Progressive Calendar 09.02.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 23:11:49 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   09.02.08
                             POLICE RAIDS IV

1 Nestor (NLG)
2 Strand
3 Berglund/Glass Bead Collective video
4 Dooley/Hughes (Daily Planet)
5 Stone (Daily Planet)
6 Muller/Schiff
7 Wood
8 Swope
9 Hamerlinck
10 Hamerlinck/Bicking video
11 March news
12 Livesay
13 Cole
14 Swope
15 Rybisky
16 Bolin
17 Turck (Daily Planet)
18 Spaulding
19 Stone (Daily Planet)
20 Broderick (Daily Planet)
21 Dickinson
22 Hamerlinck
23 Wassenar
24 Aleric
25 Kolstad/Goodman video
26 Wassenar/Democracy Now
27 Mortenson
28 Muller
29 Smith
30 Underwood
31 Trnka/Democracy Now
32 Goldstein

33 ed  Higher goons (haiku)


Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 19:09:50 -0500
From: Bruce Nestor <nestor [at]>  [NLG]
Subject: RNC Detainees to Remain in Jail

Six activists seized in early morning house raids and street snatchings on
Saturday, August 30, 2008, will remain detained. Ramsey County Judge
Joanne Smith this afternoon found probable cause to continue the
detentions after the Ramsey County Attorney also recommended the
detentions continue. The cases will not be reviewed for formal charging by
the Ramsey County Attorney until Tuesday morning at the earliest. If
formally charged, the activists will be entitled to a court appearance and
may argue for bail or release. Otherwise, they will remain detained until
Wednesday at noon and be released if formal charges are not filed. Judge
Smith did not consider whether the detainees should be released, as no
bail study had been performed, and only made a probable cause
determination based solely upon information submitted by the Ramsey County
Sheriff. Defense counsel has still not seen any of the evidence claimed to
exist by Sheriff Fletcher, has not been able to review the affidavits
submitted in support of the search warrant applications, and was not able
to contest or argue the evidence presented to Judge Smith.

"It is very difficult for a judge to decide no probable cause exists when
defense counsel has no opportunity to review and challenge the allegations
submitted by the police," said Bruce Nestor of the Minnesota Chapter of
the National Lawyers Guild. "It is disappointing that the Ramsey County
Attorney has acquiesced in Sheriff Fletcher's preventative detention
strategy and will not make a prompt review and charging decision. If the
evidence exists to support these charges, a formal charge should be filed
so the detainees can appear in court and ask to be released. The Ramsey
County Attorney's failure to act means that these citizens will remain in
jail for an extended period without any opportunity to challenge the
allegations made against them," he said.

Bruce D. Nestor 3547 Cedar Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55407 612-659-9019
- Phone 612-436-3664 - Fax


Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 00:40:25 -0500
From: David Strand <lavgrn [at]>

According to Suzanne Linton, Dave Bickings duaghter was released today but
none of the others arrested had yet been released.


Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2008 09:10:22 -0500
From: Gena Berglund <gena [at]>
Subject: I-Witness detainment mini-documentary (RNC - Saint Paul, MN)

By the Glass Bead Collective. ~11 minutes long


Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 07:32:29 -0500
From: Ted Dooley <614grand [at]>
Subject: Green hat uprising: National Lawyers Guild tries to halt police

Green hat uprising: National Lawyers Guild tries to halt police  raids

Bruce Nestor, president of the Minnesota National Lawyers Guild, at
site of a police raid on Augusst 30.

By Art Hughes, TC Daily Planet
August 31, 2008

Members of the National Lawyers Guild filed a motion Sunday in Hennepin
County District Court to stop what guild attorneys called unconstitutional
actions by local police officials. The motion for a temporary restraining
order comes after several days of targeted raids by law enforcement
officials at locations housing people planning on protesting the
Republican National Convention in St Paul. Police have also detained and
taken cameras, notebooks and other reporting tools from several citizen
journalists who work to document interactions between citizens and police.

"This has to stop," said St. Paul attorney Gena Berglund, who filed the
motion with Hennepin County District Judge Mark S. Wernick. "Democracy
depends on the ability of citizens to document what happens to people on
the street, in public places," she said, her voice shaking with emotion.

Berglund said Judge Wernick maintained he probably wouldn't be able make
an immediate ruling because his calendar is full with probable cause and
bail hearings.

Berglund is one of at least 100 attorneys from Minnesota and around the
country to observe and work on civil rights cases related to the
convention. They're noticeable by the bright green hats they wear.
Berglund said her office counts seven instances in recent weeks of police
detaining people and taking equipment such as cameras, video equipment,
and digital media.

Dozens of experienced lawyers, Berglund said, are "working their butts
off" to retrieve items taken during police raids, including puppets,
sign-making materials and "the things that protestors need to protest,
which is a First Amendment right."

As she spoke, police were holding a Hiawatha Light Rail train car filled
with protesters at the Lake Street station. After several minutes, the
rail car was allowed to proceed to its destination.

Over the weekend, police raided a defunct St. Paul theater occupied by the
group, RNC Welcoming Committee. Police also closed in on several
residences in St. Paul and Minneapolis. They handcuffed and detained
dozens of people, including three members of the New York based Glass Bead
Collective, a group known for documenting police abuses on videotape. The
three, including Olivia Katz, were released and no charges were filed.
Police eventually returned all the belongings they confiscated. "This
doesn't happen in New York," Katz said, referring to law enforcement
officials hassling camera-toting citizens.

Police, led by Ramsey County Sheriffs deputies, maintain the raids
targeted self-described anarchists, intent on creating havoc during the
convention. Six people were arrested. The sheriff's office confiscated
materials they say would be used to disrupt the convention, including
buckets of urine, bolt cutters, homemade devices used for disabling
vehicles (like buses carrying convention delegates), and various "edged
weapons" such as throwing knives and a machete.

"I haven't seen any evidence," said Bruce Nestor, a Lawyers Guild
member working to free those arrested. Nestor said authorities have filed
no formal charges, which he believes is a sign they have a weak case. "My
guess is they're relying on the word of police informants," which he
said is often shaky legal ground that, historically, has seen instances of
fabricated testimony, with very little in terms of physical evidence to
back it up.

Nestor maintains no one intended on flinging excrement during the
convention. He said what police seized were buckets used to collect "gray
water" by the residents in an attempt to save water and resources.

"At least they got a search warrant," Nestor said, favorably comparing
the recent action to pre-emptive police raids during the 2000 RNC in
Philadelphia in which authorities used suspected fire code violations to
shut down protest operations. Most of the Philadelphia cases were
dismissed and the city was forced to pay damages for false arrest.

As she waited on word from Judge Wernick about the restraining order,
attorney Gena Berglund commented that these were the worst instances of
unconstitutional abuses she remembers in Minnesota.

