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Fascism is alive and well as the Twin Cities prepare for the RNC

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Minneapolis and St. Paul police are at high alert regarding anyone planning to protest the RNC. I suppose this is only to be anticipated. I am a bit surprised at the thuglike viciousness that seems to be the theme -- usually the Minneapolis and St Paul police seem relatively grounded. (I will of course be entering into the fray on Tuesday, but at somewhat of a distance -Minneapolis Convention Center- with a neutral group "ONE". After that, who knows?)

It will be interesting to learn if the same type of violations of our civil rights took place in

Denver. Heaven help those of us who dare to dissent.

Here is a post from the Twin Cities Progressive Calendar for today:

P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 08.30.08


This whole post is devoted to pastiche of reports and comments on the

police raids beginning last (Friday) night 08.29.08 at 9:45pm in StPaul.

I will accept plain text email responses for possible publication here at

my discretion. Please send only your comments, not appending the whole

calendar. -ed

1 Berglund

2 Driscoll

3 Swope


5 Gerth

6 Berglund

7 Driscoll

8 Kahn

9 Berglund

10 RNC

11 Spaulding

12 RNC

13 Carr

14 Turck

15 Underwood

16 Underwood

17 Underwood

18 Overland

19 Strand

20 Swope

21 Howell


Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 22:12:44 -0500

From: Gena Berglund <gena@bergberg.net>

Subject: The Police are Raiding the Protesters Convergence Space on 627

Smith Avenue

The National Lawyers Guild has attorneys on the scene, but as of 9:45 on

Friday, August 29th the lawyers were not being allowed to see if there

is a warrant. We do not know if there are arrests.

The media contacts for the National Lawyers Guild are Ted Dooley:

612-325-8433 & Gena Berglund: 651-208-7964.


Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 22:22:46 -0500

From: Andy Driscoll <andy@driscollgroup.com>

Subject: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

This is absolutely outrageous!!!

When will these Gestapo tactics cease??!!

Chris Coleman - end it now.

Harrington - explain this and stop it now!'

Thune - Where are you??

It is quite obvious the police have been given the green light to behave

precisely as they wish in the phony name of security.

Protest is NOT ILLEGAL !!

Organize! Resist!


Andy Driscoll, Producer/Host

Lynnell Mickelsen, Co-host

Truth to Tell & CivicMedia/Minnesota

KFAI Radio, 90.3 Minneapolis/106.7 St. Paul/Streamed@ KFAI.org

651-293-9039 / Fax: (same, call ahead) / Cell: 651-492-2221

email: andy@driscollgroup.com


Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 20:36:16 -0700 (PDT)

From: M Charles Swope <mcswope@yahoo.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: [sPIF] RNC Report

Took a walk downtown tonight to see what I could about the arrangements

for the RNC. I was able to walk freely around the Xcel Center, Rice Park,

Kellogg Blvd and along West 7th Street. I doubt that'll be possible

tomorrow night though. There were numerous trailer-tractors unloading what

appeared to be fencing which I suspect will greatly restrict pedestrian

access to the site and surrounding blocks. Already vehicular traffic is

barred from a wide area of downtown. The most visible RNC related facility

is the large Fox News tent directly across the street from the Xcel


I did see a young woman approached by a private security guard as she was

taking photos of the Cathedral. Don't know whether he was trying to stop

her or not. However today's article by Ruben Rosario was disturbing in

this regard. If you haven't seen it, a fellow walking around downtown with

a camera around his neck was stopped by a security guard and then two

police officers and asked for ID, etc. because he was carrying a

sophisticated camera. http://www.twincities.com/rosario. The only place

I've seen anything like this is when I was traveling in the Soviet Union

in the early 1980's. And even there, the only camera restrictions were on

taking pictures of infrastructure like railway stations and airports.

So far, the RNC (and I'm sure the Democratic Convention in Denver) appear

to involve a massive intrusion on our civil liberties. I accept that there

needs to be a heavy police presence to quell any disturbances that arise

and the Republicans have a right to conduct their business without

interference. However, I am naive enough to believe that this does not

need to entail the ability of private citizens to walk peaceably the

streets of their city. What is happening here in St. Paul is a massive

prior restraint of ordinary citizens from exercising their right to

peaceably assemble. I also realize that St. Paul would not have been

selected for the RNC had our city leaders not agreed to this curtailment

of citizens' rights. For my part, I would have preferred to see those

leaders stand up for the rights of citizens rather grovel for the dollars

that will be spent in our restaurants, bars and other businesses catering

to the political crowd.

