Progressive Calendar 09.22.08
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 2008 04:48:03 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   09.22.08

1. Global/women     9.22 10:45am
2. Peace walk       9.22 6pm RiverFalls WI
3. E-tools          9.22 7pm
4. Save Ford Plant  9.22 7pm
5. RNC media/cops   9.22 7pm

6. Kip Sullivan     9.23 6:30pm
7. Cuba benefit     9.23 7pm
8. Genocide/film    9.23 7pm
9. RNC/police/forum 9.23 7:30pm

10. Michelle Gross   - On filing complaints
11. Sue Kolstad      - Minneapolis Police complaints
12. Michelle Gross   - Minneapolis Police complaints
13. Lydia Howell     - Minneapolis Police complaints
14. Michael Friedman - Why CRA is not the place to complain about the RNC
15. Lydia Howell     - Why CRA is not the place to complain about the RNC
16. Cavlan/MacCionnaith -Ireland Irish coalition vs St Paul police actions
17. Michelle Gross   - CUAPB email news

18. ed               - Your government says  (haiku)


--------1 of 18--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org>
Subject: Global/women 9.22 10:45am

Monday, September 22: Minneapolis Branch American Association of
University Women. 9:30 - 10:30: Interest Groups. 10:45 - 11:45 AM: The
Impact of Globalization on Women of the World with Nasrin Jewell. Noon -
1:15 PM: Luncheon. 1:15 - 2:15 PM: Applause for the Arts. 2115 Stevens
Ave., Minneapolis.


--------2 of 18--------

From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at] comcast.net>
Subject: Peace walk 9.22 6pm RiverFalls WI

River Falls Peace and Justice Walkers. We meet every Monday from 6-7 pm on
the UWRF campus at Cascade Ave. and 2nd Street, immediately across from
"Journey" House. We walk through the downtown of River Falls. Contact:
d.n.holden [at] comcast.net. Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls,
Wisconsin 54022


--------3 of 18--------

From: Tim Erickson <tim [at] e-democracy.org>
Subject: E-tools 9.22 7pm

ALL workshops listed are FREE on Mondays at 7:00 PM. Unless otherwise
noted, all are in the Electronic Classroom at Rondo Community Outreach
Library (University & Dale, in St. Paul).

Sept 22nd - Online Tools for Group Collaboration
Particiants will learn to use a variety of free online tools for enhancing
collaboration among both small and large groups.


--------4 of 18--------

From: Christine Frank <christinefrank [at] visi.com>
Subject: Save the Ford Plant 9.22 7pm

THE NEXT 3CTC ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM:
PROPOSALS TO SAVE THE FORD PLANT

Slated to close in 2011, there is still time to determine what to do with
Ford's Twin Cities Assembly Plant and hydro-dam so that union jobs and the
two facilities can be saved and the environment will benefit.  Members of
the worker's movement will present their ideas in a panel discussion to
take place on Monday, September 22nd at 7:00 PM at Mayday Books, 301 Cedar
Avenue, West Bank, Minneapolis.

Speakers will include Alan Maki, Organizer for the Casino, Hotel &
Restaurant Employees Union Organizing Committee; David Riehle, Local
Chairman, of the United Transportation Union 650; Michael Wood an activist
in the Coalition for Public Ownership of the Ford Plant and the Gus Hall
Action Club; and Christine Frank, Volunteer Coordinator of the Climate
Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities and a member of the International
Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 13, Minneapolis Stagehands.
Maki and Frank are the coauthors of "An Appeal to Minnesotans for Public
Ownership of the Ford Plant".

The event is free and open to the public and sponsored by the Climate
Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities.  Preceding the forum, the
Clean-Energy Vigil to Cool Down the Planet will take place out on the
plaza at 5:00 PM and the 3CTC Business Meeting is at 6:00 PM.  All are
welcome.  For more information, EMAIL:  christinefrank [at] visi.com or PHONE:
612-879-8937.


--------5 of 18--------

To: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu>, 'Joel' <joel [at] joelclemmer.org>
Subject: RNC media/cops 9.22 7pm

Your Credentials, Please: The media and Law Enforcement at the RNC - What
Went Wrong, What Went Right?

Monday, September 22, 7 p.m.
Coffman Memorial Union Theater (U of M East Bank)

What happened during the RNC that led to so many journalists being
arrested? And how can journalists do their jobs in the future without a
similar result?

Journalists who reported from the RNC as well as representatives from law
enforcement, city government and media law experts will join together in a
discussion moderated by Al Tompkins from The Poynter Institute.

For more info visit, www.mnspj.org <http://www.mnspj.org/> or email
minnesota.spj [at] gmail.com <mailto:minnesots.spj [at] gmail.com>


--------6 of 18--------

From: Kip Sullivan <kiprs [at] usinternet.com>
Subject: Kip Sullivan 9.23 6:30pm

Health Care expert Kip Sullivan will speak Tuesday, September 23rd at the
Fridley Mississippi Branch Library from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Sullivan is author of The Health Care Mess: How We Got Into It and How
We'll Get Out of It. Rep. Carolyn Laine will host the discussion about how
to best reform our health care system.

The meeting is free; the library is at 410 Mississippi Street. For further
information, contact Rep. Laine's office at 651-296-4331 or
rep.carolyn.laine [at] house.mn.


--------7 of 18--------

From: Joan Malerich <joanmdm [at] iphouse.com>
Subject: Cuba benefit 9.23 7pm

On September 23, First Avenue/7th Street Entry nightclub in Minneapolis
will be the venue for a star-studded musical and dance benefit for Cuban
hurricane relief.

Contact: Victor Valens - 612 327-6723, arte537 [at] yahoo.com
<mailto:arte537 [at] yahoo.com>

HURRICANE AT THE AVENUE; EMERGENCY RELIEF FOR CUBA
7:00 pm, Tuesday, September 23
First Avenue/7th Street Entry
7th Street and 1st Avenue North in downtown Minneapolis
Donation: $10

On September 23, First Avenue/7th Street Entry nightclub in Minneapolis
will be the venue for a star-studded musical and dance benefit for Cuban
hurricane relief.

In the past weeks, Cuba has suffered tremendous damage from Hurricanes
Gustav and Ike. Close to one million people were evacuated and more than
300,000 houses and other structures have been destroyed or damaged, and
the United Nations estimates losses of between $3 and $4 billion. The
U.S. government's offer of $100,000 in aid to Cuba is cruel and insulting;
because of the U.S. embargo, ordinary humanitarian relief is not available
to Cuba. However, some humanitarian organizations are finding ways of
filling the gap. Here in the Twin Cities, a number of well-known artists
are contributing their talents to help raise money for hurricane relief.

The line-up includes:
Wayne McFarland and Jahz
Charanga Tropical, "Salsa Meets Strings," featuring Viiviana Pintado,
Cuban-born pianist
"La Niña" Rivera, Twin Cities own Cuban diva
Maria Isa, bomba/hip hop/R&B fusion recording artist
Rene Thompson and his Cuban dance group
Social Dance Studio - Cuban dance and performance studio to get you on your feet

Cuban food will be available for sale, provided by Victor, Cuban chef
extraordinaire, who is coming out of "exile" and back into the kitchen.

