|Progressive Calendar 09.22.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|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-------- Your government says: If you don't have anything nice to say, shut up. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments To GO DIRECTLY to an item, eg --------8 of x-------- do a find on --8 vote third party for president for congress now and forever
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