Charles Swope

Ramsey Hill, Ward 2, St. Paul

Info about Charlie Swope: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/charlesswope


Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 20:06:12 -0700 (PDT)

From: rnc08@riseup.net

Subject: [rnc08] Convergence Space Raided


At 9:15 PM tonight unmarked police vans pulled up to the Convergence

Space. Police burst through the door and then ordered everyone to the

ground. As if right now the entire block is blocked off. Check

tc.indymedia.org for updates.

More info to follow.


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 16:36:03 +1200 (NZST)

From: Diane Gerth <gerthkueny@aol.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

Andy, explain what you mean. Is it the roundup, detention, and seizure of

the people and their property on Harriet Island? The harassment of people

with cameras this last week? The blockading of our streets? The

inability to conduct business because we aren't allowed to mail letters

from our offices downtown? The creepy cameras documenting our every move?

The inability to have clients meet with us because they can't get to the

offices we have chosen to keep in St. Paul, despite its vacant central

city? The men in black staring at you no matter what? The burden placed

on people who are trying to get to their jobs, even when those jobs are

serving the conventioneers?

I hope we make it intact as a city over the next week. I hope we retain

our sense of community and the desire to make this a better place to live

and do work as we welcome our visitors. I hope at the end of it all we

can sit back, sigh, and say "Wow! Wasn't that interesting!" at the end of

it all.

Diane Gerth

Spanning the RNC by living in the West End and working Downtown


Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 23:57:12 -0500

From: Gena Berglund <gena@bergberg.net>

Subject: [GPSP] A tip for RNC protests/marches

Some info from the National Lawyers Guild about how to prepare for

possibility of arrest during RNC events:

1. Write this number on your arm and call it in case of arrest:

651-365-8635. This is the line to National Lawyers Guild coordinators,

who are helping coordinate legal assistance for people who are arrested.

The number should be written on your arm because the police take anything

you have in your pocket at the time of arrest.

2. Bring identification. Arrestees are more likely to get cited and

released if they have identification on them.


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 00:19:22 -0500

From: Andy Driscoll <andy@driscollgroup.com>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

All of it and more, Diane. But this is what got my blood boiling tonight -

not having heard all the other stories, save the Minneapolis seizure of NY


> Heads up--Rhoda Gilman's daughter just phoned me asking for

> Councilmember Thune's number--apparently police are hauling away

> protesters from an organizing meeting at the old hall on Smith Ave in

> St. Paul. The thought is that it means the police are doing it now

> because the earliest protesters would be able to get in front of a

> judge is Tuesday, and that would be after the protest march on Labor

> Day.


> Elizabeth Dickinson

It's essential we hold all of our officials accountable for allowing this

behavior to go on - the paralyzing fear that police and Secret Service

personnel have used to infect City Hall notwithstanding. All of it straw

men to control speech and movement and destroy democracy. The elected

officials have been irrationally sucked in by all of it.


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 01:08:27 -0500

From: Bill Kahn <wjkahn@mac.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] RNC Limericks

Where is the creativity in St. Paul?

The Republican National Convention

Of St. Paul wants some protest suspension

So cops cart away folks

Tell them, "These are the yokes,"

Kiss your civil rights off for prevention

Bill Kahn (D)

Prospect Park, Minneapolis, City of Waters on the Brain

Info about Bill Kahn (D): http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/billkahn


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 08:27:18 -0500

From: Gena Berglund <gena@bergberg.net>

Subject: The Ramsey County Sheriff is Raiding 3240 17th Avenue South in

Mpls this morning.

The Ramsey County Sheriff is Raiding 3240 17th Avenue South in Mpls this


The National Lawyers Guild has an attorney on the scene.

The media contacts for the National Lawyers Guild are Bruce Nestor:

612-991-9488 & Gena Berglund: 651-208-7964.


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 08:06:57 -0700 (PDT)

From: rnc08@riseup.net

Subject: [rnc08] Activist Houses Being RAIDED NOW

Saturday, 10:00 am

At least three separate activist houses are being raided right now. We

have four confirmed arrests and believe more will follow. The identities

of the four arrestees are known, and we understand that they are being

charged with conspiracy to riot, and other conspiracy charges.

The search warrants are being executed by the Ramsey County Sheriff's

Department, and appear to be identical to the one executed at the Convergence

Center last night.

We are calling for a mass, public meeting at Powderhorn Park, 35th St. and 15th

Ave. S. in Minneapolis, at 11:30am today.

We will be holding a follow-up press conference at 4:00 pm in front of our

Convergence Center, 627 Smith Ave. in St. Paul.

-the RNC Welcoming Committee


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 10:30:32 -0500

From: Bob Spaulding <bob_spaulding@mac.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Discuss <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

Thanks for the reports, Andy.

