|Progressive Calendar 11.17.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 06:46:11 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 11.17.08 1. Vs RNC grand jury 11.17 8:30am 2. Biofuel/starve 11.17 10:45am 3. Peace walk 11.17 6pm RiverFalls WI 4. Torture/film 11.17 6:30pm 5. Journalism - dead? 11.17 7pm 6. Vets Day 4 kids 11.17 7pm 7. Oxfam Action 11.17 7pm 8. City web site tour 11.17 7pm 9. Kip Sullivan/health 11.17 7:30pm 10. Willie Murphy b-day 11.17 7:30pm 11. Charley Underwood - RNC: my letter to the Heffelfinger commission 12. Grace Kelly - RNC: Why tear gas, pepper spray & flash bangs? 13. Charley Underwood - Fletcher justifies police violence during RNC 14. Michael Cavlan - Police torture protesters during RNC 15. Grace Kelly - Why must cops preview StP videos before release? 16. Louis Proyect - The early days Of The Nation Magazine --------1 of 16-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Vs RNC grand jury 11.17 8:30am Monday, 11/17, 8:30 am, People's Fishing Expedition: put on your fishing clothes and bring your gear, to protest the Grand Jury fishing expedition into RNC protests, Federal Courthouse, 300 S 4th St, Mpls. --------2 of 16-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Biofuel/starve 11.17 10:45am Minneapolis Branch American Association of University Women. 9:30 - 10:30: A Morning with Emily Dickinson with Maggie Pistner. 10:45 - 11:45 AM: How Biofuels Starve the Poor. Noon - 1:15 PM: Luncheon. 1:15 - 2:15 PM: The Aging Spine with Erica Visto. 2115 Stevens Ave., Minneapolis. [feed a car - starve a person] --------3 of 18-------- From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at] comcast.net> Subject: Peace walk 11.17 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 --------4 of 16-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Torture/film 11.17 6:30pm FREE Third Monday Movies and Discussion: "Taxi to the Dark Side" Monday, November 17, 6:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. An in-depth look at the torture practices of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, focusing on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed in 2002. Sponsored by: the WAMM Third Monday Movies Committee. FFI: Call WAMM, 612-827-5364. --------5 of 16-------- From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Journalism - dead? 11.17 7pm The National Press Club Comes to Minneapolis Does Journalism Have a Future? Monday, November 17, 7:00 p.m. Coffman Memorial Union Theater Free and open to the public To celebrate its centennial, the National Press Club is organizing forums across the country on the First Amendment, freedom of the press and the future of journalism. A panel of leading local journalists will discuss where the news business is going and how to preserve its core values. Panelists include Thom Fladung, Editor, St. Paul Pioneer Press; Nancy Barnes, Editor, Star Tribune; Joel Kramer, CEO and Editor, MinnPost; Nora Paul, Director, Institute for New Media Studies, and Moderator, Alan Bjerga, Bloomberg News and National Press Club treasurer. This forum is part of a nationwide conversation the National Press Club is holding during its 100th anniversary to look at where the news business is going and what news consumers should be demanding. Schedules and video highlights of forums in other states can be found on the Club's Web site: www.press.org. --------6 of 16-------- From: Veterans for Peace Chapter 27 <vfpchapter27 [at] gmail.com> Subject: Vets Day 4 kids 11.17 7pm Got this from Colleen Rowley .... I encourage vets to show up and ensure these kids get the real deal, not a recruitment pitch. - Chante From: Rowley Clan <rowleyclan [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Veterans Day panel for school children Veteran's Tribute: Those Who Served Monday, November 17, 2008 7 p.m. Apple Valley American Legion Post 1776 14521 Granada Drive, Apple Valley Hear veteran's poignant stories and experiences while serving in WW II, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf and Iraq wars. A representative from each of these wars is a member of a panel moderated by Stan Turner, Twin Cites broadcast journalist, former KSTP news anchor. Meet veterans Jim Downey (Burnsville), WW II, Alan Morphew (Lakeville), Korea, Richard Loynachan (Lakeville), Vietnam, Eric Lee (Apple Valley), Persian Gulf and Craig Schwarzbauer (Eagan), Iraq. Craig Schwarzbauer is a 2001 graduate of Eastview High School. Students are encouraged to attend. There is no admission; a free will donation will be accepted to support future veteran events. No RSVP required. This event is sponsored by Apple Valley American Legion Post 1776 and District 196 Community Education. Questions? Contact Jan Stoven --------7 of 16-------- From: Oxfam Action Corps - MN <minnesota [at] oxfamactioncorps.org> Subject: Oxfam Action 11.17 7pm On the 3rd Monday of each month, we gather to plan our nonpartisan grassroots activities. We've successfully organized events, lobbied policymakers, and have used sheer creativity to stand up for meaningful change. Our next meeting is this coming Monday, August 18 at 7pm. We meet at the unique Common Roots Café (2558 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis). Anyone can become an Oxfam Action Corps volunteer. Remember, our entire team is volunteer organized and driven - the only qualification is a passion to end suffering. New members join regularly. Stop by this Monday even if you can only spare a few minutes. We'd love to meet you. You can contact us at minnesota [at] oxfamactioncorps.org. --------8 of 16-------- From: Cathi Lyman-Onkka <mclbaskets [at] yahoo.com> Subject: City web site tour 11.17 7pm The next two Saint Paul E-Democracy Outreach workshops, at the Rondo Community Outreach Library, will be tours of the City of Saint Paul web site, on November 17, and the Ramsey County web site, on November 24. Learn from city and county staff who work on these web sites what is online, and how you can use their