|Progressive Calendar 10.09.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2008 13:23:31 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 10.09.08 1. Stassen/UN 10.10 10:50am/2pm Northfield MN 2. 1st RNC lawsuit 10.10 3pm 3. Moyers/meltdown 10.10 9pm 4. Harvest/apple/veg 10.11 8am 5. Peace walk 10.11 9am Cambridge MN 6. Hancock campaign 10.11 10am 7. Iran update 10.11 10am 8. NWN4P Mtka 10.11 11am 9. Anti-war rally 10.11 12noon Duluth MN 10. Anti-war demo 10.11 1pm 11. Northtown vigil 10.11 2pm 12. Ralph Nader 10.11 7:30pm Fargo/Moorehead 13. Atheists talk 10.12 9am 14. Stillwater vigil 10.12 1pm 15. 2008 UN rally 10.13 deadline 16. Michael Cavlan - Wow! New Nader HQ in Minneapolis 17. Dr Michael Andregg - RNC Q's that should linger after the tear gas 18. Dr Michael Andregg - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the RNC --------1 of 18-------- From: The United Nations Association of MN <info [at] unamn.org> Subject: Stassen/UN 10.10 10:50am/2pm Northfield MN Carleton College (along with the United Nations Association of MN and the Minnesota Secretary of State) is sponsoring two events this Friday. This is an opportunity to brush up on what is happening at the UN and in the world of multi-lateral diplomacy; and learn more about Harold Stassen and the contributions he made to the UN and Minnesota. 10:50 a.m. Convocation: Joseph Melrose Skinner Chapel: (Note: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad was originally scheduled for this lecture but is unable to come due to an unexpected conflict.) Joseph Melrose, who served three decades in the Foreign Service, is the former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan and Sierra Leone, where he helped broker a peace treaty. After leaving Sierra Leone in 2001, he was Task Force Coordinator for the post-September 11 task force with the Department of State, and later was a Senior Consultant on Counterterrorism for the Office of the Secretary of State's Coordinator for Counterterrorism. He has also served as a senior advisor to the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly for the State Department. As the president of the National Model United Nations board of directors, he oversees programs for more than 3,400 student delegates. Examining the legacy of former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, one of the signers of the United Nations charter, Melrose's presentation is titled "US Role in the UN: From Stassen to the 21st Century." 2:00 p.m. "Present at the Creation: Governor Stassen and the Founding of the United Nations" Skinner Chapel: This panel discussion will look at the role that citizen groups played in shaping the United Nations and the partnership that these organizations forged with Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, one of the eight official U.S. representatives appointed by President Roosevelt as a signer of the United Nations Charter. Panelists for the afternoon discussion will include: * Dr. Glen Stassen (Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary) * Associate Justice Paul Anderson (Minnesota Supreme Court), * Dorothy Robins Mowry (author of "Experiment in Democracy: The Story of U.S. Citizen organizations in Forging the Charter of the United Nations" and first hand observer of the founding of the U.N.), and * Barry Casselman (National Political Columnist for the Washington Times, and author of "North Star Rising: Minnesota Politicians on the National Stage"). The panel discussion will be moderated by Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. This event is part of the Harold E. Stassen United Nations Lecture Series --------2 of 18-------- From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] gmail.com> Subject: 1st RNC lawsuit 10.10 3pm Press Conference: Lawsuit seeks $250,000 in damages for police raid FRI, 10/10 @ 3pm @ Saint Paul City Hall on Kellogg Blvd. The first lawsuit resulting from the police invasion of a St. Paul home prior to the Republican National Convention will be announced at a press conference October 10. Notice will be served on the city of Saint Paul that lawyers representing Michael Whalen will seek $250,000 in damages. Whalen's duplex on Iglehart Avenue was cordoned off by St. Paul police working with the FBI and Homeland Security people. Whalen and his tenants and guests were held at gunpoint for several hours, not allowed to leave - and no one allowed to enter. Whalen's guests included journalists who are part of the growing people's independent press movement, which documents and web-publishes police abuse around this land of ours. Some of these folks were raided again elsewhere and some were arrested as they documented the new face of St. Paul, formerly the most livable city in America. Mr. Whalen is represented by attorneys Ted Dooley and Peter Nickitas, both members of the National Lawyers Guild. --------3 of 18-------- From: t r u t h o u t <messenger [at] truthout.org> Subject: Moyers/meltdown 10.10 9pm Bill Moyers Journal | George Soros on the Crisis http://www.truthout.org/100808T On Bill Moyers Journal Friday: "Bill Moyers talks with one of the world's most successful investors, George Soros, about the global capital meltdown, how he saw it coming and what can be done now. And, with the campaigns heating up, Moyers checks in with Journal contributor and director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center Kathleen Hall Jamieson on how dirty politics will play out in this final stretch to the election." --------4 of 18-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Harvest/apple/veg 10.11 8am Women's Environmental Institute Fall Harvest Day. Come and help with the apple and fall vegetable harvest. If the day is warm, we can also spin some honey. We ask that you be prepared to work with the farm crews on the orchard and in the fields and take home some apples. Please leave your pets at home as we cannot accommodate all of their needs. A caring and attentive adult must accompany all children. 8 AM - 4 PM (drop by any time) at WEI. Bring heavy gloves and a dish for the Community Potluck. --------5 of 18-------- From: Ken Reine <reine008 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Peace walk 10.11 9am Cambridge MN every Saturday 9AM to 9:35AM Peace walk in Cambridge - start at Hwy 95 and Fern Street --------6 of 18-------- From: Allan Hancock <ahancock.gp [at] gmail.com> Subject: Hancock campaign 10.11 10am Green Party for House in Brooklyn Park/Center. Come anytime between the times noted. Appreciate an RSVP so we know the number for lunch or dinner. 763-561-9758 Thanks, Allan Hancock October Sat 11 Lit Drop 10AM-6PM lunch included Sun 12 Lit Drop 1PM-6PM come at 12:15 for lunch Tue 21 Lit Drop 4PM-7PM Sat 25 Lit Drop 10AM-6PM lunch included Sun 26 Lit Drop 1PM-6PM come at 12:15 for lunch Tue 28 Phone Bank Details Pending Thur 30 Phone Bank Details Pending Sun 2 Lit Drop 1PM-6PM come at 12:15 for lunch Mon 3 Lit Drop 1PM-6PM come at 12:15 for lunch --------7 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Iran update 10.11 10am Saturday, 10/11, 10 am to noon, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom hosts Iranian-American activist M. Jay Shahidi talking about "Iran Update," Van Cleve Community Center, 901 - 15th Ave SE, Mpls. http://www.wilpfmn.org or 612-922-79993. --------8 of 18-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NWN4P Mtka 10.11 11am NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7 and 101. Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the fountain. We will walk along the public sidewalk. Signs available. --------9 of 18-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Anti-war rally 10.11 12noon Duluth MN Saturday, 10/11, noon, Northland Anti-War Coalition holds a march and rally against the continued war in Iraq, gathering at Leif Erickson Park on London Road in Duluth, then marching to the MN Power Plaza at Lake Ave and Superior St, Duluth. http://www.northlandantiwar.blogspot.com/ --------10 of 18-------- From: braun044 <braun044 [at] tc.umn.edu> Subject: Anti-war demo 10.11 1pm Bring the Troops Home Now! Stop Funding War on, Occupation of Iraq Saturday, October 11, 1:00 p.m. Hiawatha and Lake Street, Minneapolis. Six years ago, on October 11, 2002, the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly passed a Joint Resolution authorizing the Bush Administration to launch the Iraq war. Since then, Congress has continued to provide billions of dollars for the war and occupation. On Saturday, October 11, 2008, six years after Congress gave the green light for war, demonstrations, vigils and other events will be held in cities around the country calling for an end to the war and occupation of Iraq. These events, being held as the election campaign gears up, will keep the anti-war message in the streets. In this election year, some politician's talk about "winning the war" and staying in Iraq for 100 years, other politicians are talking about "withdrawal timetables," or taking troops out of Iraq only to send them to Afghanistan instead. But there is no such thing as "winning a war" that was based on lies and deceptions. Sami Rasouli also reminds us that this war can only brings more death and suffering to the people of Iraq. The Iraqi people want the occupation troops out of their country. The war and occupation must end now! Organized by: the Iraq Peace Action Coalition (IPAC). FFI: Anti-War Committee 612-379-3899, Twin Cities Peace Campaign 612-522-1861, or Women Against Military Madness 612-827-5364. Peace in the struggle, Marie Braun For Twin Cities Peace Campaign-Focus on Iraq 612-522-1861 Cell: 612-275-2720 [Folks in the know say a good bit of Iraq would fit up our wannabe dictator Bush's butt and we should see just how much, especially the good parts. -ed] --------11 of 18-------- From: Vanka485 [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 10.11 2pm Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm --------12 of 18-------- From: "Case, Austin N. (UMKC-Student)" <ancn69 [at] umkc.edu> Subject: Ralph Nader 10.11 7:30pm Fargo/Moorehead RALPH NADER TO HOLD FORUM ON OPENING THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES, AT NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY On Saturday, October 11th at 7:30 pm, Independent Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader will be speaking at North Dakota State University- Century Theater, The theme of the North Dakota Rally, "Open the Debates," reflects the Nader/Gonzalez Campaign's call for inclusive, democratic Presidential debates. Right now, they are limited to the candidates from the two corporate parties. The debates are controlled by the so-called Commission on Presidential Debates, a private corporation which was created by the Democratic and Republican Parties in 1987, which Walter Cronkite called an "unconscionable fraud" because the CPD format "defies meaningful discourse." In addition, the candidates will speak about the growing, multifarious crisis California residents confront, starting with a tanking economy, increasing environmental pollution, offshore drilling and a health care system broken beyond repair. Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez Press Conference and Rally Saturday, October 11th 7:30 p.m. Press Conference; 7:00 p.m. NDSU Century Theater, Memorial Student Union Volunteer: If you or your group would like to table or help promote the event contact Austin at the number below. This event is free and open to the public. A suggested contribution of ten dollars and five for students is appreciated but not required. Professors are welcome to bring or invite their classes to attend. About Ralph Nader Attorney, author, and consumer advocate Ralph Nader has been named by Time Magazine one of the "100 Most Influential Americans in the 20th Century." For more than four decades he has exposed problems and organized millions of citizens into more than 100 public interest groups advocating solutions. He led the movement to establish the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and was instrumental in enacting the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and countless other pieces of important consumer legislation. Because of Ralph Nader we drive safer cars, eat healthier food, breathe better air, drink cleaner water, and work in safer environments. Nader graduated from Princeton University and received an LL.B from Harvard Law School. Contact: Austin Case (local) 804-852-6116, ancn69 [at] umkc.edu --------13 of 18-------- From: August Berkshire <augustberkshire [at] gmail.com> Subject: Atheists talk 10.12 9am Minnesota Atheists' "Atheists Talk" radio show. Sunday, October 12, 2008, 9-10 a.m. Central Time Hector Avalos will discuss "How to Fight Intelligent Design and Win." Also, an interview with Scott Lohman, president of the Humanists of Minnesota. We welcome questions during the program at (952) 946-6205 or radio [at] MinnesotaAtheists.org. "Atheists Talk" airs live on AM 950 KTNF in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. To stream live, go to http://www.am950ktnf.com/listen. Podcasts of past shows are available at http://MinnesotaAtheists.org or through iTunes. Program Notes are available at http://MinnesotaAtheists.org. --------14 of 18-------- From: scot b <earthmannow [at] comcast.net> Subject: Stillwater vigil 10.12 1pm A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2 p.m. Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be positive. Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers. If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it. Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to <http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/>http://www.stcroixvalleypeacemakers.com/ For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560 --------15 of 18-------- From: United Nations Association of MN <info [at] unamn.org> Subject: 2008 UN rally 10.13 deadline We are excited to announce the 63rd UN RALLY! Registration information is at the bottom of the page. If you would like more informaiton please call 612-280-2325. Thank you. Please sign up today!!! 