Progressive Calendar 08.21.12 /2
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2012 14:38:44 -0700 (PDT)
*P RO G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   08.21.12*

1. Labor lockout     8.21 6pm
2. Save the CRA    8.21 7pm
3. Anya reads        8.21 7pm

4. Civil rights          8.22 1:30pm
5. Humanitaran war 8.22 7pm

6. ed                      bumpersticker

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From: Meredith Aby
Labor lockout 8.21 6pm

One Year Later, Still Standing Strong:  Fundraiser for Locked Out Sugar
Tuesday, August 21st from 6-8 pm @ United Labor Center Room 218, 312
Central Ave SE, Minneapolis

August 1st, 2012 marked the 1-year anniversary of the Bakery,
Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers International Union
lockout by the bosses at Crystal Sugar. At the end of June, the BCTGM
workers rejected a second contract offer that would double health care
costs and allow management to ignore seniority when filling new positions
and contract work out to non-union workers. These workers have held strong
against this unfair contract. Workers from North Dakota never received
unemployment insurance during the lockout and the Minnesota workers’
unemployment is beginning to run out. Our union brothers and sisters in the
Red River Valley are going through difficult times and are engaged in a
very difficult fight. The President of Crystal Sugar likened the union to a
cancerous tumor that must be removed. Union busting is becoming all too
familiar with ‘Right to Work’ legislation being introduced around the
country and more attacks by bosses every day. Join us for a solidarity
dinner and discussion on how we unite these struggles, show solidarity for
the locked out Crystal Sugar workers and learn from their experience.

Checks can be made out to MN AFL-CIO, and put BCTGM in memo line.

Panel Speakers (followed by Q&A):
- Mark Froemke, President, AFL-CIO West Minnesota Area Labor Council and
Representative of the Bakery, Confectionery and Tobacco Workers and Grain
Millers (BCTGM) Union
- Locked out sugar workers.
-Joe Burns, Author of Reviving the Strike: How Working People Can Regain
Power and Transform America.
Organized by AFSCME 3800.

Peace with Justice, Meredith Aby

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Dave Bicking dave [at] via
Save the CRA  8.21 7pm

We really need a lot of people to come out tonight (Tuesday), to the third
and final Community Meeting regarding the city's proposal to kill the Mpls
Civilian Police Review Authority (CRA).  In particular, the city leaders
need to see a lot of new, unfamiliar faces to know that the larger
community is not going to tolerate the loss of the only safe and
independent way to complain about police brutality and hold officers

Community turnout has been low at the first two meetings.  That's
understandable given the poor outreach by the city, and due to people's
realistic impressions that city leaders don't care what we think.  But I
think that some Council
members really are concerned about the community reaction and the
consequences of
making such a major change.  Community reaction has been unanimous in
strong oppostion
at the previous meetings, but they need to hear this from a lot of people
they are not used to

***** Tuesday, August 21 (TONIGHT), 7:00 - 8:30pm  City sponsored
"community" meeting to present and get feedback on proposed gutting of
CRA, at Mpls City Hall, Room 319.

At this point, it appears that this terrible plan could actually pass at
the City Council, and we know RT Rybak is pushing for it.  But I think it
may still be possible to stop it.  Some Council members are opposed and
others are wavering, perhaps concerned about the possible consequences.
Even the Star Tribune thinks it is too extreme.

Rybak wants complete control over the police department, with no outside
oversight.  Our one Green councilmember, Cam Gordon, has come out in strong
He needs out support now, not just at campaign time!

I think this is an important time to show up in larger numbers.  Please

Dave Bicking

Here is the announcement and analysis as put out by CUAPB:

City Administration Desperate to Sell Plan to Destroy CRA

Here we are in the middle of August but we are looking at a serious snow
job.  At the demand of the city council, the Civil Rights department
scheduled a series of meetings, ostensibly to hear from the community on
their plans to destroy community oversight and put the Civilian Review
Authority under police control.  However, in typical city fashion, they
haven´t bothered to tell the community about them.  Even worse, the true
purpose of the meetings is to sell us on this rotten plan.

The first "community" meeting was held on August 1st at City Hall, on just
one day´s notice on the city´s website.  We were tipped off to it and
attended.  The bulk of the meeting consisted of a long and plodding
PowerPoint presentation designed to sell the community on the virtues of
their plan.  Assistant Director Lee Reid worked hard to block the
community from asking questions or making comments.  Throughout the
presentation, it was obvious that none of the suggestions made by the CRA
board had been incorporated.  At the end, someone asked about next steps
and whether the community´s concerns would be taken into consideration. We
were told that if we don´t like the proposal, we should "take it up with
the city council"-letting us know that the city administration is
hell-bent on ramming through this deeply flawed plan.

Two more meetings are scheduled.  Don´t miss the chance to stand up
against this outrageous gutting of community oversight.