I hope nobody hesitates to uses this space to report violations of civil

liberties - any and all - such as that described below. That said,

there's always many perspectives to be heard, and I hope in anxious

moments such as this we consider everything carefully. I understand law

enforcement has a news conference scheduled for this hour.

We leave the Bush years with key protections in our Constitution on a sort

of death watch. I hoped locals wouldn't jeopardize civic goodwill, their

jobs, and the Constitution for the Republican National Convention, but

instead would leave all Constitutional violations to the "pros" in that


Here's hoping I haven't been barricaded onto my block as I slept, Bob


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 08:44:40 -0700 (PDT)

From: rnc08@riseup.net

Subject: [rnc08] Names of Four Arrestees

The four individuals arrested in this morning's preRNC raids are:

Monica Bicking

Eryn Trimmer

Garrett Fitzgerald

Nathanael Secor

Search warrants for 2 of the 3 raided houses listed only one name apiece, each

of individuals not present at the houses and, thus, not arrested.

-the WC


Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 04:48:06 +1200 (NZST)

From: Jan Carr <jan@carrcreatives.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

Has anyone heard if there were similar "preemptive strikes" in Denver this

past week?

The Smith avenue incident also raises the question of just who is in

charge of "security" issues in the city during the RNC. From reading Mary

Turck's article, it appears the Feds are leading the charge (no surprise),

with Fletcher and the Ramsey County gendarmes as their willing

accomplices, and the St. Paul police playing little if any role in this

sorry affair.

Looks like it's going to be a long week for Mayor Coleman; how he

responds to this mess will be his first real test. If he supports or

defends this Smith Avenue action, I predict his political career in STP is


Finally, does anyone else wonder what was contained in the boxes of

"evidence" that were hauled away? And does anyone else suspect the Feds

are entirely capable of "salting" the evidence to justify their actions?

Jan Carr

Summit U, St. Paul

Info about Jan Carr: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/jancarr


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 09:21:41 -0500

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell@visi.com>

Subject: BREAKING:TCDP:RNC:St.Paul Cops raid protesters space


Police break down doors in night-time raid on anarchist meeti

By Mary Turck , Twin Cities Daily Planet

August 30, 2008

"I heard somebody saying, 'They're coming, they're coming!' And feet

pounding on the back stairs, pounding on the door saying they had a search

warrant. They busted through the door. They've got their guns cocked at

people." Sammy Schutz held tightly to five-year-old Gabe, who had been

watching a video with his mother and father and about 20 other people when

the police stormed into 827 Smith Avenue in St. Paul, ordering everyone

down on the floor.

"All I could feel was Mama Bear - do whatever you want to do to me, but I

need to get my son out safe. He was watching his dad get handcuffed. And

he's saying, 'Mommy, mommy, why did they crash through the door?'"

Gabe's question remained unanswered. Ramsey County sheriff's deputies said

they were executing a search warrant, but would not show a copy of the

warrant to lawyers or reporters. More than a dozen police vehicles, almost

all unmarked, and more than 20 sheriff's deputies and St. Paul police

arrived at the building about 9:45 Friday night and were still there at 1

a.m., when I left.

Police in front of 827 Smith Avenue Convergence Center. After handcuffing

the people in the building (occupants said there were about two dozen on

the second floor and "about 40 or 50" on the first floor), police

processed them one by one. Each person was asked for identification, name

and address, and then photographed.

People who had been inside the building told similar stories of police

entering with guns drawn. They said police rushed past the security desk

on the first floor, and used a battering ram to crash through the second

floor back door.

"They said if you don't show us ID and get your picture taken, we will

arrest you and take you away," said Michelle Gross, president of

Communities United Against Police Brutality, who had arrived five or ten

minutes before the raid began, planning to attend a meeting. "They never

said what the basis for arrests would be. We were waiting for a meeting,

for God's sake! I cannot tell you how much like a police state that felt

to me."

After each person was released after being photographed, exiting the

building and crossing between police cars to a crowd of cheering friends

on the sidewalk across from the building. No one was arrested, but

sheriff's deputies remained inside the building.

Eventually, a city contractor arrived to board up the building, allegedly

for unspecified code violations.

"This isn't the way we do things in St. Paul." City Council member Dave


St. Paul City Council member Dave Thune said he was trying to find out who

ordered the building locked up and on what grounds. "This isn't the way we

do things in St. Paul," Thune said. "I don't want the city to get sucked

into something that the sheriff's office is concocting."

