Progressive Calendar 09.17.08
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2008 05:08:19 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    09.17.08

1. RNC repression     9.17 11am
2. Citizen journalism 9.17 6:30pm
3. Electing judges    9.17 7pm
4. Lebanon            9.17 7pm
5. Nader not Obama    9.17 7pm
6. McKinney meet      9.17 7pm

7. Eagan peace vigil  9.18 4:30pm
8. New Hope demo      9.18 4:45pm
9. Northtown vigil    9.18 5pm
10. Green parenting   9.18 6pm
11. EXCO BBQ/potluck  9.18 6pm
12. World parliament  9.18 7pm
13. AWC new members   9.18 7pm
14. Amnesty Intl      9.18 7:15pm
15. Post-RNC response 9.18-20 7:30pm

police raids:
16. Howell/Hoppin (PiPress)
17. Royce
18. Thompson
19. Spaulding
20. Rudolph
21. Morey
22. Martin
23. Stalnaker
24. Swope
25. Gerth
26. Steller (MN Independent)
27. Hilber
28. Driscoll
29. Goldstein

--------1 of 29--------

From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: RNC repression 9.17 11am

11AM KFAI
TRUTH TO TELL
WEDNESDAY, SEPT 17 11AM: RNC RETROSPECTIVE II  THE SHAME OF THE STATE

TTT continues the discussion and post-mortem (literally) of protests and
free speech lodged last week during the Republican National Convention
(RNC). We discuss the wider issue of state repression of protected speech,
press and assembly, and where media attention was paid.

GUESTS:
 DR. ELIZABETH FROST, Family Practice Physician and volunteer for North
Star Health Collective.
 DAVE THUNE, St. Paul City Councilmember, Ward 2 (where the convention was)
 SYL JONES, Playwright, Cultural Critic, Columnist
 GENA BERGLUND National Lawyers Guild and Attorney for several arrested RNC
Protestors
 OTHERS  TBD

NOW STREAMING AT <http://www.kfai.org/node/682>


--------2 of 29--------

From: TCDP editor <editor [at] tcdailyplanet.net>
Subject: Citizen journalism 9.17 6:30pm

Sign up for the Citizen Journalism Workshop, co-sponsored by the Twin
Cities Daily Planet and ExCo. Four sessions -- Wednesdays, September
17-October 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Journalism takes practice, and this
introduction offers ways to get started writing and assignments that will
put class lessons into practice. Facilitated by Mary Turck, editor of the
TC Daily Planet. Register through ExCo's Web site at
http://excotc.org/node/3


--------3 of 29--------

From: Kathleen Schimke
Subject: Electing judges 9.17 7pm

The Minneapolis league of Women Voters is sponsoring two public forums on
the judicial election process.  These are opportunities to educate
ourselves on judicial issues and candidates.

JUDICIAL ISSUES FORUM
Wednesday, September 17
7 - 9 PM
TEMPLE ISRAEL
2324 Emerson South
24th and Hennepin)
Free parking

A panel of informed dignitaries, including former Governor Al Quie, State
Representative Steve Simon, Hennepin County Bar Association President Mary
Vasaly, and others will discuss how Minnesota selects judges.  Besides the
LWV, this forum is sponsored by the Hennepin County Bar Association and
WATCH.


--------4 of 29--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Lebanon 9.17 7pm

Wednesday, 9/17, 7 pm, Cathy Sultan, on the board of the National Peace
Foundation, speaks on her recent book "Tragedy in South Lebanon: The
Israeli-Hezbollah War of 2006," Unity Unitarian Church, 732 Holly Ave, St
Paul.  robyn [at] scarlettapress.com or 612-825-7099.


--------5 of 29--------

From: PRO826 [at] aol.com
Subject: Nader not Obama 9.17 7pm

public meeting
Will Obama Really Bring Change?
The case for breaking with corporate politics and supporting Nader's
campaign

Wednesday, September 17th
7PM
University of Minnesota
Coffman Board Room (3rd floor)

As the economic crisis becomes ever more ominous, and anger at the corrupt
Bush regime and Washington politics reaching record highs, millions of
Americans are looking to Barack Obama as a way out of war and recession.
But can we really trust Obama and the Democratic Party to change politics
as usual? Will supporting an independent alternative like Ralph Nader make
any difference? What is an effective strategy to achieve genuine, systemic
change in U.S. society? Come to a talk and open discussion on these
critical questions, and learn how you can get active in the movement for
socialist change.

Speaker
Ty Moore, a national organizer for Socialist Alternative and member of
Justice newspaper's Editorial Committee

A Socialist Alternative Forum
www.socialistalternative.org
612-226-9129
mn [at] socialistalternative.org


--------6 of 29--------

From: mckinney-mn [at] googlegroups.com [mailto:mckinney-mn [at] 
googlegroups.com]
Subject: McKinney meet 9.17 7pm

The next Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente meeting will be Wednesday
9/17/08, 7:00 at A Fine Grind.  A Fine Grind is at 2038 Marshall Ave. in
St. Paul.  Their phone number is 651 645-9700.


--------7 of 29--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at] msn.com>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 9.18 4:30pm

CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest
corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs
and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends
south of the river speaking out against war.


--------8 of 29--------

From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net>
Subject: New Hope demo 9.18 4:45pm

NWN4P-New Hope demonstration every Thursday 4:45 to 5:45pm at the corner
of Winnetka and 42nd.  You may park near Walgreens or in the larger lot
near McDonalds; we will be on all four corners.  Bring your own or use our
signs.


--------9 of 29--------

From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com
Subject: Northtown vigil 9.18 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com.


--------10 of 29--------

From: Do It Green! Minnesota <Do_It_Green_Minnesota [at] mail.vresp.com>
Subject: Green parenting 9.18 6pm

ECO MOM AND DAD: Parenting goes green
Thurs, Sept 18: 6-8pm
Do It Green! Resource Center at Twin Cities Green
2405 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls

Kids may not want to eat anything green, but they can learn to do it green
from their most important teachers: their parents. Join us for a panel
discussion as three local eco moms share their tips on how to raise an
environmentally friendly family. Mindful Momma Blogger Micaela Preston, Do
It Green! Magazine Editor Sara Grochowski and Owner of Twin Cities Green
Tina North will share their challenges and successes in green parenting.
Following the discussion, stay for craft time as we make toys from
recycled materials.