63rd United Nations Rally & Seminars HUMAN RIGHTS Thursday, October 23, 2008 Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota Ramp Entrances at 12th Street and 2nd Avenue South Program: 9:00am - 2:00pm Cost: $25 Luncheon and Seminars Special Parking: $8.00 Keynote Speaker: Dr. Leslie R. Wolfe "Women's Human Rights - The Global Revolution" Dr. Leslie R. Wolfe is President of the Center for Women Policy Studies, the Nation's first feminist policy institute, founded in 1972. The Center's mission is to improve women's lives and ensure women's human rights through enlightened public policy. Before joining the Center in 1987, Dr. Wolfe served as Director of the Women's Educational Equity Act Program in the U.S. Department of Education, Director of the Project on Equal Education Rights, Deputy Director of the Women's Rights Program at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Education in the former Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Registration: 9:00-9:30am Seminars: Two 60-minute sessions at 9:30-10:30am and 10:45-11:45am Each seminar will be repeated. Please choose two of the three listed below to attend Women and Water Rights - An International Perspective Presenters: Marilyn Cuneo, Liz Dodson, Luella Green, Terri Hawthorne from WILPF: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Minnesota Metro Arts Committee YPIC: A New Venture of the United Nations Association of Minnesota Presenters: Afa Alizada and Juliana Junqueira, Co-Chairs, UNA-MN Young Professionals for International Cooperation Human Sex Trafficking in Minnesota Presenter: Cheryl A. Thomas, Director, Women's Human Rights Program, The Advocates for Human Rights Reservation Deadline: Monday, October 13 Ticket Price: $25.00 each Please contact Margaret Severe at 612/869-0559 For questions only, please contact Zehra Avsar Keye, UN Rally Chair, 612/377-0214 --------16 of 18-------- From: Michael Cavlan greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Wow- New Nader HQ in Minneapolis Well I just visited the new Nader HQ yesterday. All I can say is WOW. It is located at 715 Hennepin Ave in downtown Minneapolis. It is beyond impressive. Over 2,000 square feet in the front area alone, 50 feet of window space, right on Hennepin Ave which is PRIME viewing area. There are literally THOUSANDS of people that pass by every day. Inside there are thousands of pieces of very high quality lit and hundreds of lawn signs available. The Nader campaign will be showing movies, having discussion groups, organizing and even having parties at this spectacular location. The corporate duopoly are freaking out about this, I'm sure. I have no doubt that something very, very good is going to come out of this For all those Greens and former Greens who had no representation and perhaps been disenfranchised by your own party, there is a growing, active, visible and viable campaign and HQ for you. I suggest you give them a visit. The phone # is (612)338-1494. It should be up and working by Monday. Also, I went to visit the Mankato Greens who are doing very very well. They had ordered 20 lawn signs for Cynthia McKinney and Richard agreed to send me 7 of them. There are none left available. they were snatched up very quickly. Sorry folks. Michael Cavlan --------17 of 18-------- RNC in St Paul Questions that should linger after the tear gas clears Special for Mike Burbach of the Pioneer Press by Dr. Michael Andregg September 24, 2008 The RNC has come and gone so it is important to focus now on critical questions for democracy. -- Who was responsible for the militarization of law enforcement in a city known for community policing? -- Will the Constitution be the greatest casualty of the visit by the RNC? Full disclosure - I worked over a year as a public liaison between many peace groups and the St. Paul Police Department (SPPD). Not for the most radical protesters; they chose not to trust anyone who talks to cops no matter how benignly. I am deeply committed to both preserving peace, and enabling the fullest possible expression of civil liberties. Thoughtful people on both sides worked hard to minimize casualties and maximize freedom of political expression (whether of Republican delegates or protesters here to point out harsh consequences of national policies). We were undercut by vast amounts of Federal counter "terrorism" money looking for targets, aided by a few yahoos in uniform eager for a slice of that pie. And, of course, by some alleged "anarchists." Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher put his name out early seeking $4.4 million to jail "3,000 - 5,000" protesters. He led the feds in preemptive busts of potential terrorist" houses (violating the 4th Amendment of our Bill of Rights, since anyone "might" use garden tools to assault democracy) and preemptive arrests of journalists (violating the 1st Amendment, since anyone with a camera or pen "might" criticize the government or Fletchers' tactics). By one count 36 journalists were arrested trying to cover events of those five days, along with 6 arrested preemptively. Preemptive arrest is standard practice in police states like North Korea and Burma. Is that the standard Minnesota aspires to? Liaisons between polarized groups try to do two things. We promote positive dialogue to avoid misunderstandings, and we strive for promises of responsible conduct to protect the people and values at risk. The saddest thing I must report about SPPD is that they promised us ID's would be prominently displayed on all troops deployed. A commander on the scene, an honorable man I know, told