"This is not our local police acting by themselves," she said.
"They're acting at the direction of the federal government. This is
homeland security taken to the extreme. Some of us believe this is the new
Red Scare."

Her colleague, Bruce Nestor agreed. "This is a higher level of resources
used here to investigate, infiltrate and disrupt protests than we
typically see." Nestor said police departments have shared tactics more
readily on countering protests since the disruptive World Trade
Organization convention protests in Seattle in 1999. During the
convention, many businesses were damaged and protesters clashed repeatedly
with police.

What's happening here is certainly not normal but "none of it is
unexpected," Nestor said.

As of Sunday night, five of six activists arrested remained in jail.
Ramsey County Judge Joanne Smith ruled there is probably cause to keep
them in detention. The Ramsey County Attorney will not review the cases
for formal charges until at least Tuesday. If the county does not file
charges, the five could remain behind bars until noon on Wednesday. The
county released one detainee, Monica Bicking, on Sunday. The reasons for
her release were not explained to her or her attorneys.

Art Hughes is a free-lance journalist in Minneapolis. Reach him at
arthughes1 [at]


Anti-War groups undeterred by raids, will march Monday
By Kathlyn Stone, TC Daily Planet
August 31, 2008

Backed by several representatives of national peace and justice groups,
Jess Sundin said today that law enforcement raids on homes, confiscation
of equipment and detentions that have occurred over the past few days had
not dissuaded march organizers or the tens of thousands of people who plan
to protest during the Republican National Convention which begins Monday
in St. Paul.

Sundin, a Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War co- organizer,
and representatives of United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), Troops Out Now
Coalition, and Latinos Against War held a press conference today to talk
about the planned march and the effect of recent law enforcement

"We are planning a massive, family-friendly permitted march" that will
send a message to the world that Americans oppose the war on Iraq and
other policy failures that have harmed the American people, she said. "We
won't allow ourselves to be frightened away."

Sara Flounders, a spokesperson for the New York-based Troops Out Now
Coalition, suggested that official reports about those targeted in the
raids and their intentions shouldn't be taken at face value. She called
the searches and detentions that occurred in Minneapolis and St. Paul
"provocations" by law enforcement similar to those that were
orchestrated in New York prior to the 2004 Republican convention and in
other cities where large protests were planned. "Provocations are an
effort to stifle dissent," she said, adding that the Twin Cities" mayors
and city councils should be alerted that city governments have been held
liable in lawsuits when citizen rights of assembly and freedom of speech
have not been protected.

Katrina Plotz, another Coalition to March on the RNC planner, said she had
"a hard time believing the official reports that claimed some of those
detained planned to start riots or use a bucket of urine reportedly found
at one of the buildings as a weapon. It's just inconsistent with anything
I have heard or seen," she said.

George Martin, national co-chair of UFPJ, and Carlos Montes of Latinos
Against War in Los Angeles, also spoke. Both stressed the relationship
between the wars overseas and the economic suffering and loss of freedom
in the United States.

Coalition leaders said they expect 50,000 protesters from 125
organizations from across the country as well as thousands of Minnesotans
to descend on the Twin Cities to voice their opposition to Republican

The march and rally on Monday will be followed by many other events
organized by a wide range of groups - including truckers, veterans,
artists, welfare rights organizations, and others that will take place
throughout the week. International organizations including Amnesty
International have also organized activities to take place in St. Paul and
Minneapolis this week.

Kathlyn Stone is an independent journalist in St. Paul. She maintains a
health and science news site at E-mail
stonekat [at]


Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2008 12:42:02 -0400
From: Alan Muller <amuller [at]>
Subject: Alert 613:  What the McCain campaign is really about.   Minnesota
    as a police state?

"These raids are clearly motivated by politics, not by public safety."
--Minneapolis City Council member Gary Schiff

Folks, think about it, and be ashamed:  The Republicans felt they needed
to hide behind FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS of police-state "security" while
nominating John McCain to run for President of the United States.  (This
is not to say Democrats are innocent.  Reportedly, at the Democratic
National Convention an "ABC reporter [was] grabbed by the throat and
hauled off in handcuffs for covering a meeting of Democrat fat cat donors
and politicians.")

A key point, it seems to me, is to hold McCain responsible for these
abuses.  This is his convention.

Of course, those officials who sought to bring the RNC to St. Paul surely
agreed in advance to these progressive measures.  They, also, need to be
held responsible.


Date: Tue,  2 Sep 2008 05:03:02 +1200 (NZST)
From: Michael Wood <mwood42092 [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

Brothers and Sisters,

"Communists become the first victims of reaction because the are the most
resolute opponents of capitalist slavery and the most consistent defenders
of the democratic liberties and rights of the working people." (Otto
Kuusinen, Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism)

We Communists in the Gus Hall Action Club have not been subjected to raids
and roundups but, for the past few months, we (esp. I and my roomate) have
been the victims of what Brian Glick calls government "psychological
warfare from the outside." He wrote that "while boring from within (with
infiltrators), the FBI and police also attack dissident movements from the
outside." (Brian Glick, War at Home: Covert Actions Against U.S.

We just accepted the government "psychological warfare" in silence for 2
months. We shut our mouths when our telephone communications were
obstructed for weeks and our home line would not allow us to place calls
and our repair orders to the phone company were mysteriously cancelled. We
said nothing when our home was broken into and only our cell phones and a
24 roll pack of toilet paper was stolen. And we weren't surprised when
objects were rearranged in our backyard and my comrade's brand new
cellphone died yesterday. "Reaction is waging its offensive against
democracy from different directions and on a very wide front." (Otto
Kuusinen, Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism)


Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 13:23:08 -0700 (PDT)
From: M Charles Swope <mcswope [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>
Subject: [SPIF] RNC Protest March

Just got back from the RNC march. I was at the front so it might still be
going on.

I hear CNN has reported there were some garbage cans tipped and a few
windows broken. If true, that unfortunate. From what I could see, the
march was completely peaceful. Even the small clutch of counter protesters
were treated politely when we passed by.

My impressions:

First there were a huge number of people taking part. I can't give an
accurate figure but the prediction of 50,000 seemed to be met.

Second, the police presence is wholly disproportionate to the occasion.
Phalanxes of helmeted, kevlared, baton wielding police were everywhere.
The Colman, Harrington, Bostrom line about a "St. Paul standard" different
from Denver is nonsense. St. Paul looks just like any other city worldwide
run by people who want to quell public dissent. Heavily armored cops
prepared to move on any citizen who deviates from a government approved
path. The Harrington talk about providing a place for public dissent is a
bit hollow as well. Having to walk between metal barricades eight feet
high and not allowing speeches and such in front of the Xcel Center is not
providing for public dissent.