--------11 of 29--------

From: excotc <excotc [at] gmail.com>
Subject: EXCO BBQ/potluck 9.18 6pm

EXCO BBQ/Potluck Party at Powderhorn Park - Thursday

Inviting all EXCO facilitators, participants, organizers, friends, anyone
and everyone! - Thursday, 9/18, 6-8pm, at Powderhorn Park in South
Minneapolis. Join us for a BBQ/Potluck - food will be provided, but bring
a dish if you wish! We'll have screenprinting (make your own EXCO t-shirts
and patches, bring a shirt!) - and an EXCO class expo with Brazilian
drumming, a post-RNC presentation, samples from the fermentation class,
and more!

Come to have fun, eat good food, learn about new EXCO classes (over 50
this semester! see our brochure, attached), and meet new and old members
of the growing EXCO community. *And don't forget fall classes, register
now at www.excotc.org!*

Thanks again and get in touch with questions, ideas, advice, and desire to
organize: excotc [at] gmail.com, 651-696-8010.


--------12 of 29--------

From: Joe Schwartzberg <schwa004 [at] umn.edu>
Subject: World parliament 9.18 7pm

THIRD THURSDAY GLOBAL ISSUES FORUM
Free and open to the public.

Where? Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church
511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis (at Lyndale & Hennepin)
Park in church lot.
When? Thursday, September 18, 7:00 - 9:00 pm.

A WORLD PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY

Until recently, the idea of an elected World Parliamentary Assembly would
have struck most people as hopelessly utopian; but new diplomatic and
non-governmental initiatives have given it credibility. This presentation
will discuss how such an assembly might function (initially, as with the
European Parliament, only on an advisory basis), what it might be
empowered to do, and how it might be brought into being.

Presenter: PROFESSOR JOE SCHWARTZBERG. A professor emeritus at the
University of Minnesota, where he taught from 1964 to 2000, and a past
President (11 years) of the Minnesota Chapter of CGS, Dr. Schwartzberg is
the author of many publications on reform of the United Nations system. He
is presently writing a book, Designs for a Workable World, which will tie
together and expand upon many of his ideas on global governance including
the one to be addressed in our September forum.


--------13 of 29--------

From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com>
Subject: AWC new members 9.18 7pm

New members meeting: Join the Anti-War Committee!* THURS, 9/18 @ 7pm @
room 112c @ 1313 5th St. SE, Minneapolis Want to join us and act against
the war? Come and be a part of our grassroots organization working for
peace and justice.


--------14 of 29--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 9.18 7:15pm

AIUSA Group 315 (Wayzata area) meets Thursday, September 18th, at 7:15
p.m. St. Luke Presbyterian Church, 3121 Groveland School Road, Wayzata
(near the intersection of Rt. 101 and Minnetonka Blvd). For further
information, contact Richard Bopp at Richard_C_Bopp [at] NatureWorksLLC.com.


--------15 of 29--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Post-RNC response 9.18-20 7:30pm

Please come to the Bedlam Theater for a reflective evening: 'Because We
Still Live Here.'

What all happened during the Republican National Convention? What was the
Creative Response to the RNC? Testimonies, performances and slideshows
will show a far wider breadth of protest and participation than was
portrayed in the mainstream media. Voices of the artists and activists,
Minnesota Peace Team, Vets for Peace and Youth Against War And Racism will
be heard. And your voice too! Discussion to follow the 1 hour performance.

'Because We Still Live Here'
Sept 18, 19, 20 ~ 7:30 PM
$10 donation ~ No one turned away

Bedlam Theatre
1501 S. 6th Street, Mpls. 55454
612-338-9817


--------16 of 29--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: [Discuss] RNC:ST. PAUL MAYOR,POLICE ABUSES--ACCOUNTABILITY???

BOTH TC Mayors and all City Council members who GAVE AWAY THE AUTHORITY
OVER LOCAL POLICE TO HOMELEAND SECURITY SHOULD FACE OPPONENTS WHEN THEY
STAND FOR RE-ELECTION. Progressives? Greens? Independents? Lydia Howell

30 confront St. Paul mayor over RNC police action
Turning up at fundraiser, they say he should have had bigger presence
during RNC
By Jason Hoppin
jhoppin [at] pioneerpress.com
Article Last Updated: 09/12/2008 11:36:18 PM CDT

About 30 demonstrators showed up outside a fundraiser for St. Paul Mayor
Chris Coleman on Friday, objecting to what the group saw as an
overreaction by police during last week's protests outside the Republican
National Convention.

Carrying signs that read "I Am Ashamed" and "I Survived 9/1," the group
strolled the sidewalk in front of a St. Anthony Park residence where the
event was being held, briefly confronting Coleman when he arrived. The
crowd objected to everything from the appointment of two former
prosecutors to lead a city probe into police tactics during the four-day
event to reports that Molotov cocktails were found during police raids
related to self-described anarchists who sought to disrupt the convention.

"This is the first time that I've really been ashamed of the city and its
leadership," said St. Paul resident Nolan Zavoral, who carried a sign
linking Coleman and Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, whose agency led
some of the pre-convention raids.

Asked what Coleman should have done differently during the protests, which
included masses of people marching peacefully but also bouts of sporadic
violence, Zavoral and others said Coleman should have been a more visible
presence as clashes between police and protesters elevated.

Coleman did stop to talk with the crowd and has been supportive of police
actions during the convention. He said later he thought most people
understood the need for the city's probe and disputed the
demonstrators'contention that reports of Molotov cocktails and other
instruments of mayhem were overblown.

"To say that we didn't find Molotov cocktails is not true," Coleman said.
"We did, and a lot of other things."

But that wasn't enough for the demonstrators, many of whom said they are
now former supporters of Coleman.

"He stood by while police were used to suppress political dissent," St.
Paul resident John Schatz said.

Whether there are political repercussions for Coleman remains to be seen.

He has sent a letter to supporters explaining and defending the city's
actions during the convention, and so far no serious contenders have
emerged to challenge him during his expected re-election run in 2009.

