Progressive Calendar 09.11.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 10:49:10 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    09.11.08
                          POLICE RAIDS XII

1 McKinney (opednews poll)
5 Angell (PC)
6 Schmelzer (MN Independent)
7 Moriarty (petition)
8 Engelsen (Bedlam events)
9 Dooley
10 Hilber
11 Parry (Consortiumnews)

12 ==events==

13 Fitrakis/Wasserman - 10 ways the McCain/Palin GOP steals the Ohio Vote


September 8, 2008
OpEdNews Poll"Media-News:
Should Outraged Americans Boycott Minneapolis and St Paul until They
Drop Charges
By Mac McKinney

Should Outraged Americans Boycott Minneapolis and St Paul until They
Drop Charges

This is a critical moment in American history. If the officials who
mounted an illegal, brutal assault on and repression of journalists, legal
observers and innocent civilians during the Republican National Convention
get away with this, then a terrible paradigm will have created to continue
this Fascistic-style repression throughout the country in the future, the
"Iraqization of the American Media", where unless you are embedded and
under their thumb, you are an enemy of the State. Elected officials in
Minneapolis and St Paul, as well as their police departments and sheriff's
departments, must be held accountable.

Consequently, I propose that Americans boycott the Twin Cities until they
clean up their act, denounce what happened to the innocent, and punish
those responsible for these outrages. The RNC, which purportedly has taken
out an insurance policy to reimburse the Twin Cities police for
$10,000,000 worth of lawsuits against them, should also be investigated
for collusion and conspiracy to abuse and strip away the Constitutional
Rights of the American people during the RNC.

Yes  96% from 65 votes
No    4% from 3 votes


ACLU To Represent Reporter And Others Arrested At RNC
For Immediate Release
September 3, 2008

Group Continues To Defend Constitutional Rights, While Denouncing
Protesters Who Employed Criminal Acts

SAINT PAUL  - The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota has
coordinated legal counsel for Amy Goodman, host of the popular television
and radio program DemocracyNow!, and two of that show's producers who were
detained during mass arrests surrounding the Republican National
Convention (RNC). Goodman was released on misdemeanor charges three hours
after her arrest, while the producers, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole
Salazar, were held longer and charged with felony intent to riot. Those
charges were suspended pending investigation. The ACLU of MN is calling
for all charges against Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar to be dropped.

"Arresting journalists to keep them from doing their jobs is a blatant
violation of their constitutional rights and the right of the American
public to be kept informed," said Chuck Samuelson, Executive Director of
the ACLU of Minnesota. "The arrest of several journalists during the
Republican National Convention is a disturbing practice and a violation of
their First Amendment right to gather the news".

The ACLU is also taking on clients from the group of nearly 300 who were
arrested on the first day of the RNC.

John Lundquist, an ACLU volunteer attorney with Fredrikson and Byron P.A.,
is counsel for Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar.

The national ACLU is calling for an investigation into the raids and mass
arrests that have occurred during the RNC.


Photojournalists from Kentucky released from jail without charges after an
unjustified 36 hour detainment
For Immediate Release

Saint Paul, Minn- Two photo journalism students were released September
3rd after being held without charge for 36 hours following their arrest
during the Republican National Convention. The advisor was also arrested,
but released earlier without charges.

Two students, Britney McIntosh and Edward Matthews, and their advisor,
James Winn, of the University of Kentucky newspaper the Kentucky Kernel
were arrested on Labor Day while photographing demonstrations and law
enforcement response outside the RNC. The Kernel has a circulation of
30,000, one of the largest rates of student newspapers in the country, and
the students and their advisor had journalist credentials and registration
when they were arrested.

Despite their peaceful, lawful behavior the photo journalists were swept
up and arrested with no concern by the police officers as to whether they
committed any crimes.

"The arrest of a journalist while documenting political activity violates
our country's freedom of the press," stated Charles Samuelson, Executive
Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota. "There are no
justifications to arrest any journalists peaceably assembled at

The three Kentucky Kernel journalists are only a few of the many
journalists taken into prolonged custody during the sweeping arrests by
law enforcement this week. The ACLU of Minnesota has identified other
journalists, bloggers and photographers from Rhode Island, California,
Florida, Illinois and other parts of the country who have also been
arrested. The photojournalist from Illinois was arrested with the Kernel
photo journalists; he however was not released, and is being charged with
a Gross Misdemeanor Riot.

"The freedom of all journalists, whether they report as freelancers or
work for the NY Times should be respected and protected," stated

McIntosh, Matthews and Winn were released just prior to the end of the 36
hour hold period allowed by law. Though their physical freedom has been
restored, McIntosh and Matthews have so far been denied the opportunity to
continue reporting as their camera equipment has not been returned to

Even though they have been released, they were informed they could still
be charged with a crime at a later time. The ACLU-MN is reviewing their
legal options regarding their arrests.

The students and their advisor were represented by Matthew Lute of the
Matthew Lute Law Office.


Federal Judge denies release of 1st Amendment Protected Materials
For Immediate Release
September 4, 2008

Federal Judge John Tunheim denied the ACLU-MN request to release the
literature and educational materials that were illegally seized by police
during mass raids on private homes and a gather place the weekend before
the RNC. The raids were part of what appears to be a massive government
crackdown on free speech during the Republican National Convention.

