Progressive Calendar 09.15.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 02:58:22 -0700 (PDT)
           P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    09.15.08

1. RNC/court support 9.15 1:15pm
2. Peace walk        9.15 6pm RiverFalls WI
3. Made in China/f   9.15 6:30pm
4. Harvest moon walk 9.15 7pm
5. E-tools class     9.15 7pm
6. Mizna/languages   9.15

7. RNC/press/CTV     9.16 5pm
8. 3CD Greens        9.16 7pm
9. Oxfam action      9.16 7pm

police raids:
10. Underwood
11. Underwood
12. Cavlan
13. Wilkinson
14. Thune
15. Goldstein
16. Steller (MN Independent)
17. Gitis
18. Hilber
19. Martin
20. Howell/Grove
21. Schoen
22. Underwood
23. Pratt/Steller (MN Independent)

24. Joshua Frank - The lessons of 2004: liberalism and its bounds

--------1 of 24--------

From: rnc08 [at]
Subject: RNC/court support 9.15 1:15pm

Come support the RNC arrestees! The days of direct action are over, but
the legal support work has just begun. Starting this Monday, people are
going up before the court and the state to face their criminal charges for
expressing their dissent during the RNC. We need a strong showing of
community solidarity in the court rooms to support our friends and provide
a deterrent to judge's behavior. Having lots of people present at the
upcoming hearings is an effective way of challenging the political
oppression of the RNC protesters. Come out and show your solidarity!

Food and drink are not allowed in the court room and all supporters will
have to pass through a metal detector (no guns, knives, or scissors are
allowed past security). While in court, supporters must remain silent and
will not be allowed to carry signs through the security station; the
strength of our collective presence will send the message we need to

[If you're interested, please SAVE this message - ed]
425 Grove St. St. Paul (right next to the jail)

Monday, Sept. 15, 1:15pm, Felony Omnibus Hearing
Tuesday, Sept. 16, 1pm, Arraignment
Tuesday, Sept. 16, 1:20pm, Felony First Appearance
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 8:30am, Arraignment
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 1:15pm, Felony Omnibus Hearing
Thursday, Sept. 18, 1:15pm, Felony Omnibus Hearing
Friday Sept. 19, 1:15pm, Felony Omnibus Hearing

Definitions of Court Hearings

Felony First Appearance: Appointment of Public Defender, bail
hearing/setting, possible entering of a plea.

Felony Omnibus Hearing: Determination of probable cause and arraignment of
defendant. If not guilty plea is entered, judge assignment is made,
pre-trial date is scheduled, first trial date is given, and prosecutor
will be assigned.

Arraignment: Appointment of counsel and arraignment of defendant. If not
guilty plea is entered, date is set for pre-trial, first trial date is
given, and prosecutor will be assigned.

See you there,
Court Support Working Group
Please check out

--------2 of 24--------

From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at]>
Subject: Peace walk 9.15 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] Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls,
Wisconsin 54022

--------3 of 24--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Made in China/f 9.15 6:30pm

Free WAMM Third Monday Movie and Discussion: "Mardi Gras: made in China"

Monday, September 15, 6:30 p.m. St. Joan of Arc Church, Hospitality Hall,
4537 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. Glass bead necklaces distributed
during Mardi Gras in New Orleans are made in Chinese factories. This
documentary film features one factory, contrasting the lives of young
women workers, living in cramped quarters, working long hours for little
pay with scenes of New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Followed by discussion.
Sponsored by: the WAMM Third Monday Movies Committee. FFI: Call WAMM,

--------4 of 24--------

From: Sue Ann <mart1408 [at]>
Subject: Harvest Moon Walk 9.15 7pm

Shine On Harvest Full Moon Walk
Around the Coldwater Area
Monday, September 15, 2008
Gather at 7 PM, south end of Minnehaha Park

This is the walk-&-sing harvest moon walk. We'll provide the song sheets:
Shine On Harvest Moon, Blue Moon, Moon River, Moonlight Bay, and By the
Light of the Silvery Moon.
Not just harvest time, September's full moon is three days after the
Equinox, a time of balance between summer and winter. Traditional group

Directions: From Hwy 55/Hiawatha in south Minneapolis, turn East (toward the
Mississippi) at 54th Street and circle around to your left into the pay
parking lot.  Or park for free on the west side of Hwy 55.

Sunset 7:03 PM-Moonrise 6:51 PM

--------5 of 24--------

From: Tim Erickson <tim [at]>
Subject: E-tools class 9.15 7pm

SPED Outreach Workshop - Fall 2008
ALL workshops listed are FREE on Mondays at 7:00 PM. Unless otherwise
noted, all are in the Electronic Classroom at Rondo Community Outreach
Library (University & Dale, in St. Paul).

Sept 15th - E-Tools for Participation

Participants will learn to use the Internet to become more informed and
more involved with their community.  Tools covered may include discussion
forums, community-built reference sites, citizen journalism, blogs, social
networking and government websites.

--------6 of 24--------

From: Mizna  <mizna-announce [at]>
Subject: Mizna/languages 9.15

Mizna's Arab and Persian language classes are starting this week.  This is
the last chance to register for classes.  Go here to find out more:

Mizna is a forum for Arab American art.  Visit our website at

--------7 of 24--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at]>
Subject: RNC/press/CTV 9.16 5pm

St. Paul Neighborhood Network viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts on SPNN Channel 15 on Tuesdays at 5pm,
midnight and Wednesday mornings at 10am, after DemocracyNow!  All
households with basic cable may watch.

Tues, 9/16, 5pm & midnight and Wed, 9/17, 10am
RNC Welcoming Committee Press Conference 9-4-08

In the wake of the RNC Welcoming Committee being targeted by the Ramsey
County Sheriff's office and the national security apparatus, six
non-arrested members of the RNC Welcoming Committee held a press
conference.  Although recorded by national and international corporate
media, these will probably be the only televised showings of the full
press conference.

--------8 of 24--------

From: alforgreens [at]
Subject: 3CD Greens 9.16 7pm

3rd CD Green Party Local Meeting 9.16 7 PM

Subject:  3rd Congressional District Green Party Local Meeting

All 3rd Congressional District Green Party members and anyone interested
in learning about the Green Party values are invited to a meeting at the
Ridgedale Library Rm 172

Agenda: Endorsement - Richard Klatte Soil and Water District 3.  Plan
campaign support for Green Party candidates.

Allan Hancock, Chair 3rd Congressional District, Green Party Minnesota

--------9 of 24--------

From: Oxfam Action Corps - MN <minnesota [at]>
Subject: Oxfam action 9.16 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. We meet at the unique Common Roots Café (2558 Lyndale Ave. S.,
Minneapolis), 7pm.