site to learn about their operations, programs and services, and connect with your local elected officials. The sessions start at 7:00 p.m. and last until about 8:15. They are held in the electronic classroom at the Rondo library, 461 N. Dale Street, Saint Paul, MN 55103. St. Paul City Web Site Tour Monday, November 17, 7:00 p.m. Ramsey County Web Site Tour Monday, November 24, 7:00 p.m. State of MN Resources on the Web Tour Monday, December 1, 7:00 p.m. Following the Legislature on the Web Monday, December 8, 7:00 p.m. --------9 of 16-------- From: Diane J. Peterson <birch7 [at] comcast.net> Subject: Kip Sullivan/health 11.17 7:30pm THE HEALTH CARE MESS Speaker - Kip Sullivan, author of The Health Care Mess - How We Got into It and How We'll Get out of It Kip Sullivan will discuss what's wrong with the health-care system and how to fix it, in terms everyone can understand. Monday, November 17, 2008 - 7:30-9:30 p.m. Woodbury City Hall Birch Room 8301 Valley Creek Road, Woodbury Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Woodbury-Cottage Grove [God says, Whenever I need to know anything about single payer health insurance, I ask Kip Sullivan. God knows (actually, doeesn't know) how he does it. -ed] --------10 of 16-------- From: amykru <amykru [at] yahoo.com> Subject: Willie Murphy b-day 11.17 7:30pm Come help local progressive celebrate his birthday! Willie Murphy is playing his Blue Monday on his Birthday, November 17, at the Eagles Club in Minneapolis: 2507 E 25th St (E 25th St. at 25th Ave S. in the Seward neighborhood). Music starts around 7:30. If you play, bring your instrument and join in. Willie's involvement helped establish many things we now take for granted from Community Radio to Food Coops. His latest record, "Devil in the White House" is currently available with the unforgettable line, "We used to call him Beelzebub, now we just call him Bubba." He continues his work as an activist and is ready for the Revolution. --------11 of 16-------- Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 03:33:34 -0600 (CST) From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: RNC: my letter to the Heffelfinger commission (Since I had to work last Thursday night when testimony was being taken regarding the RNC, my only choice was to send my comments to them via email. Note: Comments are being accepted only through today, 11/14,08, by emailing lucie.passus (at) stpaul (dot) gov The following is my letter.) One of the saddest fatalities of the Republican National Convention was the previously good community policing by the St. Paul Police Department. No department is perfect, of course, but the basic relationship between the Twin Cities peace community and the St. Paul Police Department was unusual for the ongoing tone of mutual respect. Even when peace people were performing acts of non-violent civil disobedience and were therefore arrested, the bilateral understanding was that each side was doing its job as professionally as possible. Peace people understood that the police had the job of arresting them for any illegal acts, however non-violent. Police often agreed with the political goals of the protesters if not the tactics, and the police almost always understood that even civil disobedience was devoid of any danger to civic order or to their own personal security. Against this backdrop, a meeting was held nearly a year before the convention, specifically to calm any concerns about the upcoming convention. On October 23, 2007, the Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers and the University of St Thomas Justice and Peace Department invited the St Paul police to discuss the upcoming Republican National Convention. It was absolutely amazing to look back on the promises made and compare them to what actually happened. Let's review. Assistant St Paul Police Chief Matt Bostrom promised that St Paul would absolutely NOT be a repeat of Seattle 1999. He said that we would not be following the brutal and repressive "Miami model" from the 2003 FTAA protests, but that there would be a warm and welcoming "St Paul model" for all to see. He said that what got him out of bed in the morning was his abiding concern for civil liberties. Bostrom promised that there absolutely nobody would be arrested unless they committed a specific crime, that there would not been any general sweeps. (Fact: There were actually three mass arrests for "being in the wrong place at the wrong time," on Shepard Road September 1, after the Rage-Against-the-Machine concert in Minneapolis on September 3, and on the Marion Street bridge on September 4.) Bostrom promised the police officers would be readily identifiable and wearing regular police uniforms, not tactical gear. (Fact: Nearly all "security" personnel were clad in black "ninja turtle" suits, with no unit or personal identification visible, and even covered up so much that it was usually impossible to determine gender.) Bostrom promised there might be some changes in traffic patterns, but there would be absolutely no restrictions in foot traffic. (Fact: Nearly every bridge near St Paul was closed at one point or another, and major parts of the downtown area were blockaded on each day of the convention.) Bostrom promised that all "security" would be under the supervision of the St Paul Police Department and that any other jurisdictions cooperating with the event would be "partnered" with St Paul officers and under the direct control of the St Paul Police Department. (No contradicting "facts" here, but I have yet to meet a single person who concluded that St Paul Police controlled security of the convention. Most would speculate that Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher was in immediate control, but that the general direction was determined by some anonymous federal agency.) Matt Bostrom declared there would be absolutely no restrictions on free speech and that, in fact, the entire city of St Paul would be a "free speech zone." (Fact: You couldn't even get