|Progressive Calendar 09.09.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2008 03:28:29 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 09.09.08 POLICE RAIDS X 1 Swope 2 Gagnon 3 Owings 4 Kahn 5 Slade 6 Slade 7 Ashley 8 Moore 9 Engelsen 10 Berglund 11 Kelly 12 Kushner 13 Driscoll 14 Wilkinson 15 Starhawk 16 Angell 17 RNC 18 Lisnoff (CounterPunch) 19 Hedges (Common Dreams) 20 Kolstad 21 McGovern (Consortiumnews) 22 Owings 23 ed Excerpt from Ognar of Bootlebarb --1-- Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2008 10:10:38 -0700 (PDT) From: M Charles Swope <mcswope [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Re: [SPIF] Sheriff Bob Fletcher must go I would agree that Fletcher and the rest of the law enforcement types did a good job of protecting the RNC, its facilities, delegates and others connected with it. And for that, I'm sure Fletcher and the police in general will be given high marks from the general public. If a poll were taken, their favorable ratings would be quite high, no doubt. However, people connected to the RNC are not the only ones with rights. It appears to me that law enforcement did a far less admirable job protecting the civil rights of ordinary citizens. A good part of the problem was not the actions of individual officers. It was the result of the security arrangements themselves. Allowing protesters to peacefully march around the Xcel Center so long as they were funneled through an eight foot tall metal cage is NOT protecting the rights of free speech and assembly. Establishing a no-go security zone preventing protesters from peacefully assembling anywhere near the site which was the object of their protest is not protecting these rights either. Establishing "free speech zones" means, does it not, that free speech is not allowed outside those zones. How is that compatible with a free and open society? Now, it will be argued that the small amount of damage and disruption perpetrated by a few people bent on mayhem proves that the security measures were necessary. It does not. Those people could have been controlled even better, I believe, if the vast bulk of the police were not employed in restricting the freedoms of ordinary citizens. If the police had focused on the people causing the trouble (they were easily identifiable) and had used a much friendlier approach less trouble would have occurred. Most of the demonstrators would have been only too happy to help the police control the trouble makers. The mayhem that did occur certainly points up the need for some security measures but doesn't justify the particular security measures that were used. --2-- From: globalnet [at] mindspring.com Subject: Coordinator Trip Report - Minnesota Bruce Gagnon Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2008 11:30:48 -0400 Coordinator Trip Report - Minnesota by Bruce Gagnon This report covers the period of Aug 30 - Sept 3 as I traveled to St. Paul, Minnesota to participate in protests outside the Republican National Convention (RNC) and speak at an alternative conference called Peace Island. On August 31 the national Veterans for Peace (VfP) held a protest that began with speeches at the state capitol in St. Paul and then took the 500 participants downtown to the RNC center. VfP had just held its annual national conference nearby and the protest was the finale of that event. There was a pretty strong police presence along the march route and at the end almost a dozen people were arrested for climbing under a tall black steel fence that had been constructed to "protect" the RNC from protests. All the arrests, and police response, that day went without any problems. Immediately upon my arrival in St. Paul I began hearing about local police "preemptive" raids on private homes where protestors and alternative media activists were staying. The police trashed some of the places and arrested some of the people. Search warrants had been obtained to look for guns and other possible weapons but none were ever found. But just reporting the search warrant descriptions of "possible weapons" in the local papers had a chilling effect on the local population I am sure. We also began to hear about people who were driving into the St. Paul area in cars that "looked suspicious". Some of these people were stopped and searched and handcuffed with faces buried on the ground by the side of the road. One green bus, an ecological teaching program was on its way to St. Paul for the events, was stopped and the mother, father, 17 year-old daughter, and three chickens were detained by the cops. The three people and chickens were eventually released but the bus was impounded for the entire time of the RNC convention. Environmental sustainability is now a "radical" message one has to guess. On September 1 an even larger protest was held - again first gathering at the state capitol with a march of over 20,000 people (my estimate)right to the RNC center. The march had a wonderful spirit and went without hitch. Many students were there doing creative things like marching bands, dancing and singing as we walked through the city. Thousands of people stood all along the march route, many of them holding signs and cheering the festive parade along. I walked near the front with the large Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace delegations. I saw friend Ray McGovern who used to work for the CIA. He's come to Maine twice for events I organized and I was glad to see him out on the streets. He's been getting treatment for cancer and was very happy to be in the march. The march worked its way back to the state capitol and it took almost two hours for the tail end of the parade to return. Local media reported that a "disappointing" 10,000 were in the march while organizers reported 40,000 from the stage. Upon returning back to the home where I was staying we watched the evening news to see reports about the wonderfully positive protest. Virtually nothing was reported. Not one picture was shown of the huge crowd snaking its way through the downtown of St. Paul (known by the way as a liberal Democratic city). Instead what we saw shocked us. The media was having a field day reporting on a very small number of young anarchists who, after the large march had finished, began to break some windows and burn some trash cans in the streets. The riot equipped police, who had silently lined the march route just hours before, now swung into action with batons flying, horses stomping, and tear gas canisters screaming back and forth. For the next couple of days this was virtually all the news that came out of St. Paul about the protests - "Protesters turn violent." On September 2 I spoke at a conference in St. Paul called Peace Island: Hope in a Time of Crisis - A Solutions-Driven Conference. This event was organized as a positive alternative to the RNC and had many notable speakers. It was an honor to have been invited to attend and I must thank John & Marie Braun for arranging for me to speak. They had hosted me on a speaking trip some four years ago in St. Paul and felt that it was important to include the space issue in the Peace Island event. At this conference I spoke as part of a plenary session panel and then did a well-attended breakout session after the plenary. I was asked to speak about "Weapons in Space: Environmental Consequences and Solutions." In my talk I brought back many of the themes that I used in my recent talk at the Global Greens conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil - we can't dream of dealing with the coming reality of climate change unless we immediately begin to convert the military industrial complex to sustainable technology development. Recognizing that many people are focused on the current election process I used the example of Obama's proposed energy plan to spend $150 billion during the next 10 years on creating "green technology." Very commendable, but just one minor problem. When you do the math you discover that Obama proposes to spend $15 billion per year on green tech development while the U.S. is now spending $14 billion per month on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I hope the point is obvious. While at the event I did a one-hour taping of a public access TV program that plays on eight Minnesota stations and also was interviewed by a California Pacifica radio program. As I headed back to Maine on Sept 3 the progressive community was still shocked by the arrest of Amy Goodman and two of her Democracy Now reporters. How could the police in St. Paul think for a moment that they had the right to arrest media people in addition to the many other questionable arrests they were making? The whole RNC crackdown on democracy was alarming and raises many questions about the next couple of years. Will we continue to see the diminution of our freedoms and liberties? Will the Democrats stand up and protest against these assaults on our civil liberties? Will there be real change after the November elections? But as I reflect on the recent events in St. Paul another troubling question arises. How does the non-violent community deal with the fact that violent protests can erupt in our presence that end up clouding and virtually