Schatz said the convention could change that.

"He just opened the door for somebody to make a serious run," he said.


--------17 of 29--------

Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 11:38:16 -0500
From: cathleen royce <catyroyce [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] after assessment [Thune]

Here's an interesting story on the number of folks that showed up to a
training for RNC arrestees.  But it brings up a critical question that
should be added to this collective "after assessment:" what is the cost of
the city's pursuing even initial review of the 487 cases???  and who the
hell is footing the bill for that??????

John Choi is brilliant and fair, i speak from personal experience, i only
hope he can scan all but say five of them and do some kind of mass dropping
of charges.

http://www.twincities.com/ci_10464876


--------18 of 29--------

Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 12:17:07 -0700 (PDT)
From: Gary Thompson <gkthomp [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] after assessment

Neal, what is your reaction to this main stream video, that just won't go
away?
http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/myfox/MyFox/pages/sidebar_video.jsp?contentId=7364281&version=1&locale=EN-US

This is what prompted my letter in today's PPress below.

http://www.twincities.com/opinion/ci_10449658
Pioneer Press Sept 15, 2008
"Convention security was overkill"

"The letter, "'Under investigation' during the RNC" (Sept. 10), about riot
security violence involving a young photographer, was not an unusual
incident. Of the 818 citizens arrested, only about a few dozen were
actually criminal "anarchists" and should be prosecuted.  The rest were
nonviolent resisters....

....How much money was lost in confiscated photo, video and other
equipment of innocent recorders and reporters, compared with the
relatively small amount of actual damage by vandal protesters?

I believe the security forces were led by someone or an organization other
than our normally good local police."

The main stream media, FOX 9 newswitnessed the excessive violence and the
PPress acknowledged this also, as I sent this video to them. I also sent
the video to our mayor asking him to explain and that may possibly be a
reason contributing to why he acknowledged to Charley Underwood, that in
the investigation would include "concerns about police violence and
over-reaction during the Republican National Convention." I believe either
I read or heard this comment from some other source also.


--------19 of 29--------

Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 17:55:57 -0500
From: Bob Spaulding <bob_spaulding [at] mac.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] after assessment [Thune]

The only non-residential property I am aware of Mr. Costello owning is the
bar which bears his name, just a few short paces from the corner of Selby
and Western.  This area is represented by one Melvin Carter III.

What may cause some additional confusion about this issue of who
represents whom is that geography is not the basis for Mr. Costello's
particular interest in Mr. Thune.  It would seem Mr. Costello may take a
particular interest in Mr. Thune because of Mr. Thune's previous
regulatory interest in the quality of air in St. Paul bars and
restaurants.

Perhaps furthering the confusion, Mr. Thune's surname had been for years
displayed prominently on the front door of Mr. Costello's establishment,
albiet with a large red circle and slash through the center of it.  As a
frequent pedestrian of Selby Avenue and patron of a nearby coffeehouse, it
was nearly impossible not to perceive a certain disaffection was being
communicated to the public.


--------20 of 29--------

From: Mikael Rudolph <MikaelMN [at] earthlink.net>
Sent: Sun, 14 Sep 2008 8:47 pm
Subject: 2008 RNC Documentary film needs your help!

NEEDED: OUTRAGED CITIZENS WANTING TO DO SOMETHING IN RESPONSE TO THE
OUTRAGEOUS, EXTRALEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL POLICE CRACKDOWN IN THE TWIN
CITIES DURING THE RECENT RNC.

Were you disgusted, frustrated, enraged and/or disheartened by the abusive
police crackdown in the Twin Cities during the 2008 Republican National
Convention? Are you 'not okay' with preemptive arrests and detention of
journalists and law-abiding citizens peacefully expressing their dissent?
Do you believe that our First Amendment Right to Freedom of Expression and
our Fourth Amendment Right to Peacefully Assemble are worth protecting and
restoring?

Here is something you can do about it:

A group of filmmakers, videographers and citizen journalists are very
quickly putting together a documentary film about the manner in which
preemptive psychological intimidation and unlawful force were used before,
during and still now after the 2008 Republican National Convention to
suppress Constitutionally protected dissenting voices in and around the
RNC and to intimidate protesters. We intend to get this film finished and
distributed widely in time for November's election.

Here are ways in which you can get involved to make this happen:

1). Help us find an appropriate, affordable office or home space that can
be used to do the bulk work on this project Help us find a centrally
located space to set up shop and do the major editing, story-boarding and
other work on the film.

2). Go over some of the hours of rough film footage and identify the
usable segments Volunteer as a rough film editor to go over raw footage
and timecode the important events to supply the film's producer/directors.

3). Write the narrative for this film Volunteer as a writer to help
describe the images captured on video to put them in context for the
viewer.

4). Use your strong, professional sounding 'voice over talent' voice
Volunteer to do some of the narration for the film. Multiple voices are
likely to be used.

5). Contribute your money or fundraising skills Donate money and/or help
raise money to fund the effort.

6). Design graphics for the film We need graphic designers to work on
transitional scenes and titles.  This actually takes forever so they will
need to start next week to finish in time.

7). Create music for the film A musical score is a critical element to
making this all come together. This can be original music and/or existing
music with permission from the artists.

8). Write poetry to send out a powerful message in the film We are looking
for someone or some people to write an amazing poem or poems about the
loss of freedom.  Interested poets should see *Watch This!* for some
inspiration.  *Watch This!* is not a model for this film, but the poetry
in this film added a lot to it 4 years ago.  (link to watch this!:
http://www.glassbeadcollective.org/WatchThis/index.html*<http://www.glassbeadcollective.org/WatchThis/index.html>
)

9). Help us create a list of contacts for future distribution of the
finished film either on the web or by mail The wider the audience, the
broader the film's effect.

10). Give your free time to whichever tasks need to be done There are
always things that need to get done and it is wonderful to have extra
helping hands, feet and vehicles to run errands.

11). Share your stories If you or anyone you know was arrested, detained,
harassed or otherwise had their rights violated during the the week-long
Police State in Saint Paul during the RNC, please share that with us and
your story may be a part of this film. Get video footage, still
photographs and/or your story in writing or on video to us ASAP for
consideration to be used in the film.