to the "public expression" zone most evenings of the convention, because the streets were blocked by menacing lines of black-clad individuals in riot gear.) Bostrom said that there would be permits granted in advance, but that officers on the scene would also be able to grant permits "on the fly." (Fact: The Thursday march permit was actually revoked "on the fly" and nearly 400 people were later arrested as they attempted to march to the Xcel Center.) Bostrom promised that St Paul police would not let federal agents "go after people." (This might be technically true, if all those preventative arrests were at the initiative of Bob Fletcher and not merely Fletcher acting on behalf of some federal agency.) Bostrom promised that protesters would be able to confront the Republicans within "sight and sound" in accordance with previous court rulings. (Fact: Thursday's march was specifically prohibited from going crossing Interstate 94 or going anywhere near the Xcel Center.) Bostrom promised that there would be no massive holding pens or arrest quotas of 3,000 people. (Fact: False on the holding pens, but technically correct on the quota number, since only about 800 were actually arrested. It should be mentioned, however, that many more were tased and especially pepper-sprayed than any previous similar event.) Bostrom said that there were "no plans" to infiltrate any groups. (Fact: Recent court records relating to search warrants indicated that infiltration had actually started at least the month before, probably under the supervision of the Ramsey County Sheriff's office.) Bostrom indicated that no private security would be hired. (Both Pioneer Press and Star Tribune reported that a million dollars was approved by the St Paul City Council for private security.) I have saved the most interesting promise for last. Professor Gerald Schlabach of the St Thomas Justice and Peace Department asked Chief Matt Bostrom a very serious question toward the end of the evening. Schlabach wondered how Bostrom would react if St Paul lost control of the convention security to a different agency and if all of the promises were broken. Gerald Schlabach asked Chief Bostrom if Bostrom would resign. Matt Bostrom thought quietly for a good long moment. He didn't answer in a way that seemed impulsive or off-the-cuff. Bostrom seemed to really consider the question quite seriously before answering. Then Bostrom answered quite simply that he would resign. (Fact: Bostrom is still employed as Assistant Chief of the St Paul Police Department. Like the other promises, this one was broken.) The video of that evening's presentation is not in my possession, but I have been able to determine where it is and I believe I could obtain a copy for any investigators who have even the slightest interest in reviewing the false promises that officials in St. Paul made prior to the convention. It is not my intention to criticize only Chief Matt Bostrom. The problem is much greater than one person, of course. His was the public face of the many official lies and broken promises surrounding the RNC. Those of us who witnessed many of the events in St. Paul during that time saw numerous cases of arbitrary arrests, arbitrary pepper-spray, massive intimidation of non-violent protest through the use of anonymous and riot-clad officers with lethal batons and less-lethal weapons deployed during legal and permitted protests. Those of us on the streets during those days (I myself was volunteering as a street medic during most of the convention) have spoken to many bystanders who were pepper-sprayed or arrested, sometimes while specifically obeying police orders. Those of us with computers and internet access have seen the videos of wanton police violence against the non-violent. Here's the problem. The St. Paul Police Department and the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office have chosen to protect themselves from any accountability to the public. They have chosen to do this by donning anonymous riot uniforms, disguising not only personal identity, but masking the actual units of the officers as well. It thus became impossible to link any excessive violence with any particular individual, police department or other agency. They have also done this by refusing to release the thousands of hours of videotape to citizen groups or even lawyers defending their clients. They have refused to apologize or even investigate any police misconduct, preferring to close ranks behind the myth that everything was just fine. It is also quite amazing that absolutely no information has been released regarding most of the actual violations of law. I have tried for many hours, for example, to discover if any charges were pending against the individual who broke the Macy's window on September 1 and the individuals who broke the squad car windows on September 1. I have called the St. Paul City Attorney's Office, the St. Paul Police, the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, and the Ramsey County Prosecutor's Office. There has been a complete stonewalling, in spite of the fact that these two incidents where the ones used to justify the massive police violence that we witnessed during those days. The general belief in the community is that these incidents will not be charged because they were done by provocateurs. I have no idea if the majority of the property destruction was committed by those on the police payroll, or if there is some other explanation for the lack of arrests for actual breakage. I only know that there were hundreds and hundreds of officers in the area of each incident, that these crimes are not even being mentioned at this point. And I know that only the more speculative and political crime of "conspiracy" is being mentioned through official outlets. In this world, graywater becomes "weaponized" urine and old tires or roofing nails become weapons. Perhaps it is a foregone conclusion that police officers will protect their own regardless of the law, much