of Congress as well as the President.
I have sat in my Senators' offices. I have marched and demonstrated in
countless nonviolent vigils and demonstrations against this war and the
illegal weapons (cluster bombs and depleted uranium munitions) used
against the people of Iraq. I have protested the sanctioned use of torture
and other violations of human rights under the guise of prosecuting a "War
on Terror" - while, ironically terrorizing others! I have written Letters
to the Editor. When I heard that President Bush planned to address the
Republican National Convention in my home state, I felt I needed to
nonviolently confront the President himself since this War and Occupation
continues. (On an attachment you will find the letter I hope to deliver.)

If I am arrested for nonviolently attempting to deliver this letter and
the International Law documents I carry to the President, I will choose to
refuse to pay bail to seek my release. To charge someone for their right
to nonviolently voice their opposition to criminal activity is a tax
against my conscience. I will refuse to pay bail to a government that
seeks to protect this War Criminal.

I march and protest today in solidarity with the civilians of Iraq and the
millions of refugees who have had to endure this violent attack and
occupation of their homeland. I ask my fellow U.S citizens to rise up
nonviolently and refuse to allow this war to continue.

I try to faithfully follow the example and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth
who calls me to "Love my enemies" and "Love my neighbor as myself". I call
all those who claim to follow the life and witness of Jesus to find
creative ways to stop this war and work to heal its many wounds.

Steve Clemens
2912 E. 24th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55406-1322
(612) 724-3255


--10--

From: TCpagans [at] yahoogroups.com [mailto:TCpagans [at] yahoogroups.com] On 
Behalf
Of Nanette
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 9:18 AM
Subject: Permibus Seized - press release

POLICE SEIZE PERMIBUS

At approximately 6:25 pm on August 30, 2008 Minneapolis Police, Minnesota
State Troopers, Ramsey County Sheriffs, Saint Paul Police, and University
of Minnesota Police pulled over the Earth Activist Training Permaculture
Demonstration Bus (Permibus) by exit 237 on Interstate 94. Initially the
police told the people on the bus to exit. When the people on the bus
asked if they were being detained they were told that they were but police
were unable to provide justification. When asked why they pulled the bus
over they refused to answer. After repeated requests to explain why the
bus had been stopped Officer Honican of the Minneapolis Police explained
that this was just a routine traffic stop though he did not explain the
reason for the traffic stop. The police then told Stan Wilson, the driver
and registered owner of the Permibus, that they were going to impound the
bus in case they wanted to execute a search warrant later. After more than
an hour of being questioned by Stan and Delyla Wilson as to the legalities
of their detainment and the impoundment of the Permibus, the police then
informed Stan that the bus, which is legally registered as a passenger
vehicle in the state of Montana, was being impounded for a commercial
vehicle inspection. Shortly afterward Sergeant Paul Davis, a commercial
vehicle inspector arrived on scene. Despite the polices insistence that
the reason for impoundment was for a commercial vehicle inspection the
Permibus crew were not allowed to remove anything from the bus including
computers, toiletries, and 17-year-old Megan Wilson's shoes. The police
finally allowed the animals to be removed from the Permibus before it was
towed, leaving the Permibus family standing beside their chickens and
dogs, homeless on the highway.

The Permibus was relocating from the Bedlam Theatre in Minneapolis, where
they had spent the day teaching Urban Permaculture, to a friend's house in
Saint Paul for a well deserved break. The Permibus has been in the
Minneapolis area since August 2nd when the crew appeared at the Midtown
Farmers Market for a morning of Permaculture education including
Permaculture 101, chicken care, seed ball making for kids, and the
Permi-puppet show. During the past month the Permibus has parked at
several local businesses and, as a neighborly gesture of respect for local
police, Mr. Wilson contacted the appropriate precincts just to let them
know the Permibus was in the area and had permission from the business
owners to be parked on their lot. Through this, as well as other casual
discussions with Minneapolis and Saint Paul police officers, the Permibus
crew found the local police to be interested and respectful. However on
August 30th all that changed when, for no apparent valid reason the police
pulled over and seized the Permibus. After the incident Stan Wilson said,
"If the combined law enforcement of Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Ramsey
County, and the State of Minnesota can pull over and impound a vehicle and
home used to teach organic gardening and sustainability, one has to wonder
what it is our government really fears. After all, we seek to teach people
that the real meaning of homeland security is local food, fuel and energy
production. For that we have had our lives stolen by government men with
guns."

