Progressive Calendar 09.04.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 06:39:36 -0700 (PDT)
              P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   09.04.08
                             POLICE RAIDS VI

1 Regan (Daily Planet)
2 Kelly
3 Lopez/Rowland
4 Coldsnap
5 Kucera
6 Johnson
7 Kelly
8 Hazard
10 Nestor (NLG)
11 Mayo
12 Mayo
13 Peterson
14 Gibbs
15 Smith (Dissident Voice)
16 Hannon
17 Karr (Common Dreams)
18 Peterson-de la Cueva (Daily Planet)
19 Turck (Daily Planet)
20 Coldsnap

21 ed   opinion
22 ed   Our Jimmy (2) poem
23 Nader rally tonight 9.04


After the march, young people refused an order to disperse, and police
fired tear gas.
By Sheila Regan , TC Daily Planet
September 02, 2008

The Poor People's Economic and Human Rights Campaign marched on the
Republican National Convention on Tuesday, delivering an indictment of
national leadership.

The first person I spoke to at Mears Park this afternoon was Alex Hux, a
retired school counselor from Philadelphia who had come to Minneapolis
with his daughter to protest the Republican National Convention. He said
the goal of the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign was to
further dramatize and remind the public that people are still homeless;
they have no healthcare, and are dying prematurely.

Hux said there were busloads of people coming from all over the country
for the rally. The visitors have been staying in Bushville, an encampment
they set up in a vacant lot by University and Dale. "Bushville reminds
people of Hooverville," Hux tells me with a smile. Their first camp was at
Harriet Island, but they were evicted. Then the group arrived inside the
Capitol building with their sleeping bags, but they were kicked out of
there, too, and two activists were arrested.

Also at the rally, which began Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Mears Park, were Orion
Wishness, and Marin Peplinski, who have members of the PPEHRC for many
years. Wishness is currently unemployed, and Peplinski is a retired

"I think capitalism is unfair and undemocratic," Peplinski said. "I grew
up poor, in the Saint Paul housing projects. I vote for the socialist or
the communist. I never vote for the Democrat. It's like putting a band-aid
on a rotten body."

Many of the people I spoke to early on at the rally were retired teachers.
Some were homeless themselves, or had been on welfare, like Patty Smith
from the Welfare Rights Committee who is a mom with kids, and Chia Xiong,
a woman from Laos who says "they steal money from the poor to pay the

These people had gathered to have their voices heard. Unfortunately, that
was easier said than done. Although the PPEHRC had gotten a permit to use
the park, the city of Saint Paul had not provided a staff member to turn
the sound system on. At one point, loud classical music blasted from the
speakers, making it impossible to hear the leaders.

Yet despite the technical difficulties, the initial gathering was
peaceful. The organization Seeds for Peace was giving out food. Parents
were there with their kids, students were with their friends, and several
theatrical groups gave performances throughout the park. There was even an
appearance made by a troupe of Native Dancers made up in full traditional
costumes and accompanied by incense, who performed after Clyde Bellecourt,
a well-known Native American activist, addressed the audience.

Cheri Honkala was the main speaker of the rally. With the looming presence
of cops in full riot gear surrounding the park, Honkala shouted "I am not
afraid." The crowd cheered uproariously. "What I'm afraid of," Honkala
continued "is people dying on the streets of Minnesota!"

Honkala called for a peaceful protest. She asked the group to not be
distracted by the police or the troublemakers. She said she didn't agree
with breaking windows, but she said "I don't give a damn if you are an
Anarchist or a Democratic or Republican! We are not professional
demonstrators. We come from the hood. Don't anybody get in the way of our
message today. It's our time to end homelessness."

But people did get in the way of her message. Soon there was a commotion
on the street and everyone started rushing there to see what was going on.
Despite Honkala's pleas to remain focused, the confrontation between
police and protestors was gathering everyone's attention.

"Get out of my face," shouted one officer to the protestors. Another
officer's horse got out of control. The crowd started , "The whole world
is watching. The whole world is watching." Hundreds of people with cameras
were taking pictures of the cops on their horses, a few holding automatic

"There are too many people with press passes," said one observer.
"Cameras have gotten too cheap." Indeed there were hundreds of people with
cameras, who pushed up against the cops just as forcefully as some of the
more rowdy protesters .

Then the man mumbled, "It's all the fault of the anarchists."

There was a group hysteria. Groups began fighting among themselves. One
man had a seizure, and dozens of people started taking his picture. A
group of unofficial "medics" urged the crowd to back away, because the
flashes are what caused his seizure. When the picture takers wouldn't back
away, the medics shouted angrily. Then medics made a chain around the man
and created a "privacy circle" as they waited for the ambulance to arrive.

Meanwhile the PPEHRC were urging people to walk away from the police, to
keep the focus on the rally. Soon the march began, and the demonstrators
and cops dispersed. The route for the march went from Mears Park toward
Seventh Street, then west on Seventh Street over 94, then all the way to
University Avenue, turned toward the Capitol, and then toward the Excel
Center. The first half of the march was through a fairly deserted
industrial area, with very few onlookers except police. At one point one
of the police officers disappeared into the woods. At first I thought he
was looking for evidence, but it seemed he just needed to relieve himself.

When the group went underneath the 35E bridge, everyone started shouting
and an echo filled the space. One young man painted graffiti on the
pavement. Another man took a picture of it and gave it to the police. I
asked the photographer if he was a journalist. He said that he had a blog
for his friends.

A commotion happened when the crowd reached the Capitol. Two young men
appeared out of nowhere and jumped into vans, then screeched away. Then
hundreds of young people appeared as well, apparently following the two

Rage Against the Machine had played an non-permitted concert at the
Capitol and had run away, and their fans reached the street just as the
Poor People's March arrived at the same spot. In the ensuing commotion and
confusion, the fans joined the Poor People's March, not necessarily even
knowing what the march was about.

As the crowd reached St. Peter Avenue, the tone changed. The crowd became
much rowdier. At one point a young man pushed me and told me I was walking
too slow, and cackled with his friend as they pushed forward.

The police once again formed a wall of fear at the intersection at
Mickey's Diner, and sprayed several people with pepper spray.

While the fear tactics of the police escalated the tensions, there were
other guides that were more successful in trying to keep the crowd
focused. Members of PPEHRC wearing fluorescent vests urged to stay away
from the cops. A group of young people dressed in black urged the group to
keep moving forward and "stick together." Just before the march reached
its endpoint at the large fence blockade in front of the Xcel Center,
Cheri Honkala had the children and elderly marchers wait in a peace circle
while she moved toward the fence, right in front of Catholic Charities.
She addressed the police. She asked that someone from the Republican
National Convention be brought to hear her message.