Thursday, August 16 at 7:00 p.m.
Shiloh Temple
1201 W Broadway, Minneapolis

Tuesday, August 21 at 7:00 p.m.
Minneapolis City Hall, Rm 319
350 S 5th St, Minneapolis
(Note that the city council asked to have one of the meetings in south
Minneapolis and we offered a venue, but the Civil Rights department is
determined to control all aspects of these meetings and refused the

What´s so bad about their plan?  The list is long, but here are the most
serious flaws:

Complaining to the cops about the cops doesn´t work.  As the plan states,
the CRA office would exist "on paper only" and all complaints would really
go to the police department.  For the most part, the community DOES NOT
trust cops to investigate other cops, which is why the CRA was started in
the first place.  The concerns are real-we´ve documented dozens of
incidents of retaliation after people complained to Internal Affairs.  If
the current court case is any indication, even cops who investigate other
cops aren´t safe from retaliation.  Further, we studied community
complaints to Internal Affairs and in ten years all but two complaints
from community members were thrown out.

This proposal makes it unsafe to complain.  Check out p. 18 of the
proposed ordinance.  The "firewall" added to the CRA ordinance in 2002,
which prevents the city attorney´s office from mining complaints for
chargeable offenses, is removed.  Further, because complaints would be
made to police, complaints that can´t be proven could lead to people being
prosecuted for "false reporting" of police under Minnesota statute
609.505.  This charge only applies to people complaining TO police, which
is why a true CIVILIAN review authority is a must.  People shouldn´t have
to worry that their complaints will be used to prosecute them.

The chief still wouldn´t discipline.  Hearing panels under this proposal
would consist of two "community members" (who would no longer have to be
residents of Minneapolis) and two cops hand-picked by the chief.  The
votes of each member would be recorded and sent to the chief.  It seems
likely there will be a lot of tie votes (depending, of course, on how
legit the "community members" actually are).  It also seems likely that
the chief will give more weight to the votes of the cops than to the
community members.  Watch-this will become the new excuse for not
disciplining sustained complaints.

Unrealistic and just plain ridiculous timetables.  The proposed ordinance
cuts in half the amount of time people have to complain-from one year down
to 6 months.  This ensures that many people will not complain because any
good lawyer will tell you not to talk to the city when you face or could
face charges.  Even more ridiculous is a requirement that hearing panels
write up and sign their recommendations within three business days.  These
reports have a lot of elements to them and take some time to prepare. Keep
in mind that supposedly two of the panel members will be community
volunteers, who will have to come back downtown to sign the report plus
track down the two cop panel members.  What happens to the complaint if it
isn´t written and signed within that three-day window?  This will become
another excuse not to discipline.  On the other end of the spectrum, the
proposed ordinance eliminates the current 30-day deadline for the chief to
take action on the complaint.  In other words, the complainant has to file
right away, the hearing panel has to issue a hasty report but the chief
has all the time in the world.

The real reason for this proposal: During the first so-called community
meeting, the Civil Rights department made it clear that this proposal is
all about making the oversight process "acceptable" to the cops.  Every
other word was "buy in" but this is completely wrong-headed.  Absolutely
no evidence was produced indicating police officers or community members
thought the process was unfair.  The REAL issue is that the Dolan uses
illegal reasons to refuse to discipline sustained complaints.  Rather than
changing the law, how about holding the chief to the law we already have?

Editorial: Don't dilute citizen review of police
August 12, 2012 - 5:42 PM

Citizen review panels were developed to improve public confidence in how
allegations of police misconduct were handled. Across the nation,
civilians needed a place to lodge complaints and be treated fairly.

Minneapolis leaders are considering a proposal that would replace the
city's Civilian Review Authority (CRA) with a combined police/citizen
group. As it stands, the plan goes too far in reducing civilian influence
-- defeating one purpose of citizen review.

Though there have been some improvements, Minneapolis has a history of
troubled police- community relations. Over the years, the city has paid
millions of dollars in settlements over complaints about police behavior.
That's among the reasons why City Council members should make sure that
any change maintains adequate civilian influence.

Currently, anyone with a complaint against police can take the concern to
the CRA or to the department's internal-affairs unit. If the CRA decides
to pursue a complaint, it takes testimony and can assign the case to a
civilian investigator. Then the body can make recommendations to the
police chief. Last year, the citizen group received just more than 350
complaints and heard about 20 percent of them.

However, under the new proposal, prepared by civil-rights department
staff, the review panel and internal affairs would essentially merge under
a new Office of Police Conduct. Together, the units would jointly process
complaints and determine whether police or independent investigators
should handle them. Currently there are two civilian and seven police
officer investigators for CRA. [NOTE: This is an error. There are
currently only civilian investigators. The proposal would add police
investigators.]  All allegations of criminal misconduct would be handled
by internal affairs.

A panel of two sworn officers and two citizens would review the
investigative report and make recommendations to the chief for discipline
or other action. The civil-rights director, a city employee, could make
the decision in the event of a tie.