"Pamphlets and buttons are constitutionally-protected forms of free speech
and the police have no business going around confiscating them from
innocent people," said Chuck Samuelson, Executive Director of the ACLU of
Minnesota. "It is greatly disturbing if and when the materials are
released, it will be too late for their owners to distribute them at the

The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of six individuals who own the
confiscated material, which includes First Amendment-protected literature,
buttons, pamphlets, leaflets and books. None of those individuals have
been arrested or charged with any crime. The complaint charges that the
materials were seized in an effort to "chill First Amendment rights to
distribute literature, to disseminate ideas, to peaceably assemble, and to
redress grievances - all protected under the First and Fourteenth
Amendments" of the Constitution.

"Seizing boxes and boxes of literature is another example of the
wide-reaching government assault on free speech throughout the
convention," said Samuelson. "This kind of law enforcement abuse of power
has no place in a democracy."

The complaint was filed against the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis,
Minnesota's Ramsey County, Ramsey County Sheriff Robert Fletcher, three
deputies of the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department, and unnamed St. Paul
and Minneapolis police officers.

Attorneys on the case are Terri Nelson, legal counsel with the ACLU of MN;
ACLU volunteer lawyers Al Goins and Rick Petry; and Geneva Finn of the
National Lawyers Guild.


Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 14:57:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
To: "David Shove (Progressive Calendar)" <shove001 [at]>
Subject: last RNC comment

maybe monthly, when we make a donation to Xcel's bottom line, we can
remind ourselves of the corporate involvement in St. Paul's hosting of the
RNC.  legal and completely pathological "persons", corporations can never
value human rights or civil liberties.

no simple solutions,


KSTP's "rare" endorsement of RNC cops came from top GOP donor, station
By Paul Schmelzer, Minnesota Independent
September 10, 2008

While KSTP-TV started out its editorial September 7 with a disclaimer, it
didn't end up with one.

"It is rare when KSTP decides to take an editorial position," began anchor
Jessica Miles, but that's exactly what the station did today in praising
law enforcement for its job in policing the Republican National Convention
and related protests. Undisclosed is that the opinion, attributed to the
station's owner, comes from one Stanley Hubbard, the state's biggest
Republican donor and a personal contributor to the Republican convention.

According to Miles, KSTP staffers who witnessed police working the RNC
said they were "calm and professional and measured when faced with
protesters"; she added that that they were "well trained and prepared to
do a tough job". The editorial concludes:

So it is the opinion of the owners of KSTP that we owe a debt of gratitude
to all the police officers on duty during the Republican National
Convention. Congratulations and thank you to the men and women in uniform.

Like anchor Cyndy Brucato, past communications director for Republicans
Gov. Arne Carlson and Sen. Norm Coleman, Hubbard has deep ties to the GOP.
How deep? With his wife Karen, he has donated $163,500 to candidates and
causes this election cycle alone - more than any other Minnesotan - with
the vast majority of it, $130,200, going to Republicans. Plus he kicked in
"fundraising talents" and "an undisclosed amount of money" for the
Republican National Convention, according to the Pioneer Press. On top of
that, he lent the use of his 125-foot yacht during the RNC.

"I hope they make good use of it," he told the paper, which added that it
came with ground rules: "No smoking and no unfriendly shoes".

The "good use" was apparently an invitation-only soiree dubbed the
"Coleman for Senate Donor Appreciation Cruise".

It's unclear if KSTP journalists were detained or arrested at the RNC, but
prior to the festivities, police reportedly shoved a KSTP photographer who
was trying to shoot a sit-in by protesters who'd planned a conention

Update: David Brauer at MinnPost covers this too, reporting that no KSTP
journalists were detained by police during the RNC and that Hubbard
Broadcasting, Inc., was a sponsor of the RNC Host Committee.


Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 21:02:27 -0500
From: Sheila Moriarty <sheila [at]>
Subject: help us circulate this petition

Dear Friend:

My neighbors, Tess Galati, Sandy Brophy and I are petitioning the mayor
and city council representatives in Saint Paul to hold a community meeting
to review law enforcement's encounters with the public during the
Republican National Convention. At this forum, we would like the mayor to
invite interested citizens to describe their experiences and learn hat
went right, what went wrong and what we learned. We are seeking your
support for the petition.

We are endorsing a similar recommendation made by Dave Thune, Council
representative of Ward Two. We wholeheartedly support his recommendation
to have a community conversation and urge the mayor and other council
members to act on it.

We believe that an open meeting may help restore our own confidence in our
law enforcement officers, particularly in the ability of officers to
maintain public order in ways that respect our civil liberties and our
rights to free speech and assembly

We are aware that the Mayor's office received petitions with over 50,000
signatures from news organizations from around the country alleging that
independent journalists were denied access to news events, were unfairly
arrested and, in some cases, jailed. We believe a public forum will give
civic leaders a chance to review these charges, to hear from journalists
and to respond.

We realize that Twin Cities' mayors, businesses and civic leaders spent
much time, energy, and money to prepare for the Republican National
Convention. They report that they think it was a financial success (Star
Tribune, Sept. 6). We hesitate to congratulate them for their efforts for
two reasons: (1) Images of police in riot gear beating up protestors and
ordinary citizens are already circulating in the national media. (2)
Amnesty International has reported that force was used disproportionately
by police and in violation of the United Nations Standard on the use of
force by law enforcement. They are asking for an investigation.