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]

--------10 of 24--------

Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2008 10:27:02 +1200 (NZST)
From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] after assessment

A bit over 50 people showed up last night at a fundraiser for Chris
Coleman.  That is, about 50 people showed up to schmooze and to raise
money for the once-Democratic mayor of St Paul.  Another 50 plus people
showed up on the sidewalk to protest Mayor Coleman's enabling of Sheriff

A number of highlights:

Councilman Thune showed up as invited guest, supporter and friend of Chris
Coleman.  He had a hard time making it into the actual party, since he got
stuck on the sidewalk accepting the thanks of the citizens of St Paul.

The mayor himself stopped to speak.  One outstanding statement he made was
that the Heffelfingerr/Luger commission would be investigating police
brutality as part of their enquiry.  This is a direct contradiction to
statements made by former U.S. Attorney Heffelfinger, who claims that
investigating police misconduct is absolutely NOT part of his mandate.  I
wonder who is telling the truth.  And I wonder whether it even makes any
difference, since Coleman has already said that he believes that the
police did an admirable job.

A warning to those who criticize the mayor: he doesn't have much patience
with our criticisms.  He wants us to understand what a hard, hard
situation he was in.  But he doesn't really want to hear our stories.

I have previously had absolutely NOTHING against Chris Coleman.  But if he
thinks this sort of policing is acceptable in St Paul, then he has become
part of the problem.  St Paul deserves better.  But certainly St Paul has
had a string of bad luck with their majors.  This makes three in a row who
have been elected as Democrats, only to change their colors once elected.
What is this...something in the water at City Hall?

Charley Underwood Longfellow (SD 62 A), Minneapolis Info about Charley

--------11 of 24--------

Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2008 14:06:02 +1200 (NZST)
From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] after assessment

I got a private correspondence about my angry comments concerning Chris
Coleman.  Naturally, I will not quote that email without permission, but I
seem to be still growing angrier about Mayor Coleman's apparent complicity
with Sheriff Fletcher's violence, so I will copy my reply.  (By the way,
the Pioneer Press article about last night's protest can be found at

So here is my reply to the reprimand concerning the mayor:

Sometimes my outrage at injustice leads me to over-react.  That certainly
may be the case here, but I have to tell you that my rage is still growing
deeper with each passing day since St Paul suffered a military coup last
week.  And Chris Coleman's spinelessness is a good part of the source of
my rage.

As you may know, I didn't even march or demonstrate in any way last week.
I worked as a street medic, making myself available to give first aid to
anyone who needed it.  I saw some horrible things that have forever
changed my fundamental understanding of Minnesota nice and of St Paul
politics.  I saw or saw clips or talked to a number of young girls get for offering a flower to a storm trooper, another who
was repeatedly sprayed and pushed to the ground with a police bike while
telling the officer "I love you," a 21-year-old friend of my son's who was
sprayed as she was following police orders to leave (she hadn't been
marching, but merely got caught up in the crowd).

I have witnessed quite literally thousands of storm troopers rampaging
through the streets of St Paul.

I have read the same accounts you have of reporters being targeted.  I
have spoken to a number of people (including another 21-year-old woman
from my church that I have known for maybe 6 years) who were stopped at
gunpoint, handcuffed face-down, without ever being charged with anything,
without even a search or any questions to her or her passengers.

Perhaps two hundred people had weapons drawn on them weekend before last,
including preschool aged children.  Easily several hundred have been
tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, struck with less lethal weapons or with
nightsticks.  I have one report of a woman's fetus being aborted after the
goons kicked her in the stomach last week.

I would ask you what sort of political accomplishments might
counterbalance Mayor Coleman's praise of such police brutality.  Sheriff
Fletcher is a violent, ambitious and dangerous man, yet Coleman continues
to praise the police work done last week.

We are all human.  We all make mistakes.  We all have feet of clay.  But
it is hard for me to understand what possible excuse we can now make for
Chris Coleman's continuing support for martial law in Minnesota.  I will
forgive him immediately after he apologizes for any previous support of
this outrage and works for the rest of his term to investigate and isolate
Bob Fletcher before any more harm is done to our democracy.

--------12 of 24--------

Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2008 20:32:34 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
From: Michael Cavlan greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at]>
Subject: Report On Democrats Collaboration With RNC Abuses

I had this published in Op Ed news. They headlined it. I am now able to
publish it elsewhere, 48 hours after submitting it to Op Ed News. I am
spreading it everywhere I can. You are all given free license to pass on,
anywhere you see fit. It is now in the public domain.

EXCLUSIVE: Democrats Pre-Authorized Use of Force at RNC
by Michael Cavlan

Explosive News: Democrats' Collaboration at Republican National Convention
Exposed. Secret meetings authorized excessive use of force.

We know the stories of police abuse, mass arrests, targeting journalists,
street medics, use of rubber bullets, plastic bullets, wooden baton
rounds, mace, tear gas, tasering and other differently lethal methods of
crowd control in St Paul and Minneapolis this week. What is not known is
how the local Democratic Party and other so called progressive elected
officials collaborated with authorities in the past weeks and months
before the RNC Convention in St Paul, giving them legal authority for
their excesses and abuses of power.

This is your Independent Journalista's on-the-ground account of what
happened and how local elected officials collaborated with the authorities
and again abandoned their Oath to Protect and Defend the Constitution from
All Enemies, Foreign and Domestic. This is the news that you will not hear
from the corporate media, Air America, the Nation magazine or other so
called progressive, alternative media outlets. This is true, muckraking
journalism that honestly speaks truth to power, no matter how
uncomfortable it makes some folks.

Now, before we get to the facts surrounding how our elected officials
betrayed us and the Bill of Rights, a truth must be stated. No matter what
the local City Councils of St Paul and Minneapolis did, the authorities
would have done what they did.

This story is not about that.  It is instead about how the local
government knowingly collaborated with them, with no input from citizens
and finally passed a Resolution granting them legal authority to use
rubber and plastic bullets, wooden baton rounds, tasers and chemical
weapons that were deployed against peaceful protesters, journalists and
street medics treating the victims of their brutality in a secret meeting
with no public allowed.

In the months before the Republicans came to town, there had been a flurry
of activity. Local activists were keeping a close eye on their local
elected officials. Initially, there had been a so called Free Speech
Committee set up, supposedly to look at how authorities could allow free
speech during the RNC and keep order.

However, local activists immediately developed some serious concerns. We
found out that the Free Speech Committee did not allow any members of the
public to add our input. Only City Council members on the committee and
lawyers were allowed to speak. There was no free speech allowed at the
misnamed Free Speech Committee.