Thune said that someone had called in the city contractor and ordered him

to secure the building, but this was not done according ot St. Paul city


"Normally," said Thune, "we only board up buildings that are vacant and

ramshackle. The fire inspector has no idea what's going on. He hadn't been

called. The person who is on 24/7 call was not called. I talked to him

trying to fid out who did issue that order and why."

The building at 827 Smith Avenue had been rented by the RNC Welcoming

Committee as a "convergence space," open to activists for meetings,

eating, and just hanging out. Earlier in the week, a large downstairs room

in the former theater held tables of literature and about a dozen

computers, set up for free wi-fi access for visitors. Large maps showed

downtown St. Paul streets. The kitchen was spotless, with stainless steel

refrigerators and a gas range, looking like a commercial kitchen in a

church basement. The second floor room, where Sammy and her family were

watching a video on consumerism Friday night, had comfortable theater

seats and space for meetings.

Search warrant: from soap flakes and X boxes to Molotov cocktails

A young man who would not give his name said that many people had asked to

see the search warrant. After "what seemed like a long time," someone was

allowed to read the warrant aloud. His recollection, affirmed by at least

two others, was that the warrant was very long and listed many items,

including soap flakes, X boxes, paint, computer operating support manuals,

caltrops, bleach, floppy disks with digital information, Molotov cocktails

and many other items.

Dave Thune reported that sheriff's deputies hauled out literature and

other items in boxes. Literature available in the Convergence Center

earlier in the week included "The Struggle is Our Inheritance: A History

of Radical Minnesota," "Anarchy: A Pamphlet," "a guide to 2008 antiRNC

organizing," and "Need to Know Basics: Coldsnap Legal Collective's

Minnesota Legal Primer for the RNC."

Police loaded confiscated items into a police vehicle.

The activists had studied their legal rights, and said they repeated asked

to see the search warrant, said they did not consent to searches, and

asked to see their lawyers. At least one person on the second floor

managed to dial a number for the National Lawyer's Guild (NLG) as the

police burst through the door. Though NLG lawyers arrived on the scene

early, they were not allowed to enter the building and no one in the

building was allowed access to lawyers.

"Here we are in this country trying to fight terrorism," said one

activist, "and I experience it ' a gun in my face!"

Article Tags:

* Government,

* Public Safety,

* RNC 2008,

* St. Paul

Submitted by detainee (not verified) on Sat, 08/30/2008 - 02:36.

Thanks to everyone who waited outside the center tonight. These were the

most traumatic 2 hours of my life, and I can't express how much it means

to me that people cared so much about me and the others in there with me.

If I could have hugged you all I would have. You all are the real

Americans, not McCain, Obama, the police, or anyone else. I love all of

you, and you've touched 60+ lives in ways that words cannot convey. This

is mutual aid in action; whenever any of you are in trouble, you can be

sure that those of us who were detained inside will do everything we can.


The Minority Report's picture

Now you know the rest of the story...

Submitted by The Minority Report (not verified) on Sat, 08/30/2008 - 02:43.

FYI: This kind of bullying behavior on the part of the police is status

quo in the minority world.

The only reason this story is making any noise is due to the fact that

most, if not all, of the victims in this situation are white.

However, it should be pointed out that once again, white folks will get

preferential treatment as in this case. You see, nobody actually got

arrested. That would never have been the case had the victims been of some

other ethnic / racial makeup.

>From past experience, here's a point of advice if anybody ever gets in

this type of situation in the future:

As the police are storming in, quickly call a telephone number that you

know will be picked up by voice mail. Furtively put your phone back in

your pocket and let the voice mail record the raid. Often, the police will

use intimidating / self-incriminating language that may help your case if

you need to file some kind of complaint against them.

Even if the police realize you are recording their rants, it will be too

late as your voice mail will have caught them in the act!

Anyway, keep up the good work!





Assitant Police Chief Bostrom has talked about the St. Paul Standard, and

on the anniversary of last years' critical mass police riot, we saw its

true face. The ramsey county sheriff's dept and the SPPD raided the RNC

convergence space and detained over 50 people in an attempt to preempt

planned protests of the rnc on Monday.

Looking for items found in any twin cities house like jars, paint, and

rags, this attempt to portray us as criminals and destroy our credibility

has already backfired as evidenced by the masses who have come to support


We are now accused of a simple fire code violation - which is outside the

scope of the sheriff's department and clearly not justified provocation

for a forceful raid with guns being drawn. Children and elderly people

were inside the convergence center when the police violently busted down

the doors. The police may claim that the raid was executed according to

protocol - however, the violence inherent in this action may only be a

hint of the violence to be expected on Monday and beyond, and is only a

hint at the violence perpetrated daily by the police.