If you support the following statement, please sign the petition, add your
address and the date and send it directly to Mayor Chris Coleman, Room
390, 15 West Kellogg Boulevard, Saint Paul, MN 55101. Or you may mail it
to me, Sheila Moriarty, electronically at Sheila [at]  Be sure to
press the reply button if you want to be able to type your name. Thank


We, the citizens of St. Paul, request that a public forum be held
specifically to give citizens an opportunity to relate their experiences
in interacting with law enforcement during the Republican National
Convention. A goal of this meeting will be to clarify issues of concern
and restore public trust among citizens, our law enforcement officers and
elected officials



Date ________________


Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 01:40:34 -0500
From: Karen Engelsen <siribear [at]>
Subject: Because We Still Live Here!

Because We Still Live Here! @ Bedlam Theatre
Sep 18, 2008 - Sep 20, 2008

Creative Reflections on RNC week, Tactics for Social Change and Visions
for a Transformed Twin Cities

Bedlam Theatre hosts an evening of creative reflections (stories, songs,
slides, videos, theatrical reenactments) on personal experiences during
RNC week followed by a facilitated creative dialogue focused on carrying
the momentum forward.

Because we need to tell our stories and hear those of others. Because
we're interested in the impact of mass actions, the various tactics
employed, and most importantly how the momentum generated by such a huge
event can be carried forth as a movement. Because we want to help
strengthen connections in the radical community in the Twin Cities.
Because we still live here!

Event Dates
Thu, Sep 18, 2008 - 7:30pm $10 suggested donation
Fri, Sep 19, 2008 - 7:30pm $10 suggested donation
Sat, Sep 20, 2008 - 7:30pm $10 suggested donation

Bedlam Theatre is next to the Cedar-Riverside light rail station on the
west bank of Minneapolis.


Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 08:07:21 -0500
From: Ted Dooley <614grand [at]>
Subject: from the home front:  Turn out! Turn out! They've gone!

Good friends,

The Republicans have left town but not all things are back to where they

The city has quieted. The military occupation has ended, at least its most
visible manifestations have. The damage to our sense of liberty is
grievously wounded. These wounds on the body politic will fade but they
will not heal. If we repeat the past, the scars will be forgotten or
dis-remembered. Or cosmetically covered.  But our freedoms will remain
seriously curtailed. And all this with the complicity, active or passive,
of our elected representatives, our embedded fourth estate and our
frightened citizenry.

For the religious, the anti-christ has shown its face.  And we dare not
behold it. It is not a foreign visage but a mirror in which we see
ourselves gazing at ourselves while pretending to look over the horizon.
It is the soulless, faceless, jackbooted, Tower of Babel we call the
state, this government. Our idolatrous worship of property has made
property more valuable than a child's tears, a child's blood.
Corporate-capitalism, the ravenous tool we loosed on the earth, has turned
to devour us. In our outrageous hubris we have loved our creation more
than we love our children, more than we love each other. And now we fear
this beast. We've come to depend on it.  And we are willing to feed our
young and their future into it.

I was honored and humbled over the past two weeks to walk among heroes:
independent journalists and documentarians, staring into the tear gas and
batons of this militarized police state; scores of legal observers placing
themselves at every confrontation, recording, noting, testifying; the
gathering of dozens and dozens of people's lawyers and their allies,
confronting, challenging, defending against this invasion; hundreds of
people, mostly young, working tirelessly, organizing to push back the
beast;  and above all thousands and thousands and thousands of people,
mostly uncelebrated, mostly unrecognized and unrecognizable, drawn
together, assembled from all over this land, from all demographics (once a
term of art now perverted to some hideous and divisive political tool),
these thousands gathered to say, "No, God damn it, no!"

I saw frustration and love and some anger, even desperation. But the only
violence I saw sprang from the arrogance of state power. The Coast Guard
patrolled our Mississippi. The military occupied our town. Law enforcement
personnel from as far away as Tucson patrolled our streets. The FBI put
its nose into our lives.  The politicians invited it all and now must
praise it all.

There will be much breast-beating and professed shock.  And inquiries, of
course. Maybe even a commission or two.

But the truth was on the streets. View it and consider it well.

Ted Dooley


Date: Thu, 11 Sep 2008 10:25:24 -0400
From: Tom Hilber  banjotomh [at]
Subject: [SPIF] Mayor's Review

Special National Security Event In St. Paul

Controlling the (possible) abuse of power in collecting domestic
intelligence before, during and after National Convention in St. Paul MN.
September 2008:

* Domestic Intelligence Activity Has Threatened and Undermined The
Constitutional Rights of Americans to Free Speech, Association and
Privacy. It Has Done So Primarily Because The Constitutional System for
Checking Abuse of Power Has Not Been Applied.

The three main departures in the intelligence field from the
constitutional plan for controlling abuse of power have been:

(a) Excessive Executive Power. -- In a sense the growth of domestic
intelligence activities mirrored the growth of presidential power
generally. But more than any other activity, more even than exercise of
the war power, intelligence activities have been left to the control of
the Executive.

For decades Congress and the courts as well as the press and the public
have accepted the notion that the control of intelligence activities was
the exclusive prerogative of the Chief Executive and his surrogates. The
exercise of this power was not questioned or even inquired into by
outsiders. Indeed, at times the power was seen as flowing not from the
law, but as inherent, in the Presidency. Whatever the theory, the fact was
that intelligence activities were essentially exempted from the normal
system of checks and balances.