Nonetheless, activists followed the Committee's actions closely and were
present during each meeting.  The City Council of Minneapolis is almost
100% Democratic. In fact the only real opposition in Minneapolis is the
Green Party which currently has one Green on the City Council, Cam Gordon,
who was a small light in a very dark room.  But, we were to discover, even
that light was to be extinguished.

The so called Free Speech Committee would change the time and locations of
its meetings, in an obvious attempt of losing the local activists who
were closely following their intents and actions. During this time,
Councilman Gordon kept the local activist community appraised of when and
where these meetings were being held, including last minute changes. There
was much talk of using the Washington Model of crowd control versus other
Models. The Washington Model was touted as being a little less

There was also discussion on protest groups being required to register
themselves and even their members, to be "allowed" to protest. At these
times, Cam Gordon spoke eloquently on behalf of the community and in
opposition to these repressive measures. When he spoke, he drew cheers
from the activists present. We also waved our protest signs in agreement
each time. We would also boo when the head of the Committee, Paul Ostrow,
would make an especially egregious remark. That was the extent of public
participation and free speech at the so called Free Speech Committee

This went on for months at a time. Then suddenly we found out that the
Free Speech Committee had their last meeting, July 16th. The meeting
itself was unannounced, unlike the other meetings which at least had a
pretense of openness and public inclusion. At the next Minneapolis City
Council meeting July 25th, the recommendation of the misnamed Free Speech
Committee was announced.  The Free Speech Committee Resolution passed
unanimously, even by our one small light, Councilman Cam Gordon.

The Minneapolis Police were given "legal" authority to shut down any
protest or group of 25 people or greater. They were also authorized to use
rubber bullets, mace and the other array of non-lethal weapons on
innocent, peaceful demonstrators, practicing our First Amendment Rights.
Also violated repeatedly was the Fourth Amendment Right protecting us
citizens against illegal search and seizure. Police violated the laws of
assault and battery and destruction of evidence of their crimes, as
evidenced by their targeting journalists. All talk of the Washington Model
was removed.

As this Resolution was passed by the large Democratic majority Minneapolis
City Council july 25th, another protest broke out. Local activists
presented each member of the Minneapolis City Council, including Mayor RT
Ryback with a Statement of Reprobation, condemning them for this betrayal
of our most precious right to Free Speech, Assembly and Peaceful Petition
of Our Government.

One of the main organizers, Michelle Gross of Communities United Against
Police Brutality, presented the Statement of Reprobation to both
Councilman Cam Gordon and the head of the Free Speech Committee,
Councilman Paul Ostrow. Another was handed to Mayor RT Ryback.

During this presentation, a young man, Jude Ortiz with Coldsnap Legal
Collective, read aloud the charges against the Minneapolis City Council.
When he did so, he was bundled off the podium by Minneapolis Police and
brought to the Hennepin County Jail. He was later released uncharged.

All Minneapolis City Councils are taped and shown on local Public Access
TV - all except for this one, which has never seen the light of day.
Clearly, the "progressive" City Council had something to hide.

Since then, Michelle Gross was arrested twice, during peaceful protests
that were targeted by police.

Many of the examples of excess and police brutality and thuggery were
practiced by Minneapolis Police.  But, all of these actions and betrayals
were mirrored by the 100% Democratic City Council of St Paul.  Both Mayor
RT Rybak and Mayor Chris Coleman, who laud themselves as "progressive"
held a Press Conference, calling the RNC Convention a "success."

Ironically, we now have a number of the very City Councilpersons who gave
our rights away, without a fight, now engaging in tough talk and rhetoric.
This includes my own Councilwoman Elizabeth Glidden and Councilman Gary
Schiff.  Covering Your A** with tough talk will not make up for your
betrayal of the citizens of our country, Council members and Mayors. Not
even close.

I ask the question again. What do we do about it?  I leave the answer up
to you.

Michael Cavlan

--------13 of 24--------

Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2008 14:51:02 +1200 (NZST)
From: Jay Wilkinson <balthazarw [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] after assessment

Charlie and my other sisters and brothers in outrage.

I am torn about how much energy to devote to addressing the wrongs that
occurred in St. Paul and environs a few months ago.

On one hand we have seen how the powers-that-be close ranks and are ready
to adopt drastic tactics to both squash the smallest of radical challenges
and intimidate those who might even peripherally be drawn into efforts to
afflict the powerful.  People I know were directly harmed and I am
heartsick by what I observed and so many experienced.

On the other hand, police mistreatment is, unfortunately, not unknown in
some parts of our communities and it pales in comparison to what happened
to the poor people in New Orleans.  Our neighborhoods fill with foreclosed
homes while taxpayers are forced to rescue the big capital institutions.
St. Paul's safety net is under more and more strain.  And I will not even
speak of the US government actions around the world.

So, assess your resources, marshal your energy and think about whether St
Paul will gain or lose more if ALL of your passion remains solely stuck on
the misdeeds of September 2008.

I did hear something about an election coming along sometime soon.

--------14 of 24--------

Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2008 11:56:38 -0500
From: dave thune <thune [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] after assessment

I'm not sure why I respond to this, but I guess I'm tired of lies and

jamie dealton wrote:

snip> St. Paul Councilman Dave Thune has defended the antiwar groups'
demands for ever more permits and access to Xcel. St. Paul Councilman Dave
Thune has defended the scam by not recognizing, as St. Paul mayor Chris
Coleman has, the criminal elements who now conspire with the lawyers
against the government........

snip>Dave Thune cannot plead ignorance. Selectively ignoring malicious
intent among the protesters and their attorneys is not in the interest of
the city and shouldn't be condoned let alone practiced by those on the
city council ...

snip> For Thune, a government representative, to side with the
provocatuers and the resulting melee victims who now sue the government is
an embarrassment. <<<<

My post prior to the RNC:

snip> Everyone is encouraged to express his or her free speech.
You can march, rally, broadcast an anti-war message on a jumbotron, chant,
fly banners...
If your idea of free speech is to lie down in mock death. You will be able
If you insist on long term blockading of streets used by residents or
businesses you will be humanely arrested.
If you throw rocks or anything else harmful you will be arrested

Back to the neighborhood cleanup where I can release steam by hurling
garbage into dumpsters instead of insults via e-mail.

Dave Thune
Ward 2, St. Paul
Info about Dave Thune:

--------15 of 24--------

Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2008 13:33:32 -0500
From: Tom Goldstein/EFQ <tom_goldstein [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] after assessment

I don't know who you are, Mr. Delton, and I don't know where Rick Mons has
gone, but the idea that folks on this forum are supposed to behave in a
civil fashion has somehow been lost on you. Your continuous vitriol
accomplishes nothing. SPIF is a forum that represents a lot of eclectic
viewpoints, although St. Paul being a heavily Democratic city, it's fair
to say that most of the political perspectives tend toward the
progressive/liberal side of the political spectrum. That said, I've never
yet assumed that any one person speaks for all of us who identify as
progressives or liberals, and you certainly don't speak for the
conservatives in St. Paul, or, from what I can tell, anybody other than
yourself. I guess you found your way to this forum because you enjoy
ripping anybody who doesn't agree that the RNC was a smashing success and
that you're un-American if you have any different perspective from what
the mayor or others may be saying about the events of September 1-4? If
so, you're welcome to depart now, because I think we'd all like a return
to some semblance of civility.

