A rare peace calendar appeal
From: Charles Underwood (peacecalendarvisi.com)
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 21:39:44 -0700 (PDT)
As many of you know, a number of police raids have occurred over the
weekend.  On Friday night, a Convergence Center on St Paul¹s West Side was
raided, items confiscated and the building boarded on the authority of
Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher. On Saturday morning, at least 3 houses
in Minneapolis and at least 2 in St Paul were also raided, also on the
authority of Bob Fletcher.
Various people driving or bicycling down public streets or roads have been
stopped and detained.
Only 6 arrests were made in these raids, and those individuals held on very
questionable grounds (no charges have been made so far). There have been a
very large number of others briefly held, however.  At the Convergence
Center Friday night, for example, Ramsey County deputies kicked in doors and
entered with weapons drawn, and about 70 people were held face-down and
handcuffed on the floor for several hours.  No arrests were made there.  In
street stops and in individual homes, the doors have also been kicked in and
police entering with weapons drawn.  In nearly all cases, there have been no
actual arrests and no evidence of any kind removed from the owners¹
It is quite clear that Sheriff Bob Fletcher is attempting to intimidate
those who oppose the war in the march this morning.  Some of you may have
been reading the newspapers with some concern.
Let me give you my honest reassurance.  I have been at countless meetings
and listened to innumerable stories, and I believe that THE BIG LABOR DAY
It is a legal march.  It is a permitted march.  All groups, including those
groups that plan more confrontational tactics, have agreed to keep this big
march safe.  I would not hesitate to encourage you to bring your children or
grandchildren, your mother and your great aunt.  You should put on
sunscreen, wear sensible shoes and drink plenty of water. But sunburn and
blisters are the most likely health problem you will see tomorrow.
There will be medics on the march to deal with any first aid problems.
There will be march marshals to keep things smooth.  There will be members
of the Minnesota Peace Teams to intervene in any situations that might risk
injury.  It should be safe, moving, historic.
If you want to continue having democratic freedoms to protest your
government policies, however, the actions of Ramsey County Sheriff Bob
Fletcher must be condemned and they must be condemned by all of us and they
must be condemned by our elected officials.
I never send petitions out on this peace calendar list.  Only rarely have
asked for any action from you at all.  I don¹t even usually make
recommendations about the events I list, knowing that we are all different
and that we all work for peace in our own ways.
This time I am asking for your help.  If you have a home phone number for
any elected official, please call them this morning (Monday).  Ask them to
join us in a legal march against the war.  And ask them to please make a
statement to the reporters present in favor or our free speech rights.
Call Mayor Coleman or Mayor Ryback.  Call your city councilperson.  Call
your state senator and your state representative. Call your federal senators
and your congressperson.  Ask them to stand up for peace by marching with
us.  And ask them to protect us from the arbitrary use of power shown by
those who mistakenly believe we will be safer without so much freedom.
Charley Underwood  
P.S.  See you tomorrow at the State Capitol.  The rally starts at 11.  The
march itself starts around 11.  You will be home in time for dinner.

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