Such Executive power, not founded in law or checked by Congress or the
courts, contained the seeds of abuse and its growth was to be expected.

(b) Excessive Secrecy. - Abuse thrives on secrecy. Obviously, public
disclosure, of matters such as the names of intelligence agents or the
technological details of collection methods is inappropriate. But in the
field of intelligence, secrecy has been extended to inhibit review of the
basic programs and practices them

Those within the Executive branch and the Congress who would exercise
their responsibilities wisely must be fully informed. The American public,
as well, should know enough about intelligence activities to be able to
apply its good sense to the underlying issues of policy and morality.

Knowledge is the key to control. Secrecy should no longer be allowed to
shield the existence of constitutional, legal and moral problems from the
scrutiny of all three branches of government or from the American people

(c) Avoidance of the Rule of Law. - Lawlessness by Government breeds
corrosive cynicism among the people and erodes the trust upon which
government depends.

Here, there is no sovereign who stands above the law. Each of us, from
presidents to the most disadvantaged citizen, must obey the law.

As intelligence operations developed, however, rationalizations were
fashioned to immunize them from the restraints of the Bill of Rights and
the specific prohibitions of the criminal code. The experience of our
investigation leads us to conclude that such rationalizations are a
dangerous delusion.

*Above Quotes is From The US Congress Church Committee on domestic Intel:

St. Paul's Public sector conclusion could to be (to this presenter) this:
that barely enough /minimal (sic) felony, criminal, conspiracy, action
occurred to (indeed fulfill the mandate of the intelligence missions /
statutes) that justify the preemptive activity before and then during now
after SPECIAL NATIONAL SECURITY EVENT, to apply the above three directives
to the to the post investigative period is essential.

The amount of data the public or public servants has and has not received
is in danger of being destroyed in the next few days, which any
procrastination on the part of elected officials (sworn to uphold the
State & Federal Constitutions) is malfeasance in their upholding the
constitutional guarantees of the peoples right to be informed and further
that checks and balances occur, and further investigative /oversight
action occur.

That this review will indeed not happen, that data will be destroyed, that
the public will be deprived of information is from past experience of
previous and similar said events inevitable.

Therein elected State, county, and city officials ought be held
accountable, after the executive branch (presidential orders) which was in
charge for enacting SPECIAL NATIONAL SECURITY EVENT known as a national
convention which was held in Saint Paul MN September 2008.  Note: Issues
of the 10th ammendment to the US Constitution re: de facto Marshall Law
addressed in previous transmissions....

Tom Hilber
East Side, St. Paul
Info about Tom Hilber:


Mocking Constitutional Rights
by Nat Parry
Published on Wednesday, September 10, 2008 by
common dreams

On the third day of the Republican National Convention, GOP vice
presidential nominee Sarah Palin mocked Barack Obama for believing that
individuals accused of terrorism actually have rights under the law.

"Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America,"
Palin said, "and he's worried that someone won't read them their rights."

The implication was that those suspected of being terrorists have no
rights under domestic or international law. The line elicited thunderous
approval from the party faithful gathered in St. Paul, Minnesota.

As the GOP delegates cheered, civil libertarians were reminded of the
contempt that the Bush administration has shown to basic legal principles
in its prosecution of the "war on terror," and the resounding approval
these policies have gotten from the Republican Party as a whole.

Perhaps viewers at home even nodded in agreement when thinking of the
"catastrophic harm" that some individuals would like to inflict on
America, and how important it is to keep America safe at all costs.

But just outside the convention hall, police offered a stark reminder of
how important those rights are, especially considering how broadly the
term "terrorism" can be applied to just about anyone who speaks out
against government policies.

Over several days of the convention, primarily peaceful Americans
protesting the war in Iraq and the broader Republican agenda were targeted
by aggressive police decked out in full riot gear and armed with Tasers,
pepper spray, rubber bullets and tear gas.

An activist convergence center was raided, as were the homes of several
protest organizers, and demonstrators were attacked, manhandled and
arrested. [See's "Storm Troopers at the RNC."]

In the jails, protesters were mistreated and even tortured, some claim.

A 19-year-old protester named Elliot Hughes alleged at a press conference
that he had been beaten unconscious by police, who then banged his head
against the floor to wake him up. They then moved him to a separate cell
where they put a hood over his head with a gag and used pain-compliance
holds on him for about an hour and a half.

His injuries were severe enough that he checked himself into a hospital
after being released from jail.

Journalists Arrested

Several independent journalists were also arrested and manhandled,
including Pacifica's Amy Goodman, the host of "Democracy Now!"

As Goodman describes what happened to her and two of her colleagues, "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 (Abdel Kouddous) and Nicole (Salazar) 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."

While what happened to Amy Goodman was no doubt deplorable as was the
abuse that protesters endured in jail, what could be perhaps more chilling
to the average American is the fact that other participants in the RNC
protests are actually facing terrorism charges - on little to no actual

'Furthering Terrorism'

On the same day that Palin gave her speech mocking the rights of terror
suspects, eight alleged leaders of an anti-authoritarian activist group
called the RNC Welcoming Committee were formally charged with "Conspiracy
to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism."