For those who wish to make a larger, tax-deductible, donation for Cuban
hurricane relief, the first person to make a contribution in the
categories listed below will also receive a special gift including
original paintings by well-known artist Lydia Aguilar Sanchez or Sandra
Dooley or a catered dinner in your home by Victor.

category 1: $200 or more - small painting
category 2: $400 or more - large painting
category 3: $600 or more - dinner for 6
category 4: $800 or more - 2 large paintings
category: $1,000 or more - dinner for 10

The event is sponsored by the Minnesota Cuba Committee,
http://groups.msn.com/minnesotacubacommittee


--------8 of 18--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Genocide/film 9.23 7pm

Tuesday, 9/23, 7 to 9 pm, free film and forum on genocide "If Nothing Else
They'll Hear My Beating Heart,"  In-Flux space adjacent to the Nash
Gallery, Regis Center for Art, 405 - 21st Ave S, West Bank, Mpls.
http://nash.umn.edu/events/ (Teacher continuing education credits
available through chgs [at] umn.edu)


--------9 of 18--------

From: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu>
Subject: RNC/police/forum 9.23 7:30pm

A panel forum sponsored by the North East Suburban Greens regarding the
police tactics during the RNC in the Twin Cities will be held on September
23, 2008, beginning at 7:30 PM at the Walker Church in Mpls.  The
presenters on the panel are people directly involved in the peace marches
and who had direct contact with the police during that time.

Members of the panel:

Dave Bicking is a member of the Civilian Police Review Board of
Minneapolis.  He is a former and future Green Party candidate for
Minneapolis City Council, representing Ward 9 in south Minneapolis.  His
daughter, Monica Bicking, is one of the RNC 8, a group of activists
charged with felony "conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism"--the
first ever charges under Minnesota's Patriot Act.  He will discuss the
significance of that case and the preemptive raids on homes and the
Convergence Center.

Michelle Gross is cofounder and president of Communities United
Against Police Brutality, which works to increase police
accountability and reduce police misconduct while advocating for
people dealing with the effects of police brutality.  A resident of
Minneapolis, she helped to plan protest activities around the RNC
and documented police misconduct during the protests.  She will show
some of her video footage and discuss policing tactics toward RNC
protesters and their impact on the ability of protesters to convey
their message.

Charley Underwood publishes the Peace Calendar on the internet.  He is a
Quaker, a progressive Democrat and a kindergarten teacher with the St Paul
Public Schools.  He was a street medic, volunteering with the North Star
Health Collective for most of the convention.  He will give observations
and describe events from one street medic's perspective.

From Charley Underwood's Peace Calendar:

Tuesday, 9/23, 7:30, NE Suburban Greens host panel on police tactics
during the RNC, with Communities United Against Police Brutality president
Michelle Gross, Civilian Police Review Board member and also father on
woman arrested Dave Bicking and Charley Underwood (yes, that guy), Walker
Church, 3104 - 16th Ave S, Mpls.  shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu (EDITOR RECOMMENDS.)

[If Charley Underwood recommends Charley Underwood, it's got to be good]


--------10 of 18--------

Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 03:21:09 -0500
From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com>
Subject: Re: Progressive Calendar  09.20.08

I read [in the previous PC] the exchange about filing complaints with the
CRA or IAU over police misconduct.  If possible, can you please send this
to the list:

Communities United Against Police Brutality would like to remind all
arrestees to check with an attorney before filing any complaints with
any government agencies.  This is especially important if you have
charges pending, as anything you say WILL be used against you by the
same government you are complaining to.

Generally, these agencies give you a year to file the complaint.  You
do not need to rush out and file the complaint and you are far better
off waiting at least until you have dispensed with your charges.  You
should also see if your incident is actionable with a lawsuit before
filing as, again, the government entity will just use any info you
give them to defend themselves against the lawsuit.

If you do wish to file a complaint with a government agency regarding
a Minneapolis police officer, you are better off complaining to the
Minneapolis Civilian Review Authority.  Even if you don't want to
file a complaint, this agency can assist you in identifying the
officer as they maintain a picture book of every MPD
cop.  Unfortunately, there is no equivalent agency in St. Paul (the
CRA there just reviews investigations conducted by Internal
Affairs).  There are also no equivalent agencies on the county level
for either Ramsey or Hennepin county sheriff misconduct.

If you would like to have your case documented and receive support
and assistance, call the Communities United Against Police Brutality
hotline at 612-874-7867 or call Coldsnap Legal Collective at 651-356-8635.

Michelle Gross
CUAPB


--------11 of 18--------

Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 10:18:39 -0500
From: Sue Horns Kolstad <sue [at] millcitymusic.com>
Subject: Minneapolis Police complaints

Have just been reading the discussion of filing a complaint against the
police in Minneapolis.  Simply as a way to collect data, I think it is a
good idea.  A piece of information:  In the early 90s I was interested in
finding out about complaints against the police.  I discovered that there
was a document called "Public Data on Officers", which I was able to get
when I called and requested it.  I forget how frequently I called.  It was
either twice a year or yearly.

The document I have from that time is 73 pages long, dated 10/07/94. The
information given is Case No., Finding, Badge #, Last Name, First Name,
Rank and precinct.  It includes complaints against "unknown".  It looks
like the document goes back from 1994 to 1991.  I don't know if that is
when they began keeping track or for some other reason.

To get the document, I called a person at the Civilian Police Review
Authority the phone number then was either 348-9390 or 348-9370 (I
apologize, the ink I wrote the number with ran.) The number may have
changed in the intervening 14 years.

I encourage everyone who has a complaint to file and anyone with an
interest to request the report to see if it is still available.

There may be a similar document for St Paul police.

Sue Kolstad


--------12 of 18--------

Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 11:08:51 -0500
From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com>
To: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu>
Cc: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>, Michael Cavlan <ollamhfaery [at] 
earthlink.net>,
     Cam Gordon <camgordon333 [at] msn.com>
Subject: Re: Minneapolis Police complaints

We use the MN Data Practices Act to obtain this data regularly on the MPD
and we are starting to do this with the St. Paul PD.  The only thing is
that the federation sought and got an opinion from the city attorney
attorney's office that the CRA board's rulings are an "interim work
product" since the chief can now demand that the board revisit its work
(something that came out of that last CRA work group - which is why that
work group urgently needed community members on it who could have spotted
the problem with that provision) so the CRA is no longer able to report
its cases to us as sustained or not sustained.  Now everything is
"completed" or "not completed" so even the complainant has no way to know
what has happened to the case.  The board took the issue to the state data
practices act people (IPAD) but got a bad ruling out of them.

While there may be some value in having officer X have a certain number of
complaints against him, Sue's advice would have been useful until about a
year or so ago but it's not that useful anymore.  Just having a lot of
complaints seems to have no impact on the officer's ability to get
promoted.  An example is William Woodis, who has 48 complaints against him
yet he continues to move up the food chain.

Michelle


--------13 of 18--------

Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 16:32:23 -0500
From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
To: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com>
Cc: David Shove <shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu>,
     Michael Cavlan <ollamhfaery [at] earthlink.net>,
     Cam Gordon <camgordon333 [at] MSN.COM>
Subject: Re: Minneapolis Police complaints (fwd)

I just want to underscore Michelle Gross' observation that (quote) [the
CRA] work group urgently needed community members on it who could have
spotted the problem with that provision.

When elected officials REFUSE to go to and lsiten to community members who
HAVE SPENT YEARS - EVEN DECADES - working on an issue like police
brutality (an issue that the elected official HAS NO DIRECT EXPERINCE WITH
since middle-class white men are rarely the targets of police abuses), we
get the kind of REVERSALS OF PROGRESS we now see with the CRA. That is,
the public doesn't even get to know HOW A CASE TURNED OUT!!! This is NOT
progress at all - in fact, it's the opposite of progress.

We should espeically be able to expect more from elected officials who not
only claim to be "progressive" but are members of the Green Party.  If we
wanted to be ignored we could stick with the same old corporate-sponsored
Democrats.