"We want to charge this government with Crimes Against Humanity," Honkala
shouted. "I just want to practice my First Amendment rights, and I can't
do that behind these gates. Don't just stand there! Look at us! Please!
I'm going to deliver the citizen's arrest. Please don't tase me. Please
don't pepper spray me. The whole world is watching." Honkala pushed a
flag-wrapped message underneath the fence. "Please," she said. "We are
human beings. We only want a better place for ourselves and our children."

The indictment of the country's leaders was delivered, wrapped in a flag,
as close to the Xcel Center as marchers could get. Security guards would
not pick it up or deliver it inside the RNC.

Honkala then left and began to lead the crowd back, but some people
wouldn't move. Many young people taunted the police on the other side of
the fence. Finally, a group of young people in black shouted "Out of the
cage and into the streets," and at that point people started leaving.

As the People's March continued past Mickey's Diner, many young people
remained in that intersection, shouting at the police. The police ordered
them to disperse, but that only encouraged the antagonism.

Eventually, the police shot off an explosion of tear gas. The crowds began
to run, screaming, with their hands in the air. It was a very unpeaceful
ending to what was supposed to be a peaceful march.

Sheila Regan is a theater artist based in Minneapolis. When not performing
or writing, she serves as educational coordinator for Teatro del Pueblo.


Date: Thu,  4 Sep 2008 02:39:02 +1200 (NZST)
From: "Grace Kelly (nicknamed Kelly)" <saintcurmudgeon [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>

You haven't heard from me because I have been on the St Paul streets
watching. And because I am in shock. I have not fully processed all of the
information. I would say that our downtown is now completely and totally a
police state.

Remember that in community meetings, we were promised fair and due process
of law, with arrests for cause.  We have arrests now for "conspiring" to
civil disobediance, for presense at an unlawful assembly.

Remember we had pre-convention raids on locations and houses looking for
common items, here is a copy of one search warrant:

The locations including the place that Iwitness is staying, a citizen
journalist team.

There is even a report of burglary where no expensive goods were taken yet
everything was gone through, while the people were being detained.

Two citizen journalists were not detained, yet all of their stuff was
taken - by police.

Remember that the police were immediately shutting down places and homes
for code violations, when we have not been able to shut down homes for
code violations after even a year. It is a case of punishment before due
process of law.

The police are not providing any information about arrests to bystanders,
about why people are being arrested. Quite frankly we have a suspicion
that they are making it up later.

Check out

But wait, wait - it get worse.

In our community meetings, we were promised regular looking cops using
reasonable force, with riot squads only called in when things got bad. Up
until now, it was great to get a squad car to attend to real violent

Yesterday, we had a battalion of bicycle cops, a battalion of darth vader
riot police, a battalion of horse police, with two paddy wagons, in very
plain close sight, just in case people did not give up the slightly
oversize poles on two signs, where people were assembling for a permitted
very lawful march!

Really, I was there, the assemblage of encircling the whole Mears Park
with battalions of troops was just in case people did not give up the
slightly oversize poles on two signs.

Fortunately, the people agreed.

This was just one incident of many. Time and time again, questioned
bystanders who were watching could not tell why people were being

I was lost getting to the Uptake office, which caused me to reverse
directions a few times and notice how I was being followed by plain
clothes police - just walking through the city with a video equipment bag,
not even in the dead zone.

No doubt there are real crimes being committed, however the numbers and
armament of force being used is unusually excessive. The use of pepper
spray, etc seems to be increasing on each day of the convention.

Wait, wait, it gets worse.

A long time journalist team from Amy Goodman's team was covering the
stories, and got caught up in cop encirclement. Credentialed press have
maced, beaten, arrested. And the rest of citizen journalists, bystanders
and people who live here are just as much at risk.

I as a public figure am pledged to be lawful and careful. Yet to be a
witness, I had to be near. Good people cannot walk away, we need witnesses
to what is happening. I have health problems, yet so do many people who
live in St Paul. A person should be able to safely walk our streets.

I have not witnessed all of the really bad situations, like pepper
spraying directly into a persons face after being pinned or pepper spray
just randomly sprayed around, yet there are videos out there.

The police are a tool being ordered by someone. Either our mayor ought to
stop this or admit that he is not in control.

The only good news is the 10,000 peaceful participants in peace parade on
Labor Day.

I want my city and I want my democracy - back.

Grace Kelly nicknamed Kelly In shock St Paul and Merriam Park Resident


Subject: Journalist released - PLEASE FORWARD
From:    Franklin López <submedia [at]>
Date:    Wed, September 3, 2008 7:59 am
To:      rnc-media [at]

Pepperspray Productions journalist Joseph La Sac released
Pepperspray Productions journalist Lamert Lambert Rochfort is being
charged with felony riot.

Below is an email sent from their home office in Seattle.

Randy Rowland, from PepperSpray Productions, here. Instead of sending
you an announcement about a screening, this email is unusual for us,
it is a call for help.

Two PepperSpray collective members, Lambert Rochfort and Joe LaSac, on
assignment in St Paul covering the protests associated with the Republican
National Convention, were both arrested on Sunday while covering the
story. Both are still being held without charges or an opportunity to go
before a judge.

Lambert was swept up in a mass arrest of peaceful citizens who were
surrounded by cops and all arrested. Joe was arrested about the same time
as Amy Goodman and two other journalists from "Democracy Now!" were
arrested. In fact if you watch the footage of Amy Goodman standing in
handcuffs, the fellow sitting on the ground at her feet is Joe.

Lambert and Joe had covered the DNC in Denver, and were in St Paul to
cover the protests. They both had their cameras with them when arrested
and were clearly doing nothing illegal, just trying to get the story that
corporate media tends to overlook. There have been several other attacks
on journalists there, including a raid on an indymedia hospitality center,
and a raid on the house of a group that documents police brutality. It
goes without saying that there is no freedom of the press if reporters are
jailed for covering the story.

We want our people released without charges, and we want our equipment
back. If you value indymedia and the role of independent journalists - and
I know you do, or you wouldn't be on our announcement list - then please
take some or all of the following actions to secure the timely release of
these PepperSpray videographers.

If you are in the St Paul area or can ask those you know who are in that
area, please join the 24 hour vigil at the Ramsey County Jail, 425 Grove
St., St Paul (24 hour vigil)

Please call some or all of the following numbers, demanding that our
reporters be freed:

Chris Coleman, St. Paul Mayor: 651.266.8510
or Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman's office at 651-266-8535
Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0)
Ramsey County Sheriff: 651.487.5149

Here are the names and numbers of St Paul City Council people to call
as well:
Melvin Carter - Ward 1 - 651- 266-8610
Dan Thune - Ward 2 - 651-266-8620
Pat Harris - Ward 3 - 651-266-8630
Russ Stark - Ward 4 - 651-26-8640
Lee Helgen - Ward 5 - 651-266-8520
Dan Bostrom - Ward 6 - 651-266-8660
Cathy Lantree - Ward 7 - 651-266-8670

PepperSpray Productions is an all-volunteer independent media collective
based in Seattle, WA. Among other things, we produce a weekly access TV
show called "Indymedia Presents" which airs on 20 channels, from Seattle
to New York, including in St. Paul and Minneapolis.