The eight are being prosecuted under a 2002 Minnesota state law modeled on
the USA Patriot Act. They now face up to over seven years in prison under
the terrorism enhancement charge, with the only evidence against them
apparently the testimony of law enforcement officials who infiltrated
their organization.

Under the 2002 state law, a crime is considered to "further terrorism" if
it is "intended" to "terrorize, intimidate, or coerce a considerable
number of members of the public in addition to the direct victims of the

If accused of "furthering terrorism," individuals face a 50 percent
increase in the maximum penalty they would receive for committing similar
crimes (such as vandalism) that are not "intended" to "coerce" the public.

The language of the Minnesota law is eerily similar to the original
Patriot Act, passed hastily in the aftermath of 9/11. Section 802 of the
Patriot Act defines domestic terrorism as "activities that (A) involve
acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of
the U.S. or any state; (B) appear to be intended (i) to influence policy
of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (ii) to affect the conduct
of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C)
occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S. ..."

Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Bar
Association have long objected to this definition, particularly the
provision of (B)(i). The prohibition against seeking to influence
government policy by "intimidation" is so vague and so subjective that
virtually any act of civil disobedience or confrontational protest could
fit under the definition, the critics have said.

Now it is clear that these concerns were valid.

While there have been other cases in which activists have been
investigated by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and otherwise treated
as "terrorists," the arrest of these eight individuals clearly marks an
escalation of what some have called "the criminalization of dissent," and
what others see as the merger of domestic law enforcement and the larger
"global war on terror."


The case of the "RNC 8" reminds those engaged in protest activities that
they need not actually commit a crime to be accused of terrorism.

As the National Lawyers Guild points out, "The criminal complaints filed
by the Ramsey County Attorney do not allege that any of the defendants
personally have engaged in any act of violence or damage to property. The
complaints list all of [the] alleged violations of law during the last few
days of the RNC ... and seeks to hold the eight defendants responsible for
acts committed by other individuals."

In other words, without a shred of physical evidence, and based solely on
the testimony of police officers who infiltrated the RNC Welcoming
Committee, these individuals are being held responsible for the alleged
criminal actions of others simply because they were involved with a group
that advocated disrupting the RNC with confrontational acts of protest.

At best, it can be considered guilt by association.

But if Sarah Palin and the Republican Party were to have their way, these
individuals would not even have the ability to challenge these charges in

After all, they are accused of terrorism, and as the Republicans have made
clear, those accused of terrorism don't have any rights - not even the
right to habeas corpus, a centuries-old legal tradition that affords the
accused the right to face their accuser and challenge their detention in a
court of law.

This is a point that Barack Obama actually made as a follow-up to Palin's
comment at the RNC. Obama, who used to teach constitutional law at the
University of Chicago, said on Sept. 8 that captured terror suspects
deserve at least the right to file writs of habeas corpus challenging
their detention.

Calling it "the foundation of Anglo-American law," he said the principle
of habeas corpus "says very simply: If the government grabs you, then you
have the right to at least ask, 'Why was I grabbed?' And say, 'Maybe
you've got the wrong person.'"

In the case of the RNC 8, the principle may be even more fundamental than
that. Without the right of habeas corpus, these individuals would never be
able to face their accusers and see the evidence against them - which,
according to their lawyers is nothing more than the accusations of police
officers who infiltrated their organization.

But considering the direction that law enforcement has been heading, and
the ever-growing equation of protest activism with "terrorism," it is not
inconceivable that someday defendants such as the RNC 8 may not even have
the chance to defend themselves in court.

It is especially chilling how enthusiastically Sarah Palin's mockery of
Americans' constitutional rights was received in St. Paul by the
convention delegates.

And with the relative silence that the story of RNC protests and police
abuse has received in the mainstream media, it is doubtful many would even
notice if constitutional rights continue to be rolled back.

Nat Parry is co-author of Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George
W. Bush.



1. 9/11 street action 9.11 12:30pm
2. 9/11 film          9.11 5pm
3. Peace class 9.27   register now


Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2008 11:05:22 -0500
From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: THUR.9/11 Street Action

Honor the anniversary by coming out and talking to citizens one on one at
Nicollet Mall.  This is would be a great way to contribute on the 7th
anniversary.  Hope to see you there!

On Tue, 9/9/08, We Are Change Minnesota <noreply [at]> wrote:
From: We Are Change Minnesota <noreply [at]>
Subject: Street Action 9-11-2008

September 11th 2008 Street Action
Street action: bring your signs, DVDs and fliers. Stand with us for truth
and educate the people on the crimes of 9/11, the wars & the erosion of
our rights etc.

Nicollet Ave S & 9th St S, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Thursday, September 11th, 12:30pm


From: Catherine Statz [mailto:statz001 [at]]
Subject: 9/11 film 9.11 5pm

7th Anniversary September 11 Event

Richard Gage's, 9/11 Blueprint for Truth - Thursday 5:20 PM, September 11,
2008 (Doors open at 5 pm).

On Thursday, September 11, 2008, the MN 9/11 group will sponsor a
screening of "9/11 Blueprint for Truth"..

In this stunning multimedia presentation to the University of Manitoba,
Canada, San Francisco Bay Area architect, Richard Gage, AIA, provides a
packed audience with a tough technical review of the overwhelming evidence
of controlled demolition using explosives at all 3 WTC high-rise
"collapses" (including WTC 7 - the 47 story high-rise, not hit by an
airplane, which also fell at near free-speed on 9/11).