Lydia Howell


--------14 of 18--------

Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 16:32:20 -0500 (CDT)
From: Susan and Michael <mf4 [at] usfamily.net>
Cc: Michael Friedman <mfrie [at] legalrightscenter.org>
Subject: Why Civilian Review Authorities are not the place to complain
    about the RNC

By Michael Friedman
Former Chair, Minneapolis Civilian Police Review Authority (2003-2005)
Current Member of National Lawyers Guild Steering Committee, and Executive
Director of the Legal Rights Center

For Cam Gordon, Chris Coleman, or any other politician - or for any
police executive - to draw any correlation between the legitimacy of
policing at the RNC with the number of complaints filed with civilian
review authorities (or Internal Affairs), is completely misguided if not
fraudulent.  That is not to say civilian review can never serve positive
purpose; it simply is not designed for handling the issues about policing
raised at the RNC.

                        Understanding CRA

A Civilian Review Authority (CRA) complaint, filed by an individual who
witnessed or experienced the alleged misconduct, is not an adversarial
action, meaning it does not take the posture of court actions in which
there are two opposing parties.  Some complaint filers and members of the
public wrongly carry the notion that a CRA filing represents some kind of
non-criminal prosecution of an officer - State v. Officer Mace.  Or that
it's a variant on filing suit against an officer, albeit without damages
if victorious - Complaint filer v. Officer Mace.  Both are false
assumptions, wishful thinking perhaps.

Instead, a CRA complaint is the first step in a Personnel process, which
in the case of unionized workers such as police officers is subject to and
controlled by a Collective Bargaining Agreement.  A complaint is nothing
more than alerting the boss that one of the workers was out of line.  The
boss, upon verification, can do what he pleases with that information
subject to the labor contract, including the choice to do nothing.

The boss of police workers is the city which employs them, although
practical day to day supervisory authority is delegated exclusively to the
police chief.  Even though CRA is a city agency and could be made to have
as much delegated authority as police chiefs, the collective bargaining
agreement formally, and political and city attorney preference informally,
insists that CRA's role in personnel processes are advisory only - and
only the police chief will have the authority to act against, or fire,
police officers.  (It should be understood that the CRA structures in St.
Paul and Minneapolis vary, with a larger role for the police command
throughout the investigatory process established only in the former, but
the central problems reported in this article all apply to both.)

For a CRA complaint to have impact on an offending officer (or, more
importantly, to provide incentive for the next officer not to commit a
similar violation), the police chief - either independently, or as
representative of the larger boss, the city - needs to agree that an
individual officer transgressed.  But in the context of the RNC, in which
(to use one frequently reported misconduct), hundreds of young people were
forced by threat of arrest or force to submit to searches absent probable
cause in violation of the fourth amendment, CRA offers no remedy at all
because the boss and not the individual police workers are clearly
responsible for the violation in the first place - and will surely
immunize any individual officer accused through a CRA complaint.  CRA is
designed for addressing officer conduct police chiefs find reprehensible
- not at all for officer conduct ordered by police commanders which the
public finds reprehensible.

Which doesn't mean that your fellow citizens who serve on such boards, or
their dedicated staffs, do not responsibly handle their portion of the
complaint - evidence gathering and review.  In the years I served as
Chair, the Minneapolis CRA found misconduct in a much higher proportion of
complaints than in years prior or subsequent.  The Board I served with,
and the Manager for most of that period, made it a priority to diligently
monitor police procedures and constitutional obligations.  (Officers are
sworn to defend and protect the constitution, believe it or not.)  We felt
we were making our biggest potential impact when we found legal authority
and evidence for officer abuse of power - which most often reflected the
complaints of repression articulated by communities of color.  Examples:
towing a car when not appropriate, jailing when the law says cite and
release, searching without grounds, wrongly getting involved in someone's
personal life (calling their employer), or body (no grounds for male
officer to frisk a female).  In a few instances, but to no avail, we
highlighted proven false police testimony in a special memo to the police
chief.

It was the shock to the system of receiving these files that led the
Minneapolis PD, primarily Chief McManus and Deputy Chief Harris (the
latter, ironically, is now one of the officers with a pending civil rights
suit against the department) to wage political war against the CRA,
throwing out vague and untrue accusations about CRA bias - but all for
the cover of not disciplining individual officers because of entrenched
acceptance of false police reporting and anti-constitutional policies at
the level of management!

The general public tends to think CRA is primarily for excessive force
cases, in part because high-profile incidents are usually predicate to the
political will to create a CRA in the first place.  However, excessive
force cases, absent cameras, are very difficult to prove unless medical
records clearly depart from the officer's version of events.  To be fair
to the police command, I should make clear that during our tenure they
rarely disciplined officers for excessive force either.  Most
disturbingly, an Assistant Chief defended such decisions on multiple
occasions by attacking the CRA for not considering that the incidents took
place in dangerous neighborhoods of Minneapolis.  A whopper of a civil
rights violation if the details were allowed to be public.

Which leads to another critical factor about CRA complaints, the incentive
to keep them secret.  Police executives and union allies have been strong
fighters for legislated Minnesota data practices that forbid the release
of any information about a complaint against an officer (other than its
existence) if no discipline results.  This means that when CRA finds
misconduct, a police chief can discipline the officer and make all the
gory details available to: the media, defense lawyers representing clients
(now, or in the future) in which that officer's credibility as a witness
could be determinative of the outcome, and civil lawsuit lawyers who might
more easily find a pattern of misconduct or that a city is willfully
indifferent to the constitutional violations of its police force.  Or he
might just prefer not to discipline and not make such details available to
any of the above.  Given that the city attorneys who rely on police
witnesses in criminal prosecution and civil defense - who want to win
their trials as much as any lawyer - have better advantage with fewer cop
transgressions as public, anyone can guess what preference they might
express behind closed doors.  The data laws are so draconian that even the
person who filed the complaint receives no explanation, or any other
information, about why their complaint ended up without publicly disclosed
discipline.  They cannot even find out how CRA weighed the evidence and if
the police chief was responsible for the result.  Since the complainant
only is familiar with the CRA staff and Board panel, the do-nothing anger
towards the city often falls upon CRA and not the police chief.  This in
turn leads to a poor reputation for CRA, and becomes a disincentive for
people with dissatisfaction to file complaints.

Before anyone assumes every non-discipline is tied to the police chief
role, I divert to note that even with the most sympathetic CRA, a majority
of complaints, probably as many as 80% will not lead to a misconduct
finding by CRA itself.  The factors for such include:  complainant or
witness not following through with the process; the unavailability of
sufficient evidence, often corroboration; and the simple fact that what
many people find to be excessive force or abuse of power is actually
allowable by the authority of our legislature and courts.  All CRA Board
members I have served with responsibly review the evidence and legal
authority before them, and do not make decisions upon generally believing
either officers or their accusers.

                          CRA and the RNC

Given the above context, I will summarize the reasons that filing
complaints about the RNC at CRA is worthless.

1) To file a Personnel complaint, one has to be able to identify the
officer.  In many situations, CRA is equipped to help that process,
through shift assignment records and photos, for example.  During the RNC,
a common complaint was that officers did not make their identification
visible, as promised.  A CRA complaint when an officer can't be
identified, much less the city employing that officer, is worthless.

2) A defense an individual officer can give to prevail against a Personnel
complaint is that they had reasonable belief, even if objectively untrue,
that their action was allowable and warranted.  Such would apply, for
instance, to an officer whose rubber bullet, fired under lawful command,
hit someone in the back.  In other words, even if the complaint filer and
an impartial reviewer find the force excessive, the officer responsible is
allowed the "following orders"  defense and would not be individually
accountable.

3) A CRA complaint is worthless when it is obvious in advance that the
police chief supports the transgression, and may have approved the tactic.
No discipline could possibly result, and CRA's own validation of the
complaint, if applicable, would remain undisclosed to the complainant.

4) Even if the police chief thinks an officer went too far, the testimony
in the file could be damaging to the police department's public image or
the official political spin (e.g. the "great policing" much of the
Minneapolis City Council and the St. Paul Mayor have already put forward)
and will not allow discipline to result.