As of now, after repeated requests to be present at any vehicle
inspection, with an list of what they are inspecting for, as well as
requests to be served any warrants for searches of the vehicles prior to a
search and to be present during the search the Permi-family has been
unable to ascertain the current status of the Permibus. On site Mr. Wilson
was told that Officer Palmerranky was the inspector in charge of the case
and would determine if the Permi-family's rights protecting them from
unreasonable search and seizure would be respected. Neither Officer
Palmerranky nor his supervisor has yet to return Mr. Wilson's calls. The
loss of her home and possessions is particularly difficult on
seventeen-year-old Megan Wilson. Megan, a shining example of what this
country asks of today's youth, has dedicated herself to making positive
changes in the world. She was the youth keynote speaker at the Local to
Global conference in Phoenix AZ, has taught conflict resolution at youth
shelters and is the outreach coordinator for the Skills for a New
Millennium Tour, the family traveling educational project. Megan believes
that, "While I understand that the world we live in is not as it should be
I strive to live and teach in a way that shows the world how life could
be. What I don't understand is why I can't get dressed for an evening out
with friends in my own home without armed men stealing my life out from
under me." The Permi-family, along with their dogs and Permaculture
super-hero chickens are currently being housed by folks in the Twin
Cities.

The Skills for a New Millennium Tour is a family education project that
travels around the United States teaching homesteading, citizenship, and
life skills at farmers markets, community gardens, churches, intentional
communities, schools, and in people's living rooms. The Skills Tour is a
donation supported project dedicated to providing tools for sustainable
living, including Permaculture, to anyone who is interested, regardless of
income. "We believe that any solution that is not accessible to the poor
and urban areas is not a real solution for the future," states Delyla
Wilson. Permaculture is a design system with ethics and principles that
can be applied to food production, home design, and community building in
order to increase sustainability in food production, energy production,
and social systems. The Permibus is a rolling demonstration of small scale
sustainable living with three people, three dogs, three chickens, and a
box of worms as permanent residence. The chickens and worms are part of a
closed-loop food productions composting system that supports the
Permibus's traveling garden. For more information on the seizure of the
Permibus, the Skills for the New Millennium Tour, or Permaculture, the
Wilson's can be reached at 406-721-8427 or through email at
skillstour [at] gmail. <mailto:skillstour%40gmail.com> com. You can also see
pictures and read stories about the last six months of their educational
adventures at permibus.livejournal.com.

To our supporters: First we ask that as many people as possible contact
precinct one in Minneapolis, MN at 612-673-5701 and Mayor Rybak at

Phone: (612) 673-2100 or
call 311 or call (612) 673-3000 outside Minneapolis

and demand the immediate release of the Permibus.

We are also in desperate need of donations. Though we do not yet know the
full cost of getting the permibus returned we know that it will include
tow fee, impound fees, and legal fees. To donate contact us directly for a
local address or... Donate On-line: Go to:
www.earthactivisttraining.org/donate.htm

Click on: Donate Now!

Under "Gift Information" write: Permibus
Under "Please send acknowledgment of this gift to" write: skillstour [at] gmail.
<mailto:skillstour%40gmail.com> com

Donate by Mail:
Make check payable to: A.C.T.
On the "For" line write: Permibus
Send check to: A.C.T. 1405 Hillmount St. Austin, TX 78704


--11--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 10:00:52 -0500
From: David Strand <lavgrn [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [mnlgrn] RNC:BOOKSTORE WORKER'S HOME RAIDED BY POLICE

Mike is also a Lavender Green who helped us out at the pride booth this
year and also is working on organizing the tables at the Nader/Gonzales
rally at Orchestra Hall on the 4th.

It's rather ironic that this sweet guy's duplex was raided when the people
he allowed to stay at his home are the media team for a group of legal
observers from New York here to observe to prevent police abuses during
the RNC.

Dave Bicking's daughter, Monica Bicking, has been arrested after her house
was raided and 10 people detained.  Dave Bicking was a Green Party
candidate for city council in Minneapolis and likely will be again.
Ironically(yes again) he was recently appointed to serve on a city board
whose responsibilities include looking into cases of police abuse.

However, there is no reason to fear if you are coming out to the schedule
marches.  In fact, it is more important that we have more massive turnouts
than ever to show that intimidation tactics of the Dept. of Homeland
Defense will not work on the thousands of us planning to march against the
war Monday in St. Paul or as part of the March for Our LIves- poor
people's march for economic justice.

And recall that Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate Rosa Clemente will
be speaking at both these events!

David Strand


--12--

Date: Mon,  1 Sep 2008 03:21:02 +1200 (NZST)
From: "Grace Kelly (nicknamed Kelly)" <saintcurmudgeon [at] earthlink.net>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Buckets of urine, slingshots,
     anti-bus weapons seized in raid on a...

In looking at the case of dangerous materials found in RNC raids, there
are some standards that ought to be applied when looking at the evidence:

1) Is this stuff that is normally in homes, or associated with a hobby or
business?

So far all of the items can be explained by hobbies or business. My
husband was fairly concerned that bottles were considered a threat, since
he does home brewing. We have archery equipment, it is a hobby! One of the
people raided was a scrap metal seller for a living. As a scrap metal
collector, there was bound to be metal that could look like a homemade
"caltrop"

2) Are "all" the ingredients found in one place, in sufficient quantities
to be considered a threat?

