|Progressive Calendar 09.05.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 05:59:28 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 09.05.08 POLICE RAIDS VII 1 Read 2 Kelly 3 Goodman (Truthout) 4 Read 5 Clean Water Action 6 Jacobs (CounterPunch) 7 Stone (Daily Planet) 8 Sanna (Daily Planet) 9 Turck (Daily Planet) 10 Thune 11 Bogen 12 Bolin 13 Aby (AWC) 14 Overland 15 Underwood 16 Owings 17 Cavlan/NSHC Street Medics 18 ed More Jimmy poems 19 ed What is truth? (poem) 20 ed bumpersticker --1-- From: Paul Read <paulnread [at] mac.com> To: Diane J. Peterson <birch7 [at] comcast.net> Subject: Re: [Discuss] [M5DGP] My disheartening experience calling my elected reps about press intimidation Dear Diane Uh, please be a teensy bit more careful when you mention my posts (I realize you've not actually "quoted" me, so I haven't used that word, but the difference seems semantic.) Here's what I wrote "And sadly, I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't really, after all is said and done, too late." Not declarative at all, is it? Other than referring to what I;m wondering. I totally agree with your statements (er, questions) regarding "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, . . . for Greens and other citizens to go to decent elected officials in Minnesota to stand up to the Federal thugs . . . not ALL of our elected officials are entirely useless." Your most important point is building a political party! I guess that's one thing I disagree with the anarchists over. The idea of no leaders is certainly romantically if not politically appealing but practically, not to mention socially and historically, it seems impossible. So we need to do something. As I see it, and I'm a huge fan of the analysis of Naomi Kline among others, we are pretty much living in a corporatocracy. No news there to anyone reading this, I'm sure. Both major parties, as can be seen by their corporatized four-day long scripted infomercials, are owned lock, stock, and barrel, (what ever that means, but I like to say it even though it looks silly in print) by corporate CEO's, hedge fund managers, and investment bankers we've never heard of who probably make Rupert Murdock look like George Washington. Do we need a new party???? As people thirty and forty years my junior may still be texting OMG! But building a party is hard work. I've long admired the European Greens and watched their growth with envy. As I've written to one of the 5thDistGP members, I always wished there had been a Social Democratic/Green coalition in the US as there was in Scandinavia and the Continent. But we have this so-called two party system (which reminds me of going to the ice-cream freezer at the grocery store and trying to decide between vanilla and vanilla bean!) This summer, I made a break with the DFL in MN after going to my precinct caucus for Edwards and being a 61B delegate for Nelson-Pallmeyer. The debacle at the state convention was the last straw. I made the determination that hope for change (Obama's mantra) within the Democratic Party, is illusion, smoke and mirrors. THAT'S WHY I'M HERE, DIANE!!! Yes, let's build a party. Let's get going. Why the hell didn't the Green Party of Minnesota nominate a Senate candidate so GPMN can work toward major party status again? We CANNOT be simply a more, liberal, progressive "alternative" to the DFL. Somehow, we must be more. I don't know what that is. But what's happened here this week tells me that the people of Minnesota have been betrayed by their elected leaders . . . not all, but most. The reason I wonder if it MAY BE too late is due in part to the old chestnut about the frog in the pot. You know . . . If you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump out and not die. If you put a frog in a pot of water and slowly bring it to a boil, presto, you have frog soup! My fear is that while we may look at what is happening in downtown St. Paul and "preemptive" raids in our neighborhoods and say "OUCH" boiling water! glad I jumped out in time!" The reality may well be that we've be cooked all along. Is it too late? No, I really don't think it is. But I do think it's later than we know! Paul --2-- Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 02:36:03 +1200 (NZST) From: "Grace Kelly (nicknamed Kelly)" <saintcurmudgeon [at] earthlink.net> To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org> In answer to one of the questions, the people just trying to camp at Harriet Island were faced with about 50 cops, only one person arrested. I was there. All over we have incidents of people not even allowed into downtown - just told to go home. We are getting reports of many not-protesting people caught up in incidents. Right now only independent media is covering this stuff, so I expect that I will have list of everything I can find next week. In the meanwhile, if you search on You tube for RNC and St Paul, you can start seeing what is out there. Ordinary people doing citizen journalism do not have the resources that corporate media does, so allow some time. Today I will be videtaping and reporting the Students March starting from the capital at noon. This is a totally peace pledged march with 30 parade marshals, plus independent media like me, legal observers and peace teams. Every little bit of evidence helps, so everything that people see should be written down, and if it affects a police action, you might save someone from being wrongly charged. Contact the National Lawyers Guild, tomorrow (because today stuff is still happening). Thanks to all you people out there watching - it helps! Grace Kelly nicknamed Kelly Citizen Journalist Curmudgeon from Merriam Park --3-- FRIDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2008 Why We Were Falsely Arrested Wednesday 03 September 2008 by: Amy Goodman, Truthdig truthout St. Paul, Minnesota - Government crackdowns on journalists are a true threat to democracy. As the Republican National Convention meets in St. Paul, Minn., this week, police are systematically targeting journalists. I was arrested with my two colleagues, "Democracy Now!" producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, while reporting on the first day of the RNC. I have been wrongly charged with a misdemeanor. My co-workers, who were simply reporting, may be charged with felony riot. The Democratic and Republican national conventions have become very expensive and protracted acts of political theater, essentially four-day-long advertisements for the major presidential candidates. Outside the fences, they have become major gatherings for grass-roots movements - for people to come, amidst the banners, bunting, flags