wiping out our message? Are these "anarchists" really on some level government agents provocateurs implanted in our midst to stir things up and redirect the message? While in St. Paul I asked other activists the question, "What do we do about this violence?" and over and over again the response to my query was "I don't know." One organizer I spoke to said he had given up on the idea of protests as an effective way to speak out and to offer our own messages to the public. But then, with the media under corporate control, what vehicles are we left with to communicate with the public? When I arrived home on Sept 3 I immediately had to refocus on the Sept 6 protest planned here against the Navy's Blue Angels airshow and our Maine Veterans for Peace protest that I was helping to organize. Over 200,000 spectators were expected at the event. So on Sept 6 we gathered at a park in nearby Brunswick and walked the two-miles to the Navy base where we held a vigil and rally at the front gate as the hundreds and hundreds of cars streamed into the base for the "show" which we called a military recruiting gimmick. During this time I reflected on the importance of this protest and the understanding that our presence at this base created much discussion and some level of reflection amongst those going into the base. Does protest still have a place? No doubt in my mind. Do we still have much work to do in communicating with those who wish to bring violence to these events. Absolutely. I remember years ago reading Player Piano, author Kurt Vonnegut's first novel, which was published in 1952. Wikipedia reports that "the dystopian story takes place in a near-future society that is almost totally mechanized, eliminating the need for human laborers. This widespread mechanization creates conflict between the wealthy upper class - the engineers and managers who keep society running - and the lower class, whose skills and purpose in society have been replaced by machines." In the book the young people, who had no role or stake in society, rebel and violently destroy the machines as a way to dramatically reject the social order and attempt to recreate a new society. As the limited and over-hyped violence in St. Paul played out I flashed back to Vonnegut's book. Are these the seeds that our present society has planted? We now have few jobs, other than joining the military, for working class youth in America. We've taught them that violence is the way conflict is settled. Is it any wonder that some number of disaffected youth turn their simmering rage and loss of purpose into street violence? These are questions that the peace community should be raising in our local discussions. My next trip takes me to Sweden, Norway, and Denmark from Sept 18-29. I will be speaking at the European Social Forum in Sweden and then touring the three countries to learn and speak about their growing role in space militarization. Bruce K. Gagnon Coordinator Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space PO Box 652 Brunswick, ME 04011 (207) 443-9502 http://www.space4peace.org globalnet [at] mindspring.com http://space4peace.blogspot.com (Blog) --3-- Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2008 06:54:03 +1200 (NZST) From: Martin Owings <owings1064 [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Re: [SPIF] after assessment "I would have been killed inside the X on Wednesday night as would have been many of our mutual friends if the police had lost focus for 1 second and a riot ensued." This is the same sort of FEAR MONGERING that some people have used to justify a continued infringement on American Civil Liberties. These are Republican talking points. I heard some similarly thinking Delegates in Rice Park aka MSNBC Freedom Square say in response to several CODE PINK Protesters that "Our Freedoms Have Gone Too Far" There were enough POLICE, National Guard, Secret Service, BCA, DOJ, SWAT, Ramsey County Sheriffs and out of state Police to invade a small country....I think they (Our Government) has shown just what it thinks about FREEDOM...of speech, assembly and press....again...Bush Administration. Thank you Dave Thune for giving your time and energy to the People of our City and our NATION. --4-- Date: Sun, 07 Sep 2008 13:58:51 -0500 From: Bill Kahn <wjkahn [at] mac.com> Subject: Re: [SPIF] after assessment You know, if we're going to require so much security for what is essentially a private function, perhaps it makes more sense for the venue, especially for the RNC, to be someplace like this: http://www.doc.state.mn.us/facilities/linolakes.htm [a jail - then throw away the key... ed] or someplace else that could be used exclusively and secured without disrupting the lives and fortunes of residents and business. --5-- Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2008 12:15:07 +1200 (NZST) From: John Slade <jslade [at] labornet.org> Subject: Re: [SPIF] Police riot, my foot. Not a police riot, more a counterinsurgency campaign. They meant to have people beat up. --6-- Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2008 12:18:16 +1200 (NZST) From: John Slade <jslade [at] labornet.org> Subject: Re: [SPIF] Sheriff Bob Fletcher must go ... In the city of Saint Paul, the issue is - a week of police state for more Google hits. Was it worth it or not? If you fall on the 'yes' side, you've just failed my newest litmus test. It's tough, as politicans like to get along with the cops, but they were used to brutalize people, and that's just not right. Mayor Coleman could, possibly, salvage his reputation if he immediately disavowed Fletcher and started calling for serious review. --7-- Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2008 17:44:32 -0700 (PDT) From: Bas Hley <bashleyold [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Re: [SPIF] Sheriff Bob Fletcher must go Why just Fletcher? Harrington was using Republican talking points in his official capacity as police chief. Remember him saying that he hoped the protesters (most of whom were quite peaceful despite his implications to the contrary) would tone it down out of respect for thos on the gulf coast? That was the Republican theme for the day. He used the Republican play book in his official capacity as police chief in an attempt to stifle lawful free speech. I suspect that most of us would face firing if we went to work and spouted political party nonsense in order to make our fellow citizens shut up and sit down. It's not within his province to act in a political manner when on duty. He's not an elected official and his private views shouldn't affect his performance on the job. Brian Ashley Macalester, St. Paul Info about Brian Ashley: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/bashleyold --8-- Date: Sun, 07 Sep 2008 23:07:30 -0500 From: Ty Moore Hello YAWR supporters, Below is an article I wrote up about how the student strike went. Thanks to everyone who supported this effort and past YAWR efforts! -Ty, YAWR-Youth Against War & Racism http://socialistalternative.org/news/article13.php?id=921 Defying Police Threats, Students Walk Out Against the Republican National Convention By Ty Moore Despite police attempts to intimidate students from participating, hundreds of Twin Cities youth walked out of high schools on Thursday, September 4th, to protest the war on the final day of the Republican National Convention. Over 400 joined an energetic rally and march from the State Capitol, featuring a theatrical mock trial of giant puppet caricatures of Dick Cheney and other "War Criminals" who run Washington. "While the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul roll out the red carpet for the convention, we say no to business as usual while the people responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iraqis, Afghans, and U.S. soldiers come to our city to plot their next steps," said Desarae Walker, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota and an activist with Youth Against War & Racism and Socialist Alternative. "We are tired of paying for a war with no end in sight." The walkout also received substantial media coverage, including on TV news, in both local and national outlets (several links are included at the end of this article). Most organizers of the event had anticipated a substantially higher turnout, but this was cut across by thinly veiled threats by police of violence against students who walked out - threats echoed by school officials. With the student strike called for just the third day of classes, there was little time for organizers to counter this fear campaign. Police intimidation St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington told the press, "The one untoward event that we are hoping that most well-thought out students in the city will not take part in is ... a call for students to walk out of school today. We think that's a bad idea on almost every possible basis. The place for students today is to stay in school" (Pioneer Press, 9/4/08). The police told St. Paul and Minneapolis school district officials that the streets of downtown St. Paul would not be safe for students participating in the student strike. This message was clearly conveyed to students and many parents, in