5) When one is subject to arrest, a defense lawyer will invariably urge
their client not to forsake their Miranda right by giving an interview to
CRA and risk having testimony taken out of context and used against
him/her.  In Minneapolis, the CRA has a policy not to allow its files to
be subject to prosecutorial review, but that will not stop most potential
complainants from receiving the aforementioned advice from their lawyers.

6) There is great anticipation of civil lawsuits to come (as they have in
NYC from the 2004 RNC), and lawyers will advise against making a statement
to CRA that is outside the scope of the lawsuit.  Given all the obstacles
to a CRA complaint leading to a public and satisfactory admission of
misconduct, lawsuits (even if damages are limited, such as they might be
for individuals wrongly searched who received no other harm) offer a
better means for forcing the cities and their police forces to admit to
misconduct in the public realm.

             A new Zero Tolerance for criminal justice

While cities plan to hide behind the lack of official complaints through
the Personnel process, as well as commissioned reports that are limited in
scope and (unlike even CRA complaints) highly unbalanced in where their
input comes from, activists should avoid the trap of having too many
public grievances that dilute the pressure for action on any one.  I would
advise activists to let the courts deal with the great diversity of RNC
transgressions while political pressure is focussed on a single issue -
something that cities and police officials can't defend by spin: the issue
of police reports containing verifiably false information.  With the
tremendous work done by local and national Indymedia, and NLG legal
observers, video footage likely has the potential to unmask the outright
corruption of many false police reports.

The response to Council Member Gordon, or others, should not be to argue
about filing at CRA (or Internal Affairs), but to say we have something
better you can do: demand of the Mayors, police chiefs, and political
establishment generally, that all police officers will be fired if they
are caught by video (or by other convincing evidence)  to have falsified a
police report and thereby risked an innocent person going to jail.
Fired.  Period.  Zero tolerance.  Are you with us or against us about
that?

Excessive force does not normally lead to immediate firing of police
officers, and should not be expected to.  The argument that officers who
make a single mistake in the heat of a confrontation should not lose their
careers is not without some merit, and will certainly be sympathetic to
the public at large.  But the fact that many officers lie in their police
reports is not well known outside of courthouses and criminal justice
attorneys, and cannot be explained away as an aberration or by any other
pull for public empathy.  It is a central violation of officer ethics and
at the heart of the substantial power the public grants them.

Not unrelated to the RNC, a man arrested for assaulting an officer at the
August 2007 Critical Mass, who was reportedly connected to the Welcoming
Committee, was acquitted by a jury in less than ten minutes after video
evidence revealed that the officer/witness whose police report was central
to the prosecution had blatantly lied.  Much was made about the political
nature of the prosecution, but activists did not follow up with a campaign
to get that officer fired.  I am not aware of any public or other rebuke
by the city of Minneapolis, its police department, or its prosecution
division.  Acquittal itself was accepted as the just remedy.  This was a
missed opportunity to press for reform.

At the most recent Criminal Justice Institute - a mammoth conference for
defense lawyers, prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement - I brought up
this case at a breakout session about racial disparities in policing
(noting that in this instance the defendant was white), to ask why
prosecutors don't consider it their ethical obligation to report false
testimony to police commanders and push for consequences.  I recognized
that perjury prosecutions, which some might consider more appropriate,
could be unrealistic to achieve due to juror inclinations to support
police in combination with the standard of evidence required; but
personnel consequences would seem to be a reasonable alternative.  To my
surprise, my question was addressed with interest and sympathy from some
prosecutors in the audience.  One attorney identified herself as the wife
of an honest police officer, and said it would help his work if dishonest
officers were called to account.  Other prosecutors were favorable in
concept but termed such a push a career killer and counter to the
political pressures of their position.

If political pressures are supportive rather than merely independent of
police corruption as exemplified by false arrest and reporting, then the
activist community needs to respond in kind with pressure not merely on
the police/prosecutor apparatus itself but the governing source of those
pressures.  A focus on false police reports will, more than anything else,
link the struggle against the national political corruption as expressed
at the RNC to the local struggle of the communities of color most
victimized by police repression on an ongoing basis.

[Michael Friedman is looking for other places to publish this piece. Any
suggestions?  mf4 [at] usfamily.net   or   mfrie [at] legalrightscenter.org ]


--------15 of 18--------

Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 21:12:31 -0500
From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com>
     Michael Cavlan <ollamhfaery [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: Why Civilian Review Authorities are not the place to  complain
    about the RNC (fwd)

I don't 100% agree with Michael's analysis that pushing for prosecution of
cops who lie in police reports is the way to go (I support it but think
there are other ways, too). What he's saying is dead on and he explains
the legal machinations behind a CRA complaint quite well.

Michelle


--------16 of 18--------

Ireland Irish coalition vs St Paul police actions

Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 22:06:46 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
From: Michael Cavlan  greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: [Discuss] Well Well-From My Own Part Of The World

Green Allies and Friends

Just received this. It is from my own wee part of the world. Northern Ireland.

For your information, I have family who actually live on the Garvaghy Rd. My
Uncle John and Aunt Sheila.

Northern Irish Activist Sends Letter to Irish American Mayor of St. Paul, MN
Highlights the International Importance of the Work of I-Witness Video's Eileen
Clancy

Monday, 1 Sep 2008

Here is the text of the letter:

Sara Grewing
Chief of Staff
Mayor's Office
390 City Hall
15 W. Kellogg Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
September 1st 2008

Dear Sara,

I am contacting you from Ireland on behalf of the Garvaghy Road Residents
Coalition, based in Portadown, County Armagh, to protest against the
recent treatment and harassment which Ms Eileen Clancy and other members
of I-Witness Video have been subjected to by members of the St Paul's
Police Department.

The Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition and many members of our community
have known Ms Clancy for many years, through her work in Ireland, when she
helped record and publicise cases of unprovoked brutality and assault by
the members of the British Army and police force in the North of Ireland
against the civilian population. This work included recording death
threats and assaults made by members of those same forces against the
internationally renowned human rights lawyer, Mrs Rosemary Nelson.

Mrs Nelson, who was the legal representative for the Garvaghy Road
Residents Coalition, was murdered just yards way from her family home in
Lurgan, County Armagh, March 15th, 1999. Her murder is presently being
investigated by an ongoing public inquiry established through agreement by
both British and Irish Governments. Part of the official terms of
reference for that inquiry is to determine "whether any wrongful act or
omission by or within the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Northern Ireland
Office, Army or other state agency facilitated her death or obstructed the
investigation of it." Video interviews which Ms Clancy conducted with the
late Mrs Nelson, in which Mrs Nelson spoke about direct death threats
being made against her by members of the North of Ireland police force
prior to her assassination, forms an important part of the evidence to
that inquiry.

As a result of the work which Ms Eileen Clancy and her colleagues were
involved in Ireland since the mid-1990's, many prominent US politicians
and public figures, including senior USA policing figures, became directly
involved in assisting communities, such as our own in Portadown, County
Armagh, as international observers who themselves were to witness at first
hand the excesses of the British state in Ireland and who were very
instrumental in pushing for a political settlement.

Without these international observers, particularly those from the USA,
the Garvaghy Road community in Portadown and communities in other parts of
the North of Ireland would have been alone in trying to state the case for
justice and equality. Through the ongoing documentation by various
international groups, the community's struggle was seen and communicated
throughout the world by independent sources.

The Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition is extremely perturbed that Ms
Clancy is now being subjected to unnecessary and potentially illegal and
unconstitutional harassment by members of a police department within her
own country as she and her colleagues in I-Witness attempt to document and
monitor police actions at First Amendment events.

The Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition is formally requesting that Mayor
Chris Coleman immediately intervenes in this situation and that, as Mayor,
he formally meets with Ms Clancy and her colleagues to assist in the
lodging of any formal complaint against this police action.