and confetti, to express the rights enumerated in the Constitution's First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Behind all the patriotic hyperbole that accompanies the conventions, and the thousands of journalists and media workers who arrive to cover the staged events, there are serious violations of the basic right of freedom of the press. Here on the streets of St. Paul, the press is free to report on the official proceedings of the RNC, but not to report on the police violence and mass arrests directed at those who have come to petition their government, to protest. It was Labor Day, and there was an anti-war march, with a huge turnout, with local families, students, veterans and people from around the country gathered to oppose the war. The protesters greatly outnumbered the Republican delegates. There was a positive, festive feeling, coupled with a growing anxiety about the course that Hurricane Gustav was taking, and whether New Orleans would be devastated anew. Later in the day, there was a splinter march. The police-clad in full body armor, with helmets, face shields, batons and canisters of pepper spray-charged. They forced marchers, onlookers and working journalists into a nearby parking lot, then surrounded the people and began handcuffing them. Nicole was videotaping. Her tape of her own violent arrest is chilling. Police in riot gear charged her, yelling, "Get down on your face." You hear her voice, clearly and repeatedly announcing "Press! Press! Where are we supposed to go?" She was trapped between parked cars. The camera drops to the pavement amidst Nicole's screams of pain. Her face was smashed into the pavement, and she was bleeding from the nose, with the heavy officer with a boot or knee on her back. Another officer was pulling on her leg. Sharif was thrown up against the wall and kicked in the chest, and he was bleeding from his arm. I was at the Xcel Center on the convention floor, interviewing delegates. I had just made it to the Minnesota delegation when I got a call on my cell phone with news that Sharif and Nicole were being bloody arrested, in every sense. Filmmaker Rick Rowley of Big Noise Films and I raced on foot to the scene. Out of breath, we arrived at the parking lot. I went up to the line of riot police and asked to speak to a commanding officer, saying that they had arrested accredited journalists. Within seconds, they grabbed me, pulled me behind the police line and forcibly twisted my arms behind my back and handcuffed me, the rigid plastic cuffs digging into my wrists. I saw Sharif, his arm bloody, his credentials hanging from his neck. I repeated we were accredited journalists, whereupon a Secret Service agent came over and ripped my convention credential from my neck. I was taken to the St. Paul police garage where cages were set up for protesters. I was charged with obstruction of a peace officer. Nicole and Sharif were taken to jail, facing riot charges. The attack on and arrest of me and the "Democracy Now!" producers was not an isolated event. A video group called I-Witness Video was raided two days earlier. Another video documentary group, the Glass Bead Collective, was detained, with its computers and video cameras confiscated. On Wednesday, I-Witness Video was again raided, forced out of its office location. When I asked St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington how reporters are to operate in this atmosphere, he suggested, "By embedding reporters in our mobile field force." On Monday night, hours after we were arrested, after much public outcry, Nicole, Sharif and I were released. That was our Labor Day. It's all in a day's work. Amy Goodman is the host of "Democracy Now!," a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 700 stations in North America. --4-- From: Paul Read <paulnread [at] mac.com> To: Lynne Mayo <lynnne [at] usfamily.net> Subject: Re: [M5DGP] My disheartening experience calling my elected reps about press intimidation Hi Lynne, Thanks for calling Gary. I'm glad we in Mpls have him and Cam on the CC. We need at least five more! And while I appreciate much of what Elizabeth has done, as long as she caucuses with the DFL, ultimately she will have to vote with the caucus or her Eighth Ward may well get shorted come capital improvements time. I'm guessing that's her predicament, at least in part. I'm including cut and paste portions of an email I sent to a local progressive community radio public affairs talk-show host last June following a program w/Council Members Gordon and Schiff discussing the then pending Minneapolis resolution regarding "optional" sidewalk protest permits. It was a copy of that email to CM Glidden that she personally responded to by phone the following day to explain her position and the compromise (as I understood her, essentially, a "sunset amendment" terminating the effect of the resolution at the end of the RNC - not exactly a victory but better than nothing - that she planned to offer that Friday.) Herewith, selections from my email: Subject: discussion re: RNC's Model Anti-Free Speech Ordinance Date: June 4, 2008 12:40:54 PM CDT I suppose I'm being conspiratorial, but given the evil that has ruled in DC for the last eight (sixteen?, twenty-four?, plus?) years, it seems to me that the finger prints of the faceless power brokers behind Bush-Cheny, Inc. are all over this ordinance. Check out, for instance, what the National Park Service is doing to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly on the National Mall. I'm absolutely appalled by [Ostrow's] sponsorship of this ordinance. I simply cannot fathom who got to him or what he was promised. By the way, [the church where I once knew Paul Ostrow] is active in the ISAIAH movement, is pro-GLBT rights, anti-war, etc. One of the former pastors was Vince Hawkinson who was a leader of the anti-Viet Nam War movement on the U campus in the '70's. I served with Vince. He's spinning in his grave right now, knowing that a member of his beloved congregation is sponsoring an ordinance that would have outlawed the very protests he led during his ministry. Moreover, I find it ironic that most of the members of the congregation would likely be ones protesting or supporting protesters in front of the Republican HQ and therefore, again, the very ones who will be most affected by Ostrow's outrageously ill- conceived ordinance. This Mpls ordinance is the bastard child of the Patriot Act. The fact that it is modeled on the Wash DC ordinance seems to be the paternity test proving that fact. This is the "Shock Doctrine" alive and well right here in River City . . .. If you haven't already