Progressive Calendar 09.03.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 05:43:34 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    09.03.08
                           POLICE RAIDS V

1 Driscoll
2 Burke (Democracy Now)
3 Schmitz
4 Strand
5 Thune
6 Farheen
7 Sheldon
8 Linton
9 Fratto
10 Green Party
11 Slade
12 Rybisky
13 Underwood
14 Cohn (CounterPunch)
15 Burghardt (Dissident Voice)
16 Brown (Strib)
18 Brown
19 Brown
20 Wassenar
21 Swope
22 Cole
23 Nathan
24 Goldstein
25 Brown
26 Wassenar
27 Berquist
28 Wilkinson
29 Hunstad
30 Nader/Gonzalez
31 Rybisky
32 Read

33 ed  Our Jimmy (poem)


Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 00:27:59 -0500
From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at]>
Subject: [StPaul-AN] TTT Update on Arrest Of Amy Goodman and DN! Producers

See story below. Truth to Tell producer Andy Driscoll and crew arrived on
the scene at 9th and Jackson Streets immediately after Amy was closed inside
the police van. Andy interviewed DN! Producer Mike Burke at the scene. Audio
available Tuesday.


One can only be incredulous that two new producers would be charged with
felony rioting, and that Amy Goodman would be unceremoniously yanked into
custody while inquiring as to why her news producers, Sharif Abdel Kouddous
and Nicole Salazar, would have been arrested while doing their jobs.

Could it be the color of their skin played any part in this? I roamed freely
throughout downtown today, seeking out hot spots (and there were many we
found) of police overkill, accompanied by two assistants. While I recorded
running commentary and interviewed others in the streets, an assistant
photographed the treatment of arrested protesters at the hands of fully
padded, black-helmuted riot police in numbers three to four times that of
any group we encountered, many of them from such jurisdictions as Cedar
Rapids, IA, Springfield, MO, and Tucson, AZ, let alone most of the Metro
jurisdictions and outstate towns that brought the force to over 3,500

While the three of us sat down in an outdoor café at St. Peter and 7th
Place, police confronted three young men seeking to search their backpacks.
The young men refused and police pressed their case, calling in St. Paul
SWAT Team back-ups, who piled out of a rapidly arriving police van. The men
still refused to be searched (meaning that a warrant would be required to do
so absent probable cause they represented some immediate danger).

The three began to walk away down the mall between the two outdoor
restaurants, but were chased by the SWAT officers. The men broke into a run,
the front two escaping, but the third caught and slammed head first onto the
concrete sidewalk while having the very angry officer screaming at him and
kneeling on his already bleeding head as two more officer arrived to arrest

As the cops went through this extraordinary exercise in the midst of some
one hundred diners and pedestrians, several people, clearly RNC delegates,
stood up from their table and cheered the violence the officer were
inflicting on this mere boy, completely powerless, unarmed and unarmored,
unlike his police assailants. The blood-thirstiness of this Roman
Coliseum-like display was the far more distressing development of the
encounter, and our tempers flared as almost never before.

A pair of diners next to our table kept up the nasty rhetoric, inflaming
more anger among those of us who found this crude reaction as dangerous as
any police officer's baton. It was difficult to eat in the heat of this
disastrous display of assuming guilt on the part of the young men by virtue
of his arrest than the obvious propriety of innocence before guilt is

They dragged the young man with his bleeding head to the van where he was
obviously searched. Twenty minutes later, he walked down the mall a free
man, his angry face screwed up into the most contemptuous look at the seated
diners (not knowing who was for or again him).

The greater damage has been to the cultural sensibilities of a community
that generally prides itself on the restraint of its police force, often in
great contrast to our sister city's across the river. But St. Paul,
especially, was converted all too easily into an oppressive battleground
when provided more cops than delegates, infused with the dehumanizing
paranoia only a massive gathering of highly trained armed machines can
demonstrate when given carte blanche to treat the human beings with a
complete lack of dignity and respect as most of these officers in black did
today and yesterday and the day before when private residences were broken
into and their occupants floored and cuffed without provocation.

What this now says about the disrespect and disregard for the rule of law
that has grown all too commonplace in light of the way the Bush-Cheney
administration's years running this country and now so deeply a part of our
cultural mien is too frightening to contemplate. Can we, will we, ever
return to a system in which the police feel as obligated as the rest of us
do to comply with the law and the protections guaranteed by the Constitution
and its Amendments.

It almost appears too deeply entrenched now in the fears perpetrated by
post-9-11 police state-style governance to reverse it.

Only the collective we can change this.

(Listen to Wednesday's Truth to Tell when we attempt to discuss the various
perspectives on this new world of so-called security as practiced by
unaccountable cops.


From: Democracy Now! <outreach [at]>
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 00:10:02 -0400
Subject: DN!: Action Alert: Update on Arrest Of Amy Goodman and DN!

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


Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 14:42:31 +0000
From: allibobi [at]
Subject: Re: FW: [Discuss] FW: Amy Goodman Arrested at RNC in St.Paul, MN

Re:  Sheriff Bob Fletcher

Fletcher used the ultimate racial maneuver in his campaign against Corky
Finney (African-American), former Chief of Police in St. Paul.  As
Sheriff, in the middle of his re-election effort Fletcher decided to
arrest and charge an old friend of Finney's for murder.  That old friend
happened to be a black man whose girl friend (white) died in a gun
accident 28 years ago.  Finney's friend was not charged at the time due to
the lack of evidence and circumstances of the death.  The death occurred
in Maplewood and was therefore under the jurisdiction of the Maplewood
Police Dept.  Finney was a young St. Paul cop at the time and went to the
coroners hearing because it involved the death of a friend and a survivor
who was his friend.  Somehow Fletcher found it necessary to bring this
murder charge in the middle of the campaign last year.  In the past few
weeks there was a small article the in the St Paul paper stating that a
grand jury could not find sufficient evidence to indict Finney's old
friend.  The same Ramsey County medical examiner, Dr. Michael McGee, who
reviewed the evidence 28 years ago testified and came to the same
conclusion, namely that the death had to be considered accidental based on
that evidence.  McGee is considered to be one of the best forensic
specialists in the country.  The taxpayers of course had to pay for this
folly and I believe it helped Fletcher defeat Finney.

If you live in Ramsey County, work 24-7 to get rid of this good born-again
Christian Sheriff, Bob Fletcher.

Bob Schmitz
Green Party


Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 11:01:22 -0500
From: David Strand <lavgrn [at]>
Subject: Re: [M5DGP] FW: Amy Goodman Arrested at RNC in St.Paul, MN

While I do believe it is clear that there are those on our city council in
Minneapoli who need to go as well as on the council in St. Paul, and
clearly the Ramsey County Sheriff, I am also aware that Homeland Security
has issued a special designation allowing the police forces, many of whom
hail from all over the country and state as well as local forces and now
the state national guard are largely be instructed by the Feds who are
rumored to have rented the athletic facilities in Blaine for their
operations and rumored to have their communication centers in Arden Hills
according to my sources.

I appreciate Cam Gordon and Elizabeth Glidden's efforts to reign in our
police beforehand and there are current statements and I appreciate that
at least some officers have demonstrated restraint.  I appreciate Dave
Thune's efforts to reopen the convergence center in St. Paul.But it is
unclear to me exactly how much control our local governments are even
being allowed to excercise over their own forces at this point with the
massive presence of the Feds in the area and the taking over control of
the forces by Homeland Security and the special "zone" created by homeland
security allowing officers jurisdiction across the metro area..