The convergence center is simply a gathering place and is not used for

illegal actions - it is a place for workshops and trainings. Tonight we

were watching films and sharing food.

This action will not deter us from our plans to protest the RNC on

September 1st. We want to invite all people who oppose this police

oppression to join us on Septemeber 1st. See you in the streets.


Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 04:03:02 +1200 (NZST)

From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood@hotmail.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

I have some updates on arrests and police raids, prior to the RNC.

First, let me give out my sources, The best two places I have found for

rapidly updated information are http://twitter.com/coldsnaplegal and

http://twincities.indymedia.org/ Coldsnap is a legal collective

(non-lawyers who help connect people with lawyers from the National

Lawyers Guild and so on). Indymedia is a grassroots online news-gathering

location. They also have the best calendar for RNC events at


Now the updates.

Last night, there was a large police raid at the convergence center on

Smith. I have heard two alternate explanations for the raid. First was

that it was supposed fire code violations. Second that they were

searching for "bomb-making" materials. According to witness present,

police broke through all doors simultaneously with weapons drawn. Around

70 people were inside at the time, sold to lie face-down on the floor

(including a 4-year-old child). One person was said to be arrested, then

later released. Other occupants were detained, but released one-by-one if

they showed ID and consented to be photographed. The space is now boarded

up and the convergence center resters are prevented from re-occupying. All

computers have reportedly been confiscated.

According to one report, St Paul City Councilman was at the scene and,

also according to this report, Councilman Thune made the comment that

Ramsey County had no jurisdiction over any supposed code violations. I

will allow Mr Thune to confirm or deny, as I know he participates in this


A 10 am press conference was scheduled at Harriet Island by the flagpole

for this morning (Saturday). I don't know what happened there.

Also according to Indymedia and Coldsnap sources, at least 3 raids have

occurred this morning in Minneapolis, at 2301 - 23rd Ave S, at 3240 - 17th

Ave S, and at 3500 Harriet Ave S. At the Harriet Ave address, there were

no arrests and no injuries, but the house is now secured by the police and

a search is being conducted; no one has seen the warrant. At the 23rd Ave

house, there were 4 total arrests (5-year-old Gabe is out safe). There

was 1 arrest at the 17th Ave location.

A large meeting at 11:30 this morning, has been called for Powderhorn Park

near the park building. One report said that Powderhorn Park will now

replace the closed Smith Ave (St Paul) convergence function as a meeting

place and community bulletin board.

I want to end by saying that this is all fast-breaking and that I have not

been able to confirm this information. What seems pretty clear is that

the convergence center has been closed for "fire code" violations by

county and federal authorities who have no jurisdiction over those

violations. It also seems clear that a number of activist medical and

legal support people have been targeted in anticipation of the convention

next week. I would remind readers that those people may be held without

charges for over a day, and that the clock doesn't start until the weekend

ends on Tuesday morning.

I am heading over to Powderhorn. I'll try to get an update to this list

as soon as I can.

Charley Underwood

Longfellow (SD 62 A), Minneapolis

Info about Charley Underwood: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/charleyunderwood


Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 06:21:03 +1200 (NZST)

From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood@hotmail.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

OK, so here is an update from the 11:30 am meeting at Powderhorn Park

(Saturday, 8/29).

The 627 Smith Avenue convergence center was raided at 9:15 last night.

About 50 or 60 people were inside at the time. Doors were broken down.

Those inside were handcuffed face down, including a 4 (or 5 ) year old

child. Laptops, literature, all electronic devices, and a foam map of St

Paul was confiscated. No arrests were made. No bomb-making or other

material was found. The raid was conducted by the Ramsey County Sheriff's

department, with assistance by the St Paul police. The building was

boarded up, on the pretext of fire code violations, although the St Paul

fire inspector was unaware of any violations, nor was the inspector

informed of the raid.

According to several reports, Councilman Dave Thune was present last

night, commented that Ramsey County had no fire code jurisdiction. I just

heard that Dave Thune has consulted with the city inspector and that the

house will be unboarded and allowed to be occupied at some point later


At 10 this morning, a spokesperson from Sheriff Fletcher described the

arrests as stemming from Welcoming Committee members conspiring to commit

"serious criminal acts" and having "blatant disregard for the law." (I

should report that the two hundred or so listening to this at Powderhorn

Park broke out in prolonged laughter. Apparently the feeling is that it

is Sheriff Fletcher's office that has a "blatant disregard for the law.")