For more info about our work, we invite you to visit our website:

Randy Rowland
PepperSpray Productions


Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 10:22:33 -0500
From: rnc08 [at]
To: rnc08-media [at], rnc08 [at]
Subject: [rnc08] COLDSNAP LEGAL COLLECTIVE - RNC Arrestees Need Your Help!

We've mainly been posting on our website ( and
Twitter feed ( in the past few days,
so here's an e-mail update...finally!

Two days into the RNC, over 300 people have been arrested, including at
least 120 people for felonies - mostly the notoriously vague charge,
"conspiracy to riot." With no provocation, police have indiscriminately
used rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and chemical irritants to
disperse crowds and incapacitate protesters.

Many arrestees now being held in Ramsey Co. jail are being denied
medical attention. One arrestee with hemophilia and another with asthma
are being denied their prescription medication. An arrestee with a
broken finger is being refused medical care, as is a person who has been
coughing up blood. In order to put pressure on the jail to provide
needed medical attention for other prisoners, an unknown number of
arrestees are also engaging in a hunger strike.

In arraignment proceedings today, two minors were convicted of criminal
contempt for refusing to provide their identity and were then sentenced
to 30 days in an adult jail facility.

RNC arrestees in Ramsey Co. Jail need your help!
Please call the following offices:

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (651.266.8510)
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher (651.266.9333)
County Chief Judge Gearin (651.266.8266)

And demand the following:

 Immediate medical attention as needed for ALL arrestees;
 That the prisoners who haven't given their names (Jane, John, and
  Jesse Does) have access to group meetings with a lawyer;
 Dismissal of all charges; and
 Release of all minors.

For more extensive updates about the situation, please see

Solidarity and rage,
Coldsnap Legal Collective
Jail Support Hotline: 651.356.8635
And love for all our allies!


Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 11:34:09 -0500
From: Barb Kucera <kucer004 [at]>
To: thune [at]
Cc: David Shove <shove001 [at]>
Subject: police state in St. Paul

Dear Dave [Thune],

I was glad to see your message asking tough questions about what has been
taking place in St. Paul. I urge you to push the Mayor's Office and the
entire City Council to undertake a full investigation of everything that
has happened and to demand accountability. And I'd like to add another
item to the list of concerns. It's my understanding that the City of St.
Paul will be allowed to keep millions of dollars of riot gear and other
equipment purchased for security at the RNC. I question the wisdom of
accepting any such "gift." Particularly troubling are the scores of "Big
Brother" surveillance cameras. The only thing worse than what we've
experienced these last several days in St. Paul would be accepting the
transformation of our beloved city into a permanent police state.

Barb Kucera
St. Paul resident


Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 09:58:01 -0500
From: Aimee Johnson <jadadog [at]>
Cc: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>

I agree, I spent the majority of yesterday writing to all political forces
/ voices that represent me, the City of St. Paul and the State of MN that
is uncalled for. To the media I challenged them to show the other side of
things. Excessive force that is being utilized. Whatever side you're on.
When you start abusing power, you must have an answer for it. I too urge
you to contact the Mayor and newspapers and other media.

I have received responses from only a small few, but the more we voice are
concerns, the louder we are.


ate: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 12:49:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: Kelly <saintcurmudgeon [at]>
Subject: [SPIF] "Conspiracy" Charges

I have been calling around and getting no information from the attorney's
offices. The county office is doing felonies, the city office is doing the
rest. Here is the information being put out by the RNC:

"Two days into the RNC, over 300 people have been arrested, including at
least 120 people for felonies - mostly the notoriously vague charge,
"conspiracy to riot." With no provocation, police have indiscriminately
used rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and chemical irritants to
disperse crowds and incapacitate protesters.

Many arrestees now being held in Ramsey Co. jail are being denied medical
attention. One arrestee with hemophilia and another with asthma are being
denied their prescription medication. An arrestee with a broken finger is
being refused medical care, as is a person who has been coughing up blood.
In order to put pressure on the jail to provide needed medical attention
for other prisoners, an unknown number of arrestees are also engaging in a
hunger strike.

In arraignment proceedings today, two minors were convicted of criminal
contempt for refusing to provide their identity and were then sentenced to
30 days in an adult jail facility."

Under no circumstances should people be denied medical care. Sending
minors to an adult jail for failing to provide identification, they might
not even have a drivers license!

"Conspiracy" charges are basically a lie, just the discussions on this
list that had vague threats could be consituted conspiracy.

Lets remember that due to video coverage, we know for a fact that people
were swept up, who were not law breaking. So lets apply to the rule of
innocent till proved guilty. Lets get people medical care, bonded and

My voice alone is not enough, I need your help.

Grace Kelly nicknamed Kelly
Concerned curmudgeon from Merriam Park


Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 13:16:59 -0700 (PDT)
From: johnny hazard <jhazard99 [at]>
To: discuss [at]
Subject: [Discuss] 1. Mpls. mayor's defense of police repression 2. my

Here is 1) an e mail from Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a liberal
Democrat, in response to a citizen complaint about police abuse in the
Twin Cities during the Republican convention and 2) my response to his
response.--Johnny Hazard, Minneapolis

      ------ Forwarded Message
      From: rt [at]
      Reply-To: rt [at]
      Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 16:00:00 -0500
      To: smarsprod [at]

Thank you for your message regarding freedom of speech and the protests
occurring around the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis Saint

I want you to know that the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police
Department have been working diligently to defend the First Amendment
speech rights of those who wish to protest and peaceably assemble in
Minneapolis.  In Minneapolis so far, we have had two large demonstrations
on Friday August 29th and Sunday August 31, as well as several smaller
assemblies. All have been nonviolent, and the Minneapolis Police
Department has been there to make sure that people could safely exercise
their rights free from intimidation and harassment.