While we must demand our local officials to be accountable for their
complicity we also must understand that they may not be the one's in control
of the totality of the situation or who has created- at least fully- the
current environment.


Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 05:18:34 -0500
From: dave thune <thune [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] RNC Protest March

Its going to take a while to sort out what went right and what went wrong
during the labor day RNC protests.

The peace march itself was wonderful - great spirits, costumes, songs...
even the route itself turned out decent (althought the fences at the
turnaround seemed forboding and claustraphobic). Yes the chants were dated
but being old it was kind of like listening to classic rock radio.
Particularly apropos was the "what does democracy look like (answer back)
this is what democracy looks like!" right at the turnaround close to the

In most cases as promised, civil disobeyers were treated well, given a
length of time to make their statement then moved or removed.  One
instance proved deceptive however when a colorful smallish group
(apparently the gay anarchists) first blocked the intersection of Summit
Ave and the freeway off-ramp.  The St. Paul mounted patrol convinced them
to relocate by slowly crowding them up and away from the intersection.
Regrouping down the street, they seemed to change from a spirited,
colorful collection of protesters to what looked like drunken students
after a hockey game, knocking over garbage cans, and a bus bench before
besetting a squad car, beating it with sticks.  I never saw them again -
hope they have a great week in jail.

The vandals with the garbage dumpster on wheels were just plain assholes.
They endangered bystanders and were just plain rude as they careened down
the street. That they actually made it downtown marvels me as I probably
would've arrested them for their behavior on the spot - they seemed to
have no coherant notion of free speech.

Things that disturbed me were the hundreds of black-clad riot squads. Not
what I thought we were promised.  With their coverups it was impossible to
tell whose officers they were. It seemed to me that the st. paul officers
in their uniforms were just as effective in preventing problems and didn't
raise the spectre of a military state.

There were a number of reports of excessive force such as andy's report
from a sidewalk cafe. Stop and search without cause is repulsive even if
our law enforcement personnel were tired and mistreated. Punishment for a
crime needs to be dealt out in court - not the street.

The Amy Goodman arrest was clearly a screwup and shows the wrong side of
our town. The video looks terrible from a city perspective. Sadly, when
the violent folks start something, innocents can and do get swept up in
the confusion.  It doesn't seem difficult to determine though fairly
quickly who is a journalist and who is a vandal. This didn't happen and
should have.

My final bizarre story is that of the chase up warner road of the kids
throwing smokebombs and m-80s (rumor was that they might even been
flashbang grenades).  Well and good, but I personally talked to a young
local couple who were teargassed by the coast guard in their newly
outfitted machine gun boats as they were caught in the middle of the
chase.  Here's the rub with law enforcement - when a crime has been
commited, isn't it incumbant on us to use as little force as necessary and
somewhat in keeping with the level of the crime?  And shouldn't we take
extra care not to harm bystanders - even if the bad guys get away?  This
couple were pushing their babies in strollers down to see the river and
wound up at childrens hospital.  Totally unacceptable!

So as a whole I found True Blue MN's jumbotron to be a breath of fresh
air;  the march to be exhilerating, the black-clad vandals to deserve what
they got;  not enough done to protect bystanders from collateral damage;
and too many reports of people getting roughed up for no apparent reason.

For those who now say "see - you were defending terrorists" I say take a
look at the seriousness of the offenses. Broken windows, fighting with
police, the dragging of a bus bench into the street... Not exactly
terrorist activity. On a scale of behavior somewhat similar to a st.
patrick's day batch of fights and vandalism.

To defenders of the "anarchist" troublemakers - if thats who they were,
they obviously don't give a rats ass about anyone but themselves. They
aren't a movement - they're spoiled brats and vandals.

Observation about the kickoff raid on smith avenue - it certainly helped
stop the violence didn't it? (tongue in cheek here). No arrests, no
weapons, and a lot of ill-will.

Observation about the Iglehart raid - turns out the feds and their warrant
were groundless and the suspicious packages were actually books.

General observation: Its tough living in a free country. Sometimes we need
to protect the rights of people we may not like or agree with to ensure
our own freedom. Sometimes we get taken advantage of in the process, but
it's better than living where we can be stopped on a street corner with a
demand for our "papers".  And far better when we can count on multiple
witnesses to events from the new media than a carefully crafted press
release from those in power.

dave ward two
Dave Thune Ward 2, St. Paul Info about Dave Thune:


Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 06:47:53 -0500 (CDT)
To: mpls-5thdistrictgreenparty [at], discuss [at]
From: farheen [at]
Subject: [M5DGP] FW: Amy Goodman Arrested at RNC in St.Paul, MN

We have to run someone for Mayor of St. Paul and Ramsey County Sheriff.
These jerks need to be fired - Farheen


Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 07:05:26 -0500
From: Dean Sheldon <dgjashel [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] RNC Protest March

I was not involved with yesterday's events but was downtown around noon to
drop off a friend who is volunteering for the RNC inside the Excel. From
what I saw, I found the magnitude of security very disturbing. Any outside
observer would not be able to differentiate St. Paul, a major city within
a "free country", from a third world dictatorship. Given the threat of
terrorism since 9/11, the e-published plans for violent disruption, and
the numbers of people involved we will never know if that much police
force was necessary or not. But I personally think it was excessive.

Some thoughts do come to mind. And maybe Mr. Thune in your official
capacity could do some follow through.

1) As was mentioned by a previous poster, capturing in the act away from
the main march by network video the one person breaking a window seems too
coincidental. I hope the "newsman"  followed the suspect to get more clues
for his arrest. I hope someone really follows through the apprehension of
that perpetrator to determine if his act was indeed "staged". There have
been way too many incidents in the past that for various reason good and
bad have been staged.

2) I find it absolutely inexcusable that every "police" person is not
identified at least as to which jurisdiction they are employed. Mr. Thune
I would suggest that the council pass an ordinance that ANY person acting
in a police authority within the city limits of St. Paul at ALL times MUST
have a clearly visible identifier as to which entity they are employed.
Plain clothesman could be excluded, however someone standing there in full
riot gear is definitely a "police". Anyone should be able to easily
identify if that "police" is from St. Paul Police, Ramsey County Sherriff,
Minneapolis Police, Army, Marines, Secret Service, or the city of Duluth
Park Service! A simple campaign style button could be easily attached to
any "uniform", quickly applied or removed when they enter the city limits,
and would be cheap. Any police not so identified would be immediately


Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 07:09:16 -0500
From: Suzanne Linton <bahiabaubo [at]>
Subject: FW: Police Violence in St. Paul

I was in the big demonstration.  It was peaceful .. sigh I returned to the
capitol and returned home because I had fallen and had hurt my back. Then
all the violence and arrests started. I was safe at home.

I have first hand accounts from very close friends and Green Party people
I know very very well .. It is totally police harrassment and brutality.
They do not want us to have the right to demonstrate,, and they do not
want Amy Goodman to be able to report it on the air.

The RNC experience has been very frightening.  They spent $8,000,000 on
weapons .. the police. They have unlawfully barged into house of friends
of mine with machine guns ... putting people immediately in hand-cuffs and
then searching the houses ... destroying computers and cell phones

We are sinking to new lower depths on police brutality.  But it is all
legal now cuz of the patriot act.


Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 05:43:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Mike Fratto <mfratto [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Amy Goodman Arrested in St Paul

Suspicion of rioting?

Its real convenient isn't it to use that phrase when violating the rights
of a citizen. How were two people who were part of a news crew possibly

It might not be obvious to some, but police arrest people who are
defending their civil rights by taking pictures of and reporting on the
actions of police.

There are too many reports of police demanding a citizen give up their
rights and upon refusal respond violently. The police DO NOT have that
authority. They however do have the might. That doesn't make them right.


Date: Tue, Sep 2, 2008 at 12:46 AM
Subject: [usgp-dx] Release: Despite police raids & arrests, Minn. Greens
join antiwar, antipoverty protests at RN
To: natlcomaffairs [at]

Distributed by the Green Party of the United States
Green Party of Minnesota
For Immediate Release
September 1, 2008
Contacts:  Rhoda Gilman:  (651) 224-6383; Dave Bicking:  (612) 276-1213,
Spokespersons, Green Party of Minnesota


Greens have been among those targeted for harassment and intimidation by
police in a wave of pre-emptive actions taken before the Republican
National Convention in St. Paul.

On Saturday police surrounded the home of Michael Whelan, a long-time
Green Party supporter, whose Arise Bookstore at one time housed the
party's office.  He was host to a group of independent journalists.  The
police broke down doors and subjected occupants to house arrest.  "You
figure this would be going on in South Africa, or Russia, not in St.
Paul," Whelan said. "St. Paul is nice."

The previous night, police had invaded a meeting space in St. Paul rented
by the anarchist RNC Welcoming Committee.  They seized equipment and
subjected some fifty people to handcuffing and search.  Next day Monica
Bicking, a leading member of the organization, was jailed along with three
friends, and her home in Minneapolis was boarded up for alleged violation
of city codes.

Meanwhile, the group's nonviolence consultant and trainer, Betsy
Raasch-Gilman, expecting arrest, took "sanctuary" at the meetinghouse of
Twin Cities Friends (Quakers).  As of this morning Bicking had been
released, but those arrested with her and several others remain in
custody. Both Bicking and Raasch-Gilman are daughters of former Green
Party candidates and present spokespeople.

According to Minnesota poet and writer Richard Broderick, who is a member
of the Green Party and has also been one of its candidates, "The erosion
of civil liberties and constitutionally guaranteed rights in this country
makes all the eloquent calls we heard from Denver for unity and restoring
the American Dream little more than hollow rhetoric."

Despite the efforts at intimidation orchestrated by federal authorities
and carried out by DFL administrations in both Hennepin and Ramsey
counties, Minnesota Greens have united to bring their VP candidate, Rosa
Clemente, to the Twin Cities.  She addressed the antiwar marchers in St.
Paul today and tonight appeared with the National Truth Commission on
Poverty.  She will be participating in the Poor People's march from Mears
Park tomorrow.


Date: Tue,  2 Sep 2008 15:57:31 +1200 (NZST)
From: John Slade <jslade [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Amy Goodman Arrested in St Paul

The division into 'good' and 'bad' protesters is something that the
Republicans want you to do. If you do that, you are selling out people who
really are your allies (if you're a liberal) and it precludes the creation
of any real people's movement for change.

The first thing to do in destroying a political movement is to demonize
the radicals. Then you 'educate' the idealists, and co-opt anyone who
(like Senator Coleman back in his student days) is just in the movement to
score with the opposite sex.

Saying that political anarchists are somehow not 'real protesters', or
believing the lies (yes, lies) told about their 'violent tactics' is a
very sad thing. Solidarity is something that includes EVERYone, not just
the comfortable ones.

St. John the Baptist was demonized, arrested, and beheaded for his
political views. I was reminded of this by a monk who was protesting
today. Think twice before you buy the line that 'a few bad apples spoil it
for everyone.

More windows get broken by sports riots. Remember the hockey riot? They
burned a car. Are you calling for the end of hockey?


Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 08:33:04 -0500
From: Chris Rybisky <atkuku [at]>
Cc: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>

One niggle. I feel the need to stick up for anarchists. These
trouble-makers are being labelled as anarchists in the press and they will
call themselves that as well. But, most anarchists are non-violent. I
don't really think these people are anarchists. I think these people are
Trouble-Makers - people who enjoy stirring the pot. This is not what
anarchy is about. Anarchy is more about removing "hierarchy".

Anytime the government has dissent within its borders, anarchists get the
blame because everything needs to be labelled and we seem to be a people
who need a clearly defined enemy.

This is my own little cross to bear. My political tendency is toward
anarchism (in certain forms) but because of how the government uses that
word to single out its internal enemies, it's a word I usually hold close
to my chest.

It's interesting to me how quickly we moved from muslim terrorists to
anarchists as our enemy of choice.

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Power


Date: Wed,  3 Sep 2008 05:03:03 +1200 (NZST)
From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>

I just noticed this from yesterday.  Jeff Fecke, writing a report on the
big march yesterday called "The Land of the Free" at was writing about the police car that got
a window broken.  He said that the police car "was evidently quickly moved
to a more visible location so everyone could get a good look at the work
of those naughty, naughty kids."

Does anyone have any further information on this?  Are there any reports
out there with solid information that some of the broken glass incidents
may have been either staged or managed?


Preemptive Strikes Against Protests at RNC
Raiding Democracy in St. Paul
September 2, 2008

In the months leading up to the Republican National Convention, the
FBI-led Minneapolis Joint Terrorist Task Force actively recruited people
to infiltrate vegan groups and other leftist organizations and report back
about their activities. On May 21, the Minneapolis City Pages ran a
recruiting story called "Moles Wanted." Law enforcement sought to preempt
lawful protest against the policies of the Bush administration during the

Since Friday, local police and sheriffs, working with the FBI, conducted
preemptive searches, seizures and arrests. Glenn Greenwald described the
targeting of protestors by "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." Journalists were detained at gunpoint and
lawyers representing detainees were handcuffed at the scene.

"I was personally present and saw officers with riot gear and assault
rifles, pump action shotguns," said Bruce Nestor, the President of the
Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, who is representing
several of the protestors. "The neighbor of one of the houses had a gun
pointed in her face when she walked out on her back porch to see what was
going on. There were children in all of these houses, and children were
held at gunpoint."

The raids targeted members of "Food Not Bombs," an anti-war,
anti-authoritarian protest group that provides free vegetarian meals every
week in hundreds of cities all over the world. They served meals to rescue
workers at the World Trade Center after 9/11 and to nearly 20 communities
in the Gulf region following Hurricane Katrina.

Also targeted were members of I-Witness Video, a media watchdog group that
monitors the police to protect civil liberties. The group worked with the
National Lawyers Guild to gain the dismissal of charges or acquittals of
about 400 of the 1,800 who were arrested during the 2004 Republican
National Convention in New York. Preemptive policing was used at that time
as well. Police infiltrated protest groups in advance of the convention.

Nestor said that no violence or illegality has taken place to justify the
arrests. "Seizing boxes of political literature shows the motive of these
raids was political," he said.