We understand that Mayor Coleman is, quite justly, proud of his family's
own Irish roots. The Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition is therefore
requesting his formal and immediate intervention in this case in order to
assist Ms Clancy who has played a small, but extremely important small
part in directly assisting the ongoing efforts to achieve justice and
equality in Ireland.

Ms Clancy can be contacted via the following e-mail address:
iwitness [at] iwitnessvideo.info

Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition will be circulating copies of this
letter to other individuals, political representatives, human rights
organisations, etc, in both Ireland and the US.

We look forward to your prompt response on this matter.

Yours sincerely,
Breandan Mac Cionnaith

PERMANENT LINK http://iwitnessvideo.info/blog/107.html RELATED RESOURCES
I-Witness Video Members Detained En Masse by St.Paul, Minnesota Police in
Advance of the 2008 Republican National Convention CATEGORIES 2008 DNC &
RNC


--------17 of 18-------

[So many pieces from this to include that I send the whole newsletter.
You might want to subscribe to it. -ed]

Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 20:36:05 -0500
From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] visi.com>
Subject: CUAPB EMAIL NEWS

Communities United Against Police Brutality
EMAIL NEWSLETTER
September 21, 2008

It has been a month since our last newsletter and very much has happened
in that month.  On a rather personal note, this editor has had some
difficulty summing up all that has happened and getting to the point of
being able to write about it.  It's also just plain difficult to be in the
middle of action and write about it at the same time.

While police brutality is the daily reality of people of color, homeless,
low income people and others, the sheer coordination and repressive
conduct of police during the RNC harkens a new level efforts to crush
dissent.  No free speech was tolerated during the RNC and new levels of
terror and brutality were rained down on community activists just for
opposing the Republican agenda.  This conduct was supported and aided by
elected officials including mayors and council members on both sides of
the river.  Now some are trying to worm out of what they unleashed by
holding bogus "public" hearings (with hand-picked speakers), naming
partisans to phony "independent" investigations, or calling for
investigations they know will never materialize.

Both mayors have been effusive in their praise of police conduct--the same
conduct that has left many activists bruised and battered and facing
serious criminal charges.  In this new climate, all police need do is
invoke the "terrorism" word and they get a free pass to raid, beat, bomb,
gas and arrest, with the grinning assent of elected officials.  In the
run-up to the annual October 22 National Day of Protest Against Police
Brutality, CUAPB will examine this new climate, what it means for all
activists (not just those opposed to the current administration), and how
it is likely to spill over toward people already feeling the boot of
police oppression.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Forum on Police Conduct During the RNC
Tuesday, September 23
7:30 p.m.
Walker Church
3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis
Dave Bicking, Michelle Gross, and Charlie Underwood will present on their
experiences with policing during the RNC.  Michelle will show film footage
shot by CUAPB copwatchers and others.  There will be plenty of time for
questions and discussion.

Public Hearing on Police Conduct During the RNC
Wednesday, September 24
5:30 p.m.
St. Paul City Hall
15 Kellogg Blvd, Rm 300, St. Paul
This is the public hearing called by St. Paul City Councilmembers Dave
Thune and Melvin Carter.  It is being billed as a "community conversation
about the RNC" but word has it that Thune has already hand-picked the
"community"  speakers, including at least one cop.  Still, we are
encouraging people to attend this and try to interject our voices.

Throughout this whole thing, Thune has tried to position himself as some
kind of free speech hero.  Let's not forget that he was the guy who held
secret "free speech working group" meetings that he would never allow
activists to attend or participate in.  The outcome of that working group
is the restrictive permitting ordinance in St. Paul that allows cops to
decide if you can demonstrate and allows them to pull the permit at the
last minute (as they did on Day 4 of the RNC, resulting in arrests of over
400 people).  He's now trying to cover his ass by holding this little
meeting but he still wants to control what gets talked about.  Let's not
let him.

Courtwatch for RNC 8 Arrestees
Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center
425 Grove St, Rm 102, St. Paul
September 24, 1:40 p.m.: Monica Bicking, Rob Czernik
October 2, 1:00 p.m.: Luce Guillen Givins
October 3, 1:00 p.m.: Garrett Fitzgerald
October 13, 1:00 p.m.: Eryn Trimmer, Eric Oseland, Nathaneal Secor, Max
Spector

These are the eight people being charged with "conspiracy to riot in the
furtherance of terrorism," despite the fact that they were all in jail for
the entirety of the RNC.  Apparently even planning protest is now illegal.
By putting heavy charges on these people, the government is trying to
criminalize dissent and hold them out as an example so that others will
shy away from challenging its policies.  We must stand up with these
people and force the government to back down.  Part of this battle is to
be in court with them every time.  We need to visibly support them at
every turn.  HANDS OFF THE RNC 8!

--
FBI PLAYBOOK FOR HANDLING RNC PROTESTS
FBI Bulletin #89 Facilitates Clampdown on Journalists, Activists

While written in 2003 to specifically address large antiwar protests in
Washington DC and San Francisco, FBI Bulletin #89 appears to be the
playbook for handling all protests against the current administration.  A
PDF of the actual memo is at http://www.aclu.org/FilesPDFs/fbi%20memo.pdf
Note that it refers to the "activist training camps"--the same language
used by Sheriff Bob Fletcher in his arrest of the RNC 8.  The memo
outlines a long list of alleged protester tactics, the same tactics noted
by Fletcher & Co.  in the search warrant applications that launched the
spate of pre-RNC raids and arrests.

FBI Bulletin #89 refers to videotaping--the essence of copwatch and much
independent journalism--as an "intimidation technique"  against the cops.
This explains the crackdown on media during the RNC.  It matters not one
whit that St. Paul's mayor Chris Coleman announced that they are dropping
the charges against journalists such as Democracy Now's Amy Goodman.
Charges against these journalists were never the point.  The real deal was
to prevent them from doing their job in the first place.  To that end, the
tactic was at least somewhat successful, though at least some
videographers captured amazing images.  Go to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmQrWTRAZmA&fmt=6 to see an amazing
compilation captured by a young man who buried his footage in a planter
when he realized he was going to be arrested and went back and retrieved
it after he was released from jail.

Much has been written about the arrest of Amy Goodman and even about the
August 30th raid on the house where a number of independent journalists
were staying.  While these were outrageous attacks, people need to realize
that the beating and arrest of Darryl Robinson on July 20th while he was
copwatching was the first salvo in this clampdown on people who document
police misconduct.  We expect to continue to see these tactics used to
prevent documentation of police and, in fact, incidents since the RNC
indicate this will be the trend.  In the last week, we have had
copwatchers threatened with arrest during two separate incidents - by two
different police agencies - for simply observing police conduct.  It is
notable that both police agencies participated in RNC activities and one
is a small town agency.  Clearly this is one "RNC lesson"  that will be
transferred to the community.

--
FBI SEEKS EVEN MORE POWER TO SQUASH DISSENT

FBI Outlines Plan to Expand Agents' Tactics; Hill Hearings Set
By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 13, 2008; A09

<http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Federal+Bureau+of+Investigation?tid=informline>FBI
officials yesterday briefed civil liberties advocates and religious groups
on a plan to offer agents an array of tactics to track national security
threats, as lawmakers prepared to demand more information at a pair of
oversight hearings next week.

The ground rules, known as attorney general guidelines, have been in the
works for nearly 18 months. Authorities say they are designed to harmonize
the techniques that FBI agents can use to investigate ordinary crimes,
collect foreign intelligence or pursue possible terrorist threats.

Under the new plan, agents pursuing national security leads could employ
physical surveillance, deploy informants and engage in "pretext"
interviews with their identities hidden to assess the danger posed by a
subject. Such threat assessments could be initiated even without a
particular fact or concrete lead that a person had engaged in wrongdoing.