 For Glassbead Collective and IndyMedia Twin Cities,
 ~ Mikael Rudolph
 www.ImpeachForPeace.org <http://www.impeachforpeace.org/>

 "In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated and
scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs
nothing to be a patriot." - Mark Twain


--------21 of 29--------

Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 21:08:13 EDT
Subject: Joden Morey's Story of the RNC

For a version of this story with  pictures and video, go  here:
http://impeachforpeace.org/impeach_bush_blog/?p=5687

The following describes my experience as a protester being mistreated by
the St.  Paul police during the RNC. My name is Jodin Morey, and I'm a
Cofounder of Impeach for Peace. The police abuse I'll describe includes
the use of concussion grenades, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and batons.

I joined the Poor Peopleıs Economic Human Rights Campaign in a march from
Mears Park On September 2, 2008 at 4 p.m. Having heard that some peaceful
protesters had been arrested the day before, I was concerned about joining
this march. I had been the one to reserve a one-hour slot on the protest
stage at 1 p.m. on the following day. National speakers had come from
around the country (Ray McGovern, John Nichols and Debra Sweet from the
World Can't Wait). The St. Paul Park and Rec. had made it clear the stage
would only be available if I were physically present with my driverıs
license at the time reserved. I therefore had decided to join the march
with the idea of being extremely cautious to avoid any interactions with
the police that could result in my arrest.

I was dressed as a Guantanamo Bay detainee to protest the denial of habeas
corpus as a human right. There were speeches that went on for a very long
time. The organizers spoke about human rights and the need for housing,
education, and health care. There was a scuffle between the police and
some of the protesters during these speeches, but I was not in a location
to see what occurred.

Before we began the march, the main organizer had each of us raise our
right hands and repeat after her that we would behave peacefully and
non-violently. She also stressed that this was important because there
were children in the march, and some of them were hers. I saw the
organizers intercept some people wearing black bandanas over their faces
and black clothing and told them they were welcome to join the march but
only if they promised to be peaceful and non-violent. They told the
leaders of the march that they were going to be peaceful.

The march then began, and it was extremely long. It felt as if it were
about a five-mile march. All along the march we were shouting slogans
like, ³Stop the war on the poor,² ³If they say cut back, we say fight
back,² and others. We went by the St. Paul Capitol where we stopped and
invited people who were rallying there to join us. (I found out later that
these people were gathered to listen to the band Rage against the
Machine). We then continued to the Xcel Energy Center. The march came to a
halt in free speech zone just outside the Xcel Energy Center. For those of
you unaware, the free speech zone consists of a tall fence separating the
public from the Xcel Energy Center in front of which is a buffer zone
populated by riot police in front of which is another high fence.

Next, the lead organizer got on the shoulders of another marcher and
through a bullhorn announced to the protesters that she was going to
deliver a citizenıs arrest to the doors of the Xcel Energy Center for
crimes against humanity. She made us raise our right hands again and
promise that we would stay right where we were and to be peaceful.
Everyone I could see raised their hands and repeated the promise back to
her. Then she went to the free speech gate that separated us from the
front doors of the Xcel Energy Center. She spoke through her bullhorn to
the nearest police officer, who was dressed in riot gear.

She told that officer that she wanted to deliver a message to the people
at the RNC. She told the officer she was not violent. She expressed that
she did not want him to shoot or taze her. She expressed that she wanted
to deliver her message to the delegates and was looking for his help in
doing that. She suggested to the officer that he could deliver the
citizenıs arrest, or that he could escort her to the RNC, or that he could
bring someone from the RNC to receive the arrest warrant from her. But, of
course, the police officer on the other side of the gate refused to
respond at all, and she settled on just placing her message through the
gate and asking the officer to have someone come and get it. She informed
the officer that it was only a piece of paper and an American Flag so that
the officer wouldnıt confuse her actions as anything but peaceful. Prior
to sliding the citizenıs arrest through the gate, she asked the police
officer if it was ok that she slide the message through the fence, but he
did not respond. She delivered the citizenıs arrest and then she left the
gate and the march was apparently over at that point.

People started to disperse. As the march had been long, many people were
tired. At least 100 people remained in the free speech zone to rest and
hang out. Nearly everyone sat down and quietly chatted amongst themselves.
I sat down with them, took out my cell phone, and made a couple of calls.
I removed my Guantanamo Bay hood at this point and left it off for the
rest of the evening. I was sitting with my back against the free speech
zone fence along west 5th Street. Then the person next to me borrowed my
cell phone and made a call. We were not protesting or being rowdy, nor
were we waving any signs or banging on the fence.

About 15 minutes after we sat down, we saw police gathering outside one
end of the free speech zone (near the corner of west 6th Street and Main).
The riot police opened the gates, came in, and started marching towards us
in a line. Some protesters who had been closer to the police officers when
they entered the free speech zone called back to the rest of us. They
informed us of the officersı message that we were engaged in an unlawful
assembly. However, I only learned this through word of mouth. The officers
did not announce it over a bullhorn. I found their accusation odd because
we were in a free speech zone that the city had specifically set up so
that we could gather to protest the RNC.

I took a picture of the police line-up. As the police came toward us I
asked the officers closest to me why they were pushing us out of the free
speech zone. While I was asking them this, they were shoving their batons
forward in unison and shouting, ³Move, move, move!² I was backing up as
they were asking us to do. I told them I was moving but was curious how
this could be an unlawful assembly since this cage was set up specifically
for protesting the RNC. I also made the point that we had been behaving
peacefully. They refused to answer me except to say, ³Itıs an unlawful
assembly.² I kept questioning them, ³By what criteria did you determine
this to be an unlawful assembly?² They would not answer me. I kept moving.

I took a picture of an interaction between the riot police and some people
(I believe they were with Code Pink.) They had a bicycle that was chained
to a tree, and they were attempting to free it. The police were attempting
to stop them by shoving at them with their batons. The bicyclists did
eventually free their bikes and rode away. A protester next to me suddenly
was pepper sprayed. I did not see them do anything aggressive. They were
close to a police officer, but I wasnıt watching at the moment just prior
to the spraying. I took a picture of him being helped by the other
protesters to decontaminate his eyes.