some cases through automated phone calls to students' homes warning of the alleged dangers and potential extra disciplinary action from the schools themselves However, with walkout organizers publicly projecting a peaceful and permitted march, the only threat to students' safety was from the heavily armed police themselves! As promised by organizers, the walkout rally and march was a spirited, family -friendly event that proceeded without any confrontations with police. Hundreds of students peacefully left school in an act of collective civil disobedience, many participating in their first ever protest, demanding an end to the war in Iraq, an end to military recruiters in their schools, and money for education, not war. Police Chief Harrington deceitfully told the media that students should skip the walkout since "there will be opportunities [Thursday] evening" to protest. Yet that evening, over 1000 people gathered at the State Capitol for a rally and march to the Xcel, where McCain was to give his acceptance speech. However, the police refused to grant organizers a permit to march after 5pm, effectively turning the streets around the Xcel into a "No protest zone" in the hours before McCain's speech (rendering the First Amendment null and void on Thursday night). Of those who turned out to the evening protest, nearly 400 were arrested after cops blocked them from crossing bridges to get anywhere near the convention site. About 20 members of the media, including 2 Associated Press reporters, were caught in this indiscriminate police round-up! This was the culmination of a week of police repression against mostly peaceful protests, which created an extremely anxious climate in the city - difficult conditions under which to mobilize fresh layers of youth into action. Counter-Recruitment Campaign Grows While the turnout on the September 4th student strike was smaller than past walkouts organized by Youth Against War & Racism, which have brought up to 2000 youth out, the local campaign YAWR has led against military recruitment in schools is stronger than ever. Earlier this year, YAWR successfully pushed the Minneapolis school board to pass a resolution substantially restricting military recruiters' access to schools, and opening the door to a more institutional presence for the counter-recruitment movement in schools. This fall, YAWR intends to build on this success and expand our presence and base in Minneapolis high schools. Just as important, over the last year the core activist base of YAWR has continued to expand. This in part came out of a highly successful activist training camp YAWR organized in August in partnership with the Ruckus Society, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Socialist Alternative, and Headwaters Foundation for Justice. Out of this camp, and in the run-up to the RNC, a whole new group of youth leaders developed, solidified as a team, and politically educated each other. In many respects, this will likely prove the most important lasting success of YAWR's student strike, because it lays the foundation for future youth movements to develop and flourish in the Twin Cities and beyond. Further, a walkout by 400 students on the third day of school in the face of a hostile climate of police repression shows there is a substantial base of serious youth activists. Our key task now is to build off this success to organize more youth to take action to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and counter the presence of military recruiters in our schools. Pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30317436 [at] N08/page2/ "Students Skip School to Stage Peaceful Protest", Star Tribune: http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/conventions/27867639.html Video and news story on the student strike from KSAX: http://ksax.com/article/stories/S567267.shtml?cat=10230 Minnesota Public Radio report on Day 4 RNC protests, including the walkout: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/09/04/rnc_day4/?refid=0 Video from Democracy Now! (3 minutes in): http://www.democracynow.org/shows/2008/9/5 "Police Urge Students to Stay in School During the RNC": http://www.wkbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=8952217 --9-- Date: Sun, 07 Sep 2008 01:27:30 -0500 From: Karen Engelsen <siribear [at] earthlink.net> To: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: Link to Firedoglake First Person Witness Accounts of RNC Police Brutality For any interested in documentation of police violence at the RNC, this link is to a fiercely impassioned article containing eyewitness accounts of police brutality at the RNC. Some are by medics. http://tinyurl.com/6fr356 The article contains many links leading to video, photography, or other articles. Karen Engelsen, Writing Consultant Mighty Oak Media Services --10-- Date: Mon, 08 Sep 2008 01:54:24 -0500 From: Gena Berglund <gena [at] bergberg.net> Subject: Re: [GPSP] [Fwd: 2008 Republican National Convention Round-Up] The police have exceeded any legal authority for their actions. Nothing the city councils could have legally done in the short term would have changed in any way the result. After 8 years of an unlawful presidential administration, law enforcement is free to act with impunity. The die has been cast. It will take years / decades to turn back this post 2001 fear grip. We are in another "red scare" type era. Abuses of power must be pushed back and those of us doing the pushing must stand in solidarity against divide and conquer strategies. --11-- Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2008 02:24:02 +1200 (NZST) From: "Grace Kelly (nicknamed Kelly)" <saintcurmudgeon [at] earthlink.net> Subject: [SPIF] Where is the evidence? Where is the street film? All of this money was spent on putting video all over the streets of St Paul, and we are seeing no film of what was claimed to happen. What good did all that expense do, if we as the public cannot see the film? Is the film only available to police to lose or chose as they see fit? Is there a way right now where the public can review the film? Where is the evidence of what was wrong? So far I have heard of turned over trash cans, a couple of broken windows, a couple of slashed tires and a dropped sandbag. For those in my neighborhood who live near St Thomas, these incidents happen all of the time and squads of police do not show up. Was the amount of crime actually lower than normal downtown? Why is the evidence for the felony arrests? Most of the mainstream news sources agreed to "imbed" journalists with the police with the agreement that they only report on the 4th day. That meant three days of reporting silence, which is shameful reporting. An imbedded reporter is easily kept from the action. An imbedded reporter cannot hear the pleas asking for a safe exit, while police mace anyone who gets close enough for the police to hear the question. A imbedded police officer does not see that tear gas and flash bombs cause ALL people to run for safety, right into another group of police officers who arrest them because they have blocked off the street and these people are running. OK, so now the police have lots of new toys and got away with lots of actions, that only years of litigation will sort out. What will happen at the next labor strike? What will happen at the next Grand Old Days parade? Hmmm. I have watched children in a classroom setting, where if one kid gets away with something one day, by the end of the week it spreads throughout the whole classroom. How does tear gas, mace and flash bombs fit with everyday policing? Grace Kelly nicknamed Kelly Curmudgeon from Merriam Park --12-- From: "Jordan S. Kushner" <kushn002 [at] umn.edu> Sent: Sep 8, 2008 10:52 AM Subject: Re: [RNC_legal] Re: [GPSP] [Fwd: 2008 Republican National Convention Round-Up] The question raised was not the political likelihood that our local governments were going to restrict police - that question has already been answered. The issue is whether they have power and responsibility for the police actions. Since they clearly do, it makes political sense to try to hold then politically accountable to the extent of our ability - both for substantive and organizing purposes. JSK Jordan S. Kushner Attorney 431 South 7th Street, Suite 2446 Minneapolis, MN 55415 (612) 288-0545 --13-- Date: Mon, 08 Sep 2008 12:00:31 -0500 From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com> Subject: Re: [GPSP] [Fwd: 2008 Republican National Convention Round-Up] Gena is absolutely correct about the role City Councils - even Mayors could really have played in this. What it is left for them to do now is condemn all overreaching and violence by police under the tutelage and authority of Homeland Security and the Secret Service. This was essentially a city under martial law and the mayors and councils were sucked into its vortex. We were - and likely some councilmembers were as well - led down a primrose path littered with fear-mongering that the rights of dissenters would be respected and preserved even as our small businesses would see a boom in receipts. What we they weren't prepared for was the military-style training and paranoid hatred for demonstrators