In Minneapolis this morning, 3 houses belonging to or rented by members of

the RNC Welcoming Committee were raided. 4 Welcoming Committee members

were taken into custody and are being held without charges at the Hennepin

County jail, on probable cause for conspiracy. Since this is a weekend,

it is unlikely that they could be released before Tuesday or Wednesday at

the earliest.

One of the houses at 3240 - 17th Avenue South is being emptied. Old tires

are being removed from the garage as evidence, as well as things like a

foam bedding from the house. The house is scheduled to be boarded up this

afternoon, unless the owner appears (she is one of those being held

without bail until next week).

Several of my own thoughts:

Matt Bostrom, who has been heading up St Paul police work on the

Republican convention, said last fall at St Thomas University that his

prime interest in local police involvement was the civil liberties of St

Paul citizens. He was reminded that other jurisdictions often take over

these events and asked if he would consider resigning if people illegally

lost their civil liberties. He thought for a long moment, then replied

that he would, in fact, resign. I suggest that it is time for Matt

Bostrom to examine the evidence and consider doing exactly what he


Second, this is preventative detention, with things like fire codes being

used simply to suppress a particular point of view. These sort of police

raids do nothing to increase any democratic dialogue or political

involvement. They do nothing to put St Paul on the world map in any

positive way. And this sort of police action increases the likelihood

that this RNC convention will eventually prove quite expensive for St

Paul, due to the legal judgments and legal settlements coming out of civil

liberties violations.

Ask yourself this question: If you were on the jury listening to the

testimony of a 4-year-old who sobbed while the doors were broken down and

was forced to lie face-down on the floor with uniformed officers pointing

loaded weapons at him, how much money would YOU be inclined to award his


Up next: There will be a press conference in front of the closed

convergence center (627 Smith Avenue, St Paul) at 4 p.m. this afternoon

(Saturday, 8/29).

What you can do:

Be at that press conference.

Be at the house at 3240 - 17th Avenue S in Minneapolis and witness the

police boarding it up.


Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 07:15:02 +1200 (NZST)

From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood@hotmail.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

So, John Harris, is it your belief that people should be arrested BEFORE

they have done something illegal?

And what if that arrest itself has been judged illegal, with many court

laws and court cases and the constitutions of both state and the nation?

In other words, what sort of legal position do you think Sheriff Fletcher

is in right now? And what sort of legal situation is the St Paul Police

Department for participating in a likely illegal raid?

Of course this will all take years to work through the courts. My point

is this: It's going to be very expensive for the citizens of St Paul, when

all is said and done. And not just in terms of money. My greatest

concern has always been with the likely deterioration of relations with

the police and with our local city government.

Charley Underwood

Longfellow (SD 62 A), Minneapolis

Info about Charley Underwood: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/charleyunderwood


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 12:21:30 -0500

From: Carol A. Overland <overland@legalectric.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

A friend from Denver reported that security was tight but not harassing,

and she didn't have any reports about the blatant police state tactics

we're seeing here. She's part of a "No New Coal Plants" effort and walked

with a big sign up and down their 16th Ave. Mall without incident, having

boisterous conversations with the very present coal plant promotion

workers paid by coal lobby. Maybe it's because she donned little black

dress and pearls just for the occasion???!!!???

It doesn't sound to me that it's a case of "St. Paul police playing little

if any role in this sorry affair." Seems they're right in the thick of

things... Minneapolis police too.

Interesting, seems the indymedia.org site is now down...

Carol Overland

(observing from 1200 miles away unfortunately)


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 14:36:15 -0500

From: David Strand <lavgrn@gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [GPSP] Late-breaking news


I just hope they are and were treated better than those poor young people

from Sister Camelot's were years ago before ISAG. I hope they are

fine and we are able to confirm that.

I lived just behind the Hyatt where ISAG was held and recall how

outrageous and over the top police behavior was during that most expensive

to date police action in state history. The actions of the police around

these events looks as though they will be even greater and more absurd as

ISAG was post Seattle but pre- 9-11.


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 12:45:01 -0700 (PDT)

From: M Charles Swope <mcswope@yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

It looks to me as though we are seeing tactics used here similar to those

employed in NY during the 2004 election season. NY is still dealing with

the lawsuits stemming from that convention (after having already paid out

millions in settlements). These preemptive detentions of protestors are

unacceptable in a free society. The summary boarding up of homes with no

notice or opportunity for a hearing (mainly in Minneapolis) on the pretext

of housing code violations also looks like a denial of due process. We are

witnessing serious curtailments of civil liberties and it looks

increasingly like outright denials of constitutional rights.