like Mafia omerta or other gang loyalty. There will be a heavy price to pay, however, if this is the eventual conclusion. Police will be seen exclusively as the protectors of the powerful, rather than the protectors of the people. Police will be seen as dangerous. Police will be seen as the enemy, merely because they have chosen to treat peaceful citizens as the enemy. If we are to return to a model of community policing, if we are to have the police be protectors of the people and enforcers of the law, rather than lawless enforcers of terroristic official power, then we must right a few wrongs committed during the convention. I have several suggestions. First, drop all charges against those rounded up in the mass arrests on Shepard Road, on the Marion Street bridge and in Minneapolis after the Rage concert; charge only those who committed actual acts of violence against people or damage against property. Drop all charges that have to do with being "in the wrong place at the wrong time." Second, drop all the conspiracy charges. These are thought crimes, open to whim, influence and paranoia. Charge only those who committed actual violence. Third, conduct real, open hearings into citizen complaints of police violence. Let there be sworn testimony and the possibility of criminal charges where actual assaults have occurred. Fourth, dismiss all police and sheriff's officers who have made false statements in their reports. Have their statements be evaluated for criminal prosecution. Fifth, examine the legality of anonymous policing. Those black ninja outfits have no place in a democracy, and my understanding is that there are already state laws that prohibit such practices. Sixth, immediately secure all video evidence during the convention so that none may be erased or destroyed. Release such evidence to all lawyers representing defendants, to all journalists of any description, and to the general public at large (perhaps through internet access). Seventh, give some explanation as to why such illegal intimidation and massive use of chemical weapons was allowed to occur. This wasn't the plan. What happened? Last, apologize. Minnesotans are a kind and forgiving people. Mistakes will happen. But most of us hate lies and we love our freedom. We have heard a lot of lies and lost a lot of freedom. A sincere apology by at least two mayors, one police chief and a sheriff would go a long way. Sincerely, Charles Underwood Charley Underwood Longfellow (SD 62 A), Minneapolis Info about Charley Underwood: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/charleyunderwood --------12 of 16-------- Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 06:06:02 +1300 (NZDT) From: "Grace Kelly (nicknamed Kelly)" <saintcurmudgeon [at] earthlink.net> Subject: RNC: Why the Use of Tear Gas, Pepper Spray and Flash Bangs? The use of tear gas, pepper spray and flash bangs has been bothering me. Before the use of these items, there was no problem with crowd control. The police clearly demonstrated that by moving people around the city. There was no active resistance to arrest except for one football tackle, otherwise people were shocked yet compliant. With 3,500 police officers, clearly the police had enough police power to dominate any situation without tear gas, pepper spray and flash bangs. Tear gas, pepper spray and flash bangs hurt innocent people, so why were they used? Then I had a realization. Without tear gas, the police would not have the excuse of putting on tear gas masks to make them less identifiable. Without tear gas, the so-called-anarchists would not have the excuse of putting on bandannas to make them less identifiable. Without pepper spray, the so-called-anarchists would not have the excuse of putting on hooded shirts to make them less identifiable. Without flash bangs, then there would be no mass running to cover the so-called-anarchists get away.<!--break--> See many of us went to the event with video cameras intent on taping any lawbreaking what-so-ever. We even had video cameras mounted on all the streets. So without tear gas, pepper spray and flash bangs, we would have documented any lawbreaking in detail. Without tear gas, pepper spray and flash bangs, we would gotten closer. Without tear gas, pepper spray and flash bangs, faces would have been recorded. Without tear gas, pepper spray and flash bangs,the only people running would have been the bad guys. These reasons fit too well. --------13 of 16-------- Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 16:21:03 +1300 (NZDT) From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: MPR interview: Fletcher justifies police violence during RNC I have been completely astounded to listen to the interviews that Minnesota Public Radio reporter Laura Yuen had with Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher and St Paul Police Chief John Harrington, broadcast November 13 and 14. A number of statements struck me as unintentionally revealing, the most shocking coming from Fletcher. Fletcher was responding to a question from Yuen, wondering if the Mobile Field Force was called in too late during the more destructive actions on September 1. Fletcher responded, "I'm not going to argue that the Mobile Field Force should have been used earlier. It was constructive for the community to be able to see and to get consensus from the community that these types of criminal acts need to be addressed. Quite often in criminal law enforcement, if we move too quickly, we are second-guessed more." I truly urge others on this list to listen to Fletcher's own voice. I can imagine three possible interpretations for his words. First interpretation: We didn't want that property destruction on September 1, but it was good it happened because now people can understand why we acted so violently. Second interpretation: We let it happen to justify our actions. Third interpretation: We arranged for it to happen so we could justify our actions. We all understand reality through the lens of