exhibited in the streets by $50 million worth of training, overtime, and unneeded gadgets and toys to make a mockery of justice in the streets of the Twin Cities for all of ten days. And they never guessed that most diners and shoppers from the RNC would do their dining and shopping elsewhere, especially inside the Xcel. What is not acceptable has been the spin local officials have put on the flop this convention created in economics and civil rights for our area - and not placing the city in a favorable light around the world, but as yet another Seattle, another Geneva where infiltrating cops start as much trouble as they prevent, and lie to the media and the public about the dangers inherent in a bunch of brainstorming kids who have barely climbed out of adolescence to actually use the "materials" every household possesses as weapons against society - or the police. Blame your local elected officials for not filling the potholes and for filling our heads with their public relations spin on the worth of this disastrous occupation called the RNC to our pocketbooks and peace of mind, but not for the acts themselves. It is time to rein in the wild excesses of armed and armored police and sheriffs by voting them out of office, when possible, or voting their appointers out of office. And blame the mainstream media for not digging for the real stories on those excesses, especially allowing themselves to be embedded with the cops, then joining in the PR spin in the wake of the melee. It has been a shameful chapter in our local and national history and a blow to Minnesota's culture of relative reason. --14-- Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2008 07:51:07 +1200 (NZST) From: Jay Wilkinson <balthazarw [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Re: [SPIF] after assessment You may have received a campaign contribution solicitation from Mayor Coleman yesterday. This is what I am returning: "No contributions will come from me unless there is a full accounting for the repressive measures used to trample many people's rights during the RNC. People who pose an imminent threat of violence should be countered with force. People engaged in civil disobedience should expect to be removed and perhaps arrested. People who protest and move on, who observe and move on, or who are just bystanders should not be treated as threats, criminals or enemies of the state. What we saw was heavy force used against many hundreds of people when there was threat of violence by only a few dozen. How many windows were broken? Where is the balance? We saw preventive detention and intimidation aimed not just at stopping crimes but focused particularly at dissuading dissent. The city lost its soul last week behind the barricades and lines of anonymous riot squads. You have a good deal of responsibility for this and I hope you can help to redeem this city." --15-- From: Starhawk <stella [at] mcn.org> Date: Sat, 06 Sep 2008 13:49:16 -0700 Subject: [starhawk] RNC9 The Last March UPDATE: All our cluster is out of jail, the bus is back on the street, and Iım home in my own bed! But some of the young organizers who put together food, housing, and meeting spaces for the direct actions are facing trumped up charges of conspiracy to riot and "terrorism" under Minnesota's version of the Patriot Act. This is one of the clearest uses of this post 911 legislation to target dissent. The Welcoming Committee members are not accused of actually doing any rioting - indeed, they were all in jail during the convention, nor was any physical evidence found to corroborate the fabricated statements of the paid informants who infiltrated meetings. It's vitally important for progressives to stand behind these young people who have been targeted mostly because they proclaim themselves "anarchists." If they can be targeted for their beliefs, so can any of us. If they can be held responsible for the actions of people over whom they have no control, so can anyone who organizes a march, a rally, a civil disobedience, or a protest where a provocateur breaks a window. The lawyers are estimating that to fight their charges may take $250,000 over the next several years. Hey, that's only 1000 people who can donate $250 each. Iıll be one of them, will you? To donate any amount, go to: http://www.nornc.org/ And thanks again to all of you who have been so supportive and generous during this last week. Hereıs my final post, my previous posts can be read at: www.starhawk.org RNC9: The Last March By Starhawk Thursday, September 4: Thie is the final night of the convention, the night that John McCaine is scheduled to speak. Thereıs also an antiwar march scheduled to begin on the steps of the Capitol - an unpermitted march. We make our way there through a city that has become an occupied zone. There are rumors that police are blocking the bridges, that the whole city will be under curfew from 5 pm on. We gather up our cluster - only about ten of us. The Capitol is surrounded by clumps of riot cops and the tension is throbbing as speakers on the stage rile up the crowd. Jason and Riyanna are fresh out of jail, and not eager to go back, so they will stay on a safe edge and not put themselves into danger. At least, not if Lisa has anything to say about it - sheıs snapping at them like a mother dog correcting her pups. She, of course, will snap equally hard at anyone who suggests that she ought to stay out of danger. Juniper and I together can sometimes corral her enough to let us watch her back - but not always. Andy and I have been remarking about how, even though our tactic of choice is to wade into danger and stolidly obstruct it, nothing seems to happen to us. This has held true for both of us, separately and together, in situations much more dangerous than this one. Is it something we do? Will naming it jinx it? How far can we trust it? A few people in our group are having a moment of panic. Nothingıs happened, yet, but all our intuition tells us that something could, at any moment. They decide to go back, and be our support if something does. Iım feeling the fear, but it's a little bit outside of me. Iım trying to drop down below it, to the calm place where I can get information, or at least, a clear hunch. Is this going to go really badly? If so, do I want to be out of it, or in it, to try and make it less bad? There are two great instincts that war in the human breast; not sex and death, as Freud maintained, but these: the urge to stay safe, and the urge to get into the action or at least, see whatıs going on. For the moment, the second urge is dominant in all of us who remain. The march starts off, and we join it. But weıre extra alert. Weıre looking for the exits and the escape routes, positioning ourselves always so there is somewhere to go. The march heads up the street alongside the Capitol lawn, and then tries to turn across one of the bridges leading into downtown. The police move in, and block us. Thereıs a tense crowd of people on the bridge and filling the intersection. Around us are police in full riot gear and gas masks. Thereıs also a group of bike cops, looking slightly underdressed in shorts and gas masks. Theyıve brought in the Minnesota specials - a line of snowplows across the bridge. On them are perched black-masked cops in heavy leathers holding thick-muzzled rifles that shoot rubber bullets. The energy is unfocused. Nobody knows quite what to do. It could all fall apart, in a moment, with the cops attacking the crowd, or it could remain a standoff for a long time. I am softly drumming, not quite sure what to do, when a young, African American woman with long curls and a ring in her lip comes up and says, ³Do you know how to sing, "I Aint Gonna Study War No More?" I shift the beat, we begin singing, and soon gather a small chorus that forms around us. A tiny, round, young black woman in spectacles steps in front. She has a large voice, and she takes over as lead singer. The chorus grows and a space opens up in the center of the intersection, that is soon filled with riders on bikes, circling around and around, counterclockwise. A young man turns a cartwheel. A clown on stilts appears, out of nowhere, and joins the ride. Suddenly, itıs a circus in the street. The mood shifts and becomes almost festive. My own mood has shifted, too. Iıve been practicing a more Buddhist-style meditation lately, just watching my breath in odd moments and being present to whatıs happening. Iım doing that now, breathing and drumming with the bikes and the song and the riot cops, and for no rational reason whatsoever I feel a surge of pure joy. Two of the cyclists are punk kids covered with patches and graphics that Iıve seen at spokescouncil. One of them is named Maggot, and Iıve seen him sitting with his head down, mumbling his comments which always make sense. Now heıs on a bike, his head up, smiling. The young woman in front of me turns and taps my elbow. ³Letıs sing, "We Shall Overcomeı", she says. I drum and the others join hands and sing. ³We shall overcome, we shall overcome, We shall over come, someday Thereıs some piece of magic at work here. The circling bikes remind me of our dragon-clad cyclists from the ritual that began this week. Now, after all the pain and the ugliness, the tension and the snatch squads and the media lies, after all the arguments and conversations about violence and nonviolence and tactics and accountability, after the splits between Obama and Hillary and the fruitless arguments about which is more crucial, gender or race, it seems deeply and oddly wonderful to be asked by two young black women to sing the old Civil Rights songs of the sixties here in the face of the riot cops. As if something is truly welling up from the earth, some spirit that knows and values rage but persists in remembering the power in acting out of love. Itıs a spell. For just one moment, in one place, we sing in spite of our fear, and the violence abates. ³Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome some day.