I guess the question is whether the level of security we see is necessary
to ensure that the Republicans can meet freely and conduct their business.
I'd argue it's not. Surely, the police could ensure that delegates and
others could access the Xcel Center and the facilities could be kept safe
without creating a cordon sanitaire around parts of downtown. And please
don't tell me that most of downtown is accessible. It wasn't today. Every
intersection along the march route had the riot-gear equipped squads
blocking access to any street other than the government approved route.

I suppose St. Paul would not have been given the convention if they hadn't
agreed to these over-the-top security measures. So be it. The better
choice would have been to turn down the opportunity rather than turn the
city into a mini police state.

One last thing, there's an incredible amount of new police equipment on
display. All the new anti-riot suits and batons, the many brand new
unmarked police vehicles and God knows what else must cost money. I know
the city got $50 million for this. I guess we're seeing what a police
force with money will buy. My question is what happens with all that stuff
now. Is it rented and can be returned or do we now warehouse it? God
forbid that it simply gets used whenever there's another public meeting.

Well, that's my initial impression after getting back just a few minutes
ago. I'd love to hear what others have to say.


Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2008 15:31:23 -0500
From: Andy Hamerlinck <iamandy [at]>
Subject: [M5DGP] Re: [GPSP] Gordon/Glidden: Statement on Recent Law
    Enforcement Actions Targeting Protest Organizers (fwd)

Is anyone aware of statements from councilmembers or the mayors apart from
this? I know Dave Thune did show up after being contacted by Mike Whalen
while his house was being raided.

Thanks to Cam and Elizabeth Glidden for having the courage to question law
enforcement during times such as these. They deserve our support next
year. And if the mayors are silent on this issue - especially in St. Paul
where we are hosting - that's all the more reason to challenge them come
November of next year as well. Remember, Coleman and Rybak are the two
chief cheerleaders for the charade known as the RNC coming to Minnesota in
the first place, so they ought to feel a sense of responsibility for what
they very well could have predicted was going to happen (and now
apparently is).


Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2008 15:38:02 -0500
From: Andy Hamerlinck <iamandy [at]>
Subject: [M5DGP] National coverage for the Green Party of Minnesota

Please take a moment to watch this interview with Dave Bicking, former
Green Party-endorsed Minneapolis City Council candidate, on the protests
in St. Paul & Minneapolis. He was interviewed as a representative from the
Green Party this morning on C-Span. Below is the direct link to the video
file. You will need the Real Media Player to watch it.

Dave did a wonderful job, especially considering the last minute
notification of this interview.



Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2008 17:45:45 -0400
From: press [at]
To: info [at]
Subject: Press Release: 30,000 March against the War at the RNC

Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War
30,000 March against the War at the RNC

The streets of downtown St. Paul were filled this afternoon with a mass
protest against the U.S. war and occupation of Iraq as the Republican
National Convention convened.

The event, organized by the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War
drew thousands not only from Minnesota, but from the upper Midwest and
from across the U.S.

The protest was organized under the calls of: "U.S. Out of Iraq Now!"
Money for human needs, not for war. " Say no to the Republican Agenda."
Demand peace, justice and equality.

Buses made their way from at least 15 cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin as
well as Chicago and other cities.

The antiwar event began with a rally at 11 am in front of the Minnesota
State Capitol building. After the rally with local, regional and national
speakers, protestors marched to the Xcel Center, site of the Republican

Speakers at the rally included many prominent leaders of the peace and
justice movements.

Organizers with the sponsoring coalition waged a two-year long campaign to
make sure that the event had a legal permit from the city of St. Paul in
order to ensure the safety of participants in the march and rally.

Jess Sundin, of the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War said,
"We are coming together to say no to the continued war and occupation of
Iraq,  and to demand  funds are used for housing, health care and human
needs instead of an endless war.  We are standing  up for  peace,  justice,
and equality."

"We are not just sending a message to the Republican Party on September
1st, but making a clear statement to the entire U.S. government that the
war and occupation of Iraq must end," added Katrina Plotz of the Coalition
to March on the RNC and Stop the War.

A statement issued by the coalition says in part, "In this election year,
some politicians talk about "winning the war" and staying in Iraq
for 100 years, other politicians are talking about "withdrawal
timetables".  But there is no such thing as winning a war that was based
on lies and deception. The people of Iraq want the occupation troops out of
their country. The war and occupation must end now!"

The September 1st protest was endorsed by over 125 national and local
organizations representing immigrant rights, students', women's, labor
and other groups.

Three national anti-war coalitions, the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, Troops Out
Now Coalition and United for Peace and Justice supported the St. Paul
protest. In addition many local organizations signed on in support as well,
including the Anti-War Committee; AFSCME Local 3800; SDS - Univ. of
Minnesota; Twin Cities Peace Campaign - Focus on Iraq (MN); Welfare
Rights Committee (MN); Women Against Military Madness (MN).

A large delegation of members of Veterans for Peace, including Iraq
Veterans Against the War, who are holding their national convention in the
Twin Cities, was among the lead contingents in the march.

For more information contact:
Jess Sundin 612-379-3584; 612-272-2209
Katrina Plotz 651-769-4474
Mick Kelly 612-715-3280
Meredith Aby 612-819-3149
Deb Konechne 612-730-6054


Date: Tue,  2 Sep 2008 10:39:05 +1200 (NZST)
From: G Livesay <portx10 [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>
Subject: [SPIF] media hype(violence) and other BS

Media hyping what was generally a peaceful march.  Anyone remember 1987
and the Twins?  Just because a few nut jobs showed up doesn't justify
turning my city into this.  Fletcher and Coleman will have alot to answer
for after this mess leaves town.

G Livesay
East side, St Paul
Info about G Livesay:


Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 17:47:19 -0500
From: Karen Cole <krcole18 [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] media hype(violence) and other BS

I agree entirely.  I spent the afternoon at the march and saw no violence
whatsoever.  I saw a few pro-war folks on the sidelines and they were
treated with respect.  Everyone was in good spirits.  A lot of the signs
and street theatre was very clever.  It was a very positive event from
what I saw.


From: M Charles Swope <mcswope [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>,
     John Harris <jbharr1 [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] RNC Protest March

The broken windows and other vandalism seem to have taken place away from
the march route (at least a good part of it). The police were so intent on
controlling the largely peaceful march that they seemed to lose sight of
the troublemakers who, incidentally, were wearing what amounted to
uniforms and were easily identifiable. Simply put, the tactics used by the
police to prevent trouble were flawed; phalanxes of star-wars robo-cops
lined up at march route intersections while the vandals were left free to
create mayhem in other parts of the city.