Community activists and the
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/American+Civil+Liberties+Union?tid=informline>American
Civil Liberties Union, which attended yesterday's briefing, question how a
subject's race, ethnicity or religious orientation might become part of
attracting FBI interest.

A senior
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/U.S.+Department+of+Justice?tid=informline>Justice
Department official and a top FBI representative said race could never be
the sole factor for opening an investigation. But it might be taken into
account when investigators scrutinize groups, such as
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Hezbollah?tid=informline>Hezbollah
or the Aryan Brotherhood, that draw their members from specific
populations, or, for example, when they follow leads about suspicious
groups of Muslim men boarding an airplane.

<http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Robert+Mueller?tid=informline>FBI
Director Robert S. Mueller III will appear next week before the House and
Senate Judiciary committees, where lawmakers say he will be asked about
the timing and rationale for overhauling the rules. House and Senate
Democrats already are characterizing the move as a last-ditch bid to
change intelligence-gathering only weeks before the presidential election.

But senior FBI and Justice officials, who briefed reporters on the
condition that they not be identified, asserted that the changes were
merely the latest in a series of steps to make the bureau more proactive
after intelligence failures before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The measures are scheduled to take effect Oct. 1, though changes still
could be made in some areas, including ground rules for FBI agents who
secretly infiltrate activist groups or collect intelligence at public
demonstrations and events without a suspected terrorist threat. [emphasis
added--ed.]

The plan also would allow FBI agents to collect information in the United
States on behalf of foreign intelligence authorities, as long as their
participation aligned with U.S. interests.  It would allow agents to
gather intelligence from citizens within the United States about areas of
general interest, such as Venezuelan oil supply, at the direction of the
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/The+White+House?tid=informline>White
House or the director of national intelligence.

Michael German, a policy counsel at the ACLU,
urged lawmakers to do a "thorough investigation"
of the guidelines and the way they will work in
practice. More than 30 years ago, "the abuse of
these authorities is exactly what caused the
department to create the guidelines in the first place," he said.

--

THE STORY BEHIND THE RAIDS AND THE RNC 8--AND HOW IT RELATES TO WHAT OTHER
COMMUNITIES EXPERIENCE DAILY

It is very good to see a REAL story on the round-up of the RNC 8
activists.  It shows how law enforcement agencies use ordinary household
items to condemn people.  This is not a new story in the Black community,
however.  Police have used the presence of zip top sandwich bags,
measuring spoons, food scales and other common kitchen items in people's
homes to tag people as drug dealers.  During the raids that occurred
August 29-31, at least six houses and the convergence space were descended
on.  People's homes were torn up looking for any shred of something that
could be used against them and many people were detained and arrested.
Two people were arrested kidnap-style by cops jumping out of moving
vehicles.

These tactics are not new to the Black community.  The "jump out boys" -
paramilitary cops that zoom up to homes and barrel out of the back of a
windowless white van - have been a fixture on the Northside for years.
These cops execute no-knock searches on homes on the Northside on a
regular basis.  Many times the basis for the raid is bad information from
a snitch.  In addition to forcing people - including children - to the
floor at gunpoint, these units beat some people severely and sweep others
off to jail on the flimsiest basis.  They leave the homes they search in
unlivable condition, often smashing apart sinks and toilets looking for
drugs.  CUAPB has documented many cases involving the jump out boys over
the years.

FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE ANARCHISTS...

By Mordecai Specktor | Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008

http://www.minnpost.com/community_voices/2008/09/16/3523/first_they_came_for_the_anarchists

My son Max was arraigned at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center on
Wednesday, Sept. 3. He's in serious legal trouble.

In the aftermath of the Republican National Convention ­ and the arrests
of more than 800 protesters, journalists and bystanders in the Twin Cities
­ Max and seven others, the alleged ringleaders of the RNC Welcoming
Committee, have been charged with conspiracy to commit riot in the
furtherance of terrorism.

That's right, terrorism.

When the AJW went to press [the first week of September], Max was being
held in the Ramsey County jail. He was kept in solitary confinement for
more than two days, with no reading material, nothing. At the arraignment,
the prosecutor asked for $75,000 bail; but Larry Leventhal, Max's
attorney, successfully argued that the amount was excessive and the judge
reduced it to $10,000.

At around 8 p.m. on that Wednesday, Max was released from jail. Sheriff's
deputies were instructed to drive Max, along with a young woman from
Cleveland, some distance away from the jail.  They were dropped off at a
Holiday gas station on University Avenue near Vandalia.

(After arranging for Max's bail bond, I attended the taping of "The Daily
Show." Jon Stewart's hilarious political satire relieved some of the
stress in what was one of the craziest, most surreal weeks in my life.
Earlier in the day, I attended a luncheon for visiting Israeli diplomats,
including Ambassador Sallai Meridor, at the home of Ruth Usem. There was a
crowd of Jewish machers, local and national, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar and
Reps. Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison. Of course, I bent the ears of
several luncheon attendees with the tale of my incarcerated son.)

On Thursday, I was in contact with Larry Leventhal, and a press conference
was called for 3 p.m. at his office. Local TV and newspaper reporters and
photographers, reporters from local blogs and alternative press outlets,
and a producer from Al Jazeera (which covered the RNC)  crowded into the
cozy conference room.

Bruce Nestor, attorney for Max's codefendant Monica Bicking and president
of the Minnesota branch of the National Lawyers Guild, acted as the press
conference emcee. Max and three of his codefendants ­ Luce Guillen-Givens,
Nathanael Secor and Rob Czernik ­ were present, along with three lawyers,
Nestor, Leventhal and Jordan Kushner. The lawyers did not allow their
clients to speak, in light of the serious charges they faced and the
possibility that they might say something that would be taken out of
context and used against them in court.

I spoke at the press conference, as did Klea Fitzgerald, mother of Garrett
Fitzgerald, one of the eight defendants; Max's other co-defendants, Erik
Oseland, Eryn Trimmer, Bicking and Fitzgerald, were not in attendance.

Lurid allegations The complaint in the case of the RNCWC 8 (shades of the
Chicago 8, from another political convention brouhaha) contains lurid
allegations about kidnapping Republican delegates, throwing Molotov
cocktails, attacking law enforcement officers and burning tires on the
freeway. The allegations are based on statements made by police plants in
the group ­ CRIs, "confidential reliable informants."

"The charges in this case are supported only by allegations of paid
confidential informants,"  Nestor told the reporters. "A number of the
attorneys here have experience in investigations with the use of
informants in political cases. We are concerned about the potential use of
provocateurs, people who purposely plan and bring up discussions of
violence, in order to get other people to respond and then report back
that those discussions occurred. The confidential informants are paid
based on the value of the information they provide. They have a clear
incentive to exaggerate and lie about the information."

Nestor added that the allegations of kidnapping and violence, the "most
outrageous allegations"  made by the authorities ­ and the basis for the
Aug. 30 SWAT team raids on three south Minneapolis homes ­ "are not
supported by any evidence other than the statements of the confidential
informants, they're not supported by the evidence seized."

Which brings us to the pails of urine. Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher
proudly displayed 5-gallon pails of "urine" at a press conference
following the raids. The anarchists ostensibly were fashioning IUDs
(improvised urine devices)  to use against cops and Republicans, according
to the police authorities. The search warrants for the Aug. 30 SWAT team
raids specified "urine and feces."

However, Nestor said that the "urine" seized was mostly "kitchen gray
water" and had nothing to do with any of the defendants. Nestor also noted
that "common household items" ­ glass bottles, rags and charcoal starter
fluid, found in different locations in various houses ­ have repeatedly
been referred to in news reports as bomb-making materials.

Warrant items not found "We have search warrants seeking gun powder,
explosive materials, Molotov cocktails, none of which were found," Nestor
said. "We have the sheriff displaying a single plastic item, which he
claims is a shield; as if, somehow, one shield was going to protect
wdemonstrators from 3,500 armed riot police who have projectile tear gas
weapons."