Anybody notice in the paper the story about Carol Molnau and the Capital

Area Planning Board's attempt to stop TrueBlue from setting up a Jumbotron

with protest messages on it? This was stopped temporarily at least by a



Using building code and other safety regulations as a pretext for shutting

down dissent is a disgraceful abuse of power. The people doing this need

to be held to account.

The Twin Cities may have won the convention but, increasingly, it looks

like they have sold their souls to do it.

Charles Swope

Ramsey Hill, Ward 2, St. Paul

Info about Charlie Swope: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/charlesswope


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 15:48:56 -0500

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell@visi.com>

To: MPC <MinnesotaProgressiveCaucus@yahoogroups.com>

Subject: URGENT!:4pm TODAY!Activists respond to police raids on homes and

protest center

****URGENT!Activists are calling for the peace and justice community to

come to apress conference at 4pm today (Saturday) at the RNC-WC

Convergence Center,627 Smith Avenue at Wyoming, in St. Paul, to condemn

the raids.

Anti-RNC Activists respond to police raids

by Lydia Howell Aug. 30, 2008 3pm Minneapolis, MN

Ramsey County Sheriffs Department didn't stop with their raid and shut

down of anarchist protest group,RNC-Welcoming Committee's St. Paul

convergence center on Friday,August 29. From around 9am to noon, on

Saturday morning they crossed the river to hit at least three homes in

south Minneapolis.

Activists are calling for the peace and justice community to come to a

press conference at 4pm today (Saturday) at the RNC-WC Convergence Center,

in St. Paul, to condemn the raids.

Word went out via the Internet and cell phone messages and about 150

activists gathered at Powderhorn Park to share eye witness accounts of the

raids and plan the activist community responses.

Eyewitnesses described being made to lie on the floor for hours and that

police had a broad search warrant that netted no weapons at all. However,

police seized lap top computers, a big laminated St. Paul map. and

political literature.

A St. Paul building inspector on the scene closed the building Friday

night. After St. Paul City Council-member, Dave Thune expressed

objections, the center at 627 Smith Avenue South, at Wyoming, is being

allowed to reopen Saturday afternoon.

Four RNC-WC members were arrested and are being held without bail on

various "conspiracy" charges. Civil liberties advocates note that such a

charge is termed "the prosecutor's friend", as "conspiracy" often amounts

to little more than allegations with no concrete evidence.

At the Powerderhorn Park gathering, news of the south Minneapolis raids

continued to come in. The raided homes were: Food Not Bombs home,at 23rd

Avenue; the Harriet House on 35th Avenue; a home on 17th Avenue, where

three arrests were made, including one with no bail for "probable cause".

The search warrant for the raids included such items as:

puppets, nails,, screws, electronic equipment fromm cell phones to

I-pods, vegetable oil, and "gray water". A building inspector at the

house on 1734-17th Avenue South was said to have ordered the home

boarded closed. Minneapolis City Council-members, Elizabeth Glidden and

Cam Gordon were being contacted about the raids on homes in their wards.

Longtime activist and south Minneapolis resident Dave Bicking said he

observed "Police were taking mattress pads and other items out of the

garage" of one of the raided houses.

Another activist, Michelle Gross with Communities United Against Police

Brutality said she returned home Friday evening from the St. Paul

raid to find her garage broken into. Since expensive athletic equipment

remained untouched, while file boxes were strewn about, she felt law

enforcement were responsible.

Undercover law enforcement had been at the activists health center and

legal assistance space, but, by noon had left.

Ramsey County Sheriffs issued a press statement, that National Lawyers

Guild member Jordan Kushner, read to the gathering, which included

allegations not substantiated by any specifics, such as calling the

RNC-WC "a criminal enterprise intent on criminal acts before and after

the Republican National Convention".

"We now know how St. Paul intends to respond to the people exercising

our rights of free speech--with an abuse of power, "said one spokeswoman

to the crowd of mostly young people at Powderhorn. "But, we also have

our power to act and we call on the community to stand with us and

condemn these actions. We will not be stopped by these raids. We will be

in the streets on Monday."

The press conference will be at 4pm, Saturday, Aug,30 at the RNC-WC

Cinvergence Center at 627 Smith Avenue South, at Wyoming, in St. Paul.


RNC protesters Legal Help Hotline number is:


Housing of out-of-town activists remains needed. If you can help:

Housing Number, 612.419.7809. In order to expedite housing

arrangements,we are hoping to shift from the housing board to this

number.If you have housing to offer, please email wc_orientation@riseup.net

Lydia Howell is producer/host of Catalyst on KFAI Radio and an

independent Minneapolis journalist.