I'm not going to defend Dave Thune's alleged use of profanity in an email
to the owner of Costello's Bar, but that's between Dave and Mr. Costello.
That the latter would choose to circulate the email (which I've yet to
see, by the way) and attempt to make political hay with it is the obvious
axe-to-grind motive that you conveniently choose to ignore. Dave Thune is
the only council member that I saw on the ground responding to reports of
police overreaction, questionable tactics, and arrests of journalists, and
to date he's the only council member who has spoken publicly about being
upset with the police state that was constructed around Xcel and his
concerns that citizens' rights were being violated. Taking the risk to
speak out publicly when bad behavior is occurring is what most of us would
call courage; that you would rip Dave for wanting to see basic civil
liberties protected and the city's own policies and regulations observed
shows your own disdain for the rule of law you claim to want upheld.
Arguing that laws can be disregarded because of the circumstances or the
state of fear that law enforcement has created within a community is the
very kind of mindset that led to the return of torture as a U.S. policy
abroad and the scandal at Abu-Ghirab. Maybe if we'd just let the cops beat
the crap out of those black-scarfed punks we'd all have been better off?
I'm sure you don't feel that way, so don't start ascribing to Thune all
sorts of things that he never endorsed.

As for your attacks on the National Lawyers Guild, well, no surprise
there, I guess, since that puts you in the esteemed company of other great
Americans like Joseph McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover, who did so much to
promote civil liberties during their lifetimes. Like all organizations,
the NLG isn't perfect, but if working to end segregation and supporting
protestors against the Vietnam War is wrong, then go ahead and keep
ripping them. The NLG's role in the activities involving the RNC was to
place legal observers on the ground to document police activities in the
event of arrests, violations of civil liberties, or other actions that
might lead to legal action. Given that trials are decided by the evidence
that is presented there, having legal observers on the ground helps ensure
that should someone be arrested and charged, it will be more than just his
or her word against the police should the matter go to trial. Because, in
case you don't read history, police actually have fabricated evidence in
the past or been untruthful in the courtroom. Shocking, I know, but it
does happen.

There were folks wearing bright yellow caps who were acting as peacemakers
during the various demonstrations and protests, but the NLG observers (in
bright green caps) were not there for that purpose, anymore than
journalists doing their job were there for that purpose. The fact that
both legal observers and members of the media were swept up in various
blanket arrests shows the lack of interest that law enforcement had in
targeting only those who were causing problems. I'm sure you believe that
you're such an upstanding citizen that you'll never be subjected to an
illegal search and seizure, or that your civil liberties will ever be
threatened by the very government that you claim to support without
reservation, but I suspect that you'd be the first to scream for justice
the moment that same government doesn't treat you the way you believe is
fair. And at that moment, you'll be the same guy hoping that there's a
civil liberties organization like the NLG or the ACLU to find an attorney
to represent you.

In case you missed it, the world is no longer flat.


Tom Goldstein
Attorney, NLG observer during RNC

--------16 of 24--------

RNC protesters show and tell of injuries from cops
By Chris Steller, Minnesota Independent
September 13, 2008

With city officials in St. Paul and Minneapolis alternately fanning and
smothering the sparks of independent RNC policing investigations, this
Minnesota Independent video offers a preview in black and blue of what
sure-to-come civil lawsuits will bring to light about police misconduct
during the Republican National Convention.

In the video, six protesters . Mick Kelly, Deborah Hollingsworth, Richard
Hernandez, Wendy Binion, Jason Brian Johnson and Elliot Hughes . show
their bruises, cuts and bandaged limbs and tell the stories of how they
received their injuries at the hands of law enforcement.

The protesters appeared at a press conference held by the Coldsnap Legal
Collective outside the St. Paul City Hall/Ramsey County Courthouse
building after last week.s convention.

Article Tags: Police Abuse, protest, Republican National Convention, RNC

--------17 of 24--------

Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2008 14:14:15 -0700 (PDT)
From: sheldon gitis <sgitis [at] YAHOO.COM>
Subject: [SPIF]  Police State Propaganda - so what else is new?

The so-called "major," "bona fide," "professional" media have long been
little more than mouthpieces for Government propaganda.  Every public
agency, from Metro Transit to the Public Schools to the Police, spends
$millions$ on Departments of "Public Affairs," "Community Relations" etc.
With rare exception, the "major" media report what these agencies generate
without questioning the accuracy or motivation of the "public
information." The glaring discrepancy between the MPR, KSTP, PiPress
reports of rioting masses of "violent anarchists" and the true
stories of masses of journalists, medics, non-violent protesters and
force, is just one example of how the Government-media business system

The so-called "reporters" who regurgitate the police-state propaganda
often end up passing through the revolving door into the greener pastures
of Government employment.  Steve Dornfeld, Director of Public Affairs for
the Metropolitan Council, is a former PiPress editor.  Gail Plewacki was a
TV news show reporter before landing a job as Director of Communications
for the City of Minneapolis and later Dakota County.  And R.T. Rybak, the
chief figurehead for the City of Minneapolis, is a former Strib reporter
and PR executive who wants to "send the right signals." R.T. is "white-hot
on-fire" to pave St. Paul.

Sheldon Gitis
South St. Anthony Park
Info about Sheldon Gitis:

--------18 of 24--------

Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2008 11:48:02 +1200 (NZST)
From: Tom Hilber <banjotomh [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Police State Propaganda - so what else is new?

Get your head out of the sand JD and go blogging with your partisans!

St Paul, which, has regular day per capita police official for every 550
citizens, during the convention with the projected increase of 50,000
guests, went up to one per 95 citizens amounting 4x's the amount of police
presence. The average arrest per day in St. Paul, =800 arrested / 4 days=
200 per day) so it took 4 more officers to do what on a normal day took
1.2 to do. Therefore in simple math the US President, the MN Governor, the
St. Paul Mayor did order 4x the amount officers to facilitate the
convention crowd - and in railroad lingo that's called featherbedding.

It also was provocative and showing of the presidential (secret Service)
and national paranoia that crept into the US body politic of St. Paul
elected officials and their appointees. This over the top authoritarian
response, (four time the power) to the body politic of our democracy and
oafishly practicing it on the still innocent young people, not intimidated
yet by it, and willingly participating and getting arrested during the RNC
defiantly points to provocative factoring and add Gestapo tactics of
preemptive Knottingham thinking more suited to war (or mental genocide of
the US body politic) then a (SS) Special National Event.