I was watching in the place where the "buckets" appeared from. No one was
able to see into the buckets to see if they are buckets of pure urine or
urine water collected from the toilets. The search warrants said collect
urine and feces, and the squad involved was from North Minneapolis used to
drug raids, where toilets are pumped to collect what is caught in arch
after the first flush. I am saying not what I "know" to be true, simply
showing that the evidence is not yet compelling.

So a protester is going to show up at the rally point, with one of the big
heavy buckets of urine on a hot day, march with it at least a mile and
then at some point throw it at the police? If buckets of urine were going
to be used on police, it would have been easier to just throw them when
the houses were raided. No reports of that.

To be credible, I would to see a least huge quantities of water balloons,
funnels, gas masks and plastic gloves - in one place. The stuff gathered
came from about 7 raids.

So if there was going to be a serious "homemade caltrop" threats, wouldn't
they need at least 3 buckets full, not just nine individual pieces?

3) Is the threat more than we would face on ordinary days from ordinary
events?

In the picture of Sheriff Fletcher's displays, there looks like about 9
possible "homemade caltrop". In the picture of him holding one in his
hand, they look about two inches high. Given the way that Governor
Pawlenty has maintained roads and taken LGA funds so that local roads are
also in poor condition, we face more threats from more that two inch deep
potholes all the time. There are stories of whole string of cars taken out
at a time. The cobblestone streets here are far more threatening. I
accidentally went down a alley cobble stone street this spring, and I
thought I would have a flat tire for certain. Then there is stuff on the
roads from students moving in open trucks.

So with these questions, look at this list again and check out pictures:

A news release from the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office says these items
were confiscated during the raid in St. Paul:

    Materials used in creating "sleeping dragons" (pvc pipe, chicken wire,
    duct tape)
    Large amounts of urine (including 3 - 5 gallon buckets of urine)
    Wrist Rockets
    Assorted edged weapons including a machete, hatchet and several
    throwing knives
    Gas mask and filter
    Empty glass bottles
    Rags
    Flammable liquids
    Homemade Caltrops (devises used to disable buses in roads)
    Metal pipes
    Axes
    Bolt cutters
    Sledge hammers
    Old tires (for burning)
    Repelling equipment
    Kryptonite locks
    Empty plastic buckets cut and made into shields
    Material for protective padding
    An army helmet
    (MPR News Cut)

So far what we know is not a compelling case. It is true that websites
have threats on them. However, I have been threatened on this forum and on
my blog by people who brag about closets full of guns, yet I have not
taken that seriously, nor have the police. The threat of stopping traffic
for awhile or holding a sign of the inappropriate size does not constitute
a threat sufficient enough to have a "high cost" raid.

I am not saying that we should not be all aware and checking for danger,
or that the police should not be checking out reported possible dangerous
crime. I do think that we should some good common Minnesota sense in all
of this.

Grace Kelly nicknamed Kelly
Curmudgeon from Merriam Park

Grace (nicknamed Kelly) Kelly
Merriam Park, St Paul
Info about Grace Kelly (nicknamed Kelly): 
http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/gracekelly


--13--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 10:25:03 -0500
From: Bruce Nestor <nestor [at] denestlaw.com>
Subject: National Lawyers Guild Seeks Judicial Review of Preventative
    Detentions Ordered by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher

PRESS RELEASE - PRESS RELEASE

National Lawyers Guild Seeks Judicial Review of Preventative Detentions
Ordered by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher

August 31, 2008 - The Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild is
seeking prompt judicial review of the preventative detentions of six
citizen activists ordered by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher.

Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Garrett
Fitzgerald, and Nathanael Secor, are all currently being held on "probable
cause holds" in the Ramsey County Jail after being transferred late last
night from the Hennepin County Jail. In Minnesota, a probable cause hold
can be ordered by a police officer without a prosecutor or a judge
reviewing a criminal complaint. Due to the arrest occurring on a weekend
holiday, all six citizens can be held until Wednesday, September 3, 2008,
without the filing of a formal charge.

Three of the arrestees are life-long residents of Minnesota. Two
previously worked in early childhood education and passed background
checks to obtain that employment. All have extensive ties to Minnesota,
including employment and family members. One is a graduate of the
University of Minnesota. None of the six arrestees have ever been
convicted of a felony or crime of violence. One person arrested on
Saturday morning, August 30th, was previously detained on Friday night at
the St. Paul convergence center where he was photographed and identified.
Despite being labeled a "key member" of a "criminal enterprise" and a
planner of a "criminal conspiracy," he was released on Friday night even
though Sheriff Fletcher had conducted a months long investigation, using
informants, and presumably identified the "key leaders" who he claims were
organizing riots and civil disorder.

All six arrestees appear to face maximum charges of a gross misdemeanor,
punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of $3,000.
Absent death or use of a firearm, a criminal charge of "Riot" in Minnesota
is a gross misdemeanor. Minn. Stat. 609.71. A charge of "civil disorder"
is a gross misdemeanor and requires proof that a person made or instructed
another to use a firearm, explosive, or incendiary device to cause civil
unrest. Minn. Stat. 609.669. Property damage in Minnesota under $1,000.00
is also a gross misdemeanor. Minn. Stat. 609.595.