It's too bad that all the media attention will now be focused on the
troublemakers whose actions, after all, were not part of the march. Almost
nothing is being reported about the positions of the various groups who
matched peacefully. These idiot vandals have succeeded in giving the
Republicans exactly what they want; the opportunity to present the
opposition as out-of-control, violent kooks.

As for the numbers in the march, I have no way of estimating crowd sizes.
It looked like a lot to me is all I can really say. If it was only 10,000,
so be it.


Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 18:07:26 -0500
From: Chris Rybisky <atkuku [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] media hype(violence) and other BS

Where IS the mayor? We've heard from the sheriff and some city council
members and I think the police chief, but the mayor seems MIA.

Chris Rybisky
Cathedral Hill, Saint Paul
Info about Chris Rybisky:


Date: Tue,  2 Sep 2008 14:54:07 +1200 (NZST)
From: Nancy <nbolin [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] media hype(violence) and other BS

I agree with Karen and G.  I was downtown (with my wee cart) from 10 this
morning until 8 tonight.  The march was peaceful and almost playful.  I
think as far as a muddled message, it only becomes muddled if you choose
to believe that the protesters are violent.  In this case, they weren't,
but the media chose to only report the incidents.  It's sad that
sensationalism in the media outweighs the importance of that march today
or any real news.  We don't all have to be FOX entertainment network, and
I am desperate for a real journalist who reports real news in the Twin
Cities today.  I feel they are all PR people for Minnesota nice and they
totally missed the message about the damage of war and the negative impact
of the Republican agenda.

Nancy Bolin
Homcroft West 7th , Saint Paul
Info about Nancy:


One big march
By Mary Turck , TC Daily planet
September 01, 2008

5 p.m., downtown St. Paul - Thousands of protesters marched from the
Capitol to the Xcel Center this afternoon (September 1), largely without
incident. The crowd gathered at the Capitol during the morning, stepping
off to march about 1 p.m., after listening to speakers who denounced the
war in Iraq and a variety of other Bush administration policies.

Hundreds of police in full riot gear lined St. Paul streets, preventing
anyone from crossing out of the line of march. Many police wore face
shields and gas masks, and police horses also wore face shields. Both
marked and unmarked police cars, trucks and vans filled the streets.
Police on Seventh Street prevented anyone from walking or driving into
downtown St. Paul for more than two hours while the march was in progress.

The main march was preceded by a smaller parade by an unidentified group,
including many young people and some with faces covered by black bandanas.
This group clearly made police nervous, as they fell in behind the
marchers, but allowed them to proceed on the route and turn around and
leave downtown. In addition to the usual chants, this group danced in the
street and used pink chalk to draw on the street at various points.

Scattered incidents of violence were reported throughout the day,
including overturning a dumpster near the History Center, breaking windows
in police cars and a Macy's window in downtown St. Paul, and a mysterious
black police vehicle shooting something that created smoke.

Rumors are running rampant in downtown St. Paul.we.ll keep you posted as
actual news develops.

Article Tags: anti-war, march on convention


Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2008 18:14:22 -0500
From: Bob Spaulding <bob_spaulding [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] RNC Protest March

I was at the march.  I didn't personally see any problems there.  Yet my
friend the guard in a downtown building was told by police that
individuals in the march broke off and caused pandemonium away from the
parade route as the parade went on.  So though I applaud and share the
concerns of almost everyone in the parade, a few bad apples muddled the
message.  Those individuals deserve at least part of the blame.

Somehow much of the march ended up going dow Wabasha n, even though it was
intended to go down Cedar.  Perhaps someone could explain that. From what
I've peiced together, it might have been because of a separate altercation
at 7th & Minnesota, but I can't be sure.

I personally ran into several broken windows downtown, some of police
cars, several of which haven't been reported in the media as far as I
know.  TV news has footage of several crimes in action.  If you're
breaking windows or disabling buses, you deserve to potentially be
detained by police, and kept from causing further problems to the full
extent the law allows.

From above, I witnessed an anarchist-type standoff with police where the
protesters were blocking Kellogg Boulevard along the riverfront.  KARE 11
reported last hour there was another group of about 400 anarchists
fighting with police, and had closed down Shepard Road.

Meanwhile, a line of officers in full riot gear is currently standing at
the back of the building I call home.  A line of about 20 national
guardsmen and guardswomen is standing, billy clubs, sheilds and helmets in
tow, along the park across the street from where I live.

To all with doubts, yes indeed, I would say the behavior of marchers is
all a problem.  This isn't fun.  The convention has to be held somewhere.
But please don't dismiss what's happening unless you see it yourself, and
think about what this would be like in your backyard.


RNC protesters being arrested in downtown St. Paul at 5:20 p.m.
By Kathlyn Stone (with additional reporting from The Uptake) , TC Daiy
September 01, 2008

After an afternoon of sirens and alarms, protesters are being arrested in
downtown St. Paul. (You can see it on video shot by The Uptake which has video crews all over the city.)

A rally in St. Paul that began peacefully this morning to protest
government policies regarding the war and economy has turned a corner and
now includes vandalism against public property. A National Guard unit
that had been prepared to assist with the RNC convention is present.

Police and protesters clashed in downtown St. Paul following a large
peaceful rally. There was vandalism by a small spinter group of protesters
during the march which started shortly after 1 p.m. A protester tore off a
street sign and slung it into a Macy's store, breaking two windows. Then
another protester or protesters jumped on a police car and broke out the
windows. There have been about a dozen arrests.

The National Guard and police are wearing riot gear with gas masks. There
has been a small, but loud, explosion from what is believed to be a gas

Other protesters were dancing in the streets when they were sprayed with
tear gas and pepper spray. Many marchers have been prevented from crossing
a bridge in St. Paul that would take them to a Labor Day gathering
organized by Minnesota's unions.

According to a family member whose son was a National Guard member who
served in Iraq, the National Guard unit put on stand-by for the RNC has
been home for one year, and took part in skirmishes in Falujah.

The extent of vandalism was unknown.

The vast majority of protesters, who come from a wide range of
demographics and focus on divergent issues, have been peaceful.

Article Tags: RNC 2008, St. Paul


Mayor Interrupted: My weekend non-meeting of the minds with Chris Coleman
Rich Broderick
September 1, 2008
Daily Planet

The conversation started off on a positive note. More than positive. I
shook the Mayor's hand and commended the St. Paul Police Department for
its low profile during the weekend's worth of patently unconstitutional
raids around St. Paul and Minneapolis.

"I know John Harrington slightly, I pointed out, "and he doesn't seem to
be the kind of law enforcement official who engages in breaking the law".

But his reaction was not positive. I fully expected that at some point in
the discussion I intended to have with him that he would probably get a
little testy. I was surprised, however, by the way he instantly flared
into a defensive crouch - and never came out of it.

"All we are trying to do is separate the people who are here to protest
peacefully from those who are planning to commit acts of violence," he
declared heatedly.