Nestor concluded that the authorities have recklessly wielded the
"terrorism charge" so that any political activist involved in planning
civil disobedience could be labeled as a "domestic terrorist."

Attorney Larry Leventhal told the reporters that the complaint does not
allege that any of the defendants physically attacked anybody or even
"broke a window."

The complaints against the eight defendants, according to Leventhal, weave
"a narrative of various meetings that they claim occurred over a number of
years. - We have, basically, [the authorities] saying, Here are some
people, they've associated with other bad people, and those people have
done bad things. If we were to accept the standard that people who
associate with others who may do bad things are subject to arrest ­ and
that certainly should not be a standard in a civilized society ­ but if
that were the standard, there's a lot of delegates who are in the Xcel
Center that have been associating with bad people who have done very bad
things."

Leventhal termed the case a "political prosecution," which is
characterized by people being targeted and arrested for "their thoughts,
for their ideas ­ which may be different from the reigning political
powers' ­ rather than for things they have done."

Then Leventhal introduced me to the press, noting that I was editor and
publisher of the American Jewish World newspaper, and was in St. Paul
covering the Republican National Convention.

I talked about Max and mentioned his educational background, including his
being a confirmand of the Temple of Aaron Synagogue religious school and a
graduate of the Talmud Torah of St. Paul Midrasha program. I'll add here
that Max earned his Golden Kipa at the Temple of Aaron, an honor bestowed
to post-B'nai Mitzva kids who do 10 Torah readings. At age 19, Max is
beginning his junior year at the University of Minnesota (he took a lot of
college-level courses during his final two years at Minneapolis South
High).

Appeal to journalists
"As you heard from the lawyers, the criminal complaint here is farfetched,
overblown, outrageous," I said. "I'm in the newspaper business, so I
encourage all of the journalists here to look into the specifics of this
complaint and see where the truth really lies."

Finally, I put my arm around Max's shoulders and said, "This is your
domestic terrorist ­ take a good look. I don't believe it at all. Give me
a break."

After the 50-minute press conference, there was a meeting of defendants
and lawyers, and one parent. Then I took off on foot for West Seventh
Street and the heavily fortified Xcel Energy Center for the final night of
the RNC, during which Sen. John McCain would accept his party's nomination
for president.

The case against Max and his co-defendants is in a preliminary stage, so
it's difficult to see how things will develop. The lawyers are waiting for
the government to produce evidence backing up the many allegations in the
criminal complaints.

As you might imagine, as a journalist I've been scouring the Web for press
accounts of this case.  Chris Hedges, a veteran journalist (Christian
Science Monitor, New York Times, etc.) and author, posted an incisive
article about the scene in St. Paul last week on Truthdig.com.

"The rise of the corporate state means the rise of the surveillance
state," Hedges wrote. "The Janus-like face of America swings from packaged
and canned spectacles, from nationalist slogans, from seas of flags and
Christian crosses, from professions of faith and patriotism, to widespread
surveillance, illegal mass detentions, informants, provocateurs and crude
acts of repression and violence. We barrel toward a world filled with
stupendous lies and blood."

Minnesota version of Patriot Act
The prosecution of Max and the others, as Hedges noted, is the "first time
criminal charges have been filed under the 2002 Minnesota version of the
federal Patriot Act. The Patriot Act, which was put in place as much to
silence domestic opposition as to ferret out real terrorists, has largely
lain dormant. It has authorized the government to monitor our phone
conversations, e-mails, meetings and political opinions. It has authorized
the government to shut down anti-war groups and lock up innocents as
terrorists. It has abolished habeas corpus. But until now we have not
grasped its full implications for our open society. We catch glimpses, as
in St. Paul or in our offshore penal colonies where we torture detainees,
of its awful destructive power."

Also, Glenn Greenwald, a former constitutional law and civil rights
litigator, writing on <http://www.salon.com>Salon.com, has done a great
job covering RNC-related acts of repression.

The daily newspapers in the Twin Cities have not distinguished themselves
covering this particular aspect of the RNC story. At least, their sins of
omission are less egregiously awful than the swill
(<http://www.newsweek.com/id/157030>"Having a Riot in St. Paul: Cops put
the hurt on 'anarchist' protesters") written for Newsweek magazine's Web
site by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball.

This duo functions like the record-and-playback device on a tape recorder,
regurgitating statements by various police agents "battling a shadowy
neo-anarchist group that was allegedly plotting to disrupt the convention
by kidnapping delegates, hurling Molotov cocktails and committing other
acts of 'guerrilla warfare.' "  In fact, these "shadowy" anarchists put
all of their statements up on a Web site (nornc.org) for the world to see.
And, as it is now clear, they also opened their meetings and their hearts
to an undercover cop and at least two police informants who apparently
played them for financial gain.

I'm not an objective journalist in this matter.  I'm expressing my views
and feelings about recent events. I'm a father whose son is in a great
deal of trouble. Max doesn't want me singling him out for attention; to
his credit, he wants equal recognition for his co-defendants. He sees that
they're all in this together. I think we're all in this together.

After the SWAT team raids, the police barricades, the riot squads, the
tear gas and pepper spray, and the mass arrests of demonstrators, the
Republicans gave their hechsher to the McCain-Palin ticket and left town.
Our civil liberties ­ especially free speech and freedom of the press ­
took a beating here last week. The events in the Twin Cities last week
provide a grim portent of things to come in America. We have to take a
long careful look at what happened, and figure out how to reweave our
civil society.

Mordecai Specktor is editor of the American
Jewish World, in which this article first appeared.

--

IMPORTANT--AND RELATED--CALL FOR ACTION

Don't Let the National Park Service Privatize the Inauguration Route
Tell the government: Pennsylvania Ave. Belongs to the People
Bush Administration proposes new regulations - comment period closing

A ground breaking free speech legal victory in federal court has opened up
Pennsylvania Avenue for "We the People" on Inauguration Day.

Unless you and thousands of others take action today, however, that
courtroom victory could be effectively overturned by a new set of
regulations proposed by the Bush Administration's National Park Service.

"The Inauguration is not a private event," ruled U.S. District Court Judge
Paul Friedman on March 20, 2008. Judge Friedman declared unconstitutional
the practice of the National Park Service of exempting the Presidential
Inaugural Committee from the ordinary permit process in order to give that
private political advocacy organization exclusive rights to exclude the
public from along the Inaugural Parade route.

The ruling capped a nearly four year challenge by the A.N.S.W.E.R.
Coalition represented by the Partnership for Civil Justice. The Coalition
stood up for thousands of anti-war protesters and political dissenters who
- - like the general public - - have been excluded from communicating
their views along the quadrennial Inaugural Parade route.

The victory was so resounding that the U.S.  Government did not even
appeal the ruling.

That courtroom victory is in jeopardy. We need your help, to take just a
couple minutes of your time right now to protect free speech along the
Presidential Inaugural Parade route by sending a comment to the National
Park Service.

You Can Make a Difference By Acting Now

Tell the NPS that you do not want the land that belongs to the public
along "America's Main Street" of Pennsylvania Avenue privatized and set
aside for the exclusive use of the private Presidential Inaugural
Committee to sell to the wealthy corporations on America's Inauguration
Day. Click here to send your comment now. Help flood them with thousands
of comments and tell your friends and family to join in this effort.

The Bush Administration's National Park Service has re-written its
regulations in response to the court ruling. Again, the regulations set
aside prime swaths of the Inaugural Parade route for the exclusive use of
the corporate donor friends of the incoming administration. The period for
public comment closes in a few days, September 22, - so act now by
clicking here to send your comment on these proposed regulations.