Further evidence the political nature of the police action was the
boarding up of the Convergence Center, where protestors had gathered, for
unspecified code violations. St. Paul City Council member David Thune
said, "Normally we only board up buildings that are vacant and
ramshackle." Thune and fellow City Council member Elizabeth Glidden
decried "actions that appear excessive and create an atmosphere of fear
and intimidation for those who wish to exercise their first amendment

"So here we have a massive assault led by Federal Government law
enforcement agencies on left-wing dissidents and protestors who have
committed no acts of violence or illegality whatsoever, preceded by
months-long espionage efforts to track what they do," Greenwald wrote on

Preventive detention violates the Fourth Amendment, which requires that
warrants be supported by probable cause. Protestors were charged with
"conspiracy to commit riot," a rarely-used statute that is so vague, it is
probably unconstitutional. Nestor said it "basically criminalizes
political advocacy."

On Sunday, the National Lawyers Guild and Communities United Against
Police Brutality filed an emergency motion requesting an injunction to
prevent police from seizing video equipment and cellular phones used to
document their conduct.

During Monday's demonstration, law enforcement officers used pepper spray,
rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force. At least 284
people were arrested, including Amy Goodman, the prominent host of
Democracy Now!, as well as the show's producers, Abdel Kouddous and Nicole
Salazar. "St. Paul was the most militarized I have ever seen an American
city to be," Greenwald wrote, "with troops of federal, state and local law
enforcement agents marching around with riot gear, machine guns, and tear
gas cannisters, shouting military chants and marching in military

Bruce Nestor said the timing of the arrests was intended to stop protest
activity, "to make people fearful of the protests, but also to discourage
people from protesting," he told Amy Goodman. Nevertheless, 10,000 people,
many opposed to the Iraq war, turned out to demonstrate on Monday. A legal
team from the National Lawyers Guild has been working diligently to
protect the constitutional rights of protestors.

Marjorie Cohn is president of the National Lawyers Guild and a professor
at Thomas Jefferson School of Law. She is author of Cowboy Republic. Her
articles are archived at


The Bush Regime's Imperial Affirmation: Endless War, Endless Conquest,
Endless Repression
by Tom Burghardt / September 2nd, 2008
Dissident Voice
[first half on other issues omitted -ed]

                         The Bush Legacy

As far-right Republican party hordes gather in Minneapolis/St. Paul for
the coronation of their presidential candidates, reactionary Senator John
McCain (R-AZ) and Alaska's Christian fundamentalist governor, Sarah Palin,
the Bush regime's strategy of preemptive war is viciously playing out on
the home front. Salon's Glenn Greenwald reports,

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. ("Massive Police Raids on
Suspected Protesters in Minneapolis," Salon, August 30, 2008)

The raids were orchestrated by local law enforcement agencies with major
assistance from various federal spy outfits such as the FBI, NSA and the
Pentagon's own Northern Command (NORTHCOM). The raids are purely an
intimidation tactic designed to squelch peaceful dissent by citizens
outraged by Bushist policies throughout these long years of darkness.

Indeed, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that police and federal
agencies utilized the "services" of informants and provocateurs in their
targeting of the anarchist RNC Welcoming Committee.

Aided by informants planted in protest groups, authorities raided at least
six buildings across St. Paul and Minneapolis to stop an "anarchist" plan
to disrupt this week's Republican National Convention.

>From Friday night through Saturday afternoon, officers surrounded houses,
broke down doors, handcuffed scores of people and confiscated suspected
tools of civil disobedience.

The show of force was led by the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office in
collaboration with the FBI, Minneapolis and St. Paul police, the Hennepin
County Sheriff's Office and other agencies. (Heron Marquez Estrada, Bill
McAuliffe and Abby Simons, "Police Raids Enrage Activists, Alarm Others,"
Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 31, 2008)

The "preemptive" raids targeted activists, alternative media and lawyers
on-scene. All were handcuffed and forced to lie face-down, while SWAT
teams and federal agents ransacked numerous homes in a quixotic hunt for

Greenwald avers, "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".

After nearly eight years of massive surveillance and infiltration
operations by the federal government across a multitude of federal
agencies, often acting in cahoots with reenergized local "red squads"
rebranded as Fusion Centers and Joint Terrorism Task Forces coordinated
through the Office of National Intelligence, the mutant stepchildren of
the FBI's COINTELPRO, the CIA's Operation CHAOS and the NSA's Project
SHAMROCK have brought the "war on terror" home in a big way.

The Minneapolis City Pages reported back in May, that police and the FBI's
Joint Terrorism Task Force were "soliciting" informants to keep tabs on
local protest groups. According to journalist Matt Snyders's account, FBI
Special Agent Maureen A. Mazzola, flanked by a cop, attempted to recruit a
University of Minnesota sophomore as a paid "confidential informant".
While the student declined the feds' "generous offer," the wider issue of
recruiting Stasi-like moles to report "suspicious activities" by citizens
exercising their constitutionally-guaranteed right to say "NO!" cuts to
the heart of the role of dissent in a democracy.

Outraged by the "preemptive policing" on display in Minneapolis, Glenn
Greenwald comments on the virtual blackout by the corporate media,
all-too-willing to criticize the actions of repressive government's
thousands of miles away while silently acquiescing to the police state in
full-bloom here at home.

So here we have a massive assault led by Federal Government law
enforcement agencies on left-wing dissidents and protesters who have
committed no acts of violence or illegality whatsoever, preceded by
months-long espionage efforts to track what they do. And as extraordinary
as that conduct is, more extraordinary is the fact that they have received
virtually no attention from the national media and little outcry from
anyone. And it's not difficult to see why. As the recent "overhaul" of the
30-year-old FISA law illustrated - preceded by the endless expansion of
surveillance state powers, justified first by the War on Drugs and then
the War on Terror - we've essentially decided that we want our Government
to spy on us without limits. There is literally no police power that the
state can exercise that will cause much protest from the political and
media class and, therefore, from the citizenry. ("Federal Government
Involved in Raid on Protesters," Salon, August 31, 2008)

As The New York Times reported, Bushist demands on Congress to "affirm"
that the U.S. is at "war" with international terrorism, "carries
significant legal and public policy implications for Mr. Bush, and
potentially his successor, to claim the imprimatur of Congress to use the
tools of war, including detention, interrogation and surveillance, against
the enemy," which as we see on a daily basis, is a war on our freedom to
exist as individuals rather than as "soldiers" in an imperialist charade.

The Bushist proposal will provide the legal framework to assert broad
executive power "during a time of war," an interpretation of the commander
in chief's presumed wartime powers that Justice Department lawyers
secretly used to gin-up the illegal detention and torture of alleged
terrorist suspects and the NSA's driftnet surveillance of Americans
outside the rule of law.

As readers no doubt recall, the September 14, 2001 congressional
resolution known as the "Authorization for Use of Military Force," still
in effect, became the pseudo-legal justification for the worst excesses of
the Bush regime.

But as former Reagan Justice Department official Bruce Fein told the
Times, Congress should not "give the administration the wartime language
it seeks".

"I do not believe that we are in a state of war whatsoever," Mr. Fein
said. "We have an odious opponent that the criminal justice system is able
to identify and indict and convict. They're not a goliath. Don't treat
them that way".

The same can be said for the war criminals occupying high-office in the
Bush administration and Congress. I disagree with Mr. Fein on one salient
point: we are indeed "in a state of war". However, it is a one-sided class
war waged by a monstrous system of profit based on the exploitation of our
living labor and ecocidal resource extraction by mafia-like associations
known as multinational corporations.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay
Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage
and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military
"Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press. Read other articles
by Tom, or visit Tom's website.