Our exchange took place outside the Black Dog Caf in Lowertown St. Paul
late Sunday afternoon in the midst of the cafe's annual Labor Day Weekend
block party. The Mayor had just put in an unscheduled appearance to greet
the crowd and to remind us to be thinking of the people of New Orleans
(Gustav was still bearing down on the Gulf Coast that day) even while we
were out here having a good time. It seemed an oddly self-contradictory
admonition, but whatever. It's the kind of thing politicians say.

Just before Coleman mounted the stage, I had turned to one of his
assistants and advised, "Tell him to go up there and say, 'I had nothing
to do with any of it!'". Meaning, of course, the raids. His assistant
seemed to think that was pretty funny, which is why I thought it might be
possible to have a reasonable conversation about the raids with the Mayor.

I was wrong.

"I'm not defending violence," I began to respond, but was cut off.

"You all say that" [who are the "all" in whose company I am being lumped,
I wondered?] but then you criticize us [and who are the "us," I wondered,
in whose company you are lumping yourself, Mayor? Ramsey County Sheriff
Bully-Bob Fletcher's gang of thumpers?] when we arrest people who came
here to cause violence".

How do you know "they" came here to cause violence, I asked, trying to
keep my voice as mild as possible to offset his increasing agitation.

"I've seen the evidence with my own eyes," he snapped.

And when exactly did you see this evidence?

"At the Sheriff's press conference".

"And how do you know this evidence was actually seized during the raids?"
I inquired.

He dismissed my question with a wave of his hand.

"Look," I pressed on, "all I'm asking is that you keep an open mind. If
Fletcher really found bomb-making materials during the raids, then how
come everybody on the premises wasn't booked and locked up? How come all
but a few of the people detained were let free to roam the streets again?
What about the statement the cops in Minneapolis made about the freelance
journalists they detained Thursday night - that they found marijuana on
them? If the cops really found that, how come they didn't charge them with

"We're not interested in a few potheads," he objected scornfully. "We're
just interested in stopping people who are planning to cause violence."

Well, this wasn't going anywhere, but I tried one more gambit.

"Look," I said, "No one's blaming you for what's happened, and like I
said, I really appreciate the St. Paul police staying out of this as best
they can. All I am asking is that you keep an open mind. Try to remember
that the people who were arrested are innocent until proven guilty".

But that just incensed the Mayor even more. "My mother's going to be in
that march tomorrow [meaning the official "permitted" march taking place
Monday afternoon from the Capitol past the Xcel Center]. I don't want her
marching next to some guy with a machete!"

Gentle reader, forgive me. I couldn't help myself. "Then why not ask Bob
Fletcher and his boys to leave their machetes at home?" I asked.

"I've got to go," Coleman blurted out, then walked off, not even pausing
for the obligatory politico handshake.

I'm sure he did have to go. It was a sultry afternoon, and he looked a tad

In recounting this, I'm not trying to come down too hard on the Mayor.
He's a decent enough sort, and, truthfully, he really isn't to blame -
although the city has from the first tried to put up the front that it's
been in charge of the RNC, the reality is quite different. From the
get-go, this circus has been handled by the feds as a Homeland Security
event, as a crisis-waiting-to-happen that had to be forestalled by
whatever means necessary, even if it meant trampling on our civil and
human rights and treating the Constitution as no more than the "piece of
paper" George Bush has thoughtfully described it as being.

No, what interests me is not bashing Coleman but rather inquiring into the
reason or reasons for his defensiveness - an emotional response that
occurs when, among other circumstances, we are not quite as certain of our
feelings or convictions as we pretend to be, when we are uneasy inside
about the position we are espousing.

So I am inclined to give Coleman, and R.T. Ryback, who has been similarly
silent about the raids, the benefit of the doubt. In his heart of hearts,
I suspect that he realizes that what happened this past weekend is deeply
suspect - that the issue of who is and is not breaking the law not quite
so cut-and-dried as he proclaimed to me.

But why he would feel it necessary to condone the raids rather than
question their propriety or even, as St. Paul 1st Ward Councilperson, Dave
Thune, has done, simply declare that "this is not the way we do things in
St. Paul," is beyond my ken. I will, however, offer at least one

As social creatures, we should never underestimate the powerful appeal of
being part of the inner circle. Or how averse we are as social creatures
to do or say anything that might jeopardize our membership in that inner

One can only imagine the months and months of "top-level" meetings and
presentations that both mayors have been involved in. The presentations by
the Justice Department and the FBI, the Secret Service, the Department of
Homeland Security - meetings and presentations in which neither of our
elected officials would have had much real say on security at the RNC.
Even so, imagine being the mayor of a mid-sized Midwest city finding
yourself rubbing shoulders with high-ranking federal officials. How

In journalism, there is a widely recognized threat to traditional
objectivity that goes by the name of "acculturation". It is the principal
downside of beat reporting.

A reporter assigned, say, to the police beat will naturally come, over a
period of time, to think of the cops as colleagues, take on some of their
attitudes and values, and begin to look the other way rather than report
on instances of police brutality or corruption when such reporting would
be seen as "ratting on friends" and immediately sever that social bond.

Has Chris Coleman succumbed to some version of this phenomenon over the
past several months? Not sure, but it might explain the way he acted
Sunday afternoon.

Either that, or it was the heat.


Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 18:43:49 -0500
From: Elizabeth Dickinson <eadickinson [at]>
To: David Shove <shove001 [at]>
Subject: Re: Progressive Calendar  09.01.08

Becki Smith just phoned--says they're not allowing people from downtown to
come to Harriet Island for the concert.  Also says she's seen rubber
bullets and tear gas.  Busses aren't running so I may have to give them a
ride home to Mpls.

Same thing was going on near 4th and Sibley according to a phone call
around 4 pm from the NYC protester I'm housing.



Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2008 19:12:29 -0500
From: Andy Hamerlinck <iamandy [at]>
Subject: [GPSP] Protests


First, I regret I can't be there with you all, but I'm following today's
activities and this whole story very closely. Thank you to Gena, Rich,
Dave Shove and all the others who have been posting updates and sending
links to videos (there's good stuff at Twin Cities Daily Planet and that's updated regularly).

Thanks also to Dave Bicking for being a great representative for our party
this morning on C-SPAN. In the midst of what appears to be pretty baseless
police repression against both his daughter and Mike Whalen and his
guests, both Greens have stood out for their quick thinking responses.

The response by Chris Coleman and other city officials to today's events
is so typical. When they could've issued strong statements against the
raids that helped lead to the climate going into today's protests (a la
Cam Gordon and Elizabeth Glidden), they instead remained silent, perhaps
believing their own line of shit that we somehow would do things
differently in the Twin Cities. Then when a couple instances of property
damage broke out today, of course Coleman was all over how heroic the cops
were, and how unfortunate it was that some bad guys ruined a perfectly
docile convention protest for him.