--
USE OF MILITARY TO CLAMP DOWN ON DISSENT

During the RNC, National Guard soldiers were seen in the streets while
Coast Guard cutters patrolled the Mississippi river.  Despite prohibitions
against military units being used domestically under the Posse Comitatus
Act (except National Guard units assigned to the states during natural
disasters), these units have started to emerge as reinforcements for
police in these "unitary command" situations such as during the DNC and
RNC.  Check out the list of supposed "non-lethals" items--including
Tasers--they will be trained to unleash on the civilian population.

The introduction below was written by Andy Driscoll, who hosts Truth to
Tell every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. on KFAI http://www.kfai.org/node/682

Read this and tremble:  As far we know, the use of the military in
domestic or civil activities is prohibited by law, except the national
guard units which fall under the authority and aegis of the states.

This new unit and its multi-branch agencies are being formed to help with
anything but natural disasters. These units will train for putting down
"civil unrest" (a label easily applies to street demonstration and
dissenting assemblies.

The following story is told from the Pollyanna view of an Army Times
reporter, not from an objective analyst's. Inside these paragraphs are
some frightening realities, among them the fact that multiple units of all
service branches are training to do what local police now do, except that
the full weight of Defense Department deployment of military force will
take over our streets much the way the 3,700-strong police force locked
down St. Paul and the Target Center during the RNC.

It may seem benign reading through this, but once you understand the
nature and danger of this illegal use of American military forces on civil
setting, you can filter this information through that lens and know that
we're watching the launch of a new level of uniformed armed and armored
security forces ready to clamp down on organized dissent inside the United
States, again, heretofore utterly unlawful.

Now is the time for Congress to step into this fray and put the brakes on
before too much time, money and effort has gone into implementing these
insidious plans, all of which would be viewed as having gone too far to go
back now. Wrong. Read this carefully.

This is no paranoid fear here. This and the POW camps erected over the
last several years in several parts of the country are.

Andy Driscoll

-
ARMY COMBAT TEAM TO DEPLOY OCTOBER 1 FOR CIVIL
SECURITY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT RESPONSE
<http://my.opera.com/richardinbellingham/blog/army-combat-team-to-deploy-october-1st-for-civil-security-emergency-management-r>
MONDAY, 15. SEPTEMBER 2008, 02:14:29

SOVEREIGNTY

Gina Cavallaro of ArmyTimes reports that Brigade
Homeland Tours Start Oct. 1, 2008 as the 3rd
Infantryıs 1st BCT trains for a new dwell-time mission.

Helping "people at home" may become a permanent part of the active Army

The 3rd Infantry Divisionıs 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the
last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore
essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now theyıre training for the same mission--with a twist--at home.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day
control of U.S. Army North, NORTHCOM, the Army service component of
Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or
manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

It is not the first time an active-duty unit has been tapped to help at
home. In August 2005, for example, when Hurricane Katrina unleashed hell
in Mississippi and Louisiana, several active-duty units were pulled from
various posts and mobilized to those areas.

But this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a
dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to
provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and
coordinate defense support of civil authorities.

After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that
another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the
mission will be a permanent one.

"Right now, the response force requirement will be an enduring mission.
How the [Defense Department] chooses to source that and whether or not
they continue to assign them to NorthCom, that could change in the
future," said Army Col.  Louis Vogler, chief of NorthCom future
operations. "Now, the plan is to assign a force every year."

The command is at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., but
the soldiers with 1st BCT, who returned in April after 15 months in Iraq,
will operate out of their home post at Fort Stewart, Ga., where theyıll be
able to go to school, spend time with their families and train for their
new homeland mission as well as the counterinsurgency mission in the war
zones.

Stop-loss will not be in effect, so soldiers will be able to leave the
Army or move to new assignments during the mission, and the operational
tempo will be variable.

Donıt look for any extra time off, though. The at-home mission does not
take the place of scheduled combat-zone deployments and will take place
during the so-called dwell time a unit gets to reset and regenerate after
a deployment.

The 1st of the 3rd is still scheduled to deploy to either Iraq or
Afghanistan in early 2010, which means the soldiers will have been home a
minimum of 20 months by the time they ship out.

In the meantime, theyıll learn new skills, use some of the ones they
acquired in the war zone and more than likely will not be shot at while
doing any of it.

They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control
[emphasis added--ed.] or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such
as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological,
radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

Training for homeland scenarios has already begun at Fort Stewart and
includes specialty tasks such as knowing how to use the "jaws of life" to
extract a person from a mangled vehicle; extra medical training for a
CBRNE incident; and working with U.S. Forestry Service experts on how to
go in with chainsaws and cut and clear trees to clear a road or area.

The 1st BCTıs soldiers also will learn how to use "the first ever
nonlethal package that the Army has fielded," 1st BCT commander Col. Roger
Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and
nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals
without killing them.

"Itıs a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that theyıre
fielding. Theyıve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first
time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and
because of this mission weıre undertaking we were the first to get it."

The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike
strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons;
and, beanbag bullets.

"I was the first guy in the brigade to get Tasered," said Cloutier,
describing the experience as "your worst muscle cramp ever--times 10
throughout your whole body."

"I'm not a small guy, I weigh 230 pounds ... it put me on my knees in
seconds."

The brigade will not change its name, but the force will be known for the
next year as a CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF
(pronounced "sea-smurf").

"I canıt think of a more noble mission than this," said Cloutier, who took
command in July.  "Weıve been all over the world during this time of
conflict, but now our mission is to take care of citizens at home ... and
depending on where an event occurred, youıre going home to take care of
your home town, your loved ones."

While soldiersı combat training is applicable, he said, some nuances donıt
apply.

"If we go in, we're going in to help American citizens on American soil,
to save lives, provide critical life support, help clear debris, restore
normalcy and support whatever local agencies need us to do, so itıs kind
of a different role," said Cloutier, who, as the division operations
officer on the last rotation, learned of the homeland mission a few months
ago while they were still in Iraq.

Some brigade elements will be on call around the clock, during which time
theyıll do their regular marksmanship, gunnery and other deployment
training. Thatıs because the unit will continue to train and reset for the
next deployment, even as it serves in its CCMRF mission.

Should personnel be needed at an earthquake in California, for example,
all or part of the brigade could be scrambled there, depending on the
extent of the need and the specialties involved.

Other branches included

The active Army's new dwell-time mission is part of a NorthCom and DOD
response package.

Active-duty soldiers will be part of a force that includes elements from
other military branches and dedicated National Guard Weapons of Mass
Destruction-Civil Support Teams.

A final mission rehearsal exercise is scheduled for mid-September at Fort
Stewart and will be run by Joint Task Force Civil Support, a unit based
out of Fort Monroe, Va., that will coordinate and evaluate the
interservice event.

In addition to 1st BCT, other Army units will take part in the two-week
training exercise, including elements of the 1st Medical Brigade out of
Fort Hood, Texas, and the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Bragg,
N.C.

There also will be Air Force engineer and medical units, the Marine Corps
Chemical, Biological Initial Reaction Force, a Navy weather team and
members of the Defense Logistics Agency and the Defense Threat Reduction
Agency.

One of the things Vogler said theyıll be looking at is communications
capabilities between the services.

"It is a concern, and weıre trying to check that and one of the ways we do
that is by having these sorts of exercises. Leading up to this, we are
going to rehearse and set up some of the communications systems to make
sure we have interoperability," he said.

"I donıt know what America's overall plan is--I just know that 24 hours a
day, seven days a week, there are soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines
that are standing by to come and help if theyıre called," Cloutier said.
"It makes me feel good as an American to know that my country has
dedicated a force to come in and help the people at home."

-
Communities United Against Police Brutality 3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407 Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867) Meetings: Every Saturday
at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue South http://www.CUAPB.org


--------18 of x--------


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 If you don't have anything
 nice to say, shut up.


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