² Itıs been a hard week. Weıve seen the full machinery of the violence of the state called out to quell any semblance of dissent. Iıve seen friends arrested, beaten, shoved, nearly trampled by horses, tasered, pepper sprayed, beaten and literally tortured in jail. Weıve seen organizers targeted for "terrorism" and media lies paint a totally warped picture of what has happened here. Theyıve tried to make us feel powerless and afraid, and at times, theyıve succeeded. But weıre here, at the end, still singing. This post has been sent to you from Starhawk [at] lists.riseup.net. This is an announce-only listserve that allows Starhawk to post her writings occasionally to those who wish to receive them. To subscribe to this list, send an email to Starhawk-subscribe [at] lists.riseup.net. To unsubscribe, send an email to Starhawk-unsubscribe [at] lists.riseup.net. Starhawk is a lifelong activist in peace and global justice movements, a leader in the feminist and earth-based spirituality movements, author or coauthor of ten books, including The Spiral Dance, The Fifth Sacred Thing, Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising, and her latest, The Earth Path. Starhawk's website is www.starhawk.org, and more of her writings and information on her schedule and activities can be found there. --16-- Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2008 14:58:22 -0700 (PDT) From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net> To: "David Shove (Progressive Calendar)" <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: St. Paul: are we rape survivors? (please note: the author of this piece is sensitive to rape survivors and St. Paul: are we rape survivors? by eric angell reflecting on the onslaught of the RNC, i am asking myself: is this something of what it feels like after an attempted rape? i am not talking about my body being sore due to my own attempts to document events on the street. i am talking about the real feeling, palpable for a definite and extended period of time, that we the people of St. Paul had absolutely no control over anything happening in our city. with an inside/outside force gushing with testosterone that only armies and large college football teams possess, St. Paul was penetrated. at numerous street corners, squads of unidentifiable armed riot police stood poised gripping long batons in battle ready stances. other police were mounted on horses seemingly bred to trample people, and still more police were massed in roving bicycle units. daunting lines of unmarked vans were packed with riot cops complete with new found war toys and gear, and squad cars from jurisdictions near and far patrolled the streets ready to stop people for anything. it looked like an invasion. it felt like an invasion. along with bike and pedestrian routes, our bridges and roads were closed. our skyways, buildings and parking were made less accessible or inaccessible. people were stopped for normally permissible moving violations and searched without probable cause. people were preemptively detained. people were rounded up, trapped and arrested on permitted march routes. freedom? democracy? not today. in no area of downtown could you feel outside of a militarized zone... and police extended their overt presence at the capital and many residential areas too... just ask those on the West-Side. and there were weapons and gear on all. rifle and hand held semi-automatic and automatic weapons. guns for shooting concussion grenades, pepper spray, rubber coated bullets, tear gas. tasers were there. when did city police and county sheriff units become a unified SWAT team on steroids? apparently, all of that federally funded equipment and testosterone had to be used. the stage was set, and the weapons were used... on real people. people dissenting the obvious lack of ethics in government. THE MAN infiltrated us, intimidated us, shot us and sprayed us... THE MAN violated us. period. what next? go to the same man and ask that he change? rapists are notorious for repeating their behavior. --17-- Date: Mon, 08 Sep 2008 11:48:30 -0500 From: rnc08 [at] riseup.net To: rnc08 [at] lists.riseup.net Subject: [rnc08] Have any videos, photos, or witness statements from the RNC? If you have any unaltered or unedited original video (copies are okay), photos, or witness statements from the week's events, PLEASE mail them or deliver them by hand. Follow the instructions below. NOTE: These items are being collected, processed and catalogued for potential use in court matters. We CANNOT accept altered or edited items. NOTE: IF YOU ARE A DEFENDANT IN A CRIMINAL CASE, please consult the attorney representing you and discuss the possible ramifications of any submission before doing so. INSTRUCTIONS: By mail (highly preferred): 1. Print out and complete the Intake Form <http://coldsnaplegal.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/rnc-intake-form.pdf>. (See http://coldsnaplegal.org/) 2. Send the item (notes, video, photos, etc.) and completed intake form by certified mail to: Berglund & Magnuson, PLLC 1595 Selby Ave. #102 St. Paul, MN 55104. By hand delivery: NOTE: We will only have hours for dropping off items from 8am-8pm, Monday through Wednesday, September 8th-10th. After this date, you will need to mail in items. 1. Print out and complete the Intake Form <http://coldsnaplegal.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/rnc-intake-form.pdf>. (See http://coldsnaplegal.org/) 2. Bring item (notes, video, photos, etc.) and the completed intake form (if possible) to 1595 Selby Ave. in St. Paul. 3. Before entering the building, call 651.356.8635 to let us know you are here. We will come out to the sidewalk to get you. 4. An intake worker will take you through the steps, which should only take a few minutes. If you cannot bring in the completed intake form, there will be one at the office for you to use. If these options do not work for you, please call the law office at 651.646.8500 to make other arrangements. --18-- Lessons From Denver and St. Paul How Far From a Police State? By HOWARD LISNOFF CounterPunch September 8, 2008 Just how close is the United States to becoming a police state? The events at the Republican National Convention, where 800 arrests took place, can answer part of that question. Those arrests dwarfed the 152 arrests at the Democratic National Convention. The history of the U.S. since its emergence as a superpower in the 20th century addresses the rest. St. Paul, Minnesota served as a testing ground for "riot" control during the Republican National Convention. Both protesters and members of the media were beaten and jailed without discrimination or consideration of their First Amendment rights to assemble and for the press to report the news. The great majority of protests were peaceful. Police used sticks, percussion grenades, tear gas, pepper spray and preemptive raids to create the aura of total control of the area around the convention site. Merely by their appearance in the heavy, daunting gear of S.W.A.T. (Special Weapons And Tactics) teams, that made them seem as figures out of a science fiction movie, could they create fear among those gathered to protest the convention. (Historically, the origin of S.W.A.T. units came from Los Angeles as a response to the black militant organization, the Black Panthers, in the late 1960s.) One member of the local police described the preemptive raids on the headquarters of one protest group as "awesome". Some members of the police in St. Paul used restraint. One encouraged protesters to "speak your minds". None of this rose from the ashes, as the mythological Phoenix, but was developed from policies that have grown up with the emergence of the U.S. as a superpower and now the only remaining superpower. When anarchists "threatened" the status quo in the early part of the 20th century there were the Palmer Raids. The activists Sacco and Vanzetti are the most notable symbols of that era, with striking similarities to the anti-immigrant movement of today. Many unwanted immigrants who were political were deported. During World War II Japanese-Americans were rounded up and placed in internment camps in the West. The next historical epoch produced Senator Joseph McCarthy and the witch-hunts aimed at those with Leftist beliefs and politics or affiliations. Suspected Leftists in the government and their associates were hounded relentlessly. Again there