Also over last weekend, searches were done in Minneapolis and Saint Paul
as part of an ongoing investigation led by Ramsey County.  The Minneapolis
Police Department assisted in these searches, which had my support.  I
understand people's real concerns that raids like these can be used to
intimidate and stifle free speech and personal expression, and when this
happens we must reject this tactic.  However, this was not the case with
the searches this weekend.  The warrants obtained by the Ramsey County
Sheriff's Office were reviewed both by a Hennepin County Judge as well as
the Hennepin County Attorney. These warrants allowed searches for weapons
that could be used to hurt people or damage property, as well as for
material that might contain evidence on the planning and preparations for
illegal activities.  The searches resulted in seven arrests, and they
recovered many items that could be used as weapons against people and
property. The items recovered during the searches included:

 *  Metal  pipes, axes, sledge hammers, glass bottles
    and flammable liquid.
 *  Buckets of human waste in houses that had fully
     functioning plumbing systems
 *  Caltrops, which are nails welded together into a
    device  designed to puncture vehicle tires
 *  Wrist  rockets and caches of rocks, BBs and other
    devices that can be used as ammo for  the wrist

In addition, information posted on the Internet and provided publicly by
organizers communicated that they intended to violently disrupt convention

On Monday, Saint Paul hosted a large demonstration and parade that
included approximately 10,000 marchers.  Almost all of the protesters
demonstrated peacefully.  A very small number of people took off into
splinter groups that engaged in violent and illegal behavior - breaking
windows on storefronts and squad cars, throwing bricks through the windows
of delegate busses, starting small fires, and assaulting police officers.
The Saint Paul police, supported by about 200 Minneapolis police officers,
did an excellent job of protecting demonstrators and the free speech
rights of everyone in downtown Saint Paul while also dealing with those
that were violent and destructive. This was a very challenging day, but I
was proud of the professionalism of our officers in a very difficult

In the coming days, we will learn more about exactly what happened
yesterday.  I am concerned about some reports that journalists were
arrested while covering the demonstrations, and will continue to monitor
this issue.

Overall, in challenging and emotional circumstances, Minneapolis remains
focused on doing everything in our power to protect the freedom of speech
during the RNC and every day.  We reject tactics that put a chill on free
speech.  At the same time, we have a serious responsibility to protect
people and property from violent attacks, and we will fulfill that
responsibility as well.  As I have said many times, Minneapolis welcomes
and encourages a diversity of opinions, but we will also make sure that
Minneapolis is safe for everyone.

Mayor R.T. Rybak
City of Minneapolis


Is this the best you can do after five days of your personal and official
silence in the face of police repression perpetrated by personnel under
your control?  You offer a defense of pre-emptive raids, of enthusiastic
cooperation with the same federal authorities who are responsible for
torture in Abu Graib, Guantánamo, and many other places we may not know
about.  Ah, but you "reject tactics that have a chilling effect on free
speech." Name one such tactic that you have NOT employed.

Like the last time I wrote to you, to protest your refusal to support a
City Council resolution against the pending (in 2003) U.S. war against
Iraq, you resort to legalistic arguments to defend things that aren't
legal, like the Patriot Act itself, like the preventive raids and
detentions, like the cross-jurisdictional actions and evasions of
responsibility that now fall under the umbrella of the unconstitutional
Patriot Act.

Legaloid arguments are the last refuge of bourgeois politicians.

After, according to some reports, one million Iraqi civilian deaths in the
last five and a half years, are you still proud of your role in opposing
the anti-war movement? Will you still be proud, if and when you reflect on
your career, of your current collusion with the forces of reaction? (Here
I'm being too kind, suggesting that you are not part of the forces of
reaction.) When I speak of the forces of reaction I speak, of course, not
only of law enforcement at all levels, but of your participation in
facilitating that the Republican convention be held in the Twin Cities
owing, apparently, to your belief that pandering to war criminals to
garner their tourism revenue is worth any inconvenience to your
constituents that the suppression of their rights may cause.

Your citing of Ramsey (yes, Ramsey, not Hennepin, where we live) County
Sheriff Bob Fletcher's World War I-era redbating and hysteria to justify
Minneapolis police participation in raids and detentions is beyond belief.
This is no more intelligent, on your part, than if you were to cite the
late F.B.I. director J. Edgar Hoover's similarly hysterical redbaiting to
support surveillance of Martin Luther King or the police assassination of
Fred Hampton while he slept.

You are concerned about "reports of" detentions of journalists. What?
You're not sure if they were really detained? Just as in Chicago in 1968,
the whole world is watching and has seen them not only detained, but
physically abused. But there's a further offense in this comment: if we
know of the detention and maltreatment of journalists, at least one of
whom is famous, what can we say, and where is your concern, for the
treatment of hundreds of other arrestees and gassing victims?

A shortcoming of local law is that it doesn't provide for the recall of
corrupt, inept, and hypocritical politicians, but I urge you to resign
immediately from your position as mayor and to withdraw from public life,
including lobbying, until you die or make a detailed public atonement
after very thorough and self-critical reflection.

John Hazard,

(I should put my address here, but having seen what you and your kind do
to dissidents, I decline to do so. I am also taking the unusual step of
suppressing the names and e mail addresses of the the many people to whom
I am sending copies of this letter.)


Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 15:30:20 -0500
From: ANSWER [at]
Subject: St. Paul Police Break Up Concert, Continue Assault on Protesters

St. Paul Police Shut Down Concert, Continue Assault
5,000 Marching Against Poverty Met with Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets

Undeterred by a climate of heavy police repression and threats, over
5,000 protesters took to the streets of St. Paul to march against poverty
on Sept. 2, the second day of the Republican National Convention. From
the early morning until late into the night, thousands more took part in
protest actions all over the city.

  RNC Cops

St. Paul police filled the streets with tear gas The "Poor people's march
for our lives" marched through downtown St. Paul, past the Minnesota State
Capitol and to the Xcel Center, site of the RNC.  Made up of thousands of
young people, the protest was militant and very multi-national. Vibrant
chants of "Education, Not Occupation! Education, Not Incarceration!"
echoed strongly throughout the march.

On day two, the police continued their intimidation tactics and brutality.
Young people on bikes were targeted. The ANSWER delegation witnessed
people being knocked off their bikes by police and arrested. Teams of
bicycle cops systematically harassed, surrounded and questioned anyone who
was walking to an anti-RNC event.

Police in riot gear shut down a permitted free concert at the State
Capitol where thousands of people had gathered to listen to Rage Against
the Machine. The police surrounded the band's trailer and informed them
that they were being shut down on the grounds that their concert would
"incite a riot."

Rage Against the Machine defied the order and played a short acoustic

In the evening, police fired large amounts of teargas, "anti-crowd"
explosives and pepper spray at thousands of protesters who gathered
outside the Xcel Center at the end of the big anti-poverty march. The
Xcel Center is surrounded by eight foot fencing and heavily guarded at
all times.

On Sept. 2, another 10 people were arrested. The broad assault on the
protesters has been coordinated at the federal and local level and
carried out by the FBI, ICE, the National Guard, state police, local
police and the coast guard.