done so, read (or re-read) Naomi Kline's damning book. This proposed resolution is clearly meant to shut-down freedom of speech and freedom of assembly under the thinly veiled guise of public safety and good order. SUCH AN ARGUMENT IS NOTHING BUT A CORPORATIST END RUN AROUND THE CONSTITUTION AND THE RULE OF LAW. . . . It seems to me that there may have been some sub-rosa "gentlemen's" agreement coming out of the City Council that prevented Council members Gordon and Shiff from speaking freely about the background of the ordinance. Likewise the brief discussion of the "contract" between St. Paul and the RNC selling out basic constitutional rights deserves more discussion. The term "thirty pieces of silver" comes to mind. I believe there is a sleeping giant out here. People are beginning to realize that the walls of corporate dominion that have passed for democracy and freedom are crashing down faster than the 35W bridge did. But the powerful elite are going to fight all the more fiercely to protect their turf. And Paul Ostrow's ordinance is his unwitting allegiance with that goal. This stuff, curtailing rights, legalizing police terror, etc., only appear to happen overnight. But the foundations that allow this Brave New World have been abuilding (or maybe I should say eroding) for years. Time to tear down the breached levees and start building up safer, stronger ones, eh, (to use a metaphor our sisters and brothers downriver know all too well!) Paul Read --5-- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, September 04, 2008 More Information: Ken Bradley 612-623-3666 or 651-238-5376 David Holtz 313-300-4454 (cell) Clean Water Action Statement On Police Actions At Republican National Convention Minnesota Organization Calls on Leaders To Protect Core Democratic Principles Clean Water Action is deeply concerned by the systematic suppression of free speech and the right to assembly which emerged in response to this week's Republican National Convention held in St. Paul. Clean Water Action is Minnesota's largest grassroots environmental organization representing 90,000 members statewide. We have watched civil liberties rapidly erode after the tragedy of September 11. That erosion continues to spread to the heart of the Twin Cities. Minnesota prides itself in being well informed, educated and optimistic. But intimidating arrests of reporters on felony riot charges, the profiling of citizens and forced entry into homes is pushing Minnesotans towards pessimism and cynicism. These actions dishonor the founding principles of our Constitution and the residents or our state and nation. Wednesday, David Brauer of MinnPost reported on the arrest of Matt Rourke, an Associated Press photo journalist. Rourke, forced to the ground and flexi-cuffed says he has never experienced anything like Monday's assault. "I've been detained before, but never forcibly. Katrina was as bad as it got up until Monday. They'd just kind of temporarily detain you, post-9/11 stuff, asking you why you were photographing an oil refinery, taking your license and letting you go back to work quickly." http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2008/09/03/3320/ap_photographers_last_pre-arrest _shot_is_a_stunner Kathlyn Stone of the TC Daily Planet reported Tuesday that before the start of the Poor People's March, that she witnessed the profiling of a youth on a bike who had been pulled to the curb by a group of police officers on bikes. The biker was forced to the ground, placed in white plastic handcuffs, while police riffled through his backpack even though he said, "I do not consent." He was quickly released after 20-30 photographers and videographers were alerted to the arrest taking place. http://tcdailyplanet.net/article/2008/09/02/voices-when-profiling-backfires.html #comment-35911 Award-winning journalist and host of "Democracy Now" Amy Goodman and her two colleagues Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar were arrested by St. Paul Police on Monday while reportedly covering a protest outside the Republican National Convention. Though clearly identified as a member of the press, Goodman was charged with "obstruction of a legal process and interference with a 'peace officer.'" Two of her producers were arrested for alleged "suspicion of felony riot." St. Paul resident Mike Whalen's house was raided on Saturday in an apparent and serious attempt to suppress free speech. A film crew from Eyewitness was staying in the duplex he owned and reported witnessing the raid where 30 police with rifles flooded Mr. Whalen's yard, entered the house, handcuffed him and his roommates for an hour and went through the whole duplex with a questionable warrant. Free speech, journalistic access and the right to assemble are basic constitutional rights at the heart of our democracy. A vibrant free press is essential for maintaining the transparency necessary to curb tyranny and preserve democracy. Arresting and detaining journalists for doing their jobs is a gross violation of free speech and freedom of the press. Physically harassing citizens engaged in peaceful assembly is uncalled for anywhere, but more unconscionable in country that considers itself to the leader of the free world. We urge and expect our state leaders to conduct a thorough investigation and to take appropriate action in response to violations of constitutionally protected individual civil rights including the dismissal of unlawful or inappropriate charges.. Our leaders need to re-examine the laws and policies that have lead to this disturbing infringement of our most basic, constitutionally protected rights. We must ensure this does not happen again in the future. We cannot be a hopeful people, when our constitution and basic rights have been violated and our leaders stand silent! Clean Water Action (www. cleanwateraction.org) has been empowering people for more than 36 years to take action to protect America's waters, the health of our families and to make democracy work. Board Chair Clean Water Action Alliance Ken Bradley Minnesota State Director Clean Water Action --6-- The Perishing Republicans, the RNC 8 and the Twin Cities Cops Look What's Happening Out on the Streets By RON JACOBS CounterPunch September 4, 2008 Let me begin this piece by stating that I don't give a rat's ass about the Jerry Springer-like drama playing out around the GOP vice presidential pick Sarah Palin. Let me also state that I seriously wonder how long it will be before the folks that vote for the Republicans year in and year out realize that the men and women they are voting to rule them are part of the Washington elite just as much as the