We then heard loud explosions occurring behind us, which drew our
attention. Many of us continued backing up down 7th Street towards St.
Peter as directed by the police, which was where the explosions were
taking place. As we approached St. Peter (near Mickeyıs Diner), we were
met by more riot police who had their guns trained on us. That caused me
to stop in my tracks and raise my hands above my head.  Those around me
then saw what appeared to be the concussion grenades detonating at the
northwest corner of 7th Street and St. Peter. Upon exploding, the grenades
were ear piercing, released a lot of smoke, and produced light flashes. I
was not sure why they were setting off the grenades. We were trapped at
this point, between two rows of riot police.  Protesters in the crowd were
expressing concerns over which way we were supposed to go. After a short
while, the police officers moved allowing a small space to open at the
northwest corner of the intersection (near where the grenades had been
detonated). One police officer approached us and pointed towards the
opening and indicated that we could either leave in that direction or be
arrested. I (and many others) very quickly obliged and walked through the
opening, not wishing to get arrested.

Given how the police officer directed me, I was under the impression that
I was in an appropriate place. I started to slowly wander away in the
general direction that the police officer had originally directed me. At
this point, the Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, Michael Cavlan
passed by me, also heading north.  He asked if I was ok, and we exchanged
disbelief at how the police were behaving. I also got out my cell phone to
let my friends, who might be worried about me, know that I was ok. I
feared that if theyıd heard about this incident in the news, theyıd be
worried.

I called one of my friends and was talking to them when all of the sudden
I heard bullets firing from behind me where the police were lined up. I
also heard ricocheting around me, letting me know that they were firing
towards me. At this point instinct kicked in, and I started running out of
fear. I informed my friend who still on the phone with me that I had to go
because I was being shot at. I left the cell phone connected to my friend
as I ran so that they could be a witness if necessary. A few seconds after
I started running I felt an impact on the left side of my back. It felt
like someone had punched me. I did not stop to check how I was because I
was still trying to get away. Then I saw in front of me another line of
riot police who ordered me to get on the ground.

I dove to the ground on the west sidewalk of St. Peter somewhere between
West 7th and Exchange Street. Several police barked an order not to move,
while pointing their weapons at me. I let go of my cell phone and
Guantanamo hood so that they would not mistake them for weapons and placed
my hands beside me on the sidewalk. I said, ³I am not moving, I am not
moving.² I lay there for a little while and then I heard someone walk up
beside me. I then heard what sounded like a camera shutter going off a few
times before that person wandered off again. I believe that it must have
been a police officer taking my picture, as the reporters were not being
treated any differently from the protesters. If there had been a reporter
around me when the bullets were fired, I believe they would not have been
able to freely move in the area with out the police addressing them.

A few moments later, an officer in riot gear approached me and told me I
could get up. As I got to my feet, the officer asked me if I was ok. I
replied, ³I donıt know.² I obviously had not checked my back yet, as I was
not able to move while on the ground. I also was not sure if shock had
caused me to underestimate the possible damage to my back. But the officer
must not have been terribly concerned about my well-being because he told
me to continue north on St. Peter without checking out my back. I believe
they must of known they shot me. The reason I say this is because they
ordered me to the ground, took a picture of me, and asked me how I was.
After asking me how I was, however, he showed in his response a clear lack
of concern for my well-being. The only other motive I can ascribe to his
having asked me how I was is a possible desire to relieve themselves of
liability for having injured me with the hope that I would say I was okay
When I did not say I was okay, he did not choose to continue the
conversation, perhaps because he did not want to open up the conversation
to my having been hurt.

I asked if I could pick up my cell phone, not realizing he had already
picked it up. He held it out and said he didnıt know if it is was mine. I
also asked if I could ³get my hat² (Guantanamo hood) but he said he also
did not know if that was mine so I did not pursue it further.  The police
were extremely intimidating with their guns pointed at me and barking out
orders. I felt that if I engaged in any type of conversation with them, I
was risking being maced or having them hit me with their batons. So,
instead of getting badge numbers or inquiring into how Iıd later obtain my
stuff, I abandoned my things and walked north with my hands above my head.
Reporters were videotaping my walk and had possibly been recording my
interactions with the police.

I arrived at an intersection where the protesters and reporters were
gathered at the location (around 10th Street)  that seemed consistent with
where the police wanted us to be. Once there I checked my back by just
touching it and seeing if it hurt. From what I could tell, I didnıt seem
seriously hurt. I asked a reporter to borrow her cell phone so I could let
my friend know that I was safe. I assumed that they were pretty worried
about me after my previous phone call.

After I got of the phone, within a minute or two, once again I heard a
ruckus and everyone started to run away from the spot closest to the
police towards the north again. The police apparently again were trying to
move us by the use of tear gas or pepper spray without first giving us an
audible warning. I did not stick around in an attempt to find out exactly
what was happening. Instead I tried to get out of the area once again by
heading north. When I reached 11th Street, I turned the corner to the east
and removed my Guantanamo Bay jumpsuit. I did this in case the police had
any residual negative feelings about me and might associate it with the
suit. Then, as I continued eastward, I saw another line of officers and
therefore asked someone near me if it was safe to head in that direction.
The person indicated that the police were rounding people up and that it
as not safe to go that way. I backtracked to St. Peter and attempted to
cross the bridge over 94 to the north. Once I was clearly away from all
the activity, I checked my back more thoroughly and saw that I had a red
spot where the bullet had hit. It was obvious at this point that the
bullet had been some non-lethal version (rubber bullet). Luckily, I was
then able to get to my car and drive home.

Iım still unsure how citizens were supposed to express their free speech
during the RNC if not in the free speech zone set up by the city. Iım also
not sure how someone in the U.S. is supposed to avoid police brutality if
the police arenıt expected to give individuals who they are about to
abuse, fair warning of how to avoid that abuse by following whatever
directives they feel are necessary. I am in talks with the ACLU, however.
They have preliminarily agreed to work with me on a lawsuit.


--------22 of 29--------

Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2008 02:21:03 +1200 (NZST)
From: Ren Martin <renmrtn [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] after assessment

Neal wrote:
"To support your argument, Mr. Martin, produce a copy of the warrant,
the complaint, or other legal process. You should also cite any law,
ordinance, or rule that may require the closure of a building under the
State Fire Code or other building or safety code."