Of course, this was all completely predictable, but completely ignored in
happy mayoral pronouncements about how great the convention would be for
the cities in the months leading up to now.

I look forward to reading Greens' reports from the march. If anyone has
any pictures or video from Rosa Clemente's actions, we ought to try and
get those on our websites.


Date: Tue,  2 Sep 2008 12:42:03 +1200 (NZST)
From: Mike  Wassenaar <wassenaar [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] RNC Protest March

Amy Goodman, the national host of Democracy Now!  and two other reporters
with the program have been detained by the St Paul Police for covering the
march and some of the confrontations between police forces and
demonstrators about 5pm this afternoon.  My understanding is she was
detained after trying to stop police officers from arresting and detaining
her staff, and is being held at 425 Grove.

People who are concerned about free speech and journalistic integrity
should contact elected officials in St Paul immediately and ask why
journalists covering public events are being detained, and politely but
firmly demand they be released immediately.

I have worked with Amy for over a decade.  The video of her arrest is

The link to Democracy Now! is here:

I've looked at the video, and frankly I'm appalled that she was arrested
for asking about her colleagues' detention.  I'm asking people to contact
St Paul authorities to ask for her and other journalist's immediate
release.  Democracy Now! is asking people to contact Mayor Colemanā's
office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press
extension 0).

Mike  Wassenaar
West 7th - West End, Saint Paul
Info about Mike  Wassenaar:


Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 00:42:43 GMT
From: aleric [at]
To: discuss [at]
Subject: [Discuss] (no subject)

My pictures from the Rally and March on RNC. Completely peaceful as far as
I saw - though afterwords I heard stories about conflicts and arrests. The
panoramas from the capital steps show the size of the crowd. [at] N00/sets/72157607065418625


Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 19:52:39 -0500
From: Sue Horns Kolstad <sue [at]>
To: David <shove001 [at]>
Subject: amy goodman arrest

Amy Goodman's arrest video - she was pepper-sprayed point blank while


Date: Tue,  2 Sep 2008 13:06:14 +1200 (NZST)
From: Mike  Wassenaar <wassenaar [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>
Subject: [SPIF] Amy Goodman Arrested in St Paul

This is the news release from Democracy Now! about Amy Goodman's arrest
earlier tonight:


September 1, 2008

Denis Moynihan 917-549-5000
Mike Burke 646-552-5107, <email obscured>

ST. PAUL, MN - Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested
in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time. Police
violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her.

Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers
who were being unlawfully detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and
Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out
their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the
Republican National Convention. Goodman's crime appears to have been
defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and
Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently
being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.

Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to
call the office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and
demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These calls
can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman's office at
651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this
action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom
of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

During the demonstration in which they were arrested law enforcement
officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and
excessive force. Several dozen others were also arrested during this

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists
in the United States. She has received journalism's top honors for her
reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The
arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar is a transparent attempt to
intimidate journalists from the nation's leading independent news outlet.

Democracy Now! is a nationally syndicated public TV and radio program that
airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.

Video of Amy Goodman's Arrest:

Mike  Wassenaar
West 7th - West End, Saint Paul
Info about Mike  Wassenaar:


Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2008 20:25:07 -0500
From: Jesse Mortenson <teknoj [at]>
Subject: Re: [GPSP] Protests

My experience of the march and related activities today was pretty
typical. Obviously the legions of cops in battle armor was creepy. I
didn't personally see any confrontation whatsoever, so it felt like a
typical anti-war march.

I have a hard time feeling anything but scorn for the RNC being in town.
I think I'd feel the same way if it was the DNC. I didn't get raided or
handcuffed, but the basic fact is that a big part of my city is, for this
week, no longer my city. During most of the day today a ton of dowtown was
blocked off, much more than the "exclusion zone" I've seen maps of. After
the march, I tried to get back through downtown to cross the river and go
to Harriet Island to catch most of the SEIU labor day concert. Well, after
the march (about 3:30-3:45) all of the bridges between the capitol area
downtown were blocked by cops. They were allowing cars to drive one of
those bridges (it was either Jackson or Robert), but no pedestrians or
bicyclists allowed. I had to bike down university, under 35E, come back
around Savoys and back up 7th St. to be able to skirt the eastern edge of
downtown. Coming back from the concert, the Wabasha bridge is blocked off.
I go up Robert, try to avoid most of downtown, go back to the capitol, up
John Ireland, and there Selby is blocked off at the cathedral.

Ugh. All this hassle just to host a shallow public relations stunt
sponsored by corporations.  This is our shining moment as the metro?
Well, I hope it looks good on CNN cuz it doesn't look good from here.

So Fletcher and sundry other police forces conduct a long-term
infiltration of activist groups to uncover what? Some caltrops and urine?
Even assuming the materials gathered were intended for some sort of
disruption - which is disputed - how is this an effective use of taxpayer
money or an appropriate show of force? Do we need a government sting
operation on teenagers plotting to egg houses after homecoming?  How many
deaths have been caused by the small minority of protesters who plan civil
disobedience or property destruction? It's not like they uncovered bombs
or a nascent paramilitary force.  (And meanwhile two of Fletcher's buddies
have been convicted this week on corruption charges).

Remember back in December 2007 when Assistant Police Chief Matt Bostrom
promised not to spy on demonstrators (
So much for that. Even if the St. Paul PD did no participate directly,
they must have known about the planning and did not revise their public
statements. Can I expect Fletcher to send an infiltrator to my political
group now that he's used to doing it (and so proud of the haul he took
in)? The RNC will just keep giving and giving to our city.

So, to Chris Coleman and RT Rybak: Thanks for the RNC, guys! I feel real
proud! Please, prevent me from enjoying downtown and wave your guns at
some of my friends and neighbors so we have a chance to broadcast
promotional spots for the Twin Cities at delegates and journalists. Twin
Cities - More to Life!

At least we got to march in front of the convention center. Sounds like
the Denver protestors weren't allowed anywhere near the official venue


Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2008 21:46:04 -0400
From: Alan Muller <amuller [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] RNC Protest March

At 01:15 PM 9/2/2008 +1200, Mike  Wassenaar wrote:

>Amy has been released but her staff are still detained.  Keith
>Ellison is currently working for their release.   I'd suggest
>contacting the detention center at 425 Grove.

In a way this is a good thing, because arresting a celebrity will get
the goons more bad publicity than the arrests of hundreds of
anonymous citizens.....

What a terrible, shameful Labor Day weekend.  And all so inevitable, once
the decision was made to bring the event here.  In a general way, it
likely would have played out similarly wherever the NRC was, but it didn't
have to be in St. Paul.  I just don't understand why the leaders of St.
Paul would knowingly bring this horror to your beautiful city.  It is so
sad in so many ways.....


