|Progressive Calendar 09.03.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|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) 17 ANSWER 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) --1-- Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 00:27:59 -0500 From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com> 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. Commentary: 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 officers. While the three of us sat down in an outdoor cafÃ© 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 him. 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 proven. 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. --2-- From: Democracy Now! <outreach [at] democracynow.org> Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 00:10:02 -0400 Subject: DN!: Action Alert: Update on Arrest Of Amy Goodman and DN! Producers September 1, 2008 Mike Burke: mike [at] democracynow.org 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 --3-- Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 14:42:31 +0000 From: allibobi [at] comcast.net 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 --4-- Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 11:01:22 -0500 From: David Strand <lavgrn [at] gmail.com> 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. --5-- Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 05:18:34 -0500 From: dave thune <thune [at] comcast.net> To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org> 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 xcel. 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: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/thunedave --6-- Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 06:47:53 -0500 (CDT) To: mpls-5thdistrictgreenparty [at] yahoogroups.com, discuss [at] mngreens.org From: farheen [at] farheenhakeem.org 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 --7-- Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 07:05:26 -0500 From: Dean Sheldon <dgjashel [at] concentric.net> 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 arrested. --8-- Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 07:09:16 -0500 From: Suzanne Linton <bahiabaubo [at] hotmail.com> 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. --9-- Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 05:43:35 -0700 (PDT) From: Mike Fratto <mfratto [at] yahoo.com> 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 rioting? 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. --10-- 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] green.gpus.org Distributed by the Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org Green Party of Minnesota http://www.mngreens.org For Immediate Release September 1, 2008 Contacts: Rhoda Gilman: (651) 224-6383; Dave Bicking: (612) 276-1213, Spokespersons, Green Party of Minnesota DESPITE POLICE RAIDS AND ARRESTS, MINNESOTA GREENS JOIN ANTIWAR, ANTIPOVERTY PROTESTS AT RNC 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. --11-- Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 15:57:31 +1200 (NZST) From: John Slade <jslade [at] labornet.org> 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? --12-- Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 08:33:04 -0500 From: Chris Rybisky <atkuku [at] gmail.com> Cc: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org> 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". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchy 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 --13-- Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 05:03:03 +1200 (NZST) From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org> I just noticed this from yesterday. Jeff Fecke, writing a report on the big march yesterday called "The Land of the Free" at http://www.mncampaignreport.com 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? --14-- Preemptive Strikes Against Protests at RNC Raiding Democracy in St. Paul By MARJORIE COHN CounterPunch 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 convention. 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 rights." "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 Salon. 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 formations." 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 www.marjoriecohn.com. --15-- 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 "weapons". 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 --16-- Published on Tuesday, September 2, 2008 by Minneapolis/St. Paul Star-Tribune 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 people. 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 action. "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 --17-- Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 14:26:25 EDT Subscribe_ (http://www.pephost.org/site/R?i=jOEnheGIy_u47XC205OqzA..) (http://www.pephost.org/site/R?i=AsKz1GECzy_sdYZSX6SK7Q..) ANSWER 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 out. 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 crowds. 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._ (http://www.pephost.org/site/R?i=rqyrtbNSrcxPIY6MTRaQyw..) 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 _http://www.answercoalition.org/_ --18-- Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 12:07:41 -0700 (PDT) From: Nancy Doyle Brown <nancyjdoyle [at] yahoo.com> 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 --19-- Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 12:21:37 -0700 (PDT) From: Nancy Doyle Brown <nancyjdoyle [at] yahoo.com> 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 --20-- Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 07:51:05 +1200 (NZST) From: Mike Wassenaar <wassenaar [at] spnn.org> To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org> 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 http://www.freepress.net/node/43929, 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 differently. --21-- Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 13:01:27 -0700 (PDT) From: M Charles Swope <mcswope [at] yahoo.com> To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org>, 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. --22-- Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 15:23:19 -0500 From: Karen Cole <krcole18 [at] msn.com> To: dave thune <thune [at] comcast.net>, St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org> 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 downtown. 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 --23-- Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 15:34:55 -0500 From: Joe Nathan <jnathan [at] umn.edu> To: Karen Cole <krcole18 [at] msn.com> Cc: dave thune <thune [at] comcast.net>, St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org> 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. www.LobbyistsForMcCain.com 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. --24-- Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 16:21:18 -0500 From: Tom Goldstein/EFQ <tom_goldstein [at] comcast.net> 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 possible. Tom Goldstein Hamline-Midway --25-- Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2008 17:43:35 -0700 (PDT) From: Nancy Doyle Brown <nancyjdoyle [at] yahoo.com> 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 office. 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 --26-- Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 14:00:04 +1200 (NZST) From: Mike Wassenaar <wassenaar [at] spnn.org> To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org> 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 names. --27-- From: Gjerry Berquist <GjerryBerquist6 [at] msn.com> 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. --28-- Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 14:33:02 +1200 (NZST) From: Jay Wilkinson <balthazarw [at] yahoo.com> http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2008/sep/02/minneapolis.protests 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. --29-- Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 14:35:51 +1200 (NZST) From: Nathan Hunstad <nathan.hunstad [at] gmail.com> To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org> 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: http://flickr.com/photos/huns0004/sets/72157607080670422/ . It shows the variety of people there. Nathan Hunstad Summit-University, Saint Paul Info about Nathan Hunstad: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/nathanhunstad --30-- From lhowell [at] visi.com Wed Sep 3 05:41:46 2008 Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 22:18:31 -0500 From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> 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 www.votenader.org www.officialnaderstore.com Media Advisory FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rob Socket, 267-974-6097 or Toby Heaps, 202-441-6795 RALPH NADER AND MATT GONZALEZ SPEAK OUT AGAINST EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE 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. --31-- Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 14:57:04 +1200 (NZST) From: Chris Rybisky <atkuku [at] gmail.com> To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org> 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 life. --32-- Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 22:18:26 -0500 From: Paul Read <paulnread [at] mac.com> To: nancyjdoyle [at] yahoo.com 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 --33-- Our Jimmy wants to be a cop. We smile and push salesman or pimp. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 vote third party for president for congress now and forever
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