democrats they despise? As for the rest of the lies and bombast coming out of the XCel Center in Minneapolis this week - it is as if the producers of the convention combined a megachurch service, a high school pep rally, and the spirit of Leni Riefenstahl. No, I don't care about Sarah Palin and the shotgun wedding she and her husband are arranging for their daughter and her boyfriend. Nor do I care about whether or not she was vetted by John McCain. I do admit that I get a kick out of the fact that John McCain has no idea of how many houses he and his wife own, yet he is portrayed as someone who is not part of any elite. I also get a bit of a kick out of the fact that George Bush and Dick Cheney have not (and seemingly will not) appear at their own party's convention. It is as if these two men, who have kept their party in power for the past eight years, are now disowned by the very same people that put them there in the first place. Or, perhaps, like so much else in US mainstream politics, the absence is part of the illusion voters are being fed: the democrats have a candidate of change and so do the republicans. See, the old guard didn't even show up in person at this year's convention! John McCain and Sarah Palin are new and improved, just like the cleaning product you have always bought. Familiarity improved! What I do care about in terms of this week in Minnesota is what is going on outside the convention. From all reports in the media outlets that cover that which is not scripted by the GOP, the streets of the Twin Cities have been turned into a zone where police terror is permitted and even encouraged. If one is a protester, it is even expected. Prior to the convention itself, a series of raids were conducted against people involved in planning protests against the convention and the policies of the Washington and the GOP. These raids were coordinated by federal, state and local authorities and involved procedural and constitutional violations by the police. On Sunday and Monday, police attacked protesters and arrested hundreds. Tuesday and Wednesday saw more of the same. A small concert attended by a few hundred people was attacked on Tuesday and, on Wednesday, police prevented the popular rock group Rage Against the Machine from performing at an outdoor show because "they would incite a riot." (They did play a free show later at the Target Center and then joined in a march to the XCel Center.) In addition, police have attacked protesters, journalists and bystanders with clubs, pepper spray, and tear gas. So far, close to five hundred people have been arrested. Most of them are being held in open air detention centers. These arrests, while certainly of questionable legality, are but the tip of the iceberg. On September 3, 2008, eight members of the RNC Welcoming Committee - some of the primary organizers of the protests - were formally charged with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism. These eight were among those arrested in the pre-convention raids and, according to the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), face up to 7 1/2 years imprisonment each. For those of us around forty years ago, the indictment of eight people on charges of conspiracy to incite a riot at a national political convention is a n ominous deja vu. For those who need a reminder or who don't know the history I'm referring to, eight men were charged after the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago with (among other things) conspiracy to cross state lines with the intent to incite a riot. These eight became known as the Chicago Eight. Of course, in today's more enlightened world, authorities didn't just charge men this time around. At least two of those charged were women. The charges against the RNC Eight (as they are being called) were brought based on the testimony of informants and provocateurs that infiltrated the loose knit organization. As the NLG news release makes clear, "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. " Because no physical evidence of this nature was found, police seized common household items like lighters, cleaning fluid, some nails and a couple hatchets and claimed that these items were to be used to incite insurrection. In addition, police claimed they confiscated two buckets of what they called (I'm serious here) "weaponized urine." What these buckets actually contained was gray water used to flush toilets at the house where they were found. According to police, other seized materials included other types of household tools, padding (probably to protect people from police truncheons), some pvc pipe and an army helmet. At this writing, the charges brought against the eight are state charges. It is unknown whether or not federal authorities have any plans to charge these eight or any of the others arrested. What is known is that, much like Chicago forty years ago, the primary cause of any riots that might occur in the Twin Cities are the result of unconstitutional police actions supported by local officials, the national party nominating its warmongering candidate, and the federal police state apparatus. Indeed, the events of forty years ago were termed a police riot by a federal commission formed to investigate the disturbances. Ron Jacobs is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs' essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch's collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. His first novel, Short Order Frame Up, is published by Mainstay Press. He can be reached at: rjacobs3625 [at] charter.net --7-- VOICES | Security infiltrators: Won't get fooled again? By Kathlyn Stone , TC Daily Planet September 04, 2008 The heavy police presence promised at the RNC in St. Paul this week was like honey to a bee for a few angry troublemakers and thrill seekers. (I won't call them anarchists, because not all anarchists are vandals and troublemakers.) Yes, the RNC drew a few people looking for trouble and seeking excitement. They're a tiny handful compared to the people here who are staunchly committed to ending violence of all kinds. But we shouldn't jump to conclusions about any of the 125 groups participating in the demonstrations. The fact is, "black ops" do occur, so people shouldn't rule out the possibility of such things happening here. The FBI and Homeland Security actively recruited informants after the RNC host city was named almost two years ago, and were successful in getting people to infiltrate activist groups. In fact, the authorities are quite proud of this feat, repeating it often at press conferences and during interviews. History has shown that infiltrators