The war on the young goes on and the unidentified black shirts in front of
the Children's Museum (pictured in the Star Tribune) and the security
fence around our Ordway (culture center) Theatre says it all for St.
Paul's week of the surreal that needs a reality Check!  "Smart Play"
indeed! The young are imprinted, the old lament, and the power brokers
want you/us to stick our heads back in the sand. Institutional memory
serves me right on this one; the whitewash has been put on the public
fence and now watching the nut and shell game, along with insiders (the
foxes) investigating the RNC Special Event (chicken coop) reminds me of
the adage there is no fool like an old fool.

Therefore there is nothing left to do here but appoint an independent
special prosecutor, call a grand jury, and hand down some sample
indictments on all these so-called partisans and bi-partisan participants
in this de facto martial law that descended upon us from above and all
those that were willing to let it happen without reproach.

Get your head out of the sand, go blogging with your partisans!  We people
continue to blindly elect judges, mayors, governors and presidents without
knowledge of our construction and due process. Arise partisans your block
club is a target for the sheriff or don't join one cause you're paranoid,
or three, like so many put your head in the sand and cover your proverbial
in the air cause the smell of tear gas is overwhelming me here!

Tom Hilber
East Side, St. Paul
Info about Tom Hilber:

--------19 of 24--------

Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2008 17:03:53 +1200 (NZST)
From: Ren Martin <renmrtn [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] after assessment

Jamie Delton wrote: "Yet when the RNC WC, their under-studies or other
criminal groups demanded closer access to Xcel you complied. When they
demanded city policy be defined for them you complied. When they demanded
the rental space closed by the county be re-opened you re-opened it. All
this you did without challenging the intentions of the RNC WC. Well it was
the RNC WC's space, or that of RNC WC allies, that you re-opened."

Jamie Delton also wrote: "Constitutional rights, human rights, and the
rule of law were upheld not broken by law enforcement. If they had been
broken I would have been among the first to say so."

Mr Delton,

You may wish to stop ranting about Mr. Thune long enough to check the
facts and, as you promise, say so.

Your position that the Sheriff had any authority to deny citizens,
regardless of their professed beliefs, lawful access to their property is
beyond comprehension. The Smith Ave raid was an intimidation tactic, a
show of force and a fishing trip for evidence that could be used to build
a conspiracy case - which they did not find at that location. They did not
have the any authority to seal the building, and even if they did the idea
that one city council person could just order it opened is ludicrous; you
may wish to indict the City of St Paul as a whole for that one. Take a
break from goose stepping long enough to read that Constitution before you
claim to defend it.

Ren Martin
West Side, St Paul
Info about Ren Martin:

--------20 of 24--------

Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2008 08:54:34 -0500
From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: RNC:Lawyer Witnesses Cop Car Window Smashed

NLG Lawyer:I Saw the Cop Car Get Smashed
Submitted by Charley Underwood on September 13, 2008 - 8:24pm.

Along with the Macy's window, the photos of the smashed police car are the
iconic pictures that are most used to justify massive police violence last
week during the Republican National Convention. A few days ago, I was
surprised to learn that a friend of mine had actually witnessed that event
as it happened. His account sheds a completely different light on the
meaning of the week.

Phil Grove is someone I have known for perhaps 10 years, and I trust his
observations completely. He is a lawyer who worked for many years in the
Attorney General's office and has worked in a legal capacity with
immigration groups and with others. His blog was originally posted at At the time of the incident in question,
Phil was volunteering as a legal observer with the National Lawyers Guild.

"I Saw the Cop Car Get Smashed" by Phil Grove

I saw, from across the street, the smashing of the cop car at the RNC
demonstrations in Saint Paul. There were some surprising things about it
that people should be aware of.

It was early in the afternoon on Monday, September 1, before most of the
police misconduct I have heard about started to occur. The legal
demonstration that took place within "The Cage" was still happening. It
seems to me that the cops got a lot more aggressive after the the legal
demonstration was done.

The cluster I was following was totally nonviolent and nonthreatening, but
they were not on the approved parade route. They were a small group, and
seemed to be looking for other clusters to join up with. The cops had been
extremely intimidating, for example filling the streets with police
cruisers with sirens blaring at maximum volume and rushing our little
cluster from behind, but had not yet harmed anyone that I saw. When the
cluster I was following was faced with a line of determined cops, they
looked for another route, trying to avoid being completely surrounded.
Finally, another cluster of demonstrators was seen ahead, and our group
ran to join them. We caught up with them at the intersection where the cop
car was sitting, in the street just outside the intersection. The line of
cops who had been following us all along was right behind us, of course.

Soon after our group got to the intersection, people started striking the
cop car. I saw no cop in or around the cop car, but they were definitely
near the intersection and had to be watching this. I recall several blows
with some pause in between. In other words, it didn't happen with a few
instantaneous blows, but seemed more stretched out than that. I believe I
saw the people who struck the cop car take
off through a parking lot. I saw nobody pursuing them. I was scared,
expecting vigorous retaliation from the cops. But nothing happened. No
tear gas, no rubber bullets, no stun grenades, no hitting, no yelling at
people through loudspeakers. I don't even remember sirens. In retrospect,
the whole thing was most puzzling.

The cops had seemed to have no trouble following and monitoring our little
group. When they didn't want us to take a particular route, they seemed to
crystallize in a line in front of us. They seemed quite in command of the
situation, willing to let us march around peacefully in the streets, but
keeping a close eye on us.

The group we joined up with just before the cop car was smashed was a
larger group. They were openly in the street, not moving about
secretively, and putting out a lot of vigorous energy. They had to be
getting more police attention than our group. I am certain the police were
monitoring them closely and knew where they were and where they were
headed at all times. And if they were concerned about vandalism, the
police knew this was a group to watch. The group was not coming across as
a group of delegates out for a stroll.

Why, then, was a cop car left unattended in the street, right in their
path? Why did the cops watch as the cop car was getting smashed up, and
take no obvious, vigorous action? True, there was a group of people in the
intersection between the cop car and the nearest uniformed cop that I saw,
but it is most surprising that it would be that easy to prevent the cops
from intervening. Why didn't they just surround everybody after this
happened and arrest everybody in sight? I believe they could have done
this, but they didn't - if I'm not mistaken, there were no mass arrests
until later in the day. Nor did I see obvious, vigorous pursuit of the cop
car smashers. Could people really get away with something like that, at
least for at time, by running through a parking lot?