The film will start at 5:20 PM at the Riverview Theater, 3800 42nd Ave S
(E 38th St & 42nd Ave S), Minneapolis, MN 55406 (612-729-7369).

Admission is $5.00. Popcorn, pop, and other snacks will be available for

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From: reilly [at]
Subject: Peace class - register

Come join the discussion on peace and law: The Great Law of Peace class.

It's a class about the Great Law of Peace of the Iriqouis Confederacy of
Five and then Six Nations, and about indigenous approaches to peace in

This class is free and collaborative, a part of the U of M Experimental
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The first meeting is on Saturday Sept. 27.

Please register at or write to the facilitator, Becca, at
becca [at]


Ten Ways the McCain/Palin GOP Is Now Stealing the Ohio Vote
by Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
Published on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 by

The McCain/Palin GOP is already in the process of stealing the Ohio vote,
as was done in 2004. Among those at the center of the GOP strategy is Bush
Family computer operative Michael Connell, who programmed the key vote
counting mechanisms that were used to give George W. Bush his second term.

Except for John Kennedy in 1960, no candidate since 1856 (James Buchanan)
has won the White House without carrying the Buckeye State. No Republican
has ever done it.

On October 27, 2004, we published "Twelve Ways Bush is Now Stealing the
Ohio Vote" at Despite four years of denial by the
Democratic Party and the corporate media, all methods mentioned in that
article (plus many more) were used in the theft that gave George W. Bush
his second term.

Much has now changed in Ohio, including the transition from a Republican
Governor (Robert Taft) and Secretary of State (J. Kenneth Blackwell) to
Democrats Ted Strickland and Jennifer Brunner. Brunner has made strong
public commitments to conducting a fair registration process, an orderly
election and a reliable vote count this fall. She is being pushed by the
King-Lincoln-Bronzeville federal civil rights lawsuit, filed originally
against Blackwell.

To help guarantee an election that truly reflects the will of the voters, will convene a conference on election protection procedures
web-cast from Columbus this September 26-8. It will reinforce the positive
steps Brunner has taken, and will help train poll workers and judges to
safeguard the vote in Ohio and around the nation.

But much of the electoral apparatus remains beyond public control. Serious
questions remain about how reliable the final vote count will be, and how
much of it the Republican party will cage, confuse and steal in its
crusade to put John McCain and Sarah Palin into the White House.

Here are some of the key factors that still endanger the vote in Ohio and
around the nation:

1) Illegal Destruction of Evidence Surrounding the Vote Count

In a federal court decision delivered in August, 2006, Judge Algernon
Marbley ruled that all materials related to the 2004 presidential vote in
Ohio must be preserved. Standing federal law required that these materials
be protected for 22 months dating from November 4, 2004. In response to
the King-Lincoln lawsuit, Marbley's decision came in time to make it a
federal offense to destroy any poll books, ballots and other records
relating to the 2004 election in Ohio at any time.

Around the time of the decision, GOP Secretary of State Blackwell, who
also served as Ohio co-chair of the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign, issued
ambivalent orders to the state's 88 county Boards of Elections about
preserving these materials.

Blackwell subsequently lost his 2006 campaign for governor of Ohio, and
was replaced by Brunner as secretary of state. Brunner publicly announced
that she would establish a repository in Columbus for all 2004 election
materials. In accordance with the King-Lincoln lawsuit, a definitive
recount would then establish what actually happened during the Bush

But in August of 2007, Ohio Attorney-General Mark Dann informed the
King-Lincoln attorneys that 56 of the 88 county Boards of Elections had
illegally destroyed all or some of their records and ballots from 2004. No
repository has been established for what remains, and no definitive
recount is now possible.

Ironically, Florida Governor Jeb Bush did preserve materials from the 2000
election there from all but one of the counties in that state. The
materials are being held in a repository in Tallahassee. But no such
resource---and no definitive recount---will be possible in Ohio.

There have been no state or federal prosecutions for the illegal
destruction of these materials. Nor does there seem to be any guarantee
similar destruction will not follow the 2008 election.

2) Massive Residual Elimination of Registered Voters

In the run-up to the 2004 elections, GOP-controlled Boards of Elections in
Ohio eliminated some 308,000 registered voters from the rolls used at the
polls to determine whether or not citizens are eligible to vote. The
purges were conducted in heavily Democratic districts in Cuyahoga
(Cleveland), Lucas (Toledo) and Hamilton (Cincinnati) Counties. The
numbers of voters eliminated represented more than 5% of the 5.4 million
Ohioans who voted in 2004. The GOP also challenged the right of some
35,000 registered voters to cast ballots, based largely on letters the
Republicans sent to voters which then came back undelivered, thus allowing
them to claim the lack of a valid address. Challenges were also issued to
prevent thousands of ex-felons from voting, even though there is no state
law disenfranchising them.

Overall, the removals far exceeded Bush's official victory margin of less
than 119,000 votes. After the 2004 election, another 170,000 voters were
eliminated in Franklin (Columbus) County, also now heavily Democratic.

Despite massive grassroots voter registration drives, those voters have
never been restored to the registration lists. None were notified when
they were eliminated, and no public accounting has been made of exactly
who was disenfranchised. Parallel purges were used in Florida 2000, and
throughout the US in 2004. There is every reason to believe the GOP will
repeat them in 2008 wherever possible.