our own experiences, of course. My experience was witnessing the arrests and the pepper-spraying of many individuals who had committed no crime. I witnessed thousands of black-clad officers menacing peaceful protesters with huge cudgels and chemical weapons during non-violent, legal, permitted marches. I have talked with witnesses to the Macy's window breakage and the patrol car window breakage, who claim that there was a massive police presence at both scenes and that no attempts were made to arrest the perpetrators. I spent many hours on the phone to nearly 20 officials (in the St Paul Police, the Ramsey County Sheriff's office, the Ramsey County Prosecutor's office and the St Paul City Attorney's office) trying to determine if, in fact, any charges had been made in those two "justifying" and iconic incidents; I have been completely stonewalled by every single person I asked, leading me to wonder at the seeming disinterest in charging out these crimes. Disproportionate charges (with potential jail time to nearly 8 years) are now pending against people who were locked up in Ramsey County custody during the entire convention. The evidence cited against them includes mostly a few roofing nails, a couple of buckets of graywater and some old tires. Frankly, I am more and more convinced that St Paul Police Chief John Harrington completely lost control of this security operation to a person who has little respect for the law and even less respect for the freedoms we all cherish. I am completely persuaded that if Mayor Chris Coleman, Chief John Harrington and the city council maintain their silence in the face of so much police violence, then the paranoid narrative of Bob Fletcher will prevail. We will all then be in much greater danger from Bob Fletcher. I urge others to listen to the interviews and to examine the facts. To me, the RNC was a military siege of the Twin Cities by Bob Fletcher, allowed to occur by a money-motivated city council and a police chief cowed by Fletcher's outrageous actions. If we do not address this amazing over-reaching intimidation and usurping of power by Bob Fletcher, our long-term safety is in danger. Failing to challenge a public official who places himself so much above the law will only lead to more official lawlessness in the future. I strongly urge the mayor, the city council, the policed chief and in fact responsible and honest police officers to publicly condemn such outrage. If they don't, we are doomed to continued arbitrary exercise of unchecked power. You can find the audio I reference at http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/11/13/bob_fletcher_rnc_police/ Then click on the title "Sheriff Bob Fletcher on the mobile field force during the RNC" on the right-hand side, about halfway down. --------14 of 16-------- Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 15:57:42 -0600 (GMT-06:00) From: Michael Cavlan <ollamhfaery [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Police Torture Protesters During RNC Allegations of Police Torture of Activists and Other Abuses Raised During Republican National Convention At a Press Conference Thursday, November 13th, at the Capitol Building in St Paul, Minnesota activists involved in the protests during the Republican National Convention, raised the issue of abuses of power by the local police. This includes the horrifying allegation of police actually torturing protesters in the Ramsey County Jail in St Paul. Also included was allegations and stories of systemic abuse of police power and authority from activists, street medics and others, in the streets of St Paul and Minneapolis before, during and after the 2008 Republican National Convention. Of course, you would be remiss if you have just found this information out. In a free and open democratic society, with a free and independent press, allegations of this nature, actual torture of peaceful, non violent dissenters, practicing their First Amendment Rights of Free Speech, Free Assembly and to Peacefully Petition the Government of Our Grievances, should, I repeat should make headlines, demanding an immediate investigation into these substantiated allegations. Likewise, the reports of governmental abuses of power, targeting peaceful dissenters under the Patriot Act. This has happened, with some of those so charged are in fact Quakers. Let me repeat that for emphasis, Quakers are being charged with terrorism under the Patriot Act. This is now the case with the now dubbed RNC 8. All of these facts should be making news, screaming from headlines, if we indeed lived in an open, democratic society, with a free and independent press. At the Press Conference was representatives from local ABC affiliate KSTP, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio, St Paul Pioneer Press and the Twin Citied Daily Planet (a local on line citizen driven source). However, we live in the United States Of America so we do not have a free and open democratic society and we most certainly do not have a Free and Independent Press, or at least not in the corporate media. Of all the media present, only the Twin Cities Daily Planet made a halfway decent coverage of the story. The Star Tribune had a small story, hidden away in the middle of the local section, with no reference to police torture or other serious allegations. The St Paul Pioneer Press, Minnesota Public Radio and KSTPthe ABC affiliate had no mention of the story at all. Obviously the Associated Press, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News have not covered the story either. Fortunately, we do have a growing, ever critical independent media, such as Op Ed News which has become critical to inform the public of events in our world today. So now the dubbed RNC 8, who are eight young activists charged with conspiracy to felony riot, in the furtherance of terrorism, under the Minnesota Patriot Act face a possible 7 and 1/2 years in prison. As stated earlier, two of these young people are in fact Quakers. Quakers are