Or perhaps was there a plan to allow a cop car to get smashed, in order to
use the incident to discredit the demonstration? Everybody knows that the
police use provocateurs at this kind of event. Is that what I witnessed?
My impression was that the cops could easily have prevented the incident.

Admittedly, my memory of the incident is somewhat foggy. I was scared. I
had planned to be a set of eyes and ears at this demonstration, without
seriously endangering myself or getting arrested. But being that close to
the smashing of a cop car, I had a pretty good idea that I was about to
get arrested, probably after first getting my butt kicked. But it didn't
happen. I walked away from the intersection, and followed my little
cluster, and later another one, around downtown for another hour or two. I
got within a few feet of delegates, and loudly pleaded with them not to be
complicit in war crimes and torture. They smirked and kept walking. They
didn't seem afraid. "Join us!" I yelled. They didn't.

Post Script: After writing this account, I found an account by a
journalist for the Minnesota Independent who was "embedded with the
anarchists," apparently the group that my little group joined. She reports
that some of the anarchists were critical of the individuals who broke
windows . It leaves the impression that this was not planned by the group.

--------21 of 24--------

Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2008 14:18:06 -0500
From: M.J. Schoen <mjschoen [at]>
To: David E Shove <shove001 [at]>
Subject: Tolstoy on the RNC

Apropos the RNC:

"What an immense mass of evil must result...from allowing men to assume
the right of anticipating what may happen."  -Leo Tolstoy

Martin (Marty) J. Schoen, Psy.D.
Licensed Psychologist

--------22 of 24--------

Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 17:36:02 +1200 (NZST)
From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Re: [SPIF] Mayors to review RNC security ?

When I spoke personally to Mayor Chris Coleman on Friday night, he
specifically promised that the Heffelfinger/Luger investigation would be
looking into concerns about police violence and over-reaction during the
Republican National Convention.  He said this in front of about a dozen
witnesses on the sidewalk in front of Jeff Blodgett's home, where a
fundraiser for Coleman was being held.

Coleman's statement, of course, directly contradicts the published
statement of U.S. Attorney Thomas Heffelfinger in the Star Tribune on
Friday, as well as other published accounts.

I don't know what the truth actually is.  I don't know if the mayor
actually has any intention of investigating police violence or misconduct,
especially in light of several instances this past week where he has been
effusive in praise of a security job well done.  (Not the opinion of most
citizens who witnessed a police state first-hand.)

To me, the citizens have become considerably LESS secure, due to the
imposition of martial law during the convention, conducted by thousands of
unidentified individuals in riot gear, completely free of any
accountability by the mayor's office or anyone else.

We need an accounting of why this all happened and how we can avoid it in
the future.

--------23 of 24--------

Minneapolis mayor announces plans to review RNC law enforcement
By Anna Pratt and Chris Steller , Minnesota Independent
September 14, 2008

Mayor R.T. Rybak announced this afternoon that Minneapolis would conduct a
series of reviews into the Minneapolis Police Department's (MPD) actions
in Minneapolis during the Republican National Convention, including a
standard "after-action report" that will look into related security
measures and the development of new policies for dealing with the media. A
City Council member who has urged a blue-ribbon, multijurisdictional
review said the mayor's statement was "good" but appeared to fall short of
"a public, independent, transparent process".

According to a statement from Rybak's office, the police review - which
will focus on the Critical Mass ride, the Media Party, the Liberty Parade
and the Rage against the Machine concert - will assess police officers'
training prior to the RNC and identify areas for improvement. It will be
completed by the end of October.

Minneapolis officials will also cooperate with St. Paul in its outside
review of public safety, which that city's mayor recently announced would
be conducted by attorneys Andy Luger and Tom Heffelfinger.

In addition to the police evaluation, the Minneapolis City Attorney's
Office will examine the protocols used for arresting and citing people at
the RNC. It will also consult with the Hennepin County courts about the
financial burden the RNC's arrests/citations posed, given that the courts
didn't receive national security dollars to process them.

Civil Rights staff will make sure that processes for accepting complaints
from the public are clearly laid out. A summary of complaints from each of
these departments (plus the Office of Risk Management) along with
recommendations and other analysis will be presented to city officials by
February 2009. Rybak adds that "a six-month review will at least give
policy makers a sense of the scope of issues to be addressed".

Furthermore, given the "significant evolution in how the media covers
stories and even the basic question of how media is defined - we think it
valuable to try to develop a model policy for how to work with the media
during large crowd events," Rybak said.

The Minnesota Independent contacted the two Minneapolis City Council
members who issued a call for Minneapolis and St. Paul to jointly form a
blue-ribbon panel to investigate police conduct during the RNC.

Council member Cam Gordon had had a quick look at it. "It's good we have
the [mayor's] statement but it doesn't necessarily meet what I'm hoping to
get to - the kind of public, independent, transparent process that I would
hope for," he said.

"We might benefit from more of an opportunity to have a public hearing and
take some public testimony," Gordon added. "It might take Minneapolis and
St. Paul working together". He sees as "positive" St. Paul City Council
Member Dave Thune's planned "community conversation" hearing.

"The thing that gets me is this sort of a 'National Security event,'"
Gordon said. "What does that mean?" He said if the Super Bowl and
baseball's All-Star Game now fall in that category, "we need policies - to
decide if we even want those kinds of events".

UPDATE: In an email announcement Friday afternoon, Council Member Gary
Schiff wrote that he supports the city's review but hoped the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security would also review federal agents' actions.
Schiff also recalled that he and Gordon had been the council's lone
dissenters last year on the city's contract for the RNC that put
Minneapolis police under the control of the feds, adding at the time that
"safety should not be used as an excuse to limit a free press or stifle
free speech".

Article Tags: Minneapolis, police, R.T. Rybak, Rage Against

--------24 of 24--------

The Lessons of 2004
Liberalism and Its Bounds
September 13 / 14, 2008

The amount of insult and betrayal the liberal-to-left spectrum is willing
to swallow has few limits, if any. What follows is a survey of one
election's worth of pre- and post-election betrayal from the Democratic
Party. The time has arrived for all those that abandoned their movements
in 2004 to root for John Kerry to now abandon Barack Obama and the
Democrats on the national level and join those working outside of the
party's stifling structure, as was recently called for by Ron Paul, Ralph
Nader and other third party candidates running for president this year.

                    The Howard Dean Machine

The 2004 election year began with phony "anti-war" candidate ex-Vermont
governor Howard Dean leading in the Democratic Party primary polls. Dean's
pragmatic "anti-war" position was indeed conditional. Had the Bush
administration produced better intelligence, or had the international
community and UN backed the US invasion, Dean would have happily signed on
to the Iraq undertaking. However, the conservative and rabidly
pro-business Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) panicked in response to
Dean's rise to the top of the primary pack, out of fear that his
invigorated base could challenge party brass.