3) Renewed Attempts to Eliminate Additional Registered Voters

Throughout Ohio's 88 counties, GOP-controlled Boards of Elections have
continued "caging" registered voters by sending them notices requiring
that the post office return those that cannot be delivered. A loophole in
Ohio law allows partisan challengers to then demand that the names of
those whose forms come back be eliminated from the voter rolls. This
practice has been used by the GOP throughout the nation to purge voter
rolls in inner city precincts. In many cases those removed are soldiers
currently serving in Iraq.

The Advancement Project has notified Brunner that it will challenge any
mass purges in Ohio 2008. For her part, Brunner has ruled that returned
notices cannot be used as a basis for eliminating voters from the
registration rolls. She has further attempted to counter-act the purges by
requiring that any registered voter fingered for removal be issued notice
and given a pubic hearing by the purging BOE. But the process remains
intimidating for prospective voters---especially the heavily-targeted list
of those voting for the first time. With sixty days left to election day,
the on-going impact remains unclear.

4-5) Resisting Universal Access to Absentee Ballots While Re-introducing

Brunner and voting rights advocates want the Boards of Elections in all 88
Ohio counties to mail absentee ballots to all voters. Previous
restrictions on casting such ballots have been lifted. Brunner has
strongly supported the practice of making these paper ballots available
throughout the state. It would, among other things, help eliminate long
lines at the polls, increase access for the infirm and disabled, and
circumvent electronic voting machines, which her office has deemed to be
easily corruptible. "As we prepare for Election Day," Brunner has said,
"we are promoting clear, consistent, statewide standards for absentee
voting. Every Ohioan who requests an absentee ballot should have the same
rights and responsibilities," no matter what county they might be in.

Ohio's GOP leadership has made a loud public show of supporting this
universal access to absentee ballots. But the Republican-controlled
legislature pointedly failed to authorize enough money to the Secretary of
State's office to pay for the full mailing. In a stunning display of
public cynicism, the GOP leadership has since told Brunner, in a
non-binding promise, that she should just go ahead and order the local
BOE's to do the mailings. The Legislature, they say, will then vote the
additional money at some point in the future.

Brunner has refused to do this, pointing out that the potential shortfall
would be in the millions, and that such an order---in essence, an unfunded
mandate---might be illegal. As a result, using a calculation based on per
capita postage rates, she has informed every BOE how much state money they
can expect. She is encouraging those that have the additional money in
their budgets to do the mailings on their own.

The GOP-sponsored shortfall has thus introduced chaos into what should
have been the orderly, manageable process of providing every Ohioan with a
paper ballot prior to election day. As it now stands, some counties will
be mailing absentee ballots and others will not. The uneven distribution
is expected to favor GOP voters in better-funded rural and suburban
districts. Should problems arise as a result of this uneven distribution,
the GOP will certainly blame Brunner.

6) Resisting Same-Day Registration and Voting

A loophole in a recently passed Ohio election law allows voters to
register to vote and then cast an absentee ballot at the same time by
coming in person to their Board of Elections between September 30 and
October 6. Ironically, the loophole was accidentally inserted into an
otherwise highly repressive bill by Republican State Senator KevinDewine,
second cousin of the former US Senator Mike DeWine, who lost his seat in
2006. By allowing voters to cast absentee ballots as they register, they
can avoid long election-day lines and the perils of electronic voting
machines. Furthermore, the only election ID required is the last four
digits of the voter's Social Security number.

The Ohio Republican Party has called on Brunner "to revoke a directive to
allow residents to register to vote and cast an absentee ballot the same
day." The GOP says her directive is illegal. The party is expected to
deploy a full attack on this provision that would otherwise allow
thousands of Ohioans to participate in the process for the first time with
relative ease and security.

7) The Persistent Spread of Electronic Voting Machines

In addition to mass elimination of Democratic voters, a principle method
of stealing the 2004 election in Ohio was through the manipulation of
electronic voting machines. Since then, the Ohio-based Diebold Company has
admitted that its machines are vulnerable to manipulation and the dropping
of significant numbers of votes. Decertification and lawsuits involving
Diebold and other electronic machines in California and elsewhere have
proliferated. Some 800,000 Ohio ballots---representing about 15% of the
state's vote---were cast on Diebold machines in 2004. Additional votes
were cast in Ohio and nationwide on machines made by ES&S, Hart
Inner-Civic,Triad and others, all of whom have come under serious legal
and legislative scrutiny.

Studies by the Brennan Center, Princeton University, the Carter-Baker
Commission, the Government Accountability Office, the Conyers Committee
and others, have all concluded that results coming from such machines can
be easily manipulated, and election outcomes reversed, with just a few
keystrokes. A $1.5 million report to Brunner's office concluded that
electronic machines could easily have been used to steal the 2004 election
in Ohio.