Despite the incendiary and alarmist language used by Sheriff Fletcher,
there is no evidence that the common household items and tools seized in
the pre-emptive house raids were intended to be used to cause death or
civil unrest. No judge or prosecutor has reviewed the allegations made by
Sheriff Fletcher.

In light of the fact that none of the arrestees appear to face felony
charges, their extensive ties to Minnesota, and their lack of any serious
prior criminal record, attorneys for the National Lawyers Guild are
seeking to have a Ramsey County judge review the detentions on Sunday,
August 31, 2008. This would be an informal review at which a judge could
dismiss the charges or set conditions of release. Media updates will be
provided if such a review is held.

Contact:  Bruce Nestor 612-991-9488 - President, MN Chapter of Natl
Lawyers Guild


--14--

From catyroyce [at] gmail.com Mon Sep  1 16:18:56 2008
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 10:31:45 -0500
From: cathleen royce <catyroyce [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Buckets of urine, slingshots,
     anti-bus weapons seized in raid on a...

The pictures did not in any way shape or form show "buckets of urine."
They showed two or three five gallon buckets with about one or two inches
of liquid.

The cops got a warrant with some questionable information, it had to be
questionable. They got nothing but normal household items that all of us
have around the house.

I've had a bucket of human waste when my toilet is broken. And its not an
automatic code violation to have a broken toilet or bucket of pee
around. Get real!

This is serious business though and we should all be very, very worried
right now. There should be a thorough and deep investigation into the basis
of the warrants and Fletcher's activity in these violations of civil rights.

caty royce
south minneapolis


--15--

Date: Mon,  1 Sep 2008 04:03:06 +1200 (NZST)
From: "Grace Kelly (nicknamed Kelly)" <saintcurmudgeon [at] earthlink.net>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Buckets of urine, slingshots,
     anti-bus weapons seized in raid on a...

Continuing on the logic of all of this:

These houses all had many people crashing in them. The one I had covered
had 10 extra people. The raid was at 10AM. So simply the police may have
collected the temporary bathroom setups so that everyone could shower etc.
So contrary to another poster, I am "getting real".

So what was on the warrant that was NOT found? Is there a copy of the
search warrant anywhere?


--16--

From elydog [at] gmail.com Mon Sep  1 16:19:12 2008
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 11:07:05 -0500
From: ElyDog <elydog [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Progressive Calendar  08.31.08

On a legal note,
The items shown by the police on Saturday in a WCCO news piece - slingshot,
some twisted nails for puncturing tires, bottles of something or other -
were not identified as to WHERE they were found in the report.

It is not above the FBI/DHS to plant evidence. Attorneys will, of course,
be asking this question - i.e. detailed 'chain of custody' as to where
these materials were found, photos putting the evidence 'on site' etc.
However, this is something we should not forget as a distinct possibility.

Greg Gibbs


--17--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 11:08:12 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
From: Guy Western <wtscs [at] mindspring.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Buckets of urine, slingshots,
     anti-bus weapons seized in raid on a...

Really, John, get a grip.  Must we propose a constitutional amendment that
specifies a right to keep and bear NAILS?  A couple of inches of pee in a
bucket hardly amounts to justification for these Gestapo tactics.  No,
John, we don't kick down the doors of private homes and drag people out in
handcuffs for code violations.  It takes months--years.  As a Ward 2 block
club leader, I can tell you that Councilmember Thune is one of the most
careful and conscientious about cleaning up our neighborhoods and keeping
them safe in such a way as to protect the individual rights and liberties
of residents, tenants and property owners alike.

This just another horrendous abuse of power against fellow citizens.
This is my country, too, Krenik, and this is making me sick.  Your
attempts to justify it, included.  You and Fletcher are stomping on MY
flag.

If I had to live long enough to see the "democracy" my father died to
preserve come to this sorry pass, at least I've lived long enough to see a
proud, articulate, black American nominated for the highest office as
well.  It's my only consolation.

- Guy Western


--18--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 18:50:27 +1200 (NZST)
From: John Slade <jslade [at] labornet.org>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

I suspect that Sheriff Fletcher is a member of the Twin Cities Joint
Terrorism Task Force, which I would venture to guess has been quietly
involved in this. I'm also sure that the new video-game centers known as
'super secret central control' were full of people, who were enjoying
moving cops around on the map like little boys with toy soldiers on the
diningroom floor. I urge people who interview him to ask about the JTTF
and if there are people on it involved in this security.

I want to thank the people on this list (the sane ones, anyway) for their
clear sight on what's going on.

That said, I'd guess the operating agreement for security (while the
President is not in town) puts Fletcher at or near the top, with his
agency there too. So for all the jurisdictional considerations, it's
likely that they'll provide paper, during the trials, which shows that
there was an agreement that it was OK. Should that kind of agreement been
made? Doubtful.

While the President is here, the unbiased professionals of the Secret
Service will likely move from 'veto power and in the loop' to 'on top of
everything'. Good thing this Administration doesn't believe in
politicizing agencies that are part of the criminal justice system.