This article was posted on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008 at 7:02 am and is
filed under Anti-war, Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Empire, Imperialism,
Terrorism. ShareThis


Published on Tuesday, September 2, 2008 by Minneapolis/St. Paul
Mass Show of Peaceful Dissent Soon Makes Violent Descent
by Curt Brown

A protester is arrested during an anti-war protest at the Republican
National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Monday, Sept. 1, 2008. (AP
Photo/C. Rex Arbogast)Bolstered by emergency help from the Minnesota
National Guard, police in St. Paul arrested 284 people Monday after
outbreaks of violence and road obstructions linked to rogue bands of
demonstrators among an otherwise peaceful throng estimated at 10,000

The demonstrations, on a steamy first day of the Republican National
Convention, began with block after block of marchers -- far fewer than the
50,000 some had predicted -- chanting and peacefully waving signs on
downtown St. Paul's narrow streets. As the day wore on, the carnival
atmosphere turned ugly.

Before most of the demonstrators had finished their march, a few hundred
protesters splintered off and became confrontational and sometimes
violent. Some smashed windows at Macy's and a downtown bank building.
Others challenged police by blocking roads.

Late Monday, authorities said 130 of the 284 people arrested may face
felony charges. Dozens were pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed. One police
officer was punched in the back and another suffered from heat exhaustion.
St. Paul emergency rooms reported nine minor injuries and several
heat-related cases.

Hundreds of police officers, sweltering in heavy riot gear, swept in to
block streets and protect delegate buses. About 3 p.m., St. Paul police
requested help from 150 National Guard troops.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said officers showed restraint as a small
number of law-breaking demonstrators marred an otherwise peaceful day of
free speech.

"Their efforts were nothing short of heroic," Coleman said. "They did not
fail. They did not take the bait."

But observers from the National Lawyers Guild took issue with police

"We think it's unconscionable. We think it's out of control," said Gina
Berglund, an attorney and legal observer coordinator for the guild's
Minnesota chapter. "The response by the police was completely out of
proportion with what they were faced with."

 2008 Star-Tribune


Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 14:26:25 EDT
Subscribe_ (
Take Action to Defend RNC Protesters!
Stop the  Police Riot in St. Paul!

Although it went virtually unmentioned in the corporate media, on Sept. 1,
the largest anti-war march of 2008 took place outside the Republican
National Convention in Minnesota. 30,000 people from all over the Midwest
and the country gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul and
them marched to the Xcel Center, the site of the RNC.  Large numbers of
buses came from all over Illinois, Wisconsin, and the surrounding states.

Michael Prysner, speaking in St. Paul The march was overwhelmingly young
people, and was led by the veterans' and immigrant rights contingents.
Other sizable contingents included a strong labor contingent, a poor
people's contingent, and a contingent in solidarity with Palestine. The
chant ""Iraq for Iraqis -- Troops Out Now" filled the streets, along with
the crowd favorite, "Who's the Biggest Terrorists in the World Today?
Bush, Cheney and the CIA!"

Among the many speakers at the Minnesota State Capitol, where the march
gathered, was Michael Prysner, an Iraq war veteran who represented the
ANSWER Coalition.  Mike addressed the crowd, "I was sent to Iraq in 2003
not to save the Iraqi people, but to kill the Iraqi people. I was sent not
to free the Iraqi people, but to imprison and torture the Iraqi people. I
was sent not to liberate Iraq, but to occupy Iraq. There is no longer any
question that this war was not for so-called "Iraqi freedom", it
was not an act of self-defense, and it was not simply a foreign policy
error by the republican party- it was a well-calculated plan carried out
by both parties to dominate the Middle East, killing as many innocent
people as necessary and profiting from that human suffering."

Send a Letter Demanding the St. Paul Government Release All Protesters!

The police have engaged in a widespread riot against social justice
organizations, resulting in the arrest of around 300 protesters. Most of
the arrested are still in jail, and at least one person with a serious
medical condition has been refused care.

Even before the Convention began, protesters had the organizing centers
raided. Armed groups of police in the Twin Cities have raided more than
half-a-dozen locations since Friday night in a series of "preemptive
raids." The raids and detentions have targeted activists planning to
protest the convention, including journalists and videographers from
I-Witness Video and the Glass Bead Collective. These media organizations
were targeted because of the instrumental role they played in documenting
police abuses the 2004 RNC Convention.  Their comprehensive video coverage
helped more than 400 wrongfully arrested people get their charges thrown

Democracy Now! producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar -- who
clearly identified themselves as members of the media -- were arrested,
and could face suspicion of rioting charges, a felony. When Amy Goodman,
host of Democracy Now!  went to the scene to inquire with a police
commander about the arrest of her producers, she too was arrested. A
CodePink march and several breakaway marches were also met with police
repression. Tear gas and concussion grenades have been used to disperse

There is an undeniable pattern of police repression at these conventions.
In 2004, 1500 protesters were arrested at the RNC.  Subsequent litigation
on behalf of the protesters revealed that national and local enforcement
conspired to deny protesters their civil liberties and civil rights.
Protesters were held in miserable conditions, and only mass pressure
forced the police to release them.

_Please take a moment and click this link to send a letter to Chris
Coleman, the mayor of St. Paul, demanding that all protesters and social
justice organizers be released, and that all charged be dropped._
(  The real
criminals are the "law enforcement" authorities, who have systematically
violated the free speech rights of protesters, and in more than a few
cases carried out physical abuse.

This report was filed with information provided by John Beacham of the
ANSWER Coalition.

A.N.S.W.E.R.  Coalition _


Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 12:07:41 -0700 (PDT)
From: Nancy Doyle Brown <nancyjdoyle [at]>
Subject: Re: [Discuss] [M5DGP] FW: Amy Goodman Arrested at RNC in St.Paul, MN

Exactly [response to Strand #4]. I sense that Mpls and St. Paul have
limited authority, though I'm going to call my City Council member anywa -
it was MPD acting in St. Paul who arrested the DN reporters. But I'm also
going to call Keith Ellison, etc. The federal govt needs to take
responsibility for this--and change their protocols--if they're the ones
giving orders here.  Nancy


Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 12:21:37 -0700 (PDT)
From: Nancy Doyle Brown <nancyjdoyle [at]>

The DN reporters also had their press passes yanked from their necks by
Secret Service--again, we seem to be confronting federal level decisions.

Though Keith Ellison said today on DN that he found this "disturbing," I
don't think he's fully grasped the responsibility he needs to take as an
elected representative on the federal level demanding to know why
reporters are being detained and arrested, what the protocols are that
police are operating under, and gaining assurance that things will change
for the duration of the convention. As a DN producer said today, the
police are showing no awareness of the line between the protesters and the
press, which is accepted and honored in many places around the world.
Here's Keith Ellison's district office phone number: 612-522-1212  And Amy
Klobuchar's: 612-727-5220  Nancy


Date: Wed,  3 Sep 2008 07:51:05 +1200 (NZST)
From: Mike  Wassenaar <wassenaar [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>

Amy and the two reporters were released before 9pm Monday night.  Keith
Ellison took a lead role in getting her release.  St Paul Police and the
City received over a 1000 calls in a short period of time demanding the
release.  About a quarter million views of the video have occured on
YouTube so far.