Neal,
I have tried to upload the warrant and evidence receipts a couple days
back but they did not post. You can read them at:
http://media.myfoxtwincities.com/pdfs/Scann001.PDF

The Sheriff claimed he was seizing the bldg due to a fire code violation,
not because of probable cause discovered during his search (unlike the
example you give of an automobile seizure). A desperation move since the
items they hoped to find at the building were not there, unless you count
laptops and personal electronics, in which case we all better move to a
Motel 6 and give up our homes.

You claim that his authority stems from the fact that, due to Code, the
tenants were guilty of a misdemeanor, however the Code also states (below)
that no person can be convicted, i.e. guilty in this country, for
violating the code without written notice and time to comply. No written
notice was ever issued before or after the event, and time to comply was
not allowed - which is about 3 seconds to unlock the exit door. You cannot
have it both ways - if the Fire Code gave him authority then he must
perform according to the requirements of the Code.

State Fire Code:
"A person who violates a provision of the State Fire Code shall be guilty
of a misdemeanor. No person shall be convicted for violating the State
Fire Code unless the person shall have been given notice of the violation
in writing and reasonable time to comply. The notice must contain a
statement explaining the right to appeal the orders".


--------23 of 29--------

Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 10:08:15 -0500
Reply-To: erin stalnaker <erinzona.s [at] gmail.com>
Subject:  SIGN ON:To Rep.McCollum:re;RNC POlice Msconduct

CONTACT: please call Kris Hermes at 510-681-6361 or email him:
krishermes [at] earthlink.com

Dear friends & colleagues,

Please take a moment to read the attached letter and brainstorm whether
you belong to, work for or are otherwise in a position to present this
letter to an organization in order to request that it become a signatory
in calling for investigations of the multiple issues facing the Twin
Cities as a result of the recent Republican National Convention.

It is critical that this oversight be brought to bear in light of recent
events and time is of the essence so please act as immediately as you are
able.

Please exercise your networks and call on the institutions and
organizations that can encourage Congresswoman McCollum's desire to call
for investigations.

If you are able to get a commitment from a group/organization/institution,
please call Kris Hermes at 510-681-6361 or email him:
krishermes [at] earthlink.com with that information and contact information of
the person who will be the actual signatory.

Thanks, Erin Stalnaker

September 9, 2008
Congresswoman Betty McCollum
400 Selby Avenue, Suite I
St. Paul, MN 55102
Dear Representative McCollum,

We are writing to express our concern over the events that transpired
before and during the recent Republican National Convention (RNC) in St.
Paul and Minneapolis. We are very troubled by the pattern of
disproportionate, pre-emptive, and even violent law enforcement response
to peaceful protests before and during this event, and urge you to call
for an independent investigation. In addition to concerns about abuse and
First Amendment violations, we are concerned about how the RNC's insurance
policy and the federal government's grant to the St. Paul police
department might have eroded police restraint and contributed to their use
of preemptive and aggressive tactics.

Some Convention-related episodes involved systematic harassment. On the
Friday night preceding the RNC, a public meeting space meant to coordinate
transportation, housing and food for protesters coming to the Twin Cities
was subject to a preemptive raid by the police.  During this raid, dozens
of people were detained, only to be released later with no charges.
Perhaps even more disturbing, on Saturday, August 30, law enforcement
officers with assault rifles raided several homes; detained and arrested
people; and seized computers, household items, and boxes of pamphlets,
flyers, signs and banners. Additionally, officers effectively chilled
freedom of the press throughout this period by targeting journalists not
affiliated with major networks.

These actions were undertaken singly, and in coordinated efforts, by the
Ramsey County Sheriff, the Hennepin County Sheriff, the St. Paul Police
Department, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the FBI. Preemptive
harassment should concern both citizens and politicians because it not
only discourages and disrupts peaceful processes protected by law, but it
undermines community trust in law enforcement.

Although the Ramsey County Sheriff's office held a press conference the
next day to highlight confiscated weapons material, much of this material
was such household items as twine, tape, nails, paint, road maps, and
fishing line - none of which provided any credible basis for the
subsequent police violence. In the following days of the convention,
police used tear gas, pepper spray, concussion grenades, rubber bullets,
and even tasers on non-violent demonstrators, media personnel, legal
observers, medics, and bystanders. These examples were accompanied by
police harassment and arrests at several public places where activists
were known to gather, including neighborhood bars, fundraisers and
concerts.  Attorneys visiting the jailed protesters reported that officers
had intentionally crashed their bicycles into demonstrators and injured
them. These generally unprovoked and aggressive tactics were widespread
and indiscriminate, harming hundreds of people in the Twin Cities.

We worry that the federal grant of $50 million contributed more to
aggressive tactics than to policing operations that conform to
international standards. We are concerned that the RNC's $10 million
insurance policy for damages and legal costs resulting from police
brutality and misconduct claims may have played a significant role in
prompting the use of weapons on non-violent protesters in violation of
legal protections.  Despite police claims of protester violence, it
appears that criminal activity was limited to minor amounts of petty
vandalism disconnected from the violent police response to demonstrations.

What makes the need for a comprehensive investigation particularly urgent,
however, are reports from both Ramsey and Hennepin Counties that after
being jailed, people were subjected to abuse. Some peaceful protesters,
such as Elliot Hughes, were reportedly beaten and required
hospitalization. Hughes became the visible face of this brutality, but
there were instances of other types of abuse. Numerous detainees claim
that critical medical attention and prescription drugs were delayed or
denied, as were food and access to attorneys. These claims alone demand
investigation. Amnesty International has called publicly for a prompt
inquiry into reported police misconduct, and we concur.

A comprehensive review of the origins and use of federal funds is
necessary for local accountability and effective congressional oversight.
A review of police tactics and actions is necessary to make sure future
policing actions are disciplined, measured, and reflect the high standards
of our community. A review of detention practices is necessary to ensure
safe and humane practices. Findings and recommendations should be
thorough, impartial, prompt and public. Consequently, we the undersigned
would appreciate your full support for public independent investigations.