me these ID's never made it onto their tactical gear. We noticed. This was not a minor oversight since when things get tense it enables the less disciplined to abuse the power at their disposal. Another friend of mine who is also an honorable man got shot by something as he tried to obey orders coming from one tactical line telling him to move into another that was firing chemicals and other weapons at a crowd. He was not the only one, but his irony was amplified by the fact that he had come to the "free speech zone" to document the poor people's march on Sept. 2. The main message of that group was reminding affluent Americans that poor people die every day in our country for lack of affordable health care and housing. That non-lethal weapon hit the Constitution at least as hard as it hit him. The worst scene I saw was on August 31 during marches by Iraq Veterans Against the War and some Veterans for Peace with their families. Five helicopters came in from the west to orbit from the State Capitol to the Xcel. They may have been Special Forces or Secret Service. We could not know because of the secrecy the feds employ these days. But everyone could see the men in harness, legs sticking out the doors in a position used to kill leadership on the ground in war zones. For veterans who have literally put their lives on the line to protect our Constitution, this was an absolutely disgusting tactic. Perhaps they were just practicing, but the clear impression left was that they did not like democracy. I want to note some positive items also, because I know for a certain fact that there were people of good will behind many of those armored visors and black bandannas. There were no serious, physical casualties despite many opportunities. There was less property damage than occurs at some European soccer matches. And ad hoc groups like the yellow vested Minnesota Peace Teams did many things to clarify communications, to calm down angry people and tend to wounded. Even the "radicals" accomplished some amazingly positive things. They provided food and shelter to hundreds, maybe thousands of outsiders who came to express their views. They staffed a health clinic across the street from Regions Hospital at no cost to the public, and provided teams of health professionals and attorneys to accompany marches. So calmer heads prevailed most of the time. Most marches started with blue-suited St. Paul cops on bicycles who threatened only the tiny number who came to break windows and block traffic. Of course Sheriff Fletcher had to be ready to jail them. And the Secret Service had to be ready for much less likely but horrible possibilities like attempts to assassinate political leaders. It was our Constitution that was wounded instead. Every attorney and judge in Minnesota swears to protect and defend the Constitution. Now they must decide if their oaths mean anything. A kind of hysteria has descended on America since 9/11. Officials fueled by billions of dollars in counterterror money are hunting for reasons to keep that money flowing. 9/11 was a great national tragedy; I know people who lost their closest relatives on that day. But perspective is still called for. We lose about that number (3,000) every six weeks to auto accidents. We lose the same to murders. We lose the same to suicides. And we lose a whole lot more to poverty, especially lack of health care and housing. But nobody loses their mind over these pervasive and lethal problems ignored in the rush to find a terrorist under every bed. Sheriff Fletcher was foamy at the mouth about the "anarchists" most of whom are also teenagers or 20 somethings who are desperately depressed by the corruption of politics they see, and struggling to survive a ruthless economy that does not give a fig about them unless they have money. His hysteria fit quite well with Federal objectives. The St. Paul Police are generations ahead of most in concepts of "Community Policing." That great image also suffered during the RNC. Many are tempted to put these things behind us. It was exhausting and other problems clamor for our energy. City fathers and mothers should remember that a good reputation takes decades to create. But it can also be destroyed in the blink of eyes mesmerized by the McCarthyism of our time. Do not ignore the question of who was responsible for the extreme militarization of law enforcement during the days of the RNC. By "who" I do not mean some committee or faceless bureaucracy, I mean who specifically by names was responsible. If those who abused their temporary power are not held accountable at the next election or in court, they will almost certainly abuse their power again. Remember, all that hardware bought with easy money remains in storage, nearly new. If preemptive repression of journalists and cruel or unusual treatment of people practicing democracy goes unaddressed, these tools will be used again. They will be used against