I don't know that charges were filed.  There is more information available
at the, which is mounting a national
campaign to ensure that journalists are not charged with crimes for doing
their jobs.

Not especially good publicity.

BTW it was a Minneapolis officer involved in all the arrests.  St Paul
Police were apologetic and said they would have handled things


Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 13:01:27 -0700 (PDT)
From: M Charles Swope <mcswope [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>,

It's great that Ellison got Amy Goodman out of jail, but what about the
non-celebrities who've been arrested with just as little reason? Is
Ellison doing anything about them?

Cops from outside the jurisdiction, I suspect, are always going to feel
less restraint than local cops who are going to have to work in the
community going forward. Obviously, St. Paul needed to import help for
this but it looks like the command and control function has been poorly
designed. You've got Fletcher running all over the Twin Cities with no
accountability. Harrington seems to be missing in action. Just who is in
charge of this operation?

All the pre-convention talk about St. Paul being open to free expression
has turned out to be hogwash. Any group that's gathered for any purpose
outside the security perimeter has been gassed, rounded up, arrested or
otherwise abused. Our rights to free speech and to assemble have simply
been ignored.


Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 15:23:19 -0500
From: Karen Cole <krcole18 [at]>
To: dave thune <thune [at]>,
     St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>

I was at the big march yesterday and I didn't see any thing negative.
Nothing.  Well, let me amend that.  I did see a unit of young men in black
wearing kerchiefs over their faces.  That was a little disturbing. Perhaps
these are some of the people that broke away and created havoc elsewhere

But I spent the afternoon at the parade and didn't see any violence at
all.  None.  Didn't even hear a harsh word spoken.  It was very upbeat. It
was people of all ages.  Some in the parade, and some watching from the
sidewalks.  People were in a positive celebratory mood.  There was some
street theater.  It was kind of like a St. Patrick's Day parade but noone
was drunk.

There was a heavy law enforcement presence.  All of the officers I saw
were respectful (but was the riot gear really necessary?)  And the crowd
was respectful of the officers.

All in all, a positive exercise of free amendment rights by the vast
majority of those there.

I left the event not knowing that there had been any law violations at
all.  That's how invisible it was to many of us at the parade.

I am very concerned about some of the media coverage that has focused only
on the negative and on the actions of a few hoodlums.  That was not the
experience of most of us who were there.  Some of the coverage gave a very
distorted picture of what happened, I think.

Karen Cole
Summit and Dale


Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 15:34:55 -0500
From: Joe Nathan <jnathan [at]>
To: Karen Cole <krcole18 [at]>
Cc: dave thune <thune [at]>,
     St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>

Strong agreement here with what Karen Cole wrote.  From the viewpoint of a
person who marched yesterday, and who also has written a number of
newspaper columns, much of the local and CNN coverage was disappointing.
Probably the most balanced was an editorial in today's Pioneer Press.
How was the coverage disappointing?

1. There was an enormous amount of humor among the signs and
demonstrations.  We need a lot more of that in this country (personal
opinion - not taking ourselves too serious, learning to laugh at/with
things we disagree with).  Among the best examples (which I find no
mention of)

* 5 guys dressed in business suits who posed as "Lobbyists for McCain"
and gave our trading cards for various lobbyists. Among their signs - why change horsemen in the
middle of an apocalypse?", "loyal to big oil, etc. etc.

* Some large puppets playing off Miss Democracy or Miss Minnesota, labeled
as as "I Miss..Democracy" "I Miss Good Government" etc. etc.

* Many signs with variations on the GOP such as "Government, oh puhleeze"

2. Why no police at the point where there was real (verbal)
confrontation - just across from the Excel Center where about 100 people
lined the street with identical signs (some of which we saw in a pile on
the ground, un-used).  I understand why police were at different places
around St .Paul - but we were literally within 3 feet of people holding
signs with very different views - some of whom yelled things at us.  I am
not sure why no police were there, and it seems worth media asking about.

3. Didn't see much (except in the Boston Globe, below) about the parade
being let by veterans and families of veterans.  This was, at least to
some of us, plenty poignant. This did not make Mr. Brown's story in the
Star Tribune.  I did see Nick Coleman's column and was glad he mentioned
it. But the major front page stories did not.

Full disclosure - above I praised an editorial in today's Pioneer Press.
Yesterday they published something I wrote.  Perhaps that distracts from
what I wrote above.


Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 16:21:18 -0500
From: Tom Goldstein/EFQ <tom_goldstein [at]>

Leaving aside whether Amy Goodman was maced or not, it is irrelevant
whether the police knew who she was or not. The fact that she was a
credentialed member of the media should have protected her from arrest.
According to a Goodman interview on MPR, she asked to speak with the
commander of the unit who had arrested her producers and was subsequently
arrested herself - as detailed in the video that Mike Wassenaar
referenced. She also stated that when she displayed her press credentials,
they were ripped off her by a secret service agent. Why isn't that story
being reported as widely as the footage about the protestors who damaged
property? As Charlie Swope pointed out, all this talk about St. Paul being
an "open city" during the RNC is baloney. And, with these thousands of
riot-clad officers in town blocking every entrance into the "security
perimeter," just how is it that these individuals intent on vandalism were
able to slip through, openly bust windows at whatever we call Dayton's
these days, have it all captured on video, but then no footage where the
cops immediately show up to wrestle the perpetrators to the ground? Could
it be that the intention isn't really to protect downtown and the people,
but rather to suppress dissent? Because there were plenty of officers to
detain Amy Goodman and her colleagues, but apparently none to react to the
situation of vandalism.

I'm sure that law enforcement will have a ready-made answer as to why
their logistical plans couldn't anticipate every possible incident, but
it's not like the damage occurred a mile outside of the perimeter. I would
suspect that with all these agencies like the FBI and Secret Service and
Homeland Security that have an entirely different agenda than our local
police dept, their only concern is on crowd control and intimidating the
many thousands of us who did an extraordinary job of peacefully protesting
our discontent with the Republicans and Bush rather than focusing on those
who clearly wanted to cause trouble. I can remember marching after
Wellstone died in a crowd that numbered more than 10,000, where concern
about the War in Afghanistan and the lead up to Iraq were on everybody's
mind, and the streets were not lined with riot-clad officers. St. Paul is
by and large a peaceful city, and having to put up with this police state
presence that invariably can never be managed the way we are told it will
be is an attack on everyone's civil liberties. Note: I am not singling out
SPPD, which by and large has acted professionally and with great restraint
thus far. But they are still in the position of having to defend excesses
that they can't control, especially those orchestrated by the FBI, Secret
Service, and our very own RC Sheriff's Dept. But then, this is the exact
tone that the Bush Administration has set for the country, and all the
petty tyrants and bullies get to have their day at times like these. Kudos
to Dave Thune for being on the job all day yesterday keeping tabs on what
was going on around the city and trying to stay in close touch with the
police department.

Maybe the experience here, where part of our city is essentially walled
off for the enjoyment of the visiting delegates, will be a spur to rethink
what a political convention is supposed to bring to a city and why any
city would want to be a host. I won't dispute that compared to other
countries and even other cities that have hosted conventions, St. Paul
will likely get "high marks," but it's all relative. Creating our own
"green zone" to fete the hordes of Republicans who I doubt have a sincere
interest in what our city is about is repugnant to my sense of civil
liberties and the values I derive from living here. There were plenty of
Republican delegates at the State Fair who mingled just fine with local
citizens there, and the same would have happened if we'd had a truly open
city with real "free speech" zones. But the federal agencies that call the
shots set things up deliberately so that none of that will happen, only
further exacerbating the partisan divide. Why don't w e see reports from
the media about the armed perimeter that's been established in downtown
rather than just about the few violent incidents?