I also think that the media activists are gonna score big time with this
one. That's why they're the targets. During the 2004 convention their
video work was responsible for over 400 people getting their charges
dropped, as the police's SWORN TESTIMONY was shown to be ENTIRELY FALSE.
For 400 people. So yeah, I think that Fletcher just overspent his budget
on legal defense.

I give Indymedia a credibility score of four, and any police spokesman in
the next week a credibility score of two.

John Slade
Dayton's Bluff, Saint Paul
Info about John Slade: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/5DTbsEHYNSYIexttiRGBMI


--19--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 12:15:10 -0500
From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Buckets of urine, slingshots,
     anti-bus weapons seized in raid on a...

It is quite clear from this ill-considered series of tirades against
demonstrators just how far perhaps half this country has strayed from the
fundamental tenets of the Constitution that created it. Free speech. Free
assembly. Freedom to petition government. Freedom to dissent from even the
law as written in order to change it.

Mr. Krenik sees more threat among his own countrypeople who are reacting
to what they see as an increasingly rising oppressive police state as an
excuse for "security" when, in fact, controlling dissent is not
anti-terrorism, but, indeed the suppression of rights guaranteed under the
rule of law he and others purport to defend by these actions.

Mr. Krenik is merely one voice persisting in the belief that more police,
more security, more fear-mongering and more oppression of people who do
not believe as he does will actually make us more secure when it will
engender the complete opposite ­ until the day actually arrives when we
are at real war with each other in the streets.

The simple fact is that the last 24 hours of police actions against
innocent civilians - they are innocent until proven guilty of a criminal
act (which possession of disrupting materials is not) - are portrayed as
justified by the "threat" such household items appear to create.

No such police action IS justified under our rule of law, and as such,
Sheriff Fletcher and his minions have violated the law far more
dangerously than those not in the uniform of sworn officers.

I say "sworn" because it is not the sworn duty of police officers to
arrest people on suspicion of what they might do, but on what they have
done or are doing at the immediate moment. Uniforms are symbols giving
cops the carte blanche power to inflict unlawful damage on people with
whom they and others may disagree politically and ideologically.

Police officers are not sworn to protect us from dissenters of the present
government. They're hired to protect all of us from true physical harm and
present danger and to investigate and solve crimes already committed.

The point is - there's no changing the political mindset of a John Krenik
or a Neal Krasnoff or an Andy Driscoll. The point is: the police have no
right to impose one ideology on another by actions couched in "official
security" exercises. And, other opinions to the contrary notwithstanding,
one need not fulfill all of history's definitions of "Gestapo" tactics to
see them at play here and in actions across this country over the last 100
years.

It's time to shut down the criminals - in uniform.

Andy Driscoll
Crocus Hill/Ward 2


--20--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 12:50:00 -0500
From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Legality of Preemptory Raids, was: Buckets of urine, etc.

Suspicion of conspiracy has always been a rubric for police actions that
fall outside the law. Anyone can claim conspiracy - and often do to justify
preemption. Proving it has always been the conundrum and conspiracy charges
rarely hold up in court. Of course, that's well after the events that have
already violated the rights of innocents. Law professors can be wrong as
well.


--21--

Date: Mon,  1 Sep 2008 06:00:04 +1200 (NZST)
From: "Grace Kelly (nicknamed Kelly)" <saintcurmudgeon [at] earthlink.net>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>
Subject: [SPIF] Preemptive Video Arrest

I am a citizen journalist and sometimes a voluntary legal observer. As I
long ago stated, I am pledged to peace and law. Basically every legal
observer has to be absolutely careful in staying neutral, staying calm and
carefully recording all of the facts, while staying out of the police's
way. So there is no case of conspiracy of breaking any law, in fact, just
the opposite. Yet these folks were raided with a federal warrant. (Perhaps
because a Ramsey Court Judge was sane and said there is no reasonable
case), Basically, it is this raid that really makes the case, that the
only purpose of these raids is to take people away from totally lawful
protests, from reporting and from legal observing, by pre-emptive arrests.
It is this raid in particular that says that this raids are simply to
intimidate people into not parading nor protesting.

From Salon, quoting Eileen Clancy's blog

Quote:

This is Eileen Clancy . . . The house where I-Witness Video is staying in
St. Paul has been surrounded by police. We have locked all the doors. We
have been told that if we leave we will be detained. One of our people who
was caught outside is being detained in handcuffs in front of the house.
The police say that they are waiting to get a search warrant. More than a
dozen police are wielding firearms, including one St. Paul officer with a
long gun, which someone told me is an M-16.

We are suffering a preemptive video arrest. For those that don't know,
I-Witness Video was remarkably successful in exposing police misconduct
and outright perjury by police during the 2004 RNC. Out of 1800 arrests,
at least 400 were overturned based solely on video evidence which
contradicted sworn statements which were fabricated by police officers. It
seems that the house arrest we are now under and the possible threat of
the seizure of our computers and video cameras is a result of the 2004
success.