someone who disagrees with City Hall some day. Maybe you. Michael Andregg is a citizen of St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. He also teaches in the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota and in Justice and Peace Studies at the University of St. Thomas. --------18 of 18-------- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the RNC by Michael Andregg, observer on the scene and participant in many ways [for mnblue.com, Sept. 24, 2008] There were no serious casualties over five days of confrontations between protestors and police from all over America. That is the best I can say about the extraordinary events in St. Paul from August 31 through September 4 of 2008. That good result was possible because of strenuous efforts extending over a year among peace people on both sides of the tactical lines to restrain their more angry or disturbed colleagues. St. Paul looked, felt, and sometimes acted like a police state during these days. That is the worst impression that will linger. Proactive arrests of potential protestors including several journalists and beatings of helpless people in the Ramsey County jail beg attention I will give them later. One video is especially disturbing, this captured by Fox 9 News, of repeated macing, knocking to the ground and a rough arrest of an 18 year old Wisconsin girl named Leah Lane who was not really very dangerous. In fact, she was a model pacifist, forgiving her tormentors. These were Minneapolis cops, by the way, not St. Paul Police Department. Judge for yourself: http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=7430234&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=3.2.1 Before analysis I want to share observations that will linger in my mind. Full disclosure - I worked hard as a public liaison between many groups in the peace community and the St. Paul Police for the year prior. So I had a real commitment to preserving peace in my home town which included protecting persons of any political persuasion and their opportunity to speak freely about political topics - no matter what their cause or ideology. We failed perfection at both objectives, but things could have been much worse without our efforts. Day 0: (Aug. 31, 2008) During a permitted Vets for Peace march the day before the RNC began, I saw St. Paul air ringed by five Federal helicopters orbiting the Capitol to the Xcel Center. Legs hung out open doors, in a position used by military units when they intend to wipe out leadership on the ground. This tactic was disgusting to veterans who have risked their lives defending the right of Americans to protest, and the Constitution which was violated in various ways these five days. Day 1: On the day of the biggest march, over 10,000 peaceful protesters and a couple thousand heavily armed police interacted without serious incident. There were a few violent punks who falsely claim the philosophical label anarchist and broke four windows, (not counting those on a couple of squad cars also damaged) and a few jackboots in uniform who came to fight and did. About 250 people were arrested on Shepard Rd. some of whom worked hard to block traffic but many of whom did not. All appeared caught in a pincer movement that allowed no escape for the innocent mixed among the guilty. The memory that will last for me was more humane. My peculiar mission that day was hunting agents provocateur, who can easily turn a peaceful situation into a riot. Whether they are animated by the right, the left or by loony tunes means nothing; behavior, everything. We caught three Minneapolis cops under cover, assessed them and let them go in peace. One was searching for his 16 year old daughter, terrified that she was getting sucked into a danger zone. His buddies were along because he was afraid of what might happen to him while surrounded by 10,000 + passionate folks with excellent reasons to be suspicious about undercover cops. Day 2: The Poor People's March highlighted the Orwellian as $50 million in police resources were devoted to make delivering a piece of paper and a flag dangerous for Cheri Honkala and a couple of thousand economically desperate people. They wanted to deliver a simple message to the rich and powerful people inside the Xcel. It was called the "March for our Lives" because she knew that homeless people are dieing in our streets every day, that destitute people are dieing every day in America for lack of healthcare, while the affluent sip champagne and dine on shrimp and filet mignon. The police let them be for awhile, actually wore them out leading them on long detours. But as happened most days, eventually someone found reasons to rough some protestors up, tear gas flew, and they ended up arresting at least one journalist who was trying to document the scene. He was also shot in the back with a non-lethal weapon as he obeyed one line of police to move into another that was firing. One