noted for their twin devotion to the principles of non-violence and opposition to all forms of oppression. they now need our help. Please spread the word, far and wide about their case. Donate to their cause. They are currently holding yard sales to raise money. They deserve better support than that. You can obtain for information on their case and donate by visiting their website http://rnc8.org/ or you can contact Communities United Against Police Brutality at http://www.cuapb.org/HomePage.asp To obtain some of the information on just some of the documented abuses of police power during the RNC there is now a documentary movie, called Terrorizing Dissent. Visit the website where you can watch the movie and even download it to DVDs. The makers of the movie have made no money on it and in fact have made it public domain, so that people can spread the word. The site is http://www.terrorizingdissent.org/ To watch the election cut preview you can watch here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5eDQKaKLYE To watch the gut wrenching testimony of one of the people tortured by the police, watch here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1EcFgWqcss It must be noted that this testimony was arranged by St Paul City Councilman David Thune Councilman Thune has been virtually alone in standing up in the St Paul and Minneapolis City Councils and making an actual racket demanding that those brutalized be given a voice. The "progressive" Democrat Mayors RT Ryback of Minneapolis, Mayor Coleman in St Paul and the entire "progressive" City Councils in Minneapolis and St Paul gave the police full authority to do what they did during the Republican National Convention. Consider this a clarion call, much as Paul Revere did in crying "The British are coming, the British are coming." This is not a call to talk, debate or ponder. It is a call to action. First by simply donating money to the RNC 8 and then by watching the documentary Terrorizing Dissent, making copies, showing friends and families, In other words, it is a call to wake up and wake up others, before it is too late. It is your clarion call. Time to act on it. --------15 of 16-------- Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 15:51:41 -0600 (GMT-06:00) From: Kelly <saintcurmudgeon [at] earthlink.net> Subject: Why must St Paul videos be previewed by police before release? Why aren't the street videos available to us all? Why does the police have to preview the videos before releasing access to the videos? Could "previewing" be code for altering or losing any evidence that might be damaging to the police? Why do we have the ones accused, in this case the police, controlling the evidence? So while the police are supposedly understaffed and underpaid, somehow they are going to find time to go over the 6.000 hours of street video tape before allowing anyone else to see it. Quote:On Thursday, community groups held a news conference at the state Capitol and said police, not protesters, were the aggressors during the convention. They demanded that more than 6,000 hours of police video be publicly released, saying the footage would show police misconduct and people being wrongly arrested.... Attorneys affiliated with the National Lawyers Guild are representing many of the 818 convention arrestees, and they haven't received copies of the video footage either, said Rachel Bengtson, vice president of the Guild's Minnesota chapter. St. Paul City Attorney John Choi said all the video would be disclosed to defense attorneys as required by the rules of criminal procedure and court orders. He also said city officials are working to fulfill video requests made under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act. "We have made a conscious decision in the city to be open and forthright with any video that is in our possession," Choi said. "The reality is that someone needs to review the video prior to releasing it, and that is a monumental task requiring lots of staff time." He said he didn't know when the videos would be ready. The city has received 380 requests for convention-related information, Choi said. (Pioneer Press) Unquote. Why did Choi say, "The reality is that someone needs to review the video prior to releasing it" and why does that have to happen? Basically there was $69,000 of glass breakage and slashed tires, that allegedly happened from non-police. The accusations are that the police basically tear gassed, pepper sprayed, tazored, and using many violent techniques on people that were not doing any lawbreaking or doing minor things like having too large pole for a banner. Specifically, Quote: Three people detailed their allegations of police brutality. One was Jason Johnson, 33, of Cedar Lake, Ind., who was arrested Sept. 2. Johnson said he was attending a permitted rally and march that began at Mears Park when he followed a crowd and entered a crosswalk. He said a mounted police officer grabbed him. "Before I had any time to react to anything at all, I was shot twice by Taser guns," Johnson said. He said it felt like his body was on fire. "I woke up on the ground sometime later, being Tased repeatedly on my legs," Johnson said. Johnson has pleaded not guilty to obstructing legal process. (Pioneer Press) Unquote. In light the seriousness of the charges against the police, with independent film already providing a basic case, should this same police have control of the video from the street? --------16 of 16-------- The Early Days Of The Nation Magazine by Louis Proyect (Swans - November 17, 2008) For people trying to understand the bankruptcy of American liberalism, there is probably no better place to start than The Nation magazine. I first began subscribing to The Nation in the 1980s when Reagan was in the White House. As a general rule of thumb, the magazine is more readable when a Reagan or a Bush is president. During the Clinton presidency, The Nation directed most of its fire at "threats" to his presidency from the likes of Newt