Showing clearly that the arrests are coordinated to intimidate protest of
the RNC, local police have announced that they are planning to hold
protesters until the end of the convention. Bragging openly about the
police plan of repression, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said, "We
know we have 200 of the biggest trouble makers in jail from Monday and
they're not getting out for some time, so that's a big help."

At the time of this report the majority of the nearly 300 protesters who
have been arrested during the RNC continue to be illegally jailed.
Minnesota law requires arrestees to be released or officially charged
within 36 hours after being arrested. Attorneys from the National Lawyers
Guild and other law collective support teams are working to free all
those detained during the protest.

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.

Protests are continuing over the next two days with a mass march and
rally on Thursday set to coincide with John McCain's acceptance speech.
The Minnesota Anti-war Committee is sponsoring the protest and the ANSWER
Coalition along with many other local and national groups have endorsed
the action.

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


Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 16:17:11 -0500
From: Bruce Nestor <nestor [at]>
Subject: Ramsey County Charges RNC 8 Under State Patriot Act,
     Alleges Acts of Terrorism

In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002
Minnesota version of the Federal Patriot Act, Ramsey County Prosecutors
have formally charged 8 alleged leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee
with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism. Monica Bicking, Eryn
Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert
Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Max Spector, face up to 7 1/2 years in
prison under the terrorism enhancement charge which allows for a 50%
increase in the maximum penalty.

Affidavits released by law enforcement which were filed in support of the
search warrants used in raids over the weekend, and used to support
probable cause for the arrest warrants, are based on paid, confidential
informants who infiltrated the RNCWC on behalf of law enforcement. They
allege that members of the group sought to kidnap delegates to the RNC,
assault police officers with firebombs and explosives, and sabotage
airports in St. Paul. Evidence released to date does not corroborate these
allegations with physical evidence or provide any other evidence for these
allegations than the claims of the informants. Based on past abuses of
such informants by law enforcement, the National Lawyers Guild is
concerned that such police informants have incentives to lie and
exaggerate threats of violence and to also act as provacateurs in raising
and urging support for acts of violence.

"These charges are an effort to equate publicly stated plans to blockade
traffic and disrupt the RNC as being the same as acts of terrorism. This
both trivializes real violence and attempts to place the stated political
views of the Defendants on trial," said Bruce Nestor, President of the
Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. "The charges represent an
abuse of the criminal justice system and seek to intimidate any person
organizing large scale public demonstrations potentially involving civil
disobedience, he said."

The criminal complaints filed by the Ramsey County Attorney do not allege
that any of the defendants personally have engaged in any act of violence
or damage to property. The complaints list all of alleged violations of
law during the last few days of the RNC - other than violations of human
rights carried out by law enforcement - and seeks to hold the 8
defendants responsible for acts committed by other individuals. None of
the defendants have any prior criminal history involving acts of violence.
Searches conducted in connection with the raids failed to turn up any
physical evidence to support the allegations of organized attacks on law
enforcement. Although claiming probable cause to believe that gunpowder,
acids, and assembled incendiary devices would be found, no such items were
seized by police. As a result, police sought to claim that the seizure of
common household items such as glass bottles, charcoal lighter, nails, a
rusty machete, and two hatchets, supported the allegations of the
confidential informants. "Police found what they claim was a single
plastic shield, a rusty machete, and two hatchets used in Minnesota to
split wood. This doesn't amount to evidence of an organized insurrection,
particularly when over 3,500 police are present in the Twin Cities, armed
with assault rifles, concussion grenades, chemical weapons and full riot
gear," said Nestor. In addition, the National Lawyers Guild has previously
pointed out how law enforcement has fabricated evidence such as the claims
that urine was seized which demonstrators intended to throw at police.

The last time such charges were brought under Minnesota law was in 1918,
when Matt Moilen and others organizing labor unions for the International
Workers of the World on the Iron Range were charged with "criminal
syndicalism." The convictions, based on allegations that workers had
advocated or taught acts of violence, including acts only damaging to
property, were upheld by the Minnesota Supreme Court. In the light of
history, these convictions are widely seen as unjust and a product of
political trials. The National Lawyers Guild condemns the charges filed in
this case against the above 8 defendants and urges the Ramsey County
Attorney to drop all charges of conspiracy in this matter.

Bruce Nestor, President
Minnesota Chapter of National Lawyers Guild
3547 Cedar Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN  55407
612-659-9019 - Phone
612-436-3664 - Fax
612-991-9488- Cell


Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 18:27:38 -0500 (CDT)
From: Lynne Mayo <lynnne [at]>
Subject: Re: [M5DGP] My disheartening experience calling my elected reps
    about press intimidation

I talked with my City Councilperson, Gary Schiff, who said something that
caught me off guard.  In an 11 to 2 vote (eleven against Gary Schiff and
Cam Gordon) our city council gave Homeland Security control over our

So this explains everything.

Gary requests that we each call every city council person and support Gary
and Cam in having hearings on these cases of abrogation of our civil
liberties.  Gary said he has heard many stories of civilians being
physically restained and sometimes wounded by Mpls. Police, and he is very

311 will get you further info for contacting Mpls City Council

Thanks so much.


Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 18:37:58 -0500 (CDT)
From: Lynne Mayo <lynnne [at]>
To: 1 Family Friends <cofr [at]>
Cc: Dave Shove <shove001 [at]>
Subject: Monica re-arrested: Jail vigil

Monica [Bicking] has been rearrested.
She and Erin are being held for conspiracy to riot.
Snitch claims they were planning to bomb stuff.
$7500 each in order for them to be released until arraignment.
Arraignment to be September 19th
Vigil at the jail:
425 Grove St. in St. Paul

Car route:
94 exit 242C to 7th Street
Merge into Wall St.
go .3 miles turn left on 7th St. E
go .2 miles, turn left on Lafayette Rd. N
go 281 feet turn left on Grove St.

Call Lindsey for more information: 763-913-6849, including where to send


Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 06:55:42 -0500
From: Diane J. Peterson <birch7 [at]>
To: Paul Read <paulnread [at]>, nancyjdoyle [at]
Subject: Re: [Discuss] [M5DGP] My disheartening experience calling my
    elected reps about press intimidation

Paul Read posted that it is too late.

