Progressive Calendar 09.05.08
From: David Shove (
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


From: Paul Read <paulnread [at]>
To: Diane J. Peterson <birch7 [at]>
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

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!



Date: Fri,  5 Sep 2008 02:36:03 +1200 (NZST)
From: "Grace Kelly (nicknamed Kelly)" <saintcurmudgeon [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>

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


Why We Were Falsely Arrested
Wednesday 03 September 2008
by: Amy Goodman, Truthdig

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.


From: Paul Read <paulnread [at]>
To: Lynne Mayo <lynnne [at]>
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

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

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

. . .  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


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

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."

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.

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

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

Clean Water Action (www. 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


The Perishing Republicans, the RNC 8 and the Twin Cities Cops
Look What's Happening Out on the Streets
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]


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

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

Article Tags: Downtown, Government, originals, Public Safety, RNC 2008,
RNC_2008, St. Paul, Voices


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

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,


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

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

"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


Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 05:13:13 -0500
From: dave thune <thune [at]>
To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues [at]>
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


Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 18:26:51 -0500
From: GLORIA E BOGEN <geb1018_1 [at]>
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


Date: Fri,  5 Sep 2008 13:45:19 +1200 (NZST)
From: Nancy Bolin <nbolin [at]>
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.


Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 21:30:16 -0500
From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at]>
Subject: [AntiWarMN] Anti-War Committee Day 4 demonstration

Anti-War Committee
1313 5th St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414  612.379.3899

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)

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 ( Coalition to March
on the RNC & End the War ( and Colombia
Action Network (


Subject: Clean Water Action calls on leaders to protect core democratic
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

Carol Overland


Date: Fri,  5 Sep 2008 17:30:06 +1200 (NZST)
From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
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

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:


Date: Fri,  5 Sep 2008 18:36:03 +1200 (NZST)
From: Martin Owings <owings1064 [at]>
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 SUPPORT INDEPENDENT


Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 01:48:21 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
From: greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at]> [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


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.'"


 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.


 The truth is any
 view with the biggest baddest
 sharp sticks on its side.


                      Beat all that you can beat.
                                Go cop.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   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
                          vote third party
                           for president
                           for congress
                          now and forever

  • (no other messages in thread)

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.