are the most dangerous to growing movements, often taking on leadership roles and through hyper-aggressive statements and actions, bringing down the wrath of both the public and unsuspecting local law enforcement. The Black Panthers, American Indian Movement, and others were destroyed from within by violent infiltrator-leaders. Sometimes infiltration takes a different form, such as when conservatives posing as environmentalists temporarily hijacked the Sierra Club board of directors. If you won't take my word of caution - and why should you? - perhaps you should read this article published in the New York Times following the 2004 Republican Convention. If you think that people can't be so easily fooled, hark back to the recent disclosure that the beloved chef Julia Child was a spy with the Office of Strategic Services! If Rachael Ray - or anyone else - shows up with a plate of cookies for your protest-planning meeting, you may want to think twice before opening the door. Kathlyn Stone is an independent journalist in St. Paul. She maintains a health and science news site at fleshandstone.net. Article Tags: Downtown, Government, originals, Public Safety, RNC 2008, RNC_2008, St. Paul, Voices --8-- Concert-goers clash with police By James Sanna, TC Daily Planet September 04, 2008 Approximately 200 concert-goers from last night's Rage Against the Machine concert at the Target Center organized themselves into a march down 7th Street in downtown Minneapolis, in defiance of Minneapolis Police. The march ended at the corner of 2nd Avenue and 7th Street when riot and bicycle police corralled around 50 marchers onto the curb and made arrests. Minnesota Public Radio reported that 102 total arrests were made in Minneapolis last night, at multiple locations. "Hey-hey, ho-ho, Republicans have got to go!" The night's events began lazily enough, with Minneapolis riot police outside Norman's Bar at the corner of 7th Street and Hennepin Ave showing off their gear to well-heeled bar-goers, while a block away, pedestrians and journalists had gathered on the benches and curbs in front of the Graves Hotel and the First Avenue nightclub. Around 11 p.m. the street and sidewalk in front of Target Center flooded with concert-goers pouring out of the arena's 1st Avenue exit: mostly white men and some white women in their teens and twenties, clad in t-shirts advertising everything from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Eau Claire Athletics. The small group gathered around a bucket-drummer became a throng, over 150 concert-goers dancing and chanting, packed shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the 1st Avenue doors as camera crews and photographers wove in and out of the crowd. Several people in the crowd were clearly trying to organize Rage Against the Machine fans into an impromptu march. Several of these organizers unfurled an enormous American flag covered in pop-art-like stencils of soldiers. faces, which became the focus of the assembly. "Why are you here?" "I think what they're saying is important," said Gus Pollack, referring to the marchers' chants urging an end to police militarism. "The police presence here is a little over the top," he said. Pollack was one of many concert-goers who stood on the curbs, watching the marchers in the street and occasionally joining in their chants. To Spencer Ritt, the "real democracy" of marching in the streets in defiance of police drew him to join the marchers. "Tear gas," he and his three friends said, "tear gas is kind of my last straw". It's what kept them from joining the front ranks of the marchers. Not all Rage Against the Machine fans were as supportive. Dustin O.Harver and a friend gazed at the marchers in frustration from the corner of 7th Street and 1st Avenue. "This is not youth being empowered," he said, exasperated. "When my parents see this, they'll be scared". O.Harver, a student at Augsburg College, urged marchers to get involved in grassroots groups working to fight poverty and racism where, he said, youth would find their "empowerment". Firecrackers and a Rubber Bullet The marchers and riot police in gas masks faced off on 7th Street, in front of the First Avenue nightclub, for almost 20 minutes before the officers moved aside to allow bike police to corral marchers onto the sidewalk as they marched east on 7th Street. Over the course of three blocks, what had been a crowd of around 150 marchers thinned out to around 50 concert-goers and half as many journalists running to keep up. Shortly after midnight, at the corner of 7th Street and 2nd Avenue, what some reporters and onlookers across the street called a "firecracker" was set off in the road, possibly by a marcher. Police responded with a rubber bullet, although it was unclear if the shot hit anyone. A marcher who later avoided arrest picked up the remains of the bullet and showed it to this reporter. (See photo.) Riot police on horseback and on foot pushed the marchers onto the curb in front of the First National Bank of the Lakes, where marchers peacefully followed police orders to sit down and put their hands on their heads, and were arrested. Among those taken into custody were journalists and members of the Minnesota Peace Team, a group that tries to mediate between protesters and police in an effort to avoid violence between the sides. James Sanna is a freelance writer and an intern covering education issues for the Daily Planet. Article Tags: 2008 RNC, Arts, Central, Minneapolis, Music, --9-- RNC Welcoming Committee: Meeting the Press at last By Mary Turck , TC Daily Planet September 04, 2008 Another police blockade of the High Street bridge did not stop media intent on finally having a look at the RNC Welcoming Committee space and members. On Thursday morning, six RNC-WC members explained their commitment to welcoming and encouraging a variety of protesters, but disclaimed any direct role in the week's street protests. "The Welcoming Committee was not on the streets," said one of the spokespersons. What about explosives? What about buckets of urine? Reporters wanted to talk about what the police claim to have found in searches of homes and the Convergence Space over the weekend. "I didn't see any of those things ever in this space," answered one of the six spokespersons seated in front of a bank of cameras. "After the sheriff's office seemed to have such a fetish for scatology," another young man observed, they tried to figure out where this came from. They decided that it might have started at a Town Hall meeting at Macalester's Weyerhauser Chapel, when a man in the back stood up and said "What you people should do is throw piss at