had to be sacrificial lambs, and the federal government found them in Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, both executed as spies condemned for passing the so-called secret of the atomic bomb to an ally, Soviet Russia. The evidence from the trials of both Sacco and Vanzetti and the Rosenbergs show gross prosectorial misconduct, and in the case of Ethel Rosenberg, no evidence of any wrongdoing! The era of the 60s and early 70s saw the F.B.I.'s program of counterintelligence named COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program), but its precursor was the unbridled hostility of the F.B.I. and local law enforcement agencies in the Deep South toward activists in the civil rights movement. Anyone who sided with civil rights activists in communities was subject to the most violent vigilante acts. Both Nixon and Agnew were understudies to Ronald Reagan in using the government's police power against protesters. Reagan had honed his anti-activist credentials as a snitch while president of the Screen Actors Guild. When assuming the office of governor in California, he immediately went to work against the Free Speech Movement at the University of California's Berkley campus, vowing to "clean up the mess in Berkley". Reagan's hostility to protesters and the right of free speech were refined when he assumed the presidency. He gave one of his advisers, Colonel Oliver North of the infamous Iran-Contra affair, the role of using the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) in developing guidelines for imposing martial law, suspending the constitution, establishing internment camps and giving the president and F.E.M.A. the sole responsibility of running the government in "emergencies". The Miami Herald reported on July 5, 1987 that the director of F.E.M.A., Louis Guiffrida, appointed his deputy, John Brinkerhoff, to deal with the martial law portion of F.E.M.A..s new policy by initiating a plan to use interment camps to hold militants during the imposition of martial law. The planned camps were primarily aimed at jailing black militants. Not a great deal changed in policy, or was enforced, until the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. The Patriot Act and several presidential orders allowed the government to spy on "dissidents" within the U.S and collect information on ordinary citizens, all in the name of detecting foreign terror suspects. All that was needed was suspicion in order to be added to the terrorist watch list. Phone companies were given authority to eavesdrop on ordinary Americans in addition to suspected terrorist groups and individuals. These telecommunication giants were given retroactive immunity in pursuit of these policies of the federal government. The wedding of the Department of Homeland Security and F.E.M.A, following the September 2001 terror attacks raises serious questions as to the extent a future president could impose extrajudicial policies against protesters. Watch lists, so prominent historically in societies where official political extremism is in control of the government, came as no surprise and have nefarious possibilities in a government that feels threatened by its opponents. Anyone taking part in legal demonstrations could see the effects of these new police powers at street level. Protesters were harassed at peaceful demonstrations, arrested, and demonstrations themselves were subjected to intense scrutiny and official harassment. At one demonstration I attended just prior to the beginning of the Iraq War protesters were forced to march in the streets of New York City behind closely guarded police barricades. When an inevitable bottleneck formed stalling thousands of protesters, the police moved in and arrested anyone attempting to get around the bottlenecks and barricades. The routes of protest marches were carefully controlled by government officials, resulting in one march being forced to stop several blocks away from its intended objective at the United Nations. In a 1995 interview in Z Magazine, Israel Shahak, an Israeli professor of chemistry and a writer said: "The conclusion is that human society is composed of a mass of ordinary people who can become exterminators, but who in their ordinary lives are completely usual people, of a minority which protests, and a minority which plans murders and enjoys murder". His conclusions are not much different from those Hannah Arendt reached in The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951). Arendt focused on the gross political abuses of Stalinism and Nazism. Which direction the U.S. will travel on the road to the further erosion of both the First and Fourth Amendments is perhaps already etched into both official and unofficial policies of the government. Howard Lisnoff is an educator and freelance writer. He can be reached at howielisnoff [at] gmail.com. --19-- Tyranny on Display at the Republican Convention by Chris Hedges Published on Monday, September 8, 2008 by TruthDig.com Common Dreams St. Paul is a window into our future. It is a future where, as one protester told me by phone, "people have been pepper-gassed, thrown on the ground by police who had drawn their weapons, had their documents seized and their tattoos photographed before being taken away to jail." It is a future where illegal house raids are carried out. It is a future where vans containing heavily armed paramilitary units circle and film protesters. It is a future where, as the protester said, "people have been pulled from cars because their license plates were on a database and handcuffed, thrown in the back of a squad car and then watched as their vehicles were ransacked and their personal possessions from computers to literature seized." It is a future where constitutional rights mean nothing and where lawful dissent is branded a form of terrorism. The rise of the corporate state means the rise of the surveillance state. The Janus-like face of America swings from packaged and canned spectacles, from nationalist slogans, from seas of flags and Christian crosses, from professions of faith and patriotism, to widespread surveillance, illegal mass detentions, informants, provocateurs and crude acts of repression and violence. We barrel toward a world filled with stupendous lies and blood. What difference is there between the crowds of flag-waving Republicans and the apparatchiks I covered as a reporter in the old East German Communist Party? These Republican delegates, like the fat and compromised party functionaries in East Berlin, all fawned on cue over an inept and corrupt party hierarchy. They all purported to champion workers' rights and freedom while they systematically fleeced, disempowered and impoverished the workers they lauded. They all celebrated the virtue of a state that was morally bankrupt. And while they played this con game, one that gave them special privileges, power and wealth, they unleashed their goons and thugs on all who dared to challenge them. We are not East Germany, but we are well on our way. An economic meltdown, another catastrophic terrorist attack on American soil, a war with Iran, and we could easily swing into an authoritarian model that would look very familiar to anyone who lived in the former communist East bloc. A few of those arrested in St. Paul, including eight leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee - one of the groups organizing protests at the GOP convention in St. Paul - now face terrorism-related charges. Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald and Max Spector could get up to seven and a half years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge, which allows for a 50 percent increase in the maximum penalty. This is the first time criminal charges have been filed under the 2002 Minnesota version of the federal Patriot Act. The Patriot Act, which was put in place as much to silence domestic opposition as to ferret out real terrorists, has largely lain dormant. It has authorized the government to monitor our phone conversations, e-mails, meetings and political opinions. It has authorized the government to shut down anti-war groups and lock up innocents as terrorists. It has abolished habeas corpus. But until now we have not grasped its full implications for our open society. We catch glimpses, as in St. Paul or in our offshore penal colonies where we torture detainees, of its awful destructive power. The commercial media told us that what was important in St. Paul was happening inside the convention hall. The vapid interviews, the ridiculous soap opera sagas about Sarah Palin's daughter and the debate about whether John McCain or Barack Obama has proprietary rights to "Change" divert us from the truth of who we have become. You had to search out "Democracy Now!," TheUptake.org, Twin Cities Indymedia, I-Witness, along with a few other independent outlets, to see, hear or read real journalism from St. Paul. It does not matter that the RNC Welcoming Committee describes itself as an "anarchist/anti-authoritarian" organization. We don't have to embrace a political agenda to protect the right to be heard. Shut down free speech and radicals only burrow deeper underground, splitting ossified political