Too late for what?  Too late for building a Party that will "throw the
bums out" and elect people society can rely on to do their jobs for the
benefit of the electorate?  Too late for Greens and other citizens to go
to decent elected officials in Minnesota to stand up to the Federal thugs?
There are lots of bums in office, granted, but not ALL of our elected
officials are entirely useless.  I've read reports in cyberspace that City
Councilperson Dave Thune has gone to bat for Federally oppressed citizens
during the Republican Convention sweeps.  Surely a motivated Green can
ferret out one more elected official to provide some protection and
support for democracy?  I just read how Nancy Doyle Brown has gotten busy
on that task, and, more to her credit, she has shared the results of her
efforts here in cyberspace, the better to inform us all.  An informed
citizenry is an empowered citizenry.  Keep the information flowing. Share
the wealth of facts and tactics.  Tell who did (or didn't) do what, when,
where, and why.

Excercise every aspect of freedom of speech.

Power to the people,
Diane J. Peterson White Bear Lake, Minnesota birch7 [at]


Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 22:01:53 -0500
From: ElyDog <elydog [at]>
To: David Shove <shove001 [at]>
Subject: Re: Progressive Calendar  09.03.08

I think the events of the last few days will actually build and harden the
anarchist groups, much as some of their tactics intentionally isolate them
from the rest of the movement.

More importantly, the demonstration on Tuesday night, in which mostly
regular Minnesota kids from the Rage concert faced off against the
Tactical Squad, taught them the lesson about how power is held in this

It is basically physical power.  The clash on St Peter and 7th was part of
a power struggle between hundreds of heavily armed, well-paid police and a
large group of 20-30 somethings, for the most part.  Street protests are
educational in the best sense, and some of the youth of Minneapolis/St.
Paul are getting a good one this week.  The Poor People's protest on
Tuesday also seemed to cut down the amount of Republican delegates inside
the convention hall itself.

When you put all the rhetoric aside, power is maintained through the club,
the rubber bullet, the tear gas canister, the mounted Cossack, and
concussion grenades. Oh, yes, and helicopters, M-16s, police spies and $50
million dollar funds.

Greg Gibbs


Police Harass Participants at Veterans Convention in Twin Cities
by Ashley Smith / September 3rd, 2008
Dissident Voice

On the eve of the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis/St Paul,
the police and other security forces waged a campaign of repression and
intimidation against activists who came from across the U.S. to send a
message to the Republican Party.

Police carried out preemptive raids and detentions designed to deny people
their constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly. And in one
incident, police also targeted guests and participants in the Veterans for
Peace/Iraq Veterans Against the War conventions held at the Ramada Mall of
America outside the Twin Cities.

Near the conclusion of the conference, police tailed a carload of
convention participants returning to the Ramada. "Police followed us for
about 15 or so miles all the way to the Ramada and then detained us in our
car for close to half an hour," explained VFP associate member Ashley
Smith. "They jumped out of their vehicle, surrounded our car, and demanded
our ID's for no justifiable reason".

The police eventually released the carload without charges, Smith stated.
"The police seemed to be itching for a confrontation, perhaps because the
delegation from Alaska, home to Republican Vice Presidential Candidate
Sarah Palin, was staying in the very same hotel".

After this incident, the Ramada night manager targeted another convention
participant who had been a guest at the hotel throughout the weekend.
Kevin James, a black hip hop activist and performer widely known as Son of
Nun, had been watching the police harassment of activists outside the
hotel. When he re-entered the Ramada lobby, the manager singled him out,
demanding what room he was in and asking for his ID. The manager got hotel
security and at least eight police officers to detain James for close to
half an hour.

James stated that the police searched him and looked on the verge of
arresting him when he refused to present his ID. It was evident to James
and others who witnessed the hotel's treatment of him that this harassment
could only be an example of racial profiling since many white guests who
were also present were not asked for ID. After other activists came to his
defense and began organizing both a publicity campaign and legal defense,
the officers let James go free.

"I've stayed at plenty of hotels in my life," he noted, "and I've never
been racially profiled by the staff in any of them. This incident is
especially disgusting since I was a guest of two groups who'd patronized
the hotel in the days before, VFP and IVAW, who are fighting to end the
racist war and occupation of Iraq. The fact that I was subject to the
culture of police repression around the RNC seems to be par for the course
here in the Twin Cities".

VFP and IVAW convention organizers expressed grave concern over these
events. "One of the things that's particularly upsetting is that these
actions are intimidating people who want to participate in changing our
society for the better," said Michael McPhearson, VFP's executive
director. "Isn't that the right that I and other veterans served to
protect? Now our government is suppressing that vital democratic right".

IVAW executive director Kelly Dougherty also expressed dismay at the
harassment by police. "The way that Kevin and other close allies of IVAW
were harassed and singled out after the convention was disturbing and very
IVAW," said Dougherty.

"The suspicion and mistrust that Kevin experienced is a symptom climate of
fear that is being stoked by our government and causing us to turn against
one another instead of working together for change".

Ashley Smith is a writer and activist from Burlington, Vermont. He writes
frequently for Socialist Worker and the International Socialist Review. He
can be reached at ashley05401 [at] Read other articles by Ashley.

This article was posted on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008 at 9:01 am and
is filed under Activism, Civil Liberties, Elections, Freedom of Speech,
Police, Right Wing Jerks. ShareThis


Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 10:54:12 +0100
From: Wade Hannon <wade [at]>
Subject: Re: [Discuss] Star Tribune Picture Gallery

I am in London (came for the annual IWW General Assembly last weekend &
staying an extra week visiting a friend) & have been following what has been
happening at the RNC - it is definitely not a "Minnesota Nice" event! The
photos i have seen bring tears to my is like watching something
from a third-world dictatorship! It seems so surreal..yet i know that it is


Published on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 by The Huffington Post
St. Paul Mayor and Media Mum on Journalism Crackdown
by Timothy Karr
Common Dreams

In St. Paul this week, a new generation of media makers is under assault
by the city's mayor and law enforcement officers.

These local officials think freedom of the press is a privilege that
extends only to their closest allies in mainstream media.

For the rest of us, it's a crime.

While reports of brutal police arrests and home invasions are still coming
in, by Tuesday night the picture became clear. Dozens of journalists,
photographers, bloggers and videomakers had been arrested in an
orchestrated round up of independents covering the Republican National

                     Targeting the New Press

The list of those detained ranges from the well-known (Democracy Now's Amy
Goodman) and well-established (Associated Press photographer Matt Rourke)
-- to the bootstrapping bloggers and video makers who are covering local
protests for, Twin Cities Indymedia, I-Witness and other

Police -- with firearms drawn -- raided a meeting of the video journalists
and arrested independent media, bloggers and videomakers. Journalists
covering protests have been pointed out by authorities, blasted with tear
gas and pepper spray, and brutalized while in custody.

Democracy Now's Goodman reports that a U.S. Secret Service agent ripped
her press credentials from her neck the moment she identified herself to
him as a member of the media. Her producers emerged yesterday from their
jail cells bloodied and scarred, reporting unusually harsh treatment at
the hands of local and federal authorities.