Sincerely,


--------24 of 29--------

Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 10:17:02 -0700 (PDT)
From: M Charles Swope <mcswope [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Reflections on the RNC

Mayor Coleman writes: "...the police presence was, as we had planned, in
the background blending into the hospitality that people from all over the
country came to appreciate."

This has to be one of the more blatantly dishonest statements I've seen.
It certainly gives no reason to expect that any review of police
procedures and conduct will be conducted with a view other than to
whitewash what happened and simply reach a preordained conclusion that
everything went well.


--------25 of 29--------

Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2008 06:36:02 +1200 (NZST)
From: Diane Gerth <gerthkueny [at] aol.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Reflections on the RNC

"Instead of greeting visitors with police dressed in full riot gear, we
employed officers dressed in ordinary police uniforms, riding bicycles and
on horseback and directed them to remain in small groups so their presence
would be less prominent."

Mayor Coleman's visitors may have been greeted that way.  My visitors -
citizen journalists, online journalists and bloggers - were greeted on day
one with intersection after intersection of police dressed in full riot
gear armed with canisters of pepper spray, tear gas, and concussion
grenades, executing military-style moves while shocked visitors looked on.
In the days that followed, they saw the natural outcome from such an
obvious display of in-your-face force.

I am embarrassed that this is the image they have of Saint Paul.


--------26 of 29--------

Like Goldilocks, survey says police handled RNC .just about right.
By Chris Steller, Minnesota Independent
September 16, 2008
Hey, someone.s been eating my constitutional rights!

After St. Paul announced last week that a man named Heffelfinger would
review law enforcement during the Republican National Convention, a local
TV station trumpeted what would seem to be Goldilocks. view on the matter.

This weekend's SurveyUSA/KSTP-TV poll reported that - in Three-Bears
fashion - 60 percent of Minnesotans surveyed chose "Just About Right" as
the best answer to this question: "How do you think law enforcement
handled the arrests of hundreds of protesters during the Republican
National Convention?"

"Just About Right?" Does that mean 60 percent of Minnesotans think that 45
is just about the right number of journalists to be arrested and detained?
So 53 would have been too aggressive, 36 not quite aggressive enough? And
27 medics in cuffs is perfect - why, because it's 3 X 3 X 3?

The other stances offered were "Too Aggressively" and "Not Aggressively
Enough" - adherents of which might find they have more common ground with
each other than with the blithe Just About Righties.

Never mind that SurveyUSA took the poll just as 9/11 memorials honoring
fallen first responders filled the airwaves. Or that KSTP had already told
viewers, in an unusual on-air editorial, that police had done a good job
protecting the convention of the party the station's owner gives
prodigiously to. Or that, remarkably, the corollary question - Were
Americans' free speech rights protected too aggressively, not aggressively
enough, or just about right? - is rarely posed by pollsters.

The question is: Who could look at what happened on the streets of St.
Paul and Minneapolis - from the first house preemptively raided to the
last faceful of pepperspray - and say law enforcement got it "just about
right?" Did Survey USA only poll the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis?

"Just About Right" appears with some regularity in public opinion
research. SurveyUSA has used it for polls in other states, including in a
recent Washington State poll that asked about the level of media scrutiny
applied to Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. And it was
used as recently as 2005 in an annual Sunshine Week survey regarding the
amount of public access to government data and meetings.

It's an attractive answer for people taking surveys: in a Washington
Post/ABC poll from March, "Just About Right" walloped all comers on the
question of whether McCain and Obama were too liberal, too conservative,
or just about right. Gallup uses "Just About Right. when asking the same
question (and found in July that slightly more people thought McCain too
conservative than just about right).

In fact, "Just About Right" was one of the provided responses in the first
nationwide public opinion poll, conducted by the Gallup organization in
September, 1935: "Do you think expenditures by the government for relief
and recovery are too little, too great, or just about right?"

"Just about Right" is a standard middle-response category in the field of
consumer research where it goes by the acronym JAR, as in "JAR-scale
surveys". Even there, researchers - call them JARheads - rely on
JAR-scales much more as a way to measure sensory responses, such as the
taste of a new food than as a method to suss out judgements about concepts
such as food product names or marketing campaigns.

And maybe that's the problem with the SurveyUSA question on RNC policing:
it measures whether the level of police aggressiveness was to your taste,
not whether it was wrong in concept or practice. Or maybe future polls of
this sort need a fourth option: Just About Wrong.

Article Tags: police, police misconduct, protest, Republican National
Convention, RNC 2008


--------27 of 29--------

Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2008 10:45:07 +1200 (NZST)
From: Tom Hilber <banjotomh [at] aol.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Reflections on the RNC

St. Paul Oligarchy is out of touch and with two mayors gone Tory and one
to go!

Those who have power, of privilege (oligarchy) wealth and entrenched
interests in public, private corporate sector fear democracy, as they will
always do.  It is fashionable, today as in the past to marginalize and
mock protestors as ignorant, dull-witted, unpatriotic provincial -- and so
on. The concentration of media ownership, the corporate sponsorship of the
RNC in downtown St. Paul, vast media holdings like CNBC, accused by the
way of being lefty Press by hecklers in Rice Park Thursday night in Rice
Park, no longer assure the dynamic of a level playing field in regard free
speech for most of us.

The range of Ideas, presented by protestors, in signage, street theater,
number of people willing to do civil disobedience in early September in
St. Paul Mn attests to the many sided discontentment present in our
current society. I Remember Democracy's singular triumph in the last
century was its civic triumph in rejecting American policy in Vietnam with
its military and police riots abroad and at home, and burning cities gone
crazy with rage at the system (See Mpls Rage Against The Machine Concert
2008) which brought us to now; controlled, embedded reporters (controlled
news), hiding of the caskets of our fighters, marginalizing protesters,
muffled voices and talking heads (who are those people?).  It was a
massive defeat for the sponsors of Cold War mythology -- the "domino"
theory, the insidious, everlasting threat of "a world of communism," the
treachery of "Liberals" and the mass criminality of trade union leaders.