Date: Mon, 01 Sep 2008 22:32:15 -0500
From: Becki Smith <becki [at]>
Subject: In the middle of the "riots"

I just wanted everybody to hear a first hand account for the Shephard
St./Wabasha "riots" The black block left the capitol after the peace rally
to go to Harriet Island to watch the show. Myself and some other friends
joined them since we were going there as well. Walking from the Capitol on
John Ireland, turning onto Kellogg there were about 40-50 riot cops around
the corner denying us access to Wabasha. I actually went up to a couple of
them trying to get information on a alternative route. No body was from
St. Paul let alone Minnesota. My friends and I decided to walk around the
block and eventually got to Shephard St. Once there, they would not let
anybody across the road to get up on the bridge to get over the island.
There were also Coast Guard in the river with guns attached to the boats
pointing at the the people. We tried to cross the road to get up on the
bridge. Riot cops would not let us pass. We walked up a little further
(past Wabasha) and the black block caught up. They tried to cross the
street (on a green light) and the riot cops opened up with tear gas first,
smoke bombs second and then they broke out the rubber bullets. We got
away, but may people did not. There were many people that were there that
weren't even in the black block (sorority types) as well as residents out
for a daily jog or bike ride by the river. A protest boat got in between
the coast guard and the protesters.

After running from the cops, we went to Harriet Island to tell as many
media as possible as well as all of the people watching. We were about to
leave, when the coast guard boarded the boat.

I want to be very clear, there was no chanting, signs, or anything else
that would be "threatening" going on other than a bunch of people dressed
in black (their normal everyday clothing). Most of these people were
between 15-25 years old and just wanted to see the concerts at the park.


Date: Tue,  2 Sep 2008 16:39:05 +1200 (NZST)
From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] RNC Protest March

A quick update from today's big march:

It was entirely peaceful.  I worked all day as a street medic, trying to
provide first aid to those who needed it.  I dealt with sore throats (from
yelling chants), heat problems, sunburn and stubbed toes (don't wear
flip-flops on a march).  I didn't see anybody hit anyone.  I didn't even
hear much profanity.  Absolutely no destructive or confrontational tactics
were used by those in the march, and those who may have used them
elsewhere did not bring problems back to the peaceful, permitted march.
There were nice puppets, some memorable music, some stirring speeches,
some funny costumes.  I had heard most of the chants before, so that was
boring.  But it was entirely safe, peaceful and even usually positive.

I have been going to large marches since Selma with ML King, so I have a
sense of numbers.  I would put it at between 30,000 and 50,000 people.
It may have looked smaller at some points, since the march was spread out
and involved a number of contingent groups arriving from different
locations.  But at one point I watched the entire march go by, and I can
tell you that it was tens and tens of thousands of people there.
Somewhere in a basement office in Langley, there is some low-level
functionary counting every single head from the satellite pictures.  They
know, or they will by tomorrow, but they aren't going to tell you.  As
Donald Rumsfeld once said, "We don't do body counts."  Because that would
give too much credence to the vast majority of Americans who oppose the
war in Iraq, and it would challenge the power of those who favor it.  So
you won't find out.  It isn't in their interest for you to know.  I wrote
about this last fall in my article about the Miami Model;

I dealt with two different cases of young women who had been sprayed with
chemical weapons, but they had not been sprayed at the big march or
involved with the big march.  I don't know the backstory of the first
case.  The second story I wrote about at
It's kind of a sad story, but I hope you read it.

I want to speculate briefly about the videos we have seen of store windows
or police cruiser windows being broken.  Something about the videos
doesn't smell right to me.  There were, as I say thousands and thousands
of protesters in St Paul today, marching over miles and miles of streets
during the entire day and into the evening.  So how did it happen that
such crisp video got taken at the exact moment of destruction in that
exact location?  Did the photographer just happen to be pointing their
camera that way at exactly that moment?  For each of those different
shots?  It's always possible, I suppose.  Or did the young window-breaker
become so overcome by his own narcissism that he actually waited until the
photographer was looking at him, or yelled some loud obscenity to attract
the photographer's attention, in spite of the risk of spending several
decades in prison when identified beneath his flimsy bandana?  It's always

But I will also admit to the possibility that certain law enforcement
officials are also human with sometimes venal desires for power or the
urgent need to justify the expense of 50 million dollars or to justify
drawing weapons on over 200 individuals since Friday.  You would be
surprised.  A couple of broken windows and a bucket or two of so-called
urine can go a long ways in justifying otherwise unjustifiable actions.
So I want to put it out there that it is also quite possible that these
actions were committed by provacateurs.  I just don't know, nor do I
expect to know.  But it has happened.  The history is certainly there with
frequent iterations like Cointelpro.

It seems like a good time to refresh out memory about what was promised to
us concerning this convention.

We were promised that St Paul would make a lot of money.  That may or may
not be true, depending on the size of the eventual civil liberties
settlements.  But if city officials expect the fat insurance policy to
cover all the lawsuits, they had better figure out some way to rein in
Sheriff Bob Fletcher.  There have been a lot of weapons drawn.  There have
been a number of journalists arrested and their equipment confiscated.
There are a lot of people documenting the raids and the round-ups.  This
could get very, very expensive unless loud public pressure is brought on
Fletcher to obey the law.  It's your call, Mr Mayor and the various
council members.  But you have yourself a situation on your hands so far.

Second, we were promised that officers would be doing normal policing,
wearing their usual uniforms and arresting only those who committed
illegal acts, wearing their name patches for complete accountability.
This is certainly not what I saw this afternoon.  The only normal blue
uniforms I saw were on the bike police and a few Hennepin County or Ramsey
County deputies.  The rest were dressed all in black, like riot police,
SWAT teams or storm troopers.  And I mean thousands and thousands of black
uniforms here, with absolutely no individual identification other than
numbers painted on their helmets.  So that was certainly a broken promise.

Third, we have been given many assurances that it would be "business as
usual" in St Paul.  I must tell you that, around 4:30 this afternoon, the
entire city was under lockdown.  From the Capitol on the north side of
I-94, there was absolutely no possibility of access to downtown, either on
foot or by car.  Every single bridge over the freeway was blocked by
shoulder-to-shoulder black-clad troopers across the road.  No access was
permitted for any reason, All bridges were closed.  Neither medics nor
National Lawyers Guild observers nor any citizen with a car on the other
side of the bridge was permitted passage.  All in all, this convention is
proving quite disruptive so far.