systems into fractured extremes. We may well end up with the Christian right on one side, with politicians like Sarah Palin providing an ideological veneer to a Christian fascism, and embittered leftist radicals who turn to violence on the other. St. Paul was not ultimately about selecting a presidential candidate. It was about the power of the corporate state to carry out pre-emptive searches, seizures and arrests. It was about squads of police in high-tech riot gear, many with drawn semiautomatic weapons, bursting into houses. It was about seized computers, journals and political literature. It was about shutting down independent journalism, even at gunpoint. It was about charging protesters with "conspiracy to commit riot," a rarely used statute that criminalizes legal dissent. It was about 500 people held in open-air detention centers. It was about the rising Orwellian state that has hollowed out the insides of America, cast away all that was good and vital, and donned its skin to shackle us all. Copyright 2008 Truthdig, L.L.C. Chris Hedges, who graduated from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, is the author of "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America." --20-- Date: Mon, 08 Sep 2008 17:53:26 -0500 From: John Kolstad <jkolstad [at] millcitymusic.com> Subject: RE: Hearing over Police Abuse Cam Gordon CM Ward 2 Gary Schiff CM Ward 9 Sept 8, 2008 Dear Cam and Gary, I want to thank both of you for asking for hearings and an investigation into the police abuse and violence surrounding the RNC. That only two of 13 Council Members have expressed this concern shows that Minneapolis needs to replace these irresponsible Council Members and elect Council Members who believe in police obeying the law and the constitution. There is a federal statute that specifically prohibits the taking of notes, equipment, files, tapes, etc. from a reporter or journalist without a subpoena from a court. This means that the police that did this committed a federal criminal act and should be prosecuted accordingly. There is extensive professional documentation of the criminal and unconstitutional acts by the police and authorities. It is expected that there will be hundreds of lawsuits and if the 2004 RNC in NYC is any example, this will cost the Cities many millions of dollars. This is an additional crime. The police willfully and deliberately violate the law and people rights, then the public has to pay for their criminal acts when the victim wins in court. May I suggest that any money from lawsuits arising from this recent police abuse come out of the Police Retirement Fund. If these criminal activities by police officers costs them their retirement funds, perhaps they will be more diligent about policing their criminal fellow officers. Again thank you for the principled and courageous position you have taken. Please let me ( and the people of the community) know what we can do to help. Sincerely, John R Kolstad/President, Mill City Music --21-- Trickle-Down Preemption: Baghdad on the Mississippi By Ray McGovern Date: 09-08-2008 Subject: Police State Ten days ago, as the nation focused attention on the hurricane nearing the Mississippi delta, another storm was brewing far upstream in St. Paul, Minnesota - a storm far more dangerous, it turned out, but one by and large overlooked by the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM). When I flew into St. Paul on Saturday evening, August 30, I encountered a din in local media about "preemptive strikes" on those already congregating there to demonstrate against the Iraq war and injustice against the poor in our country. St. Paul's Pioneer Press expressed surprise that "despite preemptive police searches" and arrests, a group calling itself "the RNC Welcoming Committee" was still intent on "disrupting the convention". A headline screamed, "Preemptive Arrests of Protesters in Twin Cities". But it was the article's lead that hit home: "Borrowing from the Bush administration's 'preemptive war' playbook, police agencies in the Twin Cities have made 'preemptive strikes' against organizations planning to protest at the Republican National Convention". In the following days I was to see, up close and personal, a massive and totally unnecessary display of ruthlessness. What struck a bell was that this domestic application of the dubious doctrine of "preemption" was totally predictable - indeed, predicted by those courageous enough to speak out before the U.S. "preemptive" attack on Iraq. Ironically, it was FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley, living in the St. Paul area, who warned of precisely that in her hard-hitting letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller three weeks before the attack on Iraq. [[[ http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0306-07.htm Text of Feb. 26, 2003 Letter, published March 6, 2003 in NY Times ]]] Confronting Mueller on a number of key issues (like "What is the FBI's evidence with respect to the claimed connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq?"), Rowley warned of the trickle-down effect of "the administration's new policy of 'preemptive strikes'": "I believe it would be prudent to be on guard against the possibility that the looser 'preemptive strike' rationale being applied to situations abroad could migrate back home, fostering a more permissive attitude on the part of law enforcement officers in this country". Rowley called Mueller's attention to the abuses of civil rights that had already occurred since 9/11, and pointedly warned "particular vigilance may be required to head off undue pressure (including subtle encouragement) to detain or 'round up' suspects". Transforming the Police While in St. Paul, I got in touch with Rowley, who has been politically active in the Twin City area, and asked for her reaction to St. Paul's version of preemption. This was hardly her first chance to say I-told-you-so, but she called no attention to her right-on prophesy five and a half years ago. Shaking her head, Rowley simply bemoaned how easily the artificial stoking of fear had succeeded in causing the "otherwise wonderful community police officers of St. Paul to turn on their own peaceful citizens (the surreal insanity we witnessed during the RNC)". She added that, once the Feds, the fusion centers, the contractors get into the act, "all the rules go up in smoke". The "preemption" began on Friday, August 29, well before the RNC began on Sept. 1. An academic doing research on social movement organizations, who for several months has been observing the main protesters - the RNC Welcoming Committee, the Coalition to March on the RNC and End the War, and the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign - provided this account: "On Friday evening the space in St. Paul that was being rented by the Welcoming Committee was raided by riot police, who knocked in the door with automatic weapons drawn, forced the 60-70 activists inside onto the floor, handcuffed them, then proceeded to confiscate all the banner-making supplies and movement literature. "Over the course of several hours the cops interrogated, photographed, ran warrant checks, and eventually, released everyone one by one. Then they closed down the space for a code violation. The next morning a city code inspector arrived and found no basis for closing the space. "Saturday morning was one of escalation and terror. The Ramsey County Sheriff Department, together with the St. Paul police, Homeland Security, and the FBI raided four private houses. At 8:00 AM, dozens of cops in SWAT gear broke down the door of one house where about a dozen activists were staying. They were awakened with rifle barrels in their faces and forced to lie face down for more than an hour. "The cops stole all the computers and other electronic devices in the house, and core members of the Welcoming Committee sleeping there were arrested. It being a holiday weekend, those arrested for alleged crimes could not arrive in court until Wednesday, at the earliest. Thus, those trying to organize demonstrations will be in jail for the entire time the RNC is going on. Four other houses were raided and dozens of activists were detained". The academic who wrote the report appealed to those concerned over "this enormous police over-kill" to contact the Twin Cities' mayors and demand an end to the "witch hunt". He added, "The people who were arrested were some of the gentlest, most dedicated activists I've ever met". A far cry from the "criminal enterprise" described by notorious Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher. Nanette Echols, a resident of St. Paul who had been extending hospitality to the visiting protesters, insisted they had done nothing wrong. "In the place they raided on Friday night they were showing documentary movies to twenty-somethings in a clean, alcohol-free zone after dinner," she said. Caving In to the Feds The St. Paul City Council? Only one member had the courage to speak out - Councilman Dave Thune, who was particularly enraged that Sheriff Fletcher took action within St. Paul city limits: "This is not the way to start things off. I'm really ticked off - the city is