Gingrich rather than seeing the war on the poor as a joint Democrat-Republican project. In 2003, after seeing one too many attack on the radical wing of the antiwar movement in the pages of The Nation, I decided to write a rebuttal to what I described as its "tainted liberalism." My research revealed that from the very beginning, the magazine was hostile to the kinds of grassroots radical movements celebrated in Howard Zinn's history -- especially under the stewardship of the founding publisher and editor E.L. Godkin. In 1978, an unstinting biography of Godkin written by William M. Armstrong appeared but The Nation understandably decided not to review it. After having read Armstrong's book, I have a much better handle on where the magazine came from. Like the demented uncle or aunt kept secluded in a Victorian attic, The Nation has kept mum about E.L. Godkin. The last time an article about the founder appeared in its pages was back on July 22, 1950. Written by Columbia University historian Allan Nevins, "E.L. Godkin: Victorian Liberal" is a mixture of fact and fancy. It is notable for its patronizing attitude toward black Americans, a trait strongly identified with The Nation's tepid brand of abolitionism in the 1860s. For Nevins, among the tasks confronting Godkin in 1865 was how to deal with "four million ignorant, destitute Negroes." Along with fellow founding board members including Frederick Law Olmstead (the architect of Central Park), they gathered money to launch a new magazine with the "bewildered black man at heart." While Nevins was critical of Godkin's "denunciation" of trade unions seeking an eight-hour day, he was still considered more "truly liberal" than other followers of John Stuart Mill and the Manchester school. Specifically he "desired Washington to do more for the education, economic betterment, and political training of the Negro." Reading Nevins, one cannot suppress the feeling that he is talking about convicts in need of training programs to help prepare them for life outside of prison. One has to wonder how Nevins's brand of bloviation found itself into a magazine that ostensibly upheld progressive traditions. While the subject of this article is Godkin rather than Nevins, it is of some interest that his book on John D. Rockefeller was described thusly by Matthew Josephson, author of the muckraking classic "The Robber Barons": It was in the course of doing work for the five Rockefeller books that Nevins developed the interesting thesis that the American corporate adventurers to whom Matthew Josephson gave the enduring name of "The Robber Barons" were in fact American heroes, builders of the American civilization and democracy. He invited other historians to follow in his footsteps in this thesis, but so far nobody has conspicuously accepted. And if anyone does, one will be able to see the American intellectual horizon further muddled. I have given writers like Nevins the sobriquet of "counter-savants." A savant, or man of learning, is devoted to increasing knowledge. And knowledge has the function of deepening understanding. A counter-savant, however, is a man of knowledge who uses his knowledge, for reasons known only to himself, to obfuscate understanding, to confuse readers. The fact is that Nevins' corrective portrait of Rockefeller is not only false with respect to the central character, but frustrates understanding with the unsophisticated reader. After filling in some background on E.L. Godkin in the first four chapters (he was born and raised in Ireland, a follower of John Stuart Mill, and aspired to the lifestyle of a country gentleman, and even owned a horse in New York City), Armstrong gets down to brass tacks in chapter five titled "Founding the Nation." The men (as was expected to be the case in the Victorian era) who provided start-up capital for The Nation in 1865 were abolitionists who expected it to promote "the removal of all artificial distinctions between [the black] and the rest of the population." Godkin, whose opposition to slavery was based more on a liberal preference for markets than anything else, was simply not that interested in empowering former slaves. After lining up the necessary funding from prominent members of the Radical wing of the Republican Party, The Nation magazine began publishing in 1865. However, the magazine took people by surprise since it criticized some of the most respected Radicals including Benjamin Butler as it equivocated on black rights. Radical leader Charles Sumner wrote a letter to other investors complaining that the magazine "does more hurt than good... An argument to show that Equality is not essential to the Republican ideas is in the worst vein of copper-headism." (The copperheads were Northern Democrats who opposed the Civil War.) Two of the abolitionist founders of the magazine, Wendell Phillips and George L. Stearns, called for Godkin's dismissal, but the majority reluctantly decided to go along with him. Eventually Godkin lined up the necessary funds to buy out the more radical-minded investors and The Nation was now free to pursue an approach that Armstrong describes as follows: In his hard-hitting political and social articles, Godkin directed his fire impartially at anyone who violated the "laws of trade" as well as his elevated notions of culture. He deplored Irish-American politicians, labor reformers, the "Western type of man," evangelical clergymen, the growing "servant problem," the eight-hour day, the failure of Americans to dress for dinner, "sentiment," untutored immigrants, universal manhood suffrage, popular journalists, noisy patriots, reactionaries, and reformers of all hue. Godkin struck Progressive historians Charles and Mary Beard as a Brahmin "mainly pleading for good manners" while Armstrong describe his personal letters as revealing a "veritable snob" who complained incessantly about "the democratic plan of doing everything" in the United States. Just one year after The Nation began publishing, Godkin