But because of the Help America Vote Act, authored by former Ohio
Congressman Bob Ney (just recently released from Federal prison),
electronic voting machines will be in far greater use in Ohio and around
the nation during the 2008 election than ever before. The reinstatement of
electronic voting machines has also been forced into effect in New York
and elsewhere despite widespread attempts to require the use of paper
ballots. Without a massive influx of absentee ballots, voters in 54 of
Ohio's counties are likely to be forced to use touchscreen machines, with
parallel increases nationwide. This includes Ohio's largest city,
Columbus, and other major urban center such as Dayton, Toledo and

In 2004, the compiled tabulation of Ohio's electronic vote was deisgned
for Secretary of State Blackwell by Michael Connell, a Bush family
loyalist who programmed the Bush-Cheney web site in the 2000 election.
Connell directed the Ohio vote count to servers in a basement in
Chattanooga, Tennessee, which also housed e-mail traffic for the White
House. Thousands of emails from Karl Rove and other key Bush
Administration operatives have mysteriously disappeared from servers in
this basement. Many worked side-by-side with the Connell-designed ones to
which Ohio's official election results were outsourced, under supervision
by Rove and Blackwell.

Like Rove, Connell now works for the McCain/Palin campaign. An IT
associate, Steve Spoonamore, himself a McCain supporter, has stated that
Connell's IT apparatus can be used to steal elections. Attempts to force
Connell to testify under oath have thus far been successfully resisted by
the GOP.

Brunner has ordered a halt to some better-known e-voting abuses, such as
"sleep overs" whereby electronic machines have been stored at the homes of
poll workers prior to election day. At the behest of attorneys working
through the King-Lincoln lawsuit, other potential abuses in the electronic
apparatus are being exposed and eliminated by Brunner. She has issued the
2008-74 County Board of Elections Security and Risk Mitigation Plan which
requires Boards of Elections to secure the machines and file plans that
safeguard the hardware and software as well as establish chain of custody.
Her 2008-73 memorandum, concerning "Minimum Security Requirements of Vote
Tabulation Servers," mandates that "Each board of elections shall develop
and/or maintain a policy for account and password management for granting
access to the server and access to related workstations, if any, for its
election system." The directive goes on to require that, "Each Board of
Elections shall have a policy for maintaining sign-in documentation of
server activity and related workstation activity..."

"We want Ohio's voters and the rest of the nation to see that we have
prepared a transparent process of transporting voting equipment, ballots
and supplies," Brunner says. "That begins with security practices at
boards of elections and polling places, documented chain of custody, and
now procedures to make secure voting machine delivery."

But electronic touchscreen voting remains a black hole through which a
close election could once again be stolen, in Ohio and throughout the

8) Residual Chaos From Precinct Elimination and Manipulation

In the lead-up to Ohio 2004, Blackwell eliminated numerous precincts where
voters had cast their ballots for decades. Consolidation was uneven. Some
321 precincts have been shifted in Franklin County alone. Blackwell
admitted to a Congressional hearing that false, misleading and out-of-date
information was posted on the state's official web site, misdirecting
thousands of voters to the wrong polling stations. In many cases, they
were then denied the right to vote altogether, or forced to cast
provisional ballots which were never counted.

The chaos resulting from these precinct eliminations has not been entirely
overcome. For financial and other reasons, Brunner has not restored all
the precincts to pre-Blackwell levels. It is expected that her website
will provide accurate information about precinct status and location. But
it's likely some problems will persist.

9) Data Mining

Early indications are that the Republicans are heavily involved in data
mining. Registered voters are already reporting strange letters from
undisclosed senders or unidentified nonprofit organizations "welcoming"
voters to the system. As in 2004, voters should expect a deluge of phone
calls as well, telling them if they vote they'll be arrested if they have
outstanding parking and traffic tickets, back child support payments due,
or are on parole, probation or reside in a halfway house. None of these
are legal grounds for disenfranchisement. But we expect thousands of such
calls will be made to keep first-time and uninformed voters away from the

10) Expanded Voter Identification Requirements

A US Supreme Court decision has upheld an Indiana law, drafted and passed
by the GOP, requiring photographic identification for voter registration.
Because millions of young, poor, homeless, minority and elderly voters may
not have voter ID, various state laws are expected to eliminate large
numbers of mostly Democratic voters from casting ballots throughout the
country. In key swing states like Ohio, which now require ID other than
signature to vote (except by absentee ballot), the outcome of the election
could be significantly affected. Attempts by voter registration
organizations to help such voters obtain suitable ID are proceeding. But
the law may still deprive crucial numbers of citizens their right to vote,
and play a decisive role in the November 4 outcome.

Overall, there is no doubt that four years of intense public scrutiny,
legal action and grassroots organizing have made the theft of the 2008
election in many ways a more difficult proposition. Widespread training of
poll workers, poll judges and independent observers (including video
teams) will add to the safeguards available during the registration
process, voting and vote count. Should thousands of trained election
protection activists committed to the democratic process come to the polls
this year, it may prove impossible for the 2008 election to be stolen, as
happened in 2000 and 2004.

But the Supreme Court approval of photo identification requirements and
the proliferation of electronic voting machines will prove serious
challenges to a fair registration, voting and vote count process. Given
the number of ploys used by the GOP in Ohio and elsewhere in 2004, it's
certain additional methods of election theft will surface this year that
no one has seen before.

Unless they are effectively countered, there is little doubt that John
McCain and Sarah Palin will follow George W. Bush and Dick Cheney into the
White House.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of four books on the
electoral process, including AS GOES OHIO: ELECTION THEFT SINCE 2004,
newly published at and They are
attorney and plaintiff in the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville federal lawsuit,
and co-convenors of the national election protection conference to be
web-cast from Columbus September 26-28 through Their
co-authored with Steve Rosenfeld, from The New Press.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
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