perfectly capable of taking care of such things. This is all about free speech. It's what my father fought for in the war. To me this smacks of preemptive strike against free speech". Thune objected in particular to Fletcher's deputies using battering rams to knock down doors, then entering with guns drawn, and forcing people to the ground, as they did on Friday night. This was the unsettling backdrop as I flew into St. Paul on Saturday evening, to speak at the Masses at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church on Sunday morning. [[[http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/35866 ]]] On Monday, I joined some 10,000 on a peaceful march from the Capitol to the Berlin wall of fences and the "organs of public safety" arrayed before the RNC convention hall. On the fringes there was some property damage and further arrests. What violence there was bore the earmarks of provocation by the likes of Sheriff Fletcher and his Homeland Security, FBI, and, according to one well-sourced report, Blackwater buddies. That's right. Agent provocateurs. Primary targets of the repression were the alternative media, including any and all those who might have a camera to record the brutality - as was successfully done at the RNC in New York four years ago. The manner in which Amy Goodman and the two producers of "Democracy Now!" were deliberately mistreated was clearly aimed to serve as a warning that the rules had indeed gone up in smoke - the First Amendment be damned. Tuesday evening, after speaking at the "Free Speech Zone," a fenced-off area surrounded by the organs of public safety, I joined the Poor People's march up to the fences before the RNC. I observed no violence at all; yet, the police/FBI/national guard/and who-knows-who-else decided they needed to clear the streets. My friends and I narrowly escaped being tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, or worse. It was an overwhelming show of force - not to protect, but to intimidate. Palin Significance After speaking at a conference at Concordia University in St. Paul on Wednesday, I was more eager to watch the Republican vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, deliver her acceptance speech than to risk the tear gas and pepper spray. The way she dissed community organizers was hard to take. But that would pale in significance, so to speak, compared to the way the governor of Alaska proceeded to ridicule the notion of reading people their rights. I had thought that despite the distance between Alaska and Washington, the reach of the U.S. Constitution and statutes extended that far. Friends tell me I should not have been surprised. But, really! After the widespread kidnapping, torture, indefinite imprisonment, and our cowardly Congress' empowerment of the president to imprison sine die anyone he might designate an "enemy combatant" - after all that...well, it seems to me that reading a person his/her rights takes on more, not less, importance. Not to mention the massive repression then under way right outside the convention hall. It was, it is, a scary juxtaposition. The following day Col. Ann Wright, other members of Code Pink, and I went to the jail to offer support to the young people who had been brutalized and then released. They had not been read their rights. Many were camped out on the sidewalk, refusing to leave until their friends still inside were also released. Out of the jail came Jason, a well-built young man of about twenty years, who needed help in walking. We talked to Jason a while, and he showed us the seven, yes seven, taser wounds on his body. One, on his left buttock, had released considerable blood, creating a large stain on the seat of his pants. Resourcefulness The young protesters had some success in exposing infiltrators in their ranks. During confrontations, members of the Welcoming Committee, in particular, took copious photos of law enforcement officers and then memorized the faces. This tactic worked like a charm in one of the St. Paul parks, when a man who looked like a protester - dark clothes, backpack, a bit disheveled - walked by. One of the protesters recognized the man's face and searched through her camera until she found a photo of the man actually performing the raid on the Welcoming Committee's headquarters on Friday night. The young protesters asked the man, and two associates, to leave the park, at which point the three hustled into a nearby unmarked sedan. The license plate, observed by a Pioneer Press reporter, traced back to the detective unit of the Hennepin County sheriff's office, according to the county's Central Mobile Equipment Division. Protesters later drove two other men out of the day's planned march - one because he was wearing brand-new tennis shoes. The two left without indicating whether they were with the organs of public safety. So there is hope. Young people are smarter than old ones. It is a safe bet that in the coming weeks lots of unwelcome photos will be exposing various agents provocateurs, including over-the-hill flat-feet in unmarked cars, as well as young Republicans with unmarked tennis shoes. If those are the kind of "sources" upon which the police, FBI, etc. have been relying - well, that would be like having Shia reporting on Sunni, or vice versa. The organs of public safety are probably not quite so dumb as to be unaware that one cannot expect valid "intelligence" from such amateurish antics. More likely, the attitude is that any kind of "intelligence" will do for the purposes of local law enforcement and timid public officials cowed by the Feds. Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He is also with Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), as are Coleen Rowley and Ann Wright. The original version of this article appeared on Consortiumnews.com. --22-- Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2008 16:12:01 +1200 (NZST) From: Martin Owings <owings1064 [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Re: [SPIF] after assessment Stories from the RNC you didn't get from the "BIG" Media. Here is a sort of BEST OF with video, audio and recorded LIVE broadcasts. Interview of two Gentlemen who tackled a Tire Slashing Vandal on DAY ONE. http://radiofreenation.mypodcast.com/2008/09/RNC_2008_Bystanders_Tackle_Protester_Vandal-139166.html Audio Interview with Protester who was Pepper Sprayed for offering Police a Flower: http://radiofreenation.mypodcast.com/2008/09/Witnesses_Describe_Police_Violence-139172.html Interview with Citizen Mario who is Surprised by the show of FORCE by POLICE: http://radiofreenation.mypodcast.com/2008/09/Interview_with_Mario_at_RNC-139167.html A heavy show of force for TWO PUPPETS. http://radiofreenation.blogspot.com/2008/09/puppet-terrorists.html POOR PEOPLES MARCH VIDEO: Some incredible footage. http://radiofreenation.blogspot.com/2008/09/blog-post.html An Chruch Lady Cheers Protesters, Prays For Peace: http://radiofreenation.mypodcast.com/2008/09/An_Elderly_Women_Cheers_Protesters-139170.html AUDIO INTERVIEW Crystal - Very interesting perspectives on Democracy: http://radiofreenation.mypodcast.com/2008/09/Crystal_Interview_Day_2_at_the_RNC-139173.html Day Three Video Footage: http://radiofreenation.blogspot.com/2008/09/day-3-from-rnc.html RIOT POLICE and MOUNTED RIOT POLICE Rushed Into the Crowd, here is a description of what happened LIVE as it occurred: http://radiofreenation.mypodcast.com/2008/09/Police_and_Prostesters_Clash_at_the_Capitol-139171.html Protesters and POLICE on DAY FOUR: YOU MUST SEE THIS. http://radiofreenation.blogspot.com/2008/09/rnc-day-4-protesters-clash-with-police.html Martin Owings http://radiofreenation.blogspot.com If you have a story call me at 612.599.3030 I will answer the phone. Martin Owings http://radiofreenation.blogspot.com, Saint Paul Info about Martin Owings: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/henryhammer --23-- Creative Etymology Once upon a time (when there was much straight talk, a much better time than now), the word "fletcher" was both 1. a noun with two senses a. a certain body part, b. a certain body product, and 2. a verb referring to a certain body process intimately connected with the two predeeding noun senses. Here is a passage from ThaneGrar, a lesser comtemporary of Chaucer, translated into modern English: "After repasting half a small deer, a large dripping gob of smutglub, three hero-flagons of bramble beer, and anything else his long stout arms could reach, Ognar of Bootlebarb waddled off deep into the dark bushes, dropped his sweat-stained leather breeches, and squat him down in the cold wet pricker weed. He grimaced and grunted mightily, until, finally, his fletcher fletchered a fletcher. Thank Odin he grunted. He rose up refreshed. He dressed. He peered down at the large fletcher at his feet. He thought about his Odini duty to bury it. 'Nuh-uh' he muttered, and returned to the repast for more." Of course it loses something in translation (some wish it would lose much more), but you get the idea. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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
- (no other messages in thread)
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.