Let's hope the mayor will find a way to offer a more nuanced message in
the future such that he can praise St. Paul Police while also
acknowledging the outrageous behavior of the Secret Service and decrying
the completely fabricated justification for raiding the house on Iglehart
Ave where journalists from imedia were being housed. Right now it feels
like the city has just capitulated to the bargain it made by bringing the
convention to town, and everybody just hopes it goes away as quickly as

Tom Goldstein


Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 17:43:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Nancy Doyle Brown <nancyjdoyle [at]>
Subject: [M5DGP] My disheartening experience calling my elected reps about
    press intimidation

I just have to share stories of my phone calls with my elected reps, and
let me preface it by saying that I don't have in-depth knowledge of how
RNC security works, just the bits and pieces gleaned from the media. I
didn't want to let that deter me from raising my concerns, but I didn't
know what I was in for!:

My city councilperson (Betsy Hodges): I called and described to the aide
who answered my concerns about the Minneapolis Police (who arrested the DN
journalists while on duty doing RNC security in St. Paul) being used in
activities that intimidate journalists and inhibit press freedom. "Well,
everything I've seen indicates there hasn't been anything done outside
legal limits," the aide replied. I disputed that and described what
happened to the DN journalists and asked again if she'd assure me she'd
pass along my councern to Hodges. "Well, what your saying is all second
hand, so it's hard to say what really happened." I agreed that the police
have their own stories, but said that my information was first hand,
straight from the people who'd experienced it, and backed up by video
documentation. Well, she then said I should instead call the Ramsey County
Sheriff's Office. I explained again why I thought the City of Mpls should
have some oversight or influence over what their own police force is
doing, and asked if I could have her assurance she'd pass my concern along
to my council member.

I then called Sen. Amy Klobuchar's office to urge her to investigate how
the federal authorities are interfacing with local police and what their
protocols are for treatment of journalists. The person who answered there
said "I'll pass your concerns along to the Senator, but just so you know,
all of the security is being coordinated by the City of St. Paul police."
Since the Secret Service were the ones who took the DN reporters' press
passes, that's federal govt right there, but I also know that the FBI has
been coordinating with local police on all this (and I doubt that orders
are coming coming FROM the St. Paul Police TO the FBI). I pointed this out
to the aide and she simply repeated "All of the security is being
coordinated by the City of St. Paul." I really didn't know how to respond
to this, since I had just explained why this didn't seem possible, (unless
her talking point was some sort of semantic trick--they're "coordinating"
it but not "overseeing" it?). So I said I was sorry but I thought she was
mistaken on the facts and she said "I'm very familiar with the situation
and I'm certain that all of the security is being coordinated by the City
of St. Paul, but I'll pass your concerns along to the senator."

Now, it's been a long time since I answered phones as a college intern for
Congressman Martin Sabo, but rule number one was don't engage in debate
with callers. I'd have welcomed an explanation from either of these
staffers that would help me understand how security is actually working
for the RNC, and who's giving orders to whom, but both were totally
unhelpful and made me doubt whether the my elected reps hear only the
concerns deemed legitimate by these seemingly uninformed gatekeepers. I
did have a brief but satisfactory conversation with Keith Ellison's

Anyway, I want to contrast it with the couple times I've called Cam
Gordon's office (not even my ward!) and spoken with Robin Garwood, which
has been nothing less than delightful. He's amazingly well informed and
insightful on a whole range of issues, not to mention thoughtful, helpful,
and empowering. What a treasure! Convinces me once again that we need more
Greens in office!

Nancy Brown


Date: Wed,  3 Sep 2008 14:00:04 +1200 (NZST)
From: Mike  Wassenaar <wassenaar [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>

To reinforce one theme from above, it was a Minneapolis Police riot squad
that made the arrests.  In another video clip, the Democracy Now! reporter
Nicole Salazar is bull-rushed and beaten by an officer while she is
screaming that she is with the press.  They apparently didn't get the
instructions about not arresting people with cameras.

I condemn the lawlessness on our streets yesterday.  This includes
assaulting and detaining journalists doing their job.  The outrageous
actions are now the focus of a national campaign to clear the journalists


From: Gjerry Berquist <GjerryBerquist6 [at]>
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 17:26:34

Who is a terrorist?   Bush is a terrorist.   My favorite chant during a
wonderful march in the sun, today in Saint Paul.

Fear and intimidation continue to be a tactic against our right to speak
truth to power.  Don't let them win, DON'T BE AFRAID.


Date: Wed,  3 Sep 2008 14:33:02 +1200 (NZST)
From: Jay Wilkinson <balthazarw [at]>
This video shows diversity, humor, seriousness and 98% of what Monday's
events were about.

Unfortunately, mainstream US media will miss this and concentrate on the
violent disrupters who have by their foolish actions taken the heat off
the war criminals and the robber barons, and the tax cheats and the
preventive detention and illegal law enforcement actions.

Real civil disobedience for a grand cause is admirable and can be
effective.  It is powerful in proportion to the activists' willingness to
continue to confront the system by sitting down, dissenting, surrendering
and continuing the struggle in a visible and coherent manner while
fighting the system that seeks to condemn them.

Would MLK Jr have been more or less powerful had he not spend weeks in a
Birmingham jail?  Gandhi?  The people who fought to close the School of
the Americas?  Our sisters and brothers in AIM went to Alcatraz and to
other seats of power and symbolism fully ready to confront and fight and
sacrifice for the cause.  Would anyone remember it if they had snuck into
the the BIA HQ and just trashed desks and left under cover of night?
Wellstone worked with farmers to fight power lines and the banks.  The
farmers took stands and were not afraid to show their faces to save their
communities.  I am not so courageous as others - so I have not (yet)
adopted these tactics.

Peaceful resistance against overwhelming force makes a strong and resonant
message for others - I don't know whether to look at it as PR jujitsu
where non-resistance throws the attacker for a fall or a long term
dialectic where the opposing forces turn into their opposites - but it is
a tactic I can support and which has made change in my lifetime.

Cover up, hide, hit and run and come back another day for another broken
window or confrontation with an old man from Texas or a spray-painted
slogan earns only contempt.

Every minute of coverage of broken windows and pepper spray takes away the
chance to expose the much worse violence that the black-clad folks claim
to oppose.

Sheriff Fletcher says that he has had 3 undercover people with the alleged
riot plotters for a year.  History shows that those undercover folks too
often earn their keep by fomenting the trouble their bosses expect.  I
fear that they may have been all too successful this past year.

Finally, a plea to our "violent disrupter allies", if that is who you
truly are:  stop the violence, take up the message for peace or just
disappear.  There is too much at stake for the world.


Date: Wed,  3 Sep 2008 14:35:51 +1200 (NZST)
From: Nathan Hunstad <nathan.hunstad [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>

I was at the rally and march yesterday from 10:30 until the main march
ended at around 2:00. Throughout the entire time, I did not see one
confrontation between marchers and police. I was near the head of the
march, so I did not see the splinter groups that created all the havoc at
the tail end of the march, but I can say that all of the people up front
were very well behaved. Nothing more than chants and yelling.