The DLC's top choices, "war heroes" (the DLC's favorite term) Wesley Clark
and John Kerry, lagged pathetically behind in the early primary polls.
Both Clark and Kerry had difficulty articulating firm stances on the Iraq
war, and Clark's criticisms of the invasion jibed poorly with prior
effusive statements supporting not only the war effort, but also several
right-wing Republicans throughout the 1980s and 1990s including Ronald
Reagan and George Bush Sr.

Kerry, meanwhile, took to baiting Dean's "anti-war" stance, a variant of
which he would later adopt himself, and which the Republican Party
(accurately) used to characterize him as a "flip-flopper". Even Howard
Dean's followers caught on early to Kerry's equivocations when they made
flip-flop Hawaiian sandals with John Kerry caricatures plastered on the
bottom during the Iowa primary.

By summer 2003 Dean had earned undeservedly the "anti-war" label.  But
Dean wasn't "anti-war"; rather he simply disliked the "unilateral" way in
which the Bush Administration carried out the Iraq invasion -- bypassing
the United Nations and NATO.

Following the assault Dean argued that the occupation had to continue, in
spite of journalistic and official reports on the impending difficulties
and long-term hostilities to military occupation, permanent establishment
of military bases, as well as private US contracting of Iraqi
reconstruction. Dean stood by the notion that gun-point democracy was a
gracious venture.

Still, Dean played his "anti-war" card marvelously, and his public persona
admittedly contained more magnetism than the cardboard cut-outs of Kerry,
Clark, Gephardt, and Joseph Lieberman, combined. Petrified, the DLC began
a concerted campaign to take Dean down.

DLC machinations from many corrupt characters within the organization
lasted right up to the disastrous Iowa caucus, in which Dean placed a
miserable third, and derailed his chances of capturing the nomination and
solidified his downfall when the media overplayed his histrionic rallying
speech to his youthful supporters.

As Dean recounted in his campaign memoir, You Have the Power, DLC
co-founding member, star, and former President Bill Clinton placed a wave
of influential phone calls to Dean supporters during the months prior to
the Iowa caucus, urging them to throw their support behind Wesley Clark

Clinton's rationale?  A homophobic one.  Dean, declared Clinton, had

"forfeited his right to run for President" because he had signed a bill in
Vermont as governor permitting civil unions.  Clinton's anti-gay position
would repeat itself during the Kerry 2004 campaign, when Clinton urged,
albeit unsuccessfully, Kerry to embrace the proposed federal gay marriage

Other DLC elements also worked actively to portray Dean as an unstable
radical.  The DLC's flagship publication labeled him "misguided," "an
aberration," and an "activist" who was "defined principally by weakness
abroad and elitist, interest-group liberalism at home."

Meanwhile, other DLC bankrollers founded an ad hoc group, with DLC
fundraiser David Jones at the helm, to air negative ads in Iowa that
attacked Dean from the faux-left, noting his NRA endorsements and support
for NAFTA, among other positions that betrayed the "progressive" persona
Dean and his campaign manager Joe Trippi whipped out from time to time in
front of accommodating crowds.

The torrent of attack ads and underhanded DLC background activity from the
likes of Clinton and his ilk effectively doomed Dean's candidacy, as did
the fact that most of his supporters were unable to realize that political
mobilization extends beyond the world of inane political blogs and button

            Dennis was not, and never will be, a Menace

With Howard Dean neutralized, one anti-war candidacy soldiered on -- that
of Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, who opposed the war in
principle throughout and called for an end to occupation within six
months. As Democratic candidate after Democratic candidate dropped out of
the race, and as John Kerry ascended and locked up the required delegates
for the nomination, Kucinich nonetheless declared that he would stay in
the race until the Democratic National Convention (DNC), so as to
influence the Democratic Party's platform and to allow principled anti-war
voters an outlet and voice.

Nevertheless, as the Convention date approached, Kucinich's independence
appeared to wane. In a public speech that evoked reflexive pity from so
many who observed, Kucinich endorsed his party's pro-war candidate, John
Kerry, weeks before the DNC, despite having throughout his campaign
declared the Iraq war the central issue of the election season.

"Unless we have a firm and unshakeable resolve for John Kerry, we will
have no opportunity to take America in a new direction," Kucinich
declared.  "Unity is essential." Kucinich repeated this mantra later in
the fall of 2004 with a video on his website that implored supporters to
"close ranks." "Do we have differences of opinion? Yes. But the time is
over to continue talking about those [issues]," he remarked.

Meanwhile, many Kucinich delegates at the convention felt dejected.
Initially, the man for whom they had devoted much time and energy
intimated that he would "release" them, paving the way for their robotic
votes for Kerry.

Later, after hearing impassioned (and tearful) testimonies from his
delegates, Kucinich changed his mind, and told them to "vote their
conscience."  Fair enough.  But most ended up voting for Kerry regardless.
And what did they receive in return for their candidate and most of their
delegates' support for Kerry?  Not much.

Despite the generally symbolic role of the platform in modern politics (GW
Bush in 2000 infamously bragged that he had never read the GOP platform),
seventeen Kucinich platform demands were axed in exchange for a borderline
nonsensical statement with no hint of an exit strategy or an impending
pullout from Iraq.  It pledged to remove troops "when appropriate so that
the military support needed by a sovereign Iraqi government will no longer
be seen as the direct continuation of an American military presence."

Absent from the platform was support for Palestinian rights, a repeal of
the PATRIOT Act, as well as repudiation of the pre-emptive war doctrine in
principle and as executed in Iraq.

"I ask you, are millions of anti-war/anti-occupation Americans welcome in
the Democratic Party? If such voters are indeed welcome, I urge you to
demonstrate this by permitting debate within the party on the war and
occupation issue, both in Miami and in Boston," wrote Jessie Jackson,
prior to campaigning for a candidate who said nary a word about the
exponential proliferation of the racist prison-industrial complex,
increasing poverty, or black male unemployment, now over 50% in New York
City alone.

As much as one can appreciate Congressman Kucinich's past efforts, it is
clear that noble attempts to transform the Democratic Party from within
are wasted endeavors.

The convention itself was a difficult affair for many who attended.  As
polls indicated, 80-90% of the attending delegates declared themselves
anti-war.  Those trying to express such a view quickly received the

Charles Underwood, the only Minnesota Kucinich delegate to vote for
Kucinich, told Amy Goodman's radio program Democracy Now!: "I am just very
disappointed that there is no ability to express any hope for peace on the
floor of this convention. We have had our signs confiscated, we've had our
scarves for peace, you know, 'Delegate For Peace,' confiscated. We have
had people that tell us to sit down and be quiet."

Meanwhile, the anti-war delegates were not lucky enough to hear any
speeches at the DNC that matched their point of view, and in fact were
presented with two gung-ho militaristic ones instead.

Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards told the anti-war delegates: "We
will always use our military might to keep the American people safe. And
we, John and I, will have one clear unmistakable message for al Qaeda and
these terrorists. You cannot run. You cannot hide.  And we will destroy

                          Dissent Squashed

Having neutralized Dean and later Kucinich, the two major voices of
dissent in the party (one superficial, the other genuine), Kerry embraced
the pre-emptive war doctrine on live national television during the
Presidential debates, all while declaring alternately that the Iraq war
was a "mistake," and all while expressing support for continued
occupation.  Classification as "flip-flopper" worked beautifully for Karl
Rove and the GOP.

Meanwhile, Kerry allowed a growing number of rogues to assist his crafting
of foreign policy.  Richard Holbrooke, Assistant Secretary of State to
Jimmy Carter and green-stamper of additional arms shipments to Indonesia
during the Suharto regime, wrote many rapid-response memos on Kerry's web

Holbrooke's actions during the Carter administration occurred as
Indonesian repression of East Timor reached genocidal levels. Kerry's
other foreign policy appointee, Rand Beers, crafted the notorious Plan
Colombia, which Kerry took the lead in boosting through the legislature
towards the tail-end of the Clinton Administration.

Plan Colombia allocates billions of dollars in military aid (monetary and
arms) to the country's right-wing government.  Originally meant for
defoliation of coca crops (which have devastated the peasant economy and
legal enterprises such as sugar and coffee), according to investigative
reporting, Plan Colombia funds are closely linked to violent repression of
trade unionists. Colombia is now the top site for murders of trade
unionists in the world.

Certainly Kerry's loss did not come as a surprise. He offered few positive
alternatives, other than being the "anybody" in "Anybody But Bush". His
economic prescriptions were tepid, and his stances on foreign policy
issues such as war and Empire reflected those of the neocons.

When all the hype about the "youth vote," "e-activism," "buses to Ohio,"
and "house DVD parties" cleared so tragically and so pathetically on
Election Day 2004 -- and with devout Kerry-Edwards supporters battling
denial -- the only forces on the left remaining were the
Anti-Anybody-But-Bush crew.  Indeed the anti-ABBers had been vindicated.

                    The Bleak Dem Future

However, many on the liberal-to-left spectrum still aren't learning.
Barack Obama has done his best to resurrect the lies of a progressive
Democratic Party. Nicholas Kristof, days after the November disaster of
2004, urged that it is "time to get religion" for progressives and
Democrats.  Chat room and bulletin board rumbling suggests a drive for a
Hillary Clinton Presidential DLC run in 2008. The Democratic future was,
and is, indeed bleak.

Meanwhile, the Democrats continued self-destructive tendencies and
betrayal of loyal constituencies, enthusiastically nominating pro-war,
anti-choice, Nevada extremist Harry Reid for the party's Senate leader.
Reid, a conservative Mormon, received slightly under a 30% rating from
NARAL, the largest pro-choice advocacy group in the US.

Reid's nomination came after months of cheap Nader-baiting, in which
Democrats and liberals characterized Ralph Nader's run as a threat to
abortion rights. Comparable wrath directed against the anti-choice Reid
nomination did not exist, even though Reid's elevation to one of the most
influential Senate positions, and the highest post held by a Democrat in
the country, will determine the strength, or rather the weakness of
Democratic opposition to federal judicial appointments.

The most morally reprehensible action came later after the election with
the nomination of Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General.  Much of the
mainstream press and Democrats described John Ashcroft's replacement as
"moderate."  But Gonzales wrote the infamous memos essentially authorizing
the Bush Administration to flout international human rights law as defined
in the Geneva Convention.

So what did the liberals do?  The ACLU would not "take an official
position."  Pro-war Democrat Charles Schumer opined: "It's encouraging
that the president has chosen someone less polarizing."  And Patrick
Leahy, ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee chimed in
tellingly: "I like him."

Some may continue to recommend "reforming the Democratic Party from
within." Many Nader bashers and ABBers adopted such a line in 2004,
claiming that if Nader would only run as a Democratic candidate for the
party's Presidential nomination, he could do oh-so-much to influence its
direction.  Yet the examples of Dean and Kucinich have shown us what
happens when one makes such attempts -- relentless attacks, backstabbing,
and silencing. Reformism within the Democratic Party is a hopeless

A little about the new Democratic hope. Like the majority of his
colleagues, Obama has done very little to change the face of American
politics. He has voted for war spending, appeased the pro-Israel lobby,
and helped build the erroneous case against Iran, saying nothing about
Israel's plentiful arsenal of nuclear warheads. In short, Barack Obama is
not an ally to those of us who oppose the ambiguous War on Terror.

"I want you to know that today I'll be speaking from my heart, and as a
true friend of Israel," Obama announced a day after he locked up his
party's nomination to a crowd of pro-Israel zealots. "[W]hen I visit with
AIPAC, I am among friends, Good friends. Friends who share my strong
commitment to make sure that the bond between the United States and Israel
is unbreakable today, tomorrow, and forever."

Yet here we are again, like 2004, with "progressives" and other lefties
ogling a hope-filled candidacy. But it's not just Obama's war support that
should raise our hackles.

Obama supports the death penalty, opposes single-payer health care,
supports looking into nuclear energy, opposes a carbon pollution tax,
supports sending more troops to Afghanistan, and will not end the vast
array of federal subsidies to corporations, including those to the oil and
gas cartel.

And as the United States economy slides into a deep recession, Barack
Obama is promising more of the same, despite his criticism of John
McCain's economic plan. But behind the curtains of Obama's strategy team
is the same set of economic troglodyte intellectuals that led us in to our
current financial disaster.

Obama's advisory team includes Harvard economist Jeffrey Liebman, a former
Clinton adviser, who believes we ought to privatize social security. Then
we have the renowned David Cutler, another Harvardite, who believes our
economy can be boosted through an increase in privatized health care
costs. Writing for New England Journal of Medicine in 2006, Cutler
explained, "The rising cost ... of health care has been the source of a
lot of saber rattling in the media and the public square, without anyone
seriously analyzing the benefits gained."

And that's just the tip of a very large iceberg.

As we again face a momentous election and try to amass opposition to the
war in Iraq, let's not forget what happened to the antiwar movement under
the miserable and failing banner of "Anybody But Bush," which now reads
"Nobody but Obama". It is time for an end to a bankrupt fusion politics,
which ensures that we are left out election after election.

Joshua Frank is co-editor of Dissident Voice and author of Left Out! How
Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and
along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of the brand new book Red State
Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, published by AK
Press in July 2008.


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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 do a find on
                          vote third party
                           for president
                           for congress
                          now and forever

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