We are asking the public to contact the office of St. Paul Mayor Chris
Coleman at 651-266-8510 to stop this house arrest, this gross intimidation
by police officers, and the detention of media activists and reporters.

That sounds like what it was: a cry for help from a hostage. Hours later,
the Police finally obtained a search warrant - for the wrong house, one
adjacent to the house where they were being detained - and nonetheless
broke in, pointing guns, forced them to lay on the floor and handcuffed
everyone inside (and handcuffed a National Lawyers Guild attorney
outside). They searched the house, arrested nobody, and then left.

Any rational person planning to protest the GOP Convention would, in light
of this Government spying and these police raids, think twice - at least
- about whether to do so. That is the point of the raids - to announce
to citizens that they best stay in their homes and be good, quiet, meek,
compliant people lest they want their homes to be invaded, their property
seized, and have rifles pointed at them, too.

Endquote.

The rest of the story is here
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/index.html

In history, the beginnings of really bad stuff all looked small. When
actually the small stuff should have been a wake up call. How bad does it
have to get before we act. That house could have been me or anyone who is
politically active!

The only time that evil triumphs is when good people step aside and do
nothing. This is a case where we need political action. At the very least,
voices speaking out on forums, in letters, in newspapers and to political
leaders. I already know one person who is marching because of this, who
was not planning to before.We need to change the law that allows weekends
and labor days to be excluded from the 36 hour limit. In light of this and
the incredibly long bad record of Sheriff Fletcher, we should dedicate our
time to ensuring that someone else is elected. (I pledge one night a week,
with occasional weeks off.) Lets all campaign and vote. If we love our
freedom and our democracy, then each of us has to work to keep it.

Grace Kelly nicknamed Kelly
Curmudgeon from Merriam Park


--22--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 14:26:01 -0500
From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
To: Truth To Tell This Week <truthtotell [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: [StPaul-AN] Hauling away protesters in advance...still

Phil Villaume is a pretty standard-looking lawyer, paunch and all. Why is he
being searched at a sporting event? Hes also volunteering as a legal
observer and on-call defense attorney for arrested demonstrators.

Andy
--

From: <pgvassoc [at] att.net>
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008

Hi Andy:

Your listeners should be calling the FBI and asking why this is being
done. The $50 million allocated by congress for security for the RNC is
controlled at the national level. The person in charge of all law
enforcement and security for the convention is a female FBI agent whose
name escapes me.

The FBI is in charge of all of this. The same agent was in charge of the
security in Denver. This kind of sweep has been in the workings for months
and was not just planned last week. They have had informants in these
organizations that have provided information that was the basis for the
probable cause to get the warrants to search.

This is nothing more than a large scale sting operation and the FBI, not
local law enforcement, is calling all the shots. We see these kinds of
"busts" in drug operations where alleged organized crime is involved all
the time.

This is nothing new to those of us that defend these cases. All you have
here is a much broader scale. These teams are like SWAT teams that are
trained in counter-terrorism "busts" all under the auspices of Homeland
Security.

I was at a sporting event last night and I was searched like never before.
I knew it was all because of the RNC. I was patted down at an entrance to
the Metrodome where they never pat you down. It was as extensive as the
search we go through at the airport and this was for a sporting event.

Why?? Because it is all part of what is going on. The citizens of
Minnesota are going to have to live with this all week plus we taxpayers
will pay for the cost of defending all the lawsuits that arise out of this
type of police conduct. Those of us that are constitutional lawyers are
ashamed when we see the First Amendment Right to Speech and Association
trampled on. This has what we call a "chilling effect" on Free Speech. The
purpose is to drive down the number of protesters on Monday. I hope they
do not succeed. This is just the mere beginning.

                                             Phil Villaume

--23x--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 15:00:36 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
From: Guy Western <wtscs [at] mindspring.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Buckets of urine, slingshots,
     anti-bus weapons seized in raid on a...

For the love of God, don't tell anyone, but I don't flush every time I
pee.  Since when does anyone need an "excuse" to have live pee in their
home?  So, here's what, I'm going out to the shed right now to bend some
nails, and, starting today, I'm keeping some fresh pee in a bucket.  So
put the Department of Inspections on notice along with the FBI, and let's
see who gets here first.

Sweet Jesus, are we going to start having pre-emptive police raids on the
homes of high school kids every year before Haloween to look for bags of
dog poop, matches, and toilet paper?  Will they have to be in combination
in order to qualify as a conspiracy?  Will the kids have to be from the
same high school?

I'm asking for a little perspective in a country that guarantees the right
to have .50 caliber magnum handguns in every home.  Now I need a note from
Geheim Staatz Polizei for a gas mask?  for bent nails?

I could understand if there was evidence that led to a couple of pounds of
gel-ignite, but you and Krenik and Spaulding are acting like this
collection of junk is the long-awaited WMD.

And what did they collect from the underground journalists:  pencils AND
paper. . . in the SAME HOME!?


