|Progressive Calendar 09.04.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|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 9 ANSWER 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 --1-- POOR PEOPLE'S CAMPAIGN MARCH ENDS IN TEAR GAS ATTACK After the march, young people refused an order to disperse, and police fired tear gas. By Sheila Regan , TC Daily Planet September 02, 2008 http://tcdailyplanet.net/article/2008/09/03/peaceful-poor-peoples-march-ends-explosions-tear-gas.html 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 teacher. "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 rich." 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 rifles. "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 men. 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. --2-- Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 02:39:02 +1200 (NZST) From: "Grace Kelly (nicknamed Kelly)" <saintcurmudgeon [at] earthlink.net> To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org> 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: http://mnblue.com/node/2131 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 http://theuptake.org/ 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 crime. 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 arrested. 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. http://mnblue.com/node/2138 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. http://mnblue.com/node/2141 I want my city and I want my democracy - back. Grace Kelly nicknamed Kelly In shock St Paul and Merriam Park Resident --3-- Subject: Journalist released - PLEASE FORWARD From: Franklin López <submedia [at] gmail.com> Date: Wed, September 3, 2008 7:59 am To: rnc-media [at] lists.riseup.net 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: www.peppersprayproductions.org Thanks, Randy Rowland PepperSpray Productions --4-- Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 10:22:33 -0500 From: rnc08 [at] riseup.net To: rnc08-media [at] lists.riseup.net, rnc08 [at] lists.riseup.net Subject: [rnc08] COLDSNAP LEGAL COLLECTIVE - RNC Arrestees Need Your Help! We've mainly been posting on our website (http://coldsnaplegal.org/) and Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/coldsnaplegal/) 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 http://coldsnaplegal.org/ Solidarity and rage, Coldsnap Legal Collective Jail Support Hotline: 651.356.8635 And love for all our allies! --5-- Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 11:34:09 -0500 From: Barb Kucera <kucer004 [at] umn.edu> To: thune [at] comcast.net Cc: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu> 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 --6-- Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 09:58:01 -0500 From: Aimee Johnson <jadadog [at] comcast.net> Cc: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org> 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. --7-- ate: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 12:49:06 -0400 (EDT) From: Kelly <saintcurmudgeon [at] earthlink.net> 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 released! My voice alone is not enough, I need your help. Grace Kelly nicknamed Kelly Concerned curmudgeon from Merriam Park --8-- Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 13:16:59 -0700 (PDT) From: johnny hazard <jhazard99 [at] yahoo.com> To: discuss [at] mngreens.org Subject: [Discuss] 1. Mpls. mayor's defense of police repression 2. my response 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] minneapolis.org Reply-To: rt [at] minneapolis.org Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2008 16:00:00 -0500 To: smarsprod [at] earthlink.net Thank you for your message regarding freedom of speech and the protests occurring around the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis Saint Paul. 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 rockets In addition, information posted on the Internet and provided publicly by organizers communicated that they intended to violently disrupt convention proceedings. 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 situation. 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. Sincerely, Mayor R.T. Rybak City of Minneapolis - Rybak: 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, Minneapolis (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.) --9-- Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 15:30:20 -0500 From: ANSWER [at] InternationalANSWER.org 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 set. 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 http://www.answercoalition.org/ --10-- Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 16:17:11 -0500 From: Bruce Nestor <nestor [at] denestlaw.com> 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 --11-- Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 18:27:38 -0500 (CDT) From: Lynne Mayo <lynnne [at] usfamily.net> 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 police. 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 concerned. HE CANNOT GET A HEARING ON THESE CASES IF THE MPLS CITY COUNCIL DOES NOT APPROVE. REMEMBER, THEY VOTED AGAINST GARY AND CAM. THEY WILL NEED OUR HELP IN UNDERSTANING THE IMPORTANCE OF HOLDING HEARINGS. 311 will get you further info for contacting Mpls City Council Commissioners. Thanks so much. Lynne --12-- Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2008 18:37:58 -0500 (CDT) From: Lynne Mayo <lynnne [at] usfamily.net> To: 1 Family Friends <cofr [at] comcast.net> Cc: Dave Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu> 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 donations. --13-- Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 06:55:42 -0500 From: Diane J. Peterson <birch7 [at] comcast.net> To: Paul Read <paulnread [at] mac.com>, nancyjdoyle [at] yahoo.com 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] comcast.net --14-- Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2008 22:01:53 -0500 From: ElyDog <elydog [at] gmail.com> To: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu> 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 society. 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 --15-- 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] yahoo.com. 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 --16-- Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 10:54:12 +0100 From: Wade Hannon <wade [at] wadehannon.org> 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 eyes...it is like watching something from a third-world dictatorship! It seems so surreal..yet i know that it is happening. --17-- 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 Convention. 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 TheUptake.org, Twin Cities Indymedia, I-Witness and other outlets. 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 Salon.com'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 HuffingtonPost.com, Inc. As the Campaign Director for Free Press and SavetheInternet.com, Karr oversees campaigns on public broadcasting and noncommercial media, fake news and propaganda, journalism in crisis, and the future of the Internet --18-- 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. --19-- 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 Nestor: "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 protests; . "Your car has been put on a stop and search list by the federal government". . 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 --20-- Coldsnap Legal Collective For Immediate Release: September 2, 2008 Contact: Kris Hermes 510-681-6361; Rick Kelley 612-598-5058; Jordan Kushner 612-205-5500 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. --21-- 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 --22-- Our Jimmy wants to be a cop. He gets cats out of trees and clubs them. --23-- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Nader Rally tonight 9.04 coming OPEN THE DEBATES 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 guests Orchestra Hall 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403 (202) 299-4053 or _events [at] votenader.org_ (mailto:events [at] votenader.org) $10 advanced ticket price $12 at the door ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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