the Republicans!" The Town Hall group laughed, and - from time to time, we would mention "the pee guy".. "I was beaten in the Ramsey County jail" RNC WC spokespersons told reporters they should be investigating the real violence of the week, which they characterized as police violence against protesters. A reporter asked about stories of abuse of protesters in jail, and a young man stood up at the side of the room and said, "I was beaten in the Ramsey County jail". Offered a microphone and the stage, 19-year-old Elliott Hughes said that "me and some friends were chanting for food," when six or seven officers came into the cell. "One punched me in the face, and I fell unconscious. An officer slammed my head on the ground, waking me up". Then, he said, he was dragged to a retaining cell, where the officers put a bag on his head and "did pain compliance on me". "I was screaming for God and crying," he said, and eventually the officers took him to Regions Hospital for stitches and treatment. Asked whether he had been given food, Hughes said he had been given food earlier in his imprisonment, but then got nothing for 12 hours. He said he was coughing blood and dry heaving and vomiting, and that "one officer said I was bulimic, and others called me 'gay' and 'a princess'". When asked yesterday about allegations of mistreatment of protesters, St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington said that if any complaints were filed, they would be investigated. Violence and pacifism "In the 18 months I have been with the Welcoming Committee," said Betsy Raasch Gilman, "as a religious pacifist, as a nonviolence trainer - I've been listening very carefully and assessing whether I want to keep on". Raasch Gilman said that she found membership in the Welcoming Committee consistent with her personal, religious commitment to pacifism. Sounding slightly professorial, she said that "the definition of violence is slippery," drawing distinctions between breaking windows and violence against persons. As for breaking the Macy's window, "I am not going to condemn the person who smashed the Macy's window," she said. "I wouldn't do it. But I do find capitalism to be a problem myself". Raasch Gilman compared the window-breaking to the Vietnam War protest tactic of pouring blood on draft files. "Both cause property damage," she said, adding that the blood on draft files probably caused greater financial damage. "I don't know the intention of the person who smashed the window," she concluded. Role of media Shamako Noble of the HipHop Congress and the Poor People's Economic and Human Rights Campaign, turned the questioning back at reporters. "How many of you believe the police lie?" he asked, looking for a show of hands. "How many of you think politicians lie?" As many reporters hesitated to answer, he concluded "We have a problem!" "This is not a game," Noble continued. "They are using the media. We are in a country - I'm a proud American, but the reality is: this is a country with a history of repression". He said the mainstream media showed only photos of police, and none of Tuesday's Poor People's March. He admonished reporters that they should be asking questions of police and asking to see the items allegedly seized in the raids. "The neutrality of the media is a liability," Noble said. "We are just the American people, trying to take our country back," he concluded. "Can you report that?" Article Tags: anarchist, protest, Republican National Convention, RNC 2008, RNC WC, St. Paul, West 7th Fort Road --10-- Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 05:13:13 -0500 From: dave thune <thune [at] comcast.net> To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at] forums.e-democracy.org> Subject: [SPIF] long week My friend Chuck always warns me about hitting the send key on my computer when I'm tired, cranky, frustrated or angry - in this case after a long week of rnc, demonstrations, fears, complaints, policy questions... but here goes: Contrary to official comment, this was not a "wonderful week". To see our city decked out in prison camp fenced splendor complete with coast guard gunboats on the mississippi, helicopters overhead, beleagured and tired st. paul police officers, peaceful demonstrators bloodied and gassed, gangs of out-of-town thugs smashing everything in sight, citizens asking loved ones to write important family contact numbers on their arms, garbage trucks shutting down bridges and streets, nameless faceless badgeless riot police, videos of young girls crying "I love you" as they are maced and struck, and another futilely holding out a flower as she is sprayed with peppergas... Allegations of weapons, molotov cocktails and homemade napalm stirring the fears and apprehensions of citizens and police alike... But also, good cops and good demonstrators who showed good will. True Blue videos, hilarious signs and costumes... Compassionate st. paul cops with nametags who recognized neighbors by name. Citizens and businesses who brought coffee and sandwiches to officers who had been on duty for 14 hours or more. A cop who knelt and comforted a sobbing, scared woman on the street. Locals who attempted to explain to confused minneapolitans why wabasha street comes before minnesota street. The "new" media with cameras shedding light on situations which might have been covered up or denied back in my 60's protest days... And all to the backdrop of scripted, over-hyped convention activities sold to the highest bidder. This was not a proud week for my city. It was a week of contradictions. It was as close as I ever care to get to suppression of civil liberties, it was as close as I ever felt to my neighbors and st. paul police officers who will be here long after the celebs and media have moved on to other diversions. I am going to ask for a public airing of what went right and what went wrong once we regroup and remove the riot fences. I would urge all of you to help delineate what went right and wrong. What you saw and how you felt. More after I get some sleep. dave ward two --11-- Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 18:26:51 -0500 From: GLORIA E BOGEN <geb1018_1 [at] msn.com> Subject: Re: [SPIF] Standoff at Capitol Here is what happened (to a point)...The march organizers had a permit to march that expired at 5:00 pm (I assume because of downtown traffic build up at that time). The march was to proceed down Cedar and, I believe, onto 7th to the viewing/speaking area on W. 7th - and then to return to the Capitol. When 5:00 pm arrived, the march had not started and, because they no longer had a permit, were not going to be allowed to march. The