--24--

5 arrested, dozens detained in pre-RNC raids
Joe Garofoli, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, August 31, 2008

(08-31) 04:00 PDT St. Paul, Minn. -- Activists planning protests around
the Republican National Convention say they are being targeted in a
heavy-handed attempt to chill dissent after police arrested five people,
detained dozens of others, and seized computers and protest guides in
raids Friday night and Saturday on private homes and the major meeting
center.

The "RNC Welcoming Committee," an organization of dozens of activist
groups and individuals from around the country, has been planning
demonstrations for over a year at the convention. The largest, which
activists said could draw up to 50,000 people, is scheduled for Monday,
the opening day of the convention.

At around 9:15 p.m. Friday, Ramsey County sheriffs and St. Paul police
officers kicked in the door of a former theater in St. Paul that the group
had rented as a central planning office, said Lisa Fithian, a nonviolence
coordinator working with the protesters. They ordered the 50 people inside
onto the floor, where they were handcuffed, photographed and asked for
identification, then had their possessions searched.

Police kept at least three laptops, plus schedules and 7,000 "welcoming
guides" organizers planned to distribute to people coming to the Twin
Cities for demonstrations, Fithian said. Those inside were released within
two hours, she said.

On Saturday, police raided four other homes and arrested five people. They
were being held at the Hennepin County jail in Minneapolis Saturday on
suspicion of conspiracy to riot, conspiracy to commit civil disorder and
conspiracy to damage property.

"The 'Welcoming Committee' is a criminal enterprise made up of 35
anarchists who are intent on committing criminal acts before and during
the Republican National Convention," Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher
said in a statement. "These acts include tactics to blockade and disable
delegate buses, breaching venue security and injuring police officers.
They have recruited assistance in their criminal conspiracy from other
anarchists groups throughout the country."

Activists who gathered Saturday evening at the Rivertown Events Center,
where the Friday night raid occurred, said they were shaken by the raid
but not deterred. Some shared stories - and photos - of police arresting
and handcuffing other suspected activists around the area.

"I think (Friday night's raid) was a scare tactic to not go to the big
demonstration Monday," said Monica Trinidad, a 22-year-old University of
Illinois at Chicago student who was handcuffed outside the center Friday
night as she was returning to see what was going on. "But I don't think
it's going to work."

Hal Muskat, a 61-year-old San Franciscan and member of Veterans for Peace,
said the arrests might attract even more protesters.

"It was a tactic to try and take out the leaders," he said. "I know some
people don't like to go out in the streets. But when anybody within a
12-hour drive hears about what's going on here, they're going to want to
be here with us on Monday."

E-mail Joe Garofoli at jgarofoli [at] sfchronicle.com.
This article appeared on page A - 17 of the San Francisco Chronicle


--25--

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 17:52:21 -0400
From: Alan Muller <amuller [at] dca.net>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>
Subject: [SPIF] "Five Arrested, Dozens Detained in Pre-RNC Raids"

Truthout.org has up an article from the San Francisco Chronicle :

http://www.truthout.org/article/five-arrested-dozens-detained-pre-rnc-raids
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/30/MNQJ12LPN1.DTL

I posted this comment:

As a part-time resident of Minnesota I've been following local discussion
of the convention and expected repressive measures for months.

With Philadelphia and New York as examples, there's hardly been any
mystery about what the "authorities" would do.

The Twin Cities like to think of themselves as enlightened, civil, and
progressive places.  For the most part they seem so to me.  But,
obviously, St. Paul would not have become the convention site without
prior agreement to do these shameful things.  Deal with the Devil and you
will probably get burned....Fascism to sell hotel rooms and meals is not a
decision that will enhance a reputation and sense of community.

But maybe most important is what this says about the Republican
party--that it can only hold a convention by hiding behind fifty million
dollars of repression.  By harassing reporters and lawyers, hounding
citizens....that IT, the Republican Party, is really the criminal
conspiracy against peace and democracy.

Can any of us imagine McCain or the lady from Alaska actually talking to
any of the Welcoming Committee?

Alan Muller
N/A, Port Penn
Info about Alan Muller: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/alanmuller


--26--

Published on Sunday, August 31, 2008 by Salon.com
Massive Police Raids on Suspected Protestors in Minneapolis
by Glenn Greenwald
Common Dreams

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly
intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of
25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering
homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing
them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the
homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night,
members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff's
department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting
at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime
other than "fire code violations," and early this morning, the Sheriff's
department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area
homes where suspected protesters were staying.