Fourth, we were told that the RNC would "put St Paul on the world map."
Well, I won't actually dispute that we are getting on the map, but it
certainly isn't for our "Minnesota nice" or the new "St Paul Model" of how
to handle large conventions with openness and respect for civil liberties.
We are getting on the map, all right, but is this really what the city
officials had in mind?

Last update: Amy Goodman and the two other journalists who work with her
have been released from jail.

Last suggestion:  Great coverage is available at   and at
You can see some amazing video footage at
And you can catch minute to minute coverage of the various arrests at
And, finally, a scary St Paul account at


Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 22:47:38 -0600
From: Angela Trnka <evolution823 [at]>
Subject: for Progressive News UPDATE: Amy Goodman of Democracy Now arrest &
September 1, 2008
Mike Burke: mike [at]


Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar
Released After Illegal Arrest at RNC

Goodman Charged with Obstruction; Felony Riot Charges Pending Against
Kouddous and Salazar

ST. PAUL--Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and producers Sharif Abdel
Kouddous and Nicole Salazar have all been released from police custody in
St. Paul following their illegal arrest by Minneapolis Police on Monday

All three were violently manhandled by law enforcement officers. Abdel
Kouddous was slammed against a wall and the ground, leaving his arms
scraped and bloodied. He sustained other injuries to his chest and back.
Salazar's violent arrest by baton-wielding officers, during which she was
slammed to the ground while yelling, "I'm Press! Press!," resulted in her
nose bleeding, as well as causing facial pain. Goodman's arm was violently
yanked by police as she was arrested.

On Tuesday, Democracy Now! will broadcast video of these arrests, as well
as the broader police action. These will also be available on:

Goodman was arrested while questioning police about the unlawful detention
of Kouddous and Salazar who were arrested while they carried out their
journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican
National Convention. Goodman's crime appears to have been defending her
colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and
Salazar were arrested on suspicion of rioting, a felony. While the three
have been released, they all still face charges stemming from their
unlawful arrest. Kouddous and Salazar face pending charges of suspicion of
felony riot, while Goodman has been officially charged with obstruction of
a legal process and interference with a "peace officer."

Democracy Now! forcefully rejects all of these charges as false and an
attempt at intimidation of these journalists. We demand that the charges
be immediately and completely dropped.

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this
action by Twin Cities' law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom
of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

During the demonstration in which the Democracy Now! team was arrested,
law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion
grenades and excessive force against protesters and journalists. Several
dozen demonstrators were also arrested during this action, including a
photographer for the Associated Press.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists
in the United States. She has received journalism's top honors for her
reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The
arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and the subsequent criminal
charges and threat of charges are a transparent attempt to intimidate

Democracy Now! is a nationally-syndicated public TV and radio program that
airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.

Video of Amy Goodman's Arrest:


Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 23:59:37 -0500
From: Tom Goldstein/EFQ <tom_goldstein [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] RNC Protest March; View from the Street

With the exception of the crowd estimate, which I put at 8-10,000, I fully
share Charlie's assessment of the march, the presence of cops everywhere
in St. Paul, and that the tradeoff of having downtown become an armed camp
in return for getting the RNC is not a trade worth making. The only ones
benefiting, if at all, are the downtown businesses, and creating a cage
around Xcel with all these streets blocked off so that we can promote
commerce and tourism is a lousy proposition.

What was especially disturbing to me, apart from the heavy show of force
at so many street corners along the parade route, was the deployment of
about 100 national guard troops along Kellogg Avenue by Cathedral Hill,
all equipped with riot sticks and plastic shields, in the late afternoon.
When we asked them if they were National Guard, all of these 18 to
20-year-old kids refused to respond. They simply took up an aggressive
stance, even though there were no protestors, self-styled anarchists, or
anyone remotely threatening in the vicinity. At one point, a Secret
Service guy showed up and when I asked him if the governor had called out
the National Guard, he just looked at me like I was an idiot and said why
did I think that? When I pointed out all the folks in army fatigues, he
stated that they were simply forming a "fence," but never addressing my
simple question. I wanted to say to him, "you know, you could just say to
me that you don't know, or that you can't say, or that it's Secret Service
policy not to talk with civilians, rather than being a prick and
reinforcing the image that cops like to provoke conflict," but I just let
him walk away. Later, a St. Paul cop told me that he thought it was just a
training exercise where they were marshalling troops and doing an
inspection, and that as far as he knew, the contingent had been present
from the start and that he was not aware of the governor having called out
the Guard.

While I don't condone any of the violence that took place in downtown or
anywhere else along the parade route or the perimeter, I was equally
dismayed by what appeared to be an effort by the RC Sheriff to force a
confrontation on Kellogg and John Ireland by the History Center. Riot
police were spread out along Kellogg blocking any entrance toward
downtown, and there was a group of 50-75 protestors on the sidewalk
standing there, doing some occasional chanting, probably 50 yards away
from the cops. They had made no movement toward the cops. With no
discussion, and no warning that the group should disperse or that they
weren't allowed to be where they were standing, the order went out to don
gas masks, and all the cops put on their masks and pulled down their riot
visors. Word then circulated up to the protestors that the police were
putting on gas masks, and the protestors crossed over to the other side of
Kellogg and then dispersed.

I'm sure that some will make the argument that because of earlier violence
downtown, cops were justified in forcing a confrontation with this group,
and that since the message got through and the group dispersed, what's the
problem? Simply put, when cops decide they can take matters into their own
hands just because they have the power to do so, it only reinforces the
image that many of them are there to crack heads and are just looking for
an excuse to do so. As far as I know, none of these guys were St. Paul
officers, and by and large the St. Paul officers I talked with were
professional and helpful. But the goon-like atmosphere that accompanies
all these nameless, badgeless law enforcement (or, for all we know,
private contractors of Blackwater fame) troops in black riot gear does not
serve our city well, and seeing this display followed up by the deployment
of National Guard troops smacked of a deliberate attempt to intimidate the
citizenry, so that no one dare ask any questions of the police nor express
any disappointment about being told where they could go and where they
could not go in our city. Nobody disputes the authority of cops to arrest
those who break the law, but creating a police state, whether for one day
or four, leaves far more negative images than all the positive stuff we
were supposed to realize by hosting the RNC.

I don't share the view that we can't hold political conventions in America
unless we have this huge police presence on our streets, and every year
the security state apparatus around these things gets bigger and bigger.
Everywhere along the parade route there was a show of force designed to
intimidate, and as Charlie pointed out, there was no "St. Paul" version of
security that would give one the impression that we're handling this
situation any better than other host cities of political conventions.
Throw in the Amy Goodman arrest, and the ridiculous allegation that
journalists from Democracy Now! were attempting to provoke a riot, and one
quickly sees that St. Paul can end up just like any other convention site.

Tom Goldstein


 The mafia has
 goons. The ruling class has cops
 sheriffs and mayors.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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