                      Mayor Coleman's Silence

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman hasn't responded to repeated phone and e-mail
requests for comments on the targeting of journalists. Instead he praised
the work of Police Chief John Harrington and painted those arrested as a
small band of outsiders and vandals intent upon committing felonies
against the good people of his city.

In less than a day, more than 35,000 people have signed a letter from Free
Press (my employer) to Mayor Coleman condemning the arrests and demanding
that he and local prosecutors immediately "free all detained journalists
and drop all charges against them."

But when's Glenn Greenwald pressed Harrington and Coleman to
respond to widespread reports of journalist arrests, Harrington claimed
ignorance while Coleman stood silent at his side.

Police spokesman Don Walsh intervened only to say that "arrest have been
made" and that all those arrested were involved in criminal activities and
not "simply non-participants."

                  Strib Forgets About Free Speech

In a bizarre editorial on Tuesday, the Minneapolis St. Paul Star Tribune
hailed the police crackdown as "appropriate," blaming unrest on outsiders
from beyond the Twin Cities.

"Many of those arrested in St. Paul weren't carrying IDs or wouldn't give
their names. Those who were identified came from Lexington, Ky.; Brooklyn,
N.Y.; Portland, Ore., and dozens of other U.S. cities," they wrote. "These
weren't the sons and daughters of Highland Park and south Minneapolis."

The Star Tribune itself is owned by out-of-towners from Avista Capital
Partner, a New York City private equity firm specializing in energy,
healthcare and media investments.

Other than a brief story about Goodman's arrest, the paper has failed to
report on the apparent targeting of independent reporters, even though
groups like the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without
Borders and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists have sounded
the alarm.

         Sweeping Real Journalism Under the Carpet

Here we have every indication of an orchestrated assault by federal and
local law enforcement agencies to stifle independent sources of
information. As shocking as this conduct is, more disturbing is the fact
that the mayor's office and the local daily seem so unconcerned.

It's not difficult to understand why. With local leaders making every
effort to roll out the welcome mat for mainstream media and the GOP
leadership during a nationally televised convention, they'd rather sweep
beneath the carpet those pesky independents who are showing us a side of
the event that is less scripted and unready for prime time.

As an elected representative, Mayor Coleman should take a stand on behalf
of a free press, rein in aggressive and violent tactics by local law
enforcement, stop the targeting of journalists and immediately drop all
charges against them.

As a powerful news organization, the Star Tribune should know better, and
should be sticking up for a free press, regardless of what form it takes.

But this week, the democratic spirit of journalism can be witnessed not in
the "Strib's" newsroom, but among the rough-hewn videos and blogs of those
who are covering the convention from the ground up.

Copyright  2008, Inc.
As the Campaign Director for Free Press and, Karr
oversees campaigns on public broadcasting and noncommercial media, fake
news and propaganda, journalism in crisis, and the future of the Internet


Twin Cities officials respond to RNC tension
By Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva , TC Daily Planet
September 03, 2008

Various Twin Cities elected officials have responded to the raids leading
up to the RNC, as well as the protests and police actions throughout the
convention. ...  Representative Keith Ellison speaks with journalist Amy
Goodman about the treatment of journalists by Minneapolis and Ramsey
County Police officers:

Representative Keith Ellison

On September 2nd, Representative Keith Ellison spoke with Amy Goodman on
her radio show, Democracy Now

Amy Goodman: It was Minneapolis police, by the way, who arrested us, even
though we're here in St. Paul. Why is that?

Rep. Keith Ellison: Well, because they brought in probably a number of
jurisdictions to help their complement of officers who would try to do
policing activity here for the RNC. So I wouldn't be surprised if they
have other jurisdictions besides Minneapolis. Might have a number of
suburban districts and maybe even some from further away than that.

Amy Goodman: And, of course, National Guard.

Rep. Keith Ellison: Yeah, no doubt about that. Secret Service.

Amy Goodman: And is there a fusion center here in the Twin Cities?

Rep. Keith Ellison: You mean, a coordinating center? Yeah, I'm quite
certain there is. I can't give you details on that, because, quite
frankly, I thought that it was going to be a relatively routine situation.
But when you see some of the footage that I saw, it was anything but
routine. It looked quite extraordinary, to tell you the truth.

And when you hear about journalists getting arrested, it's very
disturbing. I mean, the news gatherers - how can the people know, if they
don't have news gatherers to gather the news and show them? But when those
folks are being intimidated and even roughed up, it's pretty - it actually
is a threat to democracy and the First Amendment.

Amy Goodman: Right, we don't know if the Associated Press photographers
have gotten out, if the Pepper spray videographers have gotten out. Even
the New York Post guy, we don't know what happened to him at this moment.
And, of course, there are many, many people who are on the streets who get
rounded up just by virtue of being there. When they move in with such a
fast pincer move from all corners and surround a block - this was
basically a parking lot - there is nowhere to go.

Rep. Keith Ellison: Right. There's nowhere to go. And, of course, they
know that, as well. It's not like they haven't mapped out the whole area
and don't know exactly what forces are moving in which directions. They do
know. And, of course, it's pretty clear that Nicole and Sharif were making
their status as press widely known, and it was easy to hear it; you know,
clearly on the tape, it was easy to hear. So that's pretty disturbing to
me, and I'm actually pretty upset about it.

Amy Goodman: So you weighed in last night as they were in jail. You called
the police commissioner.

Rep. Keith Ellison: I called and let them - just provided the information.
You know, this is who you have. This is the deal, stuff like that. So, you
know, I just think it's important to make sure that when journalists are
trying to do their work, that they are allowed to do it.

Amy Goodman: This is only the second day, and, in fact, the Republican
convention was not in even full gear because of Hurricane Gustav
yesterday, though the protests in the streets were. You've got a number
more days. What is the plan for the city?

Rep. Keith Ellison: Well, you know, that's what I'm trying to find out
right now. I mean, before, quite frankly, I was perfectly content to allow
the police to do the work they were doing, and I'm just going to go do the
work I do. But now, I do have a new - an urgent curiosity to find out what
the plan is. When are massive uses of force going to be deployed? What
circumstances will trigger them? Have we looked - have we recognized the
fact that we can actually cause more trouble than what would otherwise
happen, when we bring forth this massive use of force as we saw on the
tape? And so, I'm concerned about it. I think overreaction is as bad as
under-reaction, and what I saw on that tape was pretty disturbing.


Homeland Insecurity: Charges dropped for many, terrorism charges for eight
By Mary Turck , TC Daily Planet
September 03, 2008

A parade of protesters and people caught up in RNC street arrests passed
through Ramsey County courts on Tuesday and Wednesday, with on-line court
records showing 134 people charged by 10 p.m. on September 3. (See NEWS
YOU CAN USE | Finding court records.) Dozens of people were released
without charges or on citations requiring them to return to court on
misdemeanor charges in the future.