Jane Hamsher and I were at two of those homes this morning -- one which
had just been raided and one which was in the process of being raided.
Each of the raided houses is known by neighbors as a "hippie house," where
5-10 college-aged individuals live in a communal setting, and everyone we
spoke with said that there had never been any problems of any kind in
those houses, that they were filled with "peaceful kids" who are
politically active but entirely unthreatening and friendly. Posted below
is the video of the scene, including various interviews, which convey a
very clear sense of what is actually going on here.
In the house that had just been raided, those inside described how a team
of roughly 25 officers had barged into their homes with masks and black
swat gear, holding large semi-automatic rifles, and ordered them to lie on
the floor, where they were handcuffed and ordered not to move. The
officers refused to state why they were there and, until the very end,
refused to show whether they had a search warrant. They were forced to
remain on the floor for 45 minutes while the officers took away the
laptops, computers, individual journals, and political materials kept in
the house. One of the individuals renting the house, an 18-year-old woman,
was extremely shaken as she and others described how the officers were
deliberately making intimidating statements such as "Do you have
Terminator ready?" as they lay on the floor in handcuffs. The 10 or so
individuals in the house all said that though they found the experience
very jarring, they still intended to protest against the GOP Convention,
and several said that being subjected to raids of that sort made them more
emboldened than ever to do so.

Several of those who were arrested are being represented by Bruce Nestor,
the President of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers' Guild.
Nestor said that last night's raid involved a meeting of a group calling
itself the "RNC Welcoming Committee", and that this morning's raids
appeared to target members of "Food Not Bombs," which he described as an
anti-war, anti-authoritarian protest group. There was not a single act of
violence or illegality that has taken place, Nestor said. Instead, the
raids were purely anticipatory in nature, and clearly designed to frighten
people contemplating taking part in any unauthorized protests.

Nestor indicated that only 2 or 3 of the 50 individuals who were
handcuffed this morning at the 2 houses were actually arrested and charged
with a crime, and the crime they were charged with is "conspiracy to
commit riot." Nestor, who has practiced law in Minnesota for many years,
said that he had never before heard of that statute being used for
anything, and that its parameters are so self-evidently vague, designed to
allow pre-emeptive arrests of those who are peacefully protesting, that it
is almost certainly unconstitutional, though because it had never been
invoked (until now), its constitutionality had not been tested.

There is clearly an intent on the part of law enforcement authorities here
to engage in extreme and highly intimidating raids against those who are
planning to protest the Convention. The DNC in Denver was the site of
several quite ugly incidents where law enforcement acted on behalf of
Democratic Party officials and the corporate elite that funded the
Convention to keep the media and protesters from doing anything remotely
off-script. But the massive and plainly excessive preemptive police raids
in Minnesota are of a different order altogether. Targeting people with
automatic-weapons-carrying SWAT teams and mass raids in their homes, who
are suspected of nothing more than planning dissident political protests
at a political convention and who have engaged in no illegal activity
whatsoever, is about as redolent of the worst tactics of a police state as
can be imagined.

UPDATE: Here is the first of the videos, from the house that had just been
raided:


--27--

Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 09:25:38 -0500
From: Cam Gordon <camgordon333 [at] msn.com>
To: Cam Gordon <cam [at] camgordon.org>
Subject: Statement on Recent Law Enforcement Actions Targeting Protest
    Organizers

Statement on Recent Law Enforcement Actions Targeting Protest Organizers
from Minneapolis Council Members Cam Gordon and Elizabeth Glidden

On Friday August 29th, a large, peaceful Critical Mass bike ride occurred
in Minneapolis where protesters, passersby and police conducted themselves
in a civil and respectful way - a hopeful beginning to the Republican
National Convention and related protest events, marches, and citizen
journalism.

On Friday evening and Saturday morning, homes in Minneapolis and a place
of assembly in St Paul were raided by law enforcement; residents were
detained and property seized.  These actions were initiated, to our
knowledge, by the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.  Although we do not
have the information available to law enforcement, we are concerned that
the level of force used during these raids does not appear to match the
alleged threat posed.  The seizure of the Earth Activist Training
Permaculture Demonstration Bus (Permibus), young activists pulled over in
their van at Lake and 11th Ave and detained by law enforcement with
weapons drawn, and other reported events are actions that appear excessive
and create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation for those who wish to
exercise their first amendment rights.

During the challenging days ahead we urge a focus on creating a secure
atmosphere of nonviolence that will allow and encourage people to
participate in political speech.  While violence and property damage by
protesters or others should not be tolerated, neither should there be a
chilling effect on free speech.  We have been contacted by many who are
concerned that their home or meeting place may be at risk because they are
on an email list, attended a workshop or meeting, or helped feed and house
out-of-town activists.  We thank our Minneapolis police and others for
their hard work to prepare for this momentous event and know - as
evidenced by the Critical Mass ride this past Friday - that they are well
able to keep the peace and respect first amendment rights of nonviolent
protesters.

Let's send the right message - with a focus on maintaining order and peace
while creating a safe space for free speech and political expression.  We
encourage all residents and visitors to feel safe and welcome to express
themselves and hope that everyone will show up on Labor Day at the State
Capital to make their voices heard.

Cam Gordon
Minneapolis City Council Member, Second Ward
612 296-0579

Elizabeth Glidden
Minneapolis City Council Member, Eighth Ward
612 673-2208

[Please call or email them with your support. -ed]

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   - David Shove             shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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                          vote third party
                           for president
                           for congress
                          now and forever



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