protesters broke into groups and started walking every which-way from the Capitol grounds - with a majority going down John Ireland - which was not secured (traffic-wise) for a march. At that time the volunteer police reserves (from St. Paul and other jurisdictions) were ordered to fall back to their command post outside of downtown - for their safety...And that is the last I know about the incident, since I needed to leave with the rest of the Reserves. At this time, the news is reporting the return of the protesters to the Capitol area - with no incidents of violence or mace or tear gas... Gloria Bogen West Side = Best Side --12-- Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 13:45:19 +1200 (NZST) From: Nancy Bolin <nbolin [at] comcast.net> Subject: Re: [SPIF] Standoff at Capitol Gloria do you know that 1 hour time to be factual. I heard that today the city changed their march time from 2 hours to 1 hour and that people who wanted to protest would not get there in time so would miss their opportunity so the organizers continued with the original schedule. --13-- Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 21:30:16 -0500 From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com> Subject: [AntiWarMN] Anti-War Committee Day 4 demonstration Anti-War Committee 1313 5th St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414 612.379.3899 www.antiwarcommittee.org Anti-War Committee's "No Peace for the War-Makers" demonstration denied right to protest at Xcel Center On Thursday September 4, the final day of the Republican National Convention, the Anti-War Committee held a permitted rally at 4pm at the Minnesota State Capitol to protest Senator McCain's nomination as the Republican candidate for president. Individuals and groups expressed their opposition to the war in Iraq and as well as to attacks on other communities at home and abroad. The rally was attended by 2,000 people who heard fiery speakers and listened to the protest music of local band Junkyard Empire. However the permitted rally was repeatedly interrupted by the police who tried to provoke the audience into a confrontation. At one point the cops stormed into the center of the crowd and arrested two people who were listening to music. The police continued to intimadate the protest by surrounding the back of the stage during the rally. After the demonstration, over a 1,000 protesters marched towards the RNC despite the police presence and the city's refusal to give the Anti-War Committee a permit to march during the evening session. Protestors expressed their outrage at the war by marching and chanting without a permit as an act of civil disobedience. As of press time, fifty to hundred people have been arrested while trying to march and for observing and supporting people trying to march. During the march there were several police provacateurs and undercover officers. Despite their attempts to incite a riot, protestors maintained calm and did not engage in any confrontations with them. The majority of the Anti-War Committee leadership was arrested for leading the march. After the first round of leaders were arrested, the second round of AWC leadership stepped up. Within five minutes of leading chants the police surged into the crowd and arrested the new level of leadership who were leading chants. The police showed their true colors once again by violently ending the protest with concussion grenades, mace, and tear gas after over three hours of protestors holding the streets. Meredith Aby of the Anti-War Committee explained, "Protesters felt that tonight was an important night to demonstrate in St. Paul. The eyes of the world are on John McCain tonight. We felt it was imperative that his message of war did not go unchallenged. The police and the city of St. Paul decided to make downtown a Republican speech zone, but our demonstration challenged their decision." The demonstration was endorsed locally by the Welfare Rights Committee, Communities United Against Police Brutality, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and Students for a Democratic Society - U of MN, and nationally by the Colombia Action Network, the Troops Out Now Coalition, the International Action Center, and Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition. The Anti-War Committee has been organizing rallies, protests, and educational events in the Twin Cities for the last 10 years. They stand in solidarity with communities at home and abroad who are oppressed by U.S. policy and are committed to building a broad movement for social justice and peace. Meredith Aby Anti-War Committee (antiwarcommittee.org) Coalition to March on the RNC & End the War (marchonrnc.org and protestrnc2008.org) Colombia Action Network (colombiasolidarity.org) --14-- Subject: Clean Water Action calls on leaders to protect core democratic principles Date: Thu, 04 Sep 2008 19:43:15 -0500 From: Carol A. Overland My relationship with Clean Water Action Alliance has run the gamut, from dicey struggles over its support of the 1994 Prairie Island bill that put my client Florence Township in the path of nuclear waste to being its Vice Chair and on the board for a few years, and when this hit the inbox, I had to get in the horn immediately and loudly, clearly, and profusely thank Doug Pierce and Ken Bradley for standing up for the Constitution and our fundamental rights. YEAAAA Clean Water Action! Problem: Our civil rights are being violated, and many organizations and their members are sitting on the sidelines as journalists and citizens are being jailed. Action step: Each of you who are members of a grassroots group contact the leadership of that group and ask them to publicly sign on to this Clean Water Action statement. Call them and demand visible action. Our constitutional rights, our democratic principles, depend on our ability and willingness to exercise those rights. And while you're at it, give Clean Water a call of thanks and appreciation! Carol Overland --15-- Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 17:30:06 +1200 (NZST) From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Re: [SPIF] Standoff at Capitol I am back from an evening working as a street medic, dinner finally eaten, shower taken. After the standoffs at Ireland, Cedar, then Ireland then Marion bridges, the march moved up Marion to University, then turned east toward the Capitol again. Before arriving at the Capitol, the storm troopers (forgive me if this sounds harsh, but the way they are dressed, I have no idea of they are police, highway patrol, National Guard or Blackwater) set off concussion grenades and the crowd scattered. I was immediately