The change was proposed to secure more police buy-in and presumably make
the process more effective. But if the review group is heavily tilted
toward officers, it could lose credibility with the community. In
addition, complainants may be less likely to come forward if they have to
present their concerns to a police officer and have it investigated by

Another part of the staff proposal would eliminate the residency
requirement for review panel members. Currently CRA members must live in
Minneapolis. Changing that would also create a credibility problem with
citizens; they want their fellow residents to hear their complaints.

In response to the staff proposal, the current CRA developed its own
reorganization plan that strikes a better compromise. The review panel
would include three citizens and one nonvoting police officer;
recommendations would go to the chief, but the chief's decision could be
appealed to the mayor. The CRA plan would also retain a residency

At least a couple City Council members have expressed concerns about the
recommended changes. "This is a big step backwards. We've made some
progress [on police-community relations] because of the CRA, and I'm
worried that this would be a setback,'' said Council Member Cam Gordon.

City leaders should support an independent group of citizens to review
allegations of police misconduct, not turn the group into an extension of
police internal affairs. -----------------------------

Communities United Against Police Brutality
We meet every Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
at 4200 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis
Join us!

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Write On! Radio KFAI  90.3 FM
Anya reads 8.21  7pm

Tuesday, August 21st, we talk with Steve Kemper, author of A Labyrinth of
Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles through Islamic Africa, the story of near-forgotten
explorer Heinrich Barth.  The book has been praised by Booklist, Kirkus
Reviews, the Wall Street Journal, and the Boston Globe, among others.
 Steve Kemper is also the author of Code Name Ginger (about the Segway),
which was selected for Barnes and Noble's Discover Great New Writers award,
and he has written for many national publications, including Smithsonian
and National Geographic.

Also joining us for this week's show is Anya Achtenberg, who will be
talking about her new novel Blue Earth, a beautifully-written book that
weaves together inherited grief from many conflicts, including the
Minnesota farm crisis of the 1980's and the 1862 Dakota war.  Jay Gabler of
the Twin Cities Daily Planet says, "Blue Earth gives the James Michener
treatment to a pivotal, and profoundly tragic, event in Minnesota History."
 She will be reading from the novel Wednesday night at SubText bookstore in
St. Paul.

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From: Cam Gordon
Civil rights 8.22 1:30pm

Equity and Employment Resolution Coming to City Council Committee Wed. 8/22

I wanted to let you know that a resolution, Supporting Equity in Employment
in Minneapolis and the Region, that I am authoring will be coming for
approval to the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Health Committee on August
22 at 1:30pm.

Time for a staff presentation, public comment and committee discussion will
be provided.

The resolution (attached) declares that institutional racism,
discrimination and racial employment disparities in Minneapolis are serious
problems that must be solved. It commits the City government to lead by
example and better incorporate racial equity into all City policies and, if
approved, it would direct the City Coordinator, CPED Director and Civil
Rights Director to engage with other department heads, staff to develop and
implement an Equity Assessment Toolkit to inform City decisions, including
those related to the budget, hiring, promotion, contracting and purchasing.

It also directs staff to assess and implement, where appropriate, the
recommendations of the Equity in Employment Task Force report (also
attached), and recommend fair hiring provisions to be added to the
Minneapolis Code of Ordinances. Additionally it would authorize the City to
formally join the Ramsey County Blue Ribbon Commission’s Everybody In
regional collaboration to reduce racial employment disparities throughout
the metropolitan area.

This is the result of a great of work dating back to 2008 that many people
have part of that. It is also the beginning of a new and important chapter.

Please join us if you can and feel free to share this information with
others.  If you are unable to attend, but wish to send in any comments,
they are always welcome.

Thank you for all your past help with this and I look forward to working
with you on this critically important issue (and others) in the future.

Cam Gordon
Minneapolis City Council Member, Second Ward
673-2202, 296-0579
cam [at]
cam.gordon [at]

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From: WAMM
Humanitaran war 8.22 7pm

Forum: “Humanitarian Intervention” Wednesday, August 22, 7:00 p.m. Mayday
Bookstore, 301 Cedar Avenue South (West Bank), Minneapolis.

 Is U.S. Military Intervention Ever Humanitarian? Every U.S. military
intervention seems to be justified with humanitarian concerns. In
Afghanistan, the war is portrayed as being partially about rights of women.
In Libya, the U.S. bombing was said to be to protecting civilians. Now
there are calls for U.S. intervention in Syria. The panel discussion will
address: What economic and political issues drive U.S. military
interventions around the world? Why is U.S. military action being couched
in humanitarian terms? What was the role of the U.S. in Haiti during the
“humanitarian” intervention in that country? Will “humanitarian
intervention” be the new justification for waging wars around the world?
Speakers include: Sami Rasouli, April Knutson, Linda Hoover, and Jess
Sundin. Sponsored by: the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition (MPAC). FFI:
Call WAMM at 612-827-5364 or Twin Cities Peace Campaign (TCPC) at

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