admitted that he had veered so far from the original abolitionist intentions of the investors that he was "afraid to visit Boston this winter, lest the stockholders of The Nation should lynch me." Ironically, it was lynching in the South and other assaults against blacks that Godkin grew inured to. Just as President Andrew Johnson began to sabotage efforts at Reconstruction in the South against the objections of Radical Republicans and open the door to KKK lynch mobs, Godkin rushed to defend Johnson. When attempts to oust the racist President Johnson failed, Godkin pronounced this as a vindication of the law. As the 1870s began, Godkin openly broke with the Radicals, assailed carpetbaggers, and called for the restoration of white power in the South. In an 1874 editorial he advised The Nation's readers that he found the average intelligence of blacks "so low that they are slightly above the level of animals." He longed for the return of southern conservatives to power in 1877 eagerly, writing Harvard professor Charles Eliot Norton and fellow adversary of democratic rule that "I do not see . . . . the negro is ever to be worked into a system of government for which you and I would have much respect." Suffice it to say that people such as E.L. Godkin, Charles Eliot Norton, and Allan Nevins were virtual symbols of American liberalism for over 100 years. The only reason that their polite (and not so polite) racism has become antiquated is that black people themselves would not tolerate it. A combination of Godkin's Manchester school liberalism and his innate crudeness as a human being allowed him to write an editorial in 1877 explaining why slavery would not come back. The whites would find no gains in it from the cold logic of the marketplace: Their minds are really occupied with making money . . . and their designs on the negro are confined to getting him to work for low wages. His wages are low -- forty cents a day and rations, which cost ten cents -- but he is content with it. . . . On one [Virginia plantation] there were, before the war, about one hundred and fifty slaves of all ages. The owner, at emancipation, put them in wagons and deposited them in Ohio. His successor now works the plantation with twelve hired men. . . . He laughs when you ask him if he regrets slavery. Nothing would induce him to take care of one hundred fifty men, women, and children, furnishing perhaps thirty able bodied men, littering the house with a swarm of lazy servants, and making heavy drafts on the meat-house and corn-crib, and running up doctor's bills. As I tried to explain in a Swans article on Jesse James, the racist attacks on Reconstruction first appeared in the state of Missouri under the auspices of the Liberal Republican Party. While the party only lasted for a brief time in the 1870s, it had a major impact on American history by coalescing racist opposition to black rights. Among the early supporters of the Liberal Republicans was E.L. Godkin of The Nation magazine, who agreed strongly with their desire for rapprochement with the South as well as their free trade policies that jibed with his Manchester school liberalism. Godkin subsequently broke with the liberals, but not over any principles. He simply preferred Charles Francis Adams as a presidential candidate to Horace Greeley. After Godkin passed on, the job of running The Nation fell to Oliver Garrison Villard, who was something of an improvement. His father Henry Villard had bought paper in 1881 and he decided to give his son Oliver a job. Oliver got his middle name from his mother's side of the family. She was the daughter of William Lloyd Garrison, Jr., the country's best known white abolitionist, who introduced her to Villard. Henry Villard, born Heinrich Hilgard in Bavaria, came to the United States to launch a career as a journalist but eventually wound up as a railroad entrepreneur working alongside robber baron Jay Cooke, who sought his help in increasing German immigration to land owned by his Northern Pacific Railroad. Meanwhile Garrison, The Nation's literary editor, set up a meeting between Villard and an Englishman named William Lawson, who was seeking an agent for some very large stock transactions. With the Gilded Age in full swing, Villard's relationship with Lawson "brought him experience in stock brokerage, some tidy profits, and growing insight into the upper reaches of high finance." So writes his granddaughter Alexandra Villard Borchgrave, the wife of ultrarightist journalist Arnaud Borchgrave, in her biography of Henry Villard. She adds: When other workers refused certain tasks or demanded rates that he considered exorbitant, Villard turned to cheap labor, particularly Chinese coolies, whom he imported by the boatload -- he boasted of having as many as fifteen thousand of them in the field when Northern Pacific construction was at its peak -- and who offered employers inestimable advantages: they worked harder and more efficiently than their Caucasian counterparts, often performing jobs that others found too hazardous, and they did so for less money. Between Godkin's ideological support for slavery and Villard's super-exploitation of Chinese workers, there's not much to choose between. While The Nation would never be as bad as it was under Godkin, it would never challenge the system that produced the kinds of ills that it has criticized for well over 100 years. It has always been funded by "enlightened" members of the capitalist class like Henry Villard or the current crop of investors who feel the need to point out its shortcomings but who can't conceive of alternatives to the system that has blessed them with riches beyond imagination. Works cited in this article: William A. Armstrong, E. L. Godkin: A Biography, State University of New York Press, 1978. Alexandra Villard Borchgrave, Villard: The Life And Times Of An American Titan, Doubleday, 2001. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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