By the numbers
RNC security forces, drawn from multiple jurisdictions, arrested:

. Eight people from the RNC Welcoming Committee over the weekend
. 283 people in downtown St. Paul on Monday
. 10 or 11 people in downtown St. Paul on Tuesday

Out of the 300-plus arrests, only 21 resulted in felony charges, according
to an article in the Minnesota Independent. Eight of those were people
charged as members of the RNC Welcoming Committee face charges of
Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism. The terrorism enhancement
charge, which allows for a 50% increase in the riot charge penalty to 7
1/2 years, is characterized by their attorneys as "what appears to be the
first use of criminal charges under the 2002 Minnesota version of the
Federal Patriot Act". According to National Lawyers Guild president Bruce

"These charges are an effort to equate publicly stated plans to blockade
traffic and disrupt the RNC as being the same as acts of terrorism. This
both trivializes real violence and attempts to place the stated political
views of the defendants on trial. The charges represent an abuse of the
criminal justice system and seek to intimidate any person organizing large
scale public demonstrations potentially involving civil disobedience".

The National Lawyers Guild denounced the conspiracy charges:

The criminal complaints filed by the Ramsey County Attorney do not allege
that any of the defendants personally have engaged in any act of violence
or damage to property. The complaints list all of alleged violations of
law during the last few days of the RNC - other than violations of human
rights carried out by law enforcement - and seeks to hold the 8 defendants
responsible for acts committed by other individuals. None of the
defendants have any prior criminal history involving acts of violence.
Searches conducted in connection with the raids failed to turn up any
physical evidence to support the allegations of organized attacks on law
enforcement. Although claiming probable cause to believe that gunpowder,
acids, and assembled incendiary devices would be found, no such items were
seized by police.

Other news of arrests and charges made or dropped:

. Two University of Kentucky journalism students and their professor were
released without charges after being teargassed and arrested while filming

. "Your car has been put on a stop and search list by the federal

. In Minneapolis, three street medics assisting protesters were snatched
by unmarked security in riot gear who refused to identify who they were.

Article Tags: anarchist, conspiracy charges, homeland security, Patriot
Act, Public Safety, Republican National Convention, RNC 2008 Homeland
Insecurity: Charges dropped for many, terrorism charges for eight


Coldsnap Legal Collective
For Immediate Release: September 2, 2008
Contact: Kris Hermes 510-681-6361; Rick Kelley 612-598-5058; Jordan

Over 300 protesters, bystanders, media, and medics arrested at RNC
Two minors convicted of contempt, sentenced to 30 days in adult jail

St. Paul, MN - Two days into the Republican National Convention (RNC),
more than 300 people have been arrested, including at least 120 people for
felonies - mostly the notoriously vague charge, 'conspiracy to riot.'

With no provocation, police have indiscriminately used rubber bullets,
concussion grenades, and chemical irritants to disperse crowds and
incapacitate protestors. Police appear to be specifically targeting
videographers documenting these police abuses. In response, lawyers have
filed a federal restraining order against such conduct.

By the end of the day today, only 12 people had been arraigned. Many
arrestees are refusing to provide identification, in order to call
attention to what they consider trumped-up charges and to collectively
bargain. 'These tactics are designed to protect the most vulnerable people
in jail, and take a page from the history of labor solidarity,' said Rick
Kelley of Coldsnap Legal Collective, an activist-based legal collective
supporting the arrestees. 'Based on the vagueness of their charges and the
program of police intimidation currently underway, these individuals
understand how they will fare if they don't stick together.' The court has
been imposing the maximum bail of $2,000 for misdemeanor defendants.

In an unusual court decision, Ramsey County Judge Paulette K. Flynn today
convicted two minors of criminal contempt for refusing to provide their
identity. The two minors were then sentenced to 30 days in an adult jail
facility. 'This decision undermines one of the most fundamental human
rights concepts in the justice system, to protect the rights and safety of
children,' said Jordan Kushner, Mass Defense Committee Chair of the
National Lawyers Guild's Minnesota chapter, and an attorney for one of the
minors. 'This shows the willingness of the courts to go to any length,
including sacrificing the most important due process rights, to answer to
the political pressure to persecute activists.'

Many arrestees are also being denied medical attention. One arrestee with
hemophilia and another with asthma are being denied their prescription
medication. An arrestee with a broken finger is being refused medical
care, as is a person who has been coughing up blood. An anemic woman
reported to Coldsnap today that she passed out for 20 to 30 minutes due to
iron deficiency and was told that she could not receive iron because it
was a prescription medication, and because she refused to identify
herself. Iron is in fact an over-the-counter supplement. The same anemic
woman reported seeing a Sheriff knock another woman to the ground and drag
her out of the room by her hair. 'Just because people have been jailed
does not mean their health should be put in jeopardy,' said Kelley. "This
is a matter of compassion and basic human rights."

Under Minnesota law, detainees must be released after 36 hours if the
court fails to review and affirm probable cause for their charges. This
36-hour period will expire at noon on Wednesday.


We as citizens over the next few months need to meet and organize to
replace both mayors (both up in 2009), both sheriffs (especially
Fletcher), and a fair amount of deadwood on the Mpls City Council (up in
2009). New mayors can appoint new police chiefs (especially in Mpls).
Improve our ordinances so this can't happen again. Hold forums and
teach-ins on how we can become more independent of the kind of federal
miscontrol we have seen. And much more. If we do nothing this will just
get worse; the ruling class likes what they have ordered staged here this
week and would love to make it permanant. There are many more of us than
them; time we stood up and mattered. -ed


 Our Jimmy wants to
 be a cop. He gets cats out
 of trees and clubs them.


From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: Nader Rally tonight 9.04 coming


Super Rally with Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez
Come hear the candidates who have the courage to Challenge the System

Iraq:  Total Military and Corporate Withdrawal
Stop Drug War Madness
End Pay or Die Healthcare
Living Wage
Crackdown on Corporate Criminals
Repeal Patriot Act
Repeal 2008 FISA Amendments
Solar Now!  No Nukes
Fair Trade NOT Free Trade
More on the issues can  be found at the ISSUES link on _www.votenader.org_

Sept. 4th, 7:30pm  (Doors @ 6:30pm)

Speakers/Performers:  Nellie McKay, Cindy Sheehan and Tom Neilson and special

Orchestra Hall
1111 Nicollet Mall,  Minneapolis, MN 55403
(202) 299-4053 or _events [at] votenader.org_ (mailto:events [at]
$10 advanced ticket  price
$12 at the  door

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