never knew which police, because a promise had been broken. Chief Harrington and Assistant Chief Bostrom promised us their police would have prominent, individual identifiers. These IDs did not "make it onto the tactical gear" so that once they went tactical, no one could tell who among 3,700 officers was beating the wrong person, or spraying mace directly into the eyes of victims lying on the ground, etc. One young man named "Jason" was tasered for a very long time after on the ground in Mears Park. Who tasered him, I ask? And why so long if not for pain alone? http://www.kare11.com/video/player.aspx?aid=81605 On Day 3: I spent some time at a "Peace Island" conference at Concordia College in St. Paul, arranged to provide a quality academic alternative to marching in the streets. Since this was wholesome and nonviolent, it was totally ignored by the mainstream press. I transported a 29 year veteran of the US military and CIA (Ray McGovern) from the "free speech zone" near the Xcel to his panel at Concordia with other career national security professionals. They came to talk about problems in our government and law enforcement institutions. None of them were arrested. To get to the "free speech zone" (a small stage with sound gear provided by the City Parks Department) one had to park a mile away and navigate on foot past hundreds of police, both soft-shell and heavily armored tactical units, to a spot hemmed in by 8 foot steel barricades where others had been arrested the night before. As you might imagine, the audience at this lovely space was tiny. Day 4: (Sept. 4, 2008, 4 pm) This was always billed to be the most confrontational march. So I left the tranquil peace people gathered on Harriet Island for music, food and art while the coast guard protected their river with two boats equipped with .50 caliber machine guns. Other troops guarded RNC delegates on a river cruise with M-16's. Not an average St. Paul day, but little chance of injury here, so I went where I might do some good. Within a minute of arrival at the Capitol, a tiny fight between two whomevers in the crowd sparked a massive presence of a variety of tactical assets. When the fight (or other incident) began, a crowd rushed around (like at any soccer or rugby match) so a squad of soft-suited bicycle cops rushed in to stop whatever was causing the ruckus. They were immediately surrounded by a crowd of hundreds growing fast, chanting "Let them go" and other advice. Since this was the angrier march, with many black bandannas about, anyone with the brains God gave a goose would be concerned. Within seconds of their call for help, hundreds of tactical troops poured in from every direction, squads on foot, squads in vans, about 30 horse police (very well trained horses equipped with their own tactical visors, who had shown the days before how efficiently they can clear a path though people one fifth their size). As always there were helicopters overhead, and people watching from rooftops and windows. Well they rescued their brothers and sisters in blue without beating up the bystanders, for both of which I am quite thankful. But the tone of things was different once all those black armored, anonymous troops were out and about with military equipment, batons, grenade launchers and tear gas/pepper spray canisters the size of fire extinguishers. Here came the worst moment I can recall on the protest side. As 5 pm approached, the stage kept saying that the march was permitted. But they knew the permit expired at 5, they just objected to that, and all along they had intended to march to the Xcel Center after then to be present when John McCain spoke. As they were urging everyone to head out, as the crowd was already moving toward the Cedar Street route previous marches had followed, they said "Oh, by the way, this march is now NOT permitted and you may be arrested." Innocents may be jailed by such deceptions; innocents may get hurt. Jail and pain may be OK if you choose them, but not if you are deceived. By ~ 8 pm the police lost their patience and arrested more people than any day prior, about half of everyone arrested during the whole affair (~ 396 of 818). Analysis: Total property damage was less than attends some European soccer matches. There were no serious casualties despite many opportunities over five days of confrontations between protestors and police from all over America. Except for the Constitution of course, which was gravely wounded. Whether the Constitution can recover will depend on the lawyers now. They must decide individually and en masse whether they will honor the oath that every, single one of them has pledged to protect our Constitution and the rule of law instead of Kings. Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher played a particularly bad role in this affair. He was at odds with St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington from the beginning. Harrington is a nationally recognized leader in the philosophy of "community policing" and St. Paul PD is two generations ahead of most large police departments. In fact, it was Fletcher's public grubbing for millions of dollars ($4.4 million, according to the MN Independent of April 17, 2007) to jail thousands of citizens expected to express their views vigorously that led me and former FBI attorney Coleen Rowley to send a letter to the Chief inviting him to a public program to discuss unintended consequences of such reckless behavior. That began a longer dialogue that affected people on many sides of the RNC events, all trying to minimize casualties and maximize freedom. http://www.minnesotaindependent.com/1597/sheriff-anticipates-arresting-thousands-during-2008-rnc Of course, Mr. Fletcher needed to be ready for the rowdies who came to break windows, block traffic and joust with police. There were many legitimate reasons for law enforcement to be extra ready, including the tactical folks who must consider rare but real odds of horrible things like assassination of presidents or candidates. But Fletcher was foamy at the mouth about "anarchists" whom he forgets are mostly teenagers scared to death about their future. And who among the media asked, really, deeply asked why these kids are so scared? Pre-emptive arrests of people who MIGHT commit crimes is the mark of police states. Fletcher helped the Feds in this endeavor. Jailing journalists you don't like while "embedding" those you do was the early stain of Stalin and Hitler. Whether the Constitution will recover from wounds this grave depends on men like Mr. Fletcher losing the power they have abused. There are some reports of beatings in his jail late at night. Elliot Hughes of St. Paul is the only one I know prepared to testify in public. Of course, Fletcher's jail is not the first jail where helpless prisoners have been abused, tortured or even died. But St. Paul and Ramsey County are too civilized to tolerate that. So our city fathers claim. Will the attorneys of St. Paul and Minnesota stand for this, or not? Now, in their defense, police also picked up two men from Texas who allegedly actually made 8 Molotov cocktails which would be extremely dangerous to anyone. They were indicted by a federal grand jury on September 25, and charged with other weapons offenses. There were a very small number of actual guns confiscated from among the 818 people ultimately arrested during the five days of the RNC. So there were some real dangers mixed among the innocents. It is very hard for passionate people to remember that almost every "anarchist" is also a teenager or youth who is scared about their future, depressed by the hypocrisy and corruption of politicians and governments they see, and finding it very hard to make their way in a ruthless economy that does not give a fig about them unless they have money. It is also hard for passionate people to remember that almost every "cop" is at once two things: a protector of people and property in her jurisdiction, and an enforcer of rules that are sometimes unfair. Finally, what about the "Feds?" In the helicopters orbiting over the veterans and surveilling every crowd, in the tinted offices where information was fused and decisions were made, it seemed seldom St. Paul PD or Sheriff Fletcher who had the final say. The FBI, the Secret Service and Homeland Security were here as they should be during a national security event like a major political convention. Who were they, exactly, and what do they answer to? Why do they hide so compulsively? Answer these questions and you will find clues for much of what has gone wrong in America recently. One thing Feds are these days is people looking for enemies, with multi-billion dollar budgets to justify. A cult of secrecy has crippled our intelligence agencies, and creates an environment where criminals in ties can flourish. I study spies. Believe me; they vary from saint* to sinner. But they are all human beings. Most of them have human hearts and actually mean well. Yet while all power tends to corrupt, secret power is especially seductive. The same procedures that protect weapons designs can easily protect criminals with authority. A form of hysteria since 9/11 has been cynically exploited by politicians and proto-fascists attracted to themes like "Homeland Security" and the billions of dollars attached. These forces led to concepts like the "potential terrorist" which includes me, you, journalists and every other citizen who may have a gripe with City Hall some day. Be aware. --- end --- Michael Andregg, first draft September 10, 2008 [edited again on Sept. 25] Dr. Andregg is a citizen of St. Paul, MN, USA who teaches in the Graduate School at the University of Minnesota, and in the Justice and Peace Studies Program at the University of St. Thomas. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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