I'd say that the media reports of 10,000 sound close to the mark.
Certainly not 50,000, but a lot more than some reports of 2,000 to 3,000
that I had heard earlier in the day.

The atmosphere was very festive, and it was a family-friendly protest.
There was a very wide variety of people there, and all sorts of groups
represented. All in all, aside from the troublemakers, it was a very
positive experience.

I have over a hundred pictures I took of the crowds and the march here: . It shows the
variety of people there.

Nathan Hunstad
Summit-University, Saint Paul
Info about Nathan Hunstad:


From lhowell [at] Wed Sep  3 05:41:46 2008
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 22:18:31 -0500
From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Nader:Police Excessive Force in MN

NOTE: THUR.SEPT.4, 6:30pm:RALPH NADER, with GP vice-prez candidate ROSA
CLEMENTE and candidate funning for Nancy Pelosi's seat in Congress, CINDY
SHERMAN will hold a rally at ORCHESTRA HALL, off Nicolette Mall at 12th
St.,next to Peavey Plaza. downtown Minneapolis (previous announcements
MISTAKENLY said this event was at 5:30pm.

September 2, 2008

Media Advisory
Contact: Rob Socket, 267-974-6097 or Toby Heaps, 202-441-6795


Massive police overreaction to totally peaceful protest (238 people
arrested including Amy Goodman)

Statement by Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez:

The role of the police is to control violence and illegal activity. There
was neither in the events we are describing. The officers went far beyond
that to violating the right to free speech and assembly.

We strongly oppose the uncalled for arrest of numerous citizens, and the
excessive use of force and tactics of intimidation including rubber
bullets and tear gas, against lawful protesters.

We expected more balance and common sense from the supervisors and
trainers of the Saint Paul police force.


Date: Wed,  3 Sep 2008 14:57:04 +1200 (NZST)
From: Chris Rybisky <atkuku [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>

So...after a first day back at school, my son and I headed to the Capitol
to see if we could see Michael Franti play some music. We missed Michael
Franti, ran into an old friend and saw Jesus...and the tail end of what I
believe was Anti-Flag (with just a FEW cuss words in their lyrics).

We were just about to head back home when the crowd started chanting "LET
THEM PLAY" and "WE WANT RAGE". Well, the "RAGE" reference interested me
because I didn't know they were supposed to play. I asked one of the great
unwashed if I was right in my assumption on the "RAGE" thing and he said
they were going to try to play.

We sat tight. I explained lightly who Rage Against the Machine were and
that put my son onboard to wait and listen to them.

Then it looked like the police didn't want them playing for some reason,
so the crowd got a little huffy...doing CRAZY things like singing the
national anthem (that was a first for me - an impromptu anthem sing).

We noticed police on the roof of the Transporation building and actually
that whole block was nothing but police vehicles.

Well, Rage clearly was not being allowed onto the stage so they came out
front and addressed the crowd for awhile and then sang from a bullhorn -
it was great fun. Then everyone headed toward downtown and we were met by
my wife (yeah!).

As we got closer to "Downtown" proper, things got scarier (which is
something I never thought possible in my city - anything scary in Saint
Paul is weird to me). The Cedar Street bridge that crosses the freeway is
where we really started to see a show of force by the police. By the time
we got to Central Presbyterian (my church!) it got too much for us. My son
was convinced that we were all going to be gassed and I wasn't comfortable
enough to tell him we weren't. We decided then to head up Exchange and go
home but were stopped by a lovely gentleman in black riot gear and his
finger on the trigger of what my son called his teargas bazooka. So, we
turned and went up Tenth instead. As we turned though, I saw a full line
of riot cops marching down Exchange shoulder to shoulder and curb to curb-
it was one of the scarier incidents of my life.

By the time we got up near the History Center, we got to see a whole mess
of military guys waiting for something to happen.

God do I feel safe. Thank the lord we live in such a great country that we
have to fear the authorities just because we went to see some music.

Mayor Coleman, if you're reading this, next time pass on any national
political conventions...I don't think I can handle this much safety in my


Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 22:18:26 -0500
From: Paul Read <paulnread [at]>
To: nancyjdoyle [at]
Subject: Re: [M5DGP] My disheartening experience calling my elected reps
    about press intimidation

Nancy, I congratulate you for your commendable efforts to practice citizen
democracy.  Communicating directly with elected officials . . . isn't that
what we all learned in HS Civics class was the cornerstone of America? I'm
truly sorry you received such weasely responses though.  I'm happy to say
that I have had amazingly frank, timely, and helpful response from
Elizabeth Glidden, so I've not lost all hope, but I've received a similar
kind of response from Sen. Klobachar's office -- a very pro forma --
perhaps even automated reply.  And, last night, when my wife and I called
the Ramsey County jail to express our outrage over the arrests of the
Democracy Now!  journalists, the person(s) who answered our calls were
very curt and rude, telling us to take our complaint up with the Governor
and hanging up abruptly.  But I guess they were kinda busy.

So, who IS responsible?  On today's broadcast of Democracy Now!  Sheriff
Fletcher was filmed saying that the arrest was made by MPD officers so it
was their arrest and he couldn't "undetain" anyone until they were in his
jurisdiction (ie the Ramsey Cty Jail.)  So why then call the governor? And
why is Betsy Hodges saying "Not my station!" like she's working at Joe's
Diner when she tells you to call SPPD?

This is precisely the point I was trying to make -- albeit imperfectly --
in my initial response to Farheen.  According to that little thing called
the constitution, particularly the Tenth Amendment, a particular favorite
among Republicans ironically, The powers not delegated to the United
States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are
reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. Now, I'm no
constitutional scholar, so I could be wrong here, but it seems to me that
what that means, more or less, is that except, say, for the Secret Service
protecting the lives of the POTUS, candidates, etc, etc, and, say, legally
delimited functions of the FBI, etc, etc, the Fed Govt. (much less private
mercenary armies with fat contracts thanks to cozy relationships with
incumbent Republicans.)  pretty much doesn't get to go around telling
local or state governments how high to jump.  But, as you and others have
well and truly pointed out, that does indeed seem to be the case here. No
argument from me.

My point is we elect people to different levels of government to do
different things.  And, surprise, surprise (this is not meant to be snarky
toward you but rather those politicians who seem to think that there is
somehow less honor in local/state office than in federal, house than in
senate, etc.) each level of government is critical AT ITS OWN LEVEL! Which
is why we need mayors and sheriffs and council persons who can and will
say NO to RNC committees and the ilk that tag along with them.  (And as
Denver has shown us, that goes equally for the DNC, too!)  My problem
isn't that the Feds are crooks.  That's a problem that unfortunately has
been getting worse and worse for a loooong time.  My concern is that we
should have elected officials HERE IN MINNESOTA WHO CAN USE RESOURCES AT
HAND TO HELP US STAND UP AGAINST THEM.  If the is to be a convention here,
fine.  Go for it.  But PREEMPTIVE raids???  Do police now start arresting
people because they MIGHT rob a bank?  Might speed?  Might get drunk?
That's why I'm so angry.  And sadly, I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't
really, after all is said and done, too late.

(The Rev.) Paul Read, MA, MDiv, LMFT


 Our Jimmy wants to
 be a cop. We smile and push
 salesman or pimp.


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   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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