separated from my two team members. I witnessed one young man with a paint ball mark on his face, treated another for pepper spray in the eyes and saw his likewise pepper-sprayed girlfriend. While I was decontaminating the fellow's eyes on a side street around the corner from Marion, lines of mounted police all across Marion swept the marchers back toward the Marion Bridge. They were followed by a thick line of storm troopers. The other two members of my medic team were trapped on the Marion bridge over I-94 and they were arrested. I feel bad about that, since they were both young and really quite skittish. They really, really didn't want to get arrested. I wish there was something else I could do. I am home now. The nightmare if almost over, except that I am afraid that relations with the police will never be the same again. It will be impossible for anyone who has witnessed this tragic situation to ever feel the same about St Paul again. It is almost over, except the sight of the storm troopers and the memory of pepper spray in the eyes will remain with many young people for the rest of their lives. It's almost over, except those of us who remember what Chief Harrington and Assistant Chief Bostrom said will never trust their word again. It is almost over, except for the businesses that will go bankrupt and the massive illegal arrest and police brutality settlements that will take years and millions. What could make any of this better? Only something like a "truth and reconciliation" hearing where authorities would admit to their lies and errors. If that would happen, the healing might begin. Even then, it will take a long, long time. Charley Underwood Longfellow (SD 62 A), Minneapolis Info about Charley Underwood: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/charleyunderwood --16-- Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 18:36:03 +1200 (NZST) From: Martin Owings <owings1064 [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Re: [SPIF] Standoff at Capitol Please check out the latest photos and video I placed on Radio Free Nation. I was there, filming it all and interviewing people. I just got home after being gassed and had a flash bang grenade land less than 15 feet from me. I took photo's of the police and injured protesters. I've never witnessed POLICE action like I did tonight. Just incredible. Martin Radio Free Nation radiofreenation.blogspot.com SUPPORT INDEPENDENT MEDIA --17-- Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 01:48:21 -0500 (GMT-05:00) From: greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at] earthlink.net> [Michael Cavlan] Subject: [Discuss] Street Medic Press Release Sept 4, 2008 For Immediate Release Contacts: Kim Christoffel and Kat Donnelly, North Star Health Collective: (800) 719-6487, ext. 6 Tomorrow, Friday September 5th, at 12 pm there will be a press conference at the southeast entrance of Ramsey County Jail on Lafayette Road in St. Paul. This is North Star Health Collective's first official press conference. LOCAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS DENOUNCE POLICE DETENTION AND ABUSE OF MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS Saint Paul, MN - A group of local and national health care providers has been offering first aid to protesters and city residents during the RNC protests. This aid has been offered to people exercising their first amendment rights to protest. The care providers have witnessed law enforcement harassment of EMTs, RNs and other first aid providers while they were engaged in providing care, including approximately 25 arrests (10 of which were made during the writing of this press release Thursday night). Members of the North Star Health Collective (NSHC), a local group coordinating medical response during the protests, will hold a press conference Friday morning to bring attention to these incidents and testimonies of medical personnel present in the street. NSHC will be highlighting examples like this: On Monday evening, two clearly marked providers, giving care to a paraplegic, were forcibly thrown to the ground by police and arrested. Explained Sean P. McCoy, a U.S. Navy Veteran and trained EMT: "My medic partner and I were treating a handicapped male in a wheelchair for pepper spray to the face at the parking lot of Jackson Street. In the process of treating the patient, we were surrounded by several police officers in riot gear and forcibly thrown to the ground and told we were under arrest. We were then forcibly removed from our patient, handcuffed, and forced to lay face down on the ground while the officers proceeded to cut our bags off of us and remove all of our medical gear by dumping it on the ground." Mr. McCoy was held for over 55 hours in Ramsey County Jail, and, like many other protesters, locked in his cell for over 23 hours a day. During the press conference, members of the group will display examples of the kind of projectiles they have seen police fire into crowds of people, often at point blank range. Explained Garth Kahl, an NEMT-B from Oregon: "There is a reason that these are called less-lethal weapons as opposed to non-lethal weapons. The indiscriminate firing of baton rounds, sponge grenades, and other blunt force projectiles in crowded areas is highly dangerous and irresponsible." Kim Christoffel, a graduate student in social work at the University of Minnesota and a local coordinator with NSHC, states: "Our goal has been to keep people safe in areas that local EMS vehicles cannot quickly reach. Our observation of harassment of medical personnel contradicts police statements that claim that their actions have been directed at keeping everyone safe during the protests. It is shocking that providers have been arrested while attending injured and distraught people. NSHC never thought it would be necessary to say it, but apparently it is: 'Providing medical care is not a crime.'" --18-- Our Jimmy wants to be a cop. Do what he says, or he beats us up. Our Jimmy wants to be a cop. He arrested his whole second grade class. Our Jimmy wants to be a cop. He whacks eggs with a league baseball bat. Our Jimmy wants to be a cop. He yells Eat my broccoli - or else! Our Jimmy wants to be a cop. He jackboots parts from small animals. Our Jimmy wants to be a cop. He screams Show me your parent papers! Our Jimmy wants to be a cop. We're moving out of here before then. --19-- The truth is any view with the biggest baddest sharp sticks on its side. --20-- ----------------------------- Beat all that you can beat. Go cop. ----------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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