The lessons from the Vietnam debacle, not lost in current police circles,
that befell private/public power and propaganda machines, of the past,
were not lost upon the brooding, sullen and defeated pro-war factions. The
trouble with democracy, it has been argued over the centuries, is that it
cannot be trusted to accept the reasoned, dispassionate judgments formed
by superior minds with larger interests. Betters would always know best.
John Locke observed, "The greater part cannot know and therefore must
believe.'

Case in point is the free speech zone, which was a joke, and actually not
accessible and was closed down even more to limit access to an audience in
side, it was reservoir tipped condom solution to "containment" of free
speech movement prevalent in the 60's well outside the security perimeter
of the River center crowd.

The CNBC zone, in Rice Park, was like a day at the circus with t-shirts
hats, placards promoting but with out the any real biffy (bitch) access
for us citizens. As an artist/citizen observer I was down town two days,
Wednesday afternoon & evening Thursday evening. I was impressed with the
power of being in a area with martial law (first time by the way)  in
place how anyone with a voice at all was immediately targeted by security
even me when I climbed up in a fig tree (park bench) to see the "master"
coming.

My point if there is one: I feel most free witting this rant (knowing
full well and hoping all the security people reading this will at least
take pause) but in that downtown cage like atmosphere I was intimidated,
in the free speech zone I was marginalized, and that's my story.

I do not like bullies, weapons (other then muskets), liars, intimidation,
covert actions, interment facilities (See Ramsey County Jail preparations
for RNC in St. Paul MN) people that think there better then me when I
disagree, and people that think might makes right. (*) Hitler made small
town farmers (sic) that lost their farms to Jewish bankers into his
greatest unquestioning supporters and history is repeating itself with
McCain Palin ticket to date. Bring on the debates of the century.

General educational abstractions and References to Democracy Falters as
corporate power grows abstracted by Dalton Camp 4/1/01 Toronto Star:
(*Reference recent news of Sara Palin quoting Westbrook Pegler)


--------28 of 29--------

Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 23:19:47 -0500
From: Andy Driscoll <andy [at] driscollgroup.com>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Reflections on the RNC

Mayor Coleman's letter is more of an embarrassment than a recognition of
the truly terrible lockdown this city underwent for five to six days.

Police, not demonstrators, save for 20-30 (not 300) nasties, laid siege to
St. Paul and for all the capitulation to journalists, the traditional
lines that were easily viewed by police - like RNC credentials hanging
from our necks and not one move toward participating in confrontations
anywhere - made absolutely no difference to those officers who insulted
and shoved and arrested mainstream media members right and left.

I consider free-lance journalists and representatives of local radio,
television, print and online outlets to be mainstream even if Don Shelby
and his cohorts are cooped up inside the Xcel. The fact that major news
outlets in these cities sought to "embed" journalists inside the police
lines (so as not to be arrested? What did they know that we did not?)
should scare the hell out of every one of us. Embedded journalists, as one
wag noted, means journalists are in bed with the police. Completely
contrary to the very notion of of a free and open press looking in on
official America to see that it's operating lawfully and above board.

Mayor Coleman is living in a fantasy world created by the cops and
insulated from the nitty-gritty street stuff that shut down the city and
resulted in mean, nasty takedowns of innocent citizens, some of them
journalists, others trying to get home, others marching peacefully, if
occasionally loudly, against the policies of this nation - and now this
city. For their trouble, they were tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, maced,
shoved to the sidewalk, their faces smashed into the concrete for the
simple act of asserting their rights to move freely into and out streets
and buildings, or to refuse to be searched - an adjudicated 4th Amendment
right.

It will be a long time, if ever, that thousands of this city's voters will
forgive this lapse in the Constitutional guarantees as inflicted by police
and defended by hizzoner, especially his unwillingness to admit that the
chaos that came down in this town was not caused by a few of the wilder
elements of protesters assembling, but by the law enforcement community
who couldn't have been harmed in any way, given their armored assaults.

And we're only beginning to learn about the treatment of jailed arrestees,
the assaults and denial of medicine for diabetics, and the refusal of
toilet facilities for others.

This was martial law, plain and simple, and those who defend this behavior
can only pray to their higher power that it never happens to them.

Welcome to Banana St. Paul.
--
 "Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice;
nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and
publicity." - Lord Acton


--------29 of 29--------

Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 23:53:43 -0500
From: Tom Goldstein/EFQ <tom_goldstein [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] after assessment

You know, a law enforcement officer exaggerating the truth in order to get
a search warrant is not exactly something that hasn't been done many, many
times throughout history, as any reading of a basic text on civil
liberties, criminal law, etc., will reveal, especially when law
enforcement is using agents provocateurs as many have alleged took place
with the infiltration of the so-called anarchist groups. So, given the
high stakes that having a national convention in St. Paul would have posed
for a judge presented with a warrant alleging a security risk, and given
Fletcher's status as a sheriff leading these raids, it's rare that a judge
would not accept the credibility of a sheriff absent a clear showing that
he had abused his authority or proof that the informants who provided the
information that became the substance of the warrant may also have been
exaggerating the truth. Unfortunately, we'll never get that proof unless
the county, state, or feds launch a criminal investigation into such
matters, something that will unlikely happen since nobody died and given
the general lack of concern in government circles these days about the
abuse of civil liberties in this country.

The mere fact that a judge issued a warrant may give the appearance that
due process was met, but it doesn't mean that Fletcher didn't encourage
informants to stretch the truth, exaggerate what happened in the meetings
where said violence was supposedly planned, etc. Far worse police abuses
have happened up and down the spectrum of law enforcement over the years
in the U.S., and given Fletcher's brazen involvement five years ago in the
Ward 5 city council race, the idea that he'd exceed his authority this
time around is not exactly an idea out of left field. The proof will be
whether any sustainable charges related to the warrant ever come out of
the raids. Based on the "evidence" produced by the RC Sheriff, the case
seems pretty flimsy to me. And the harassment of journalists prior to the
convention was an unquestionable abuse of power. Combine this with the
recent conviction of Fletcher's close friend and former public information
officer, who apparently was allowed to go on police raids and carry a
firearm even though he was not a licensed peace officer, and it's obvious
that a number of things are amiss within the RC Sheriff's office under
Fletcher's leadership. Whether anybody in authority has the guts to
conduct an investigation of that office is what remains to be seen.


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