- David Shove shove001@tc.umn.edu

rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar

over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02

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P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 08.31.08


1 Turck

2 Turck

3 Broderick

4 Hare


6 Hare

7 DeLaCruz

8 Beegle

9 Wood

10 Meland

11 Simons

12 Ellison

13 Driscoll

14 Yorek

15 Wilkinson

16 Underwood

17 Driscoll

18 Morales

19 Carr

20 Schleuning

21 Wood

22 Muller

23 Underwood

24 Goldstein

25 Repke

26 Wilkinson

This should be a "teachable moment". Whatever has just happened here

obviously CAN happen here. Who knows what more will happen over the next

few days - whatever does, CAN. It appears to be very well planned and

intentional at every level; it is not going to go away, and will only get

worse if we do nothing. Time for articles, letters, meetings, forums,

sit-ins, pressuring city govt for laws and practices that will banish

events like those related here. -ed


To: David Shove <shove001@tc.umn.edu>

Subject: Journalists targeted by FBI in St. Paul

Journalists targeted by FBI in St. Paul

By Mary Turck , TC Daily Planet

August 30, 2008

Mike Whalen and reporters sit, handcuffed, in his backyard. (Photos by

Mary Turck)

According to I-Witness reporter Eileen Clancy, an FBI agent came to Mike

Whalen's house on Iglehart Avenue this morning, looking for an individual

who was not present at the time. This afternoon, police broke into the

house with guns drawn, detaining Whalen and the journalists for hours as

dozens of reporters from all over the country stood outside, kept on the

opposite side of the street by police orders. The six people inside the

house - and one legal observer who came outside to try to talk to police -

were handcuffed during the search of the house.

Legal observer Sarah Coffey answered reporters' questions in front of the

Iglehart residence, as police looked on.

Journalists inside the home included Clancy and Elizabeth Press, a news

producer for Democracy Now. Journalists outside included Amy Goodman, host

of Democracy Now and a camera crew.

Kim, who lives next door, voiced her strong objections to the police

proceedings, praising Mike Whalen as "a good neighbor, a very nice

neighbor for ten years. He has never caused a problem". She said anyone

should be allowed to protest, though "I'm a Jehovah's Witness so I don't

give a crap about Republicans or Democrats," but said that anyone should

be allowed to protest.

Eventually, she invited the crowd of journalists into her back yard, where

they interviewed Mike Whalen and Eileen Clancy over the back fence, as

police watched in obvious, mute discomfort.

"They look through materials and copy materials, but you are not

arrested," said Clancy. "If you sue later, the court thinks it wasn't a

big deal, because you were not held very long".

"They cannot raid a news office without a subpoena - but they did. This is

journalists' work product".

Police eventually produced a subpoena, similar to the ones that have been

used in all of the half-dozen raids during the past 18 hours.

"These are pre-emptive raids," Clancy insisted. "Police are targeting

people who are here to protect free speech rights".

Eventually, Amy Goodman and a camera crew climbed over the fence. Police

tried to get them to leave, with no success. Police on the scene would

make no comment, saying that a public relations officer would talk to

reporters They were unable, however, to say who the public relations

officer was, or where that person might be found.

In the end, the police released all of the people detained at the Iglehart


At the same time that the I-Witness reporters were being detained on

Iglehart, police followed, stopped and detained two other I-Witness

reporters and a friend as they biked down Marshall Avenue in St. Paul.

They searched the trio's belongings and detained them there until the raid

at Iglehart ended.

Article Tags: I-Witness, journalists, Media, police raids, RNC, RNC 2008


Ramsey County sheriff raids homes in South Minneapolis

By Mary Turck, TC Daily Planet

August 30, 2008

Police officers raided the "Bread Not Bombs" house at 2301 23rd Avenue

South on Saturday morning. According to the onlookers, items confiscated

from the house included a sack of onions. (Photo by Mary Turck)

This morning the Ramsey County's sheriff raided the house of Food Not

Bombs, two other private residences in south Minneapolis, and the Wellness

Center in St. Paul. At least four people were arrested on charges of

"conspiracy to commit a riot". The search warrants shown at these raids

appeared to be nearly the same as the warrant for last night's raid, with

the addition of specific named individuals and vehicles to be searched.

The warrant lists multiple pages of items to be searched for, ranging from

explosives to cardboard to "urine and feces".

Ramsey County sheriff's deputies conducted the raids in Minneapolis this

morning, as well as the raid in St. Paul last night, with back-up from

Minneapolis police this morning and St. Paul police last night. At least

one officer at the raid at 23rd Street and 23rd Avenue South in

Minneapolis was wearing an FBI jacket.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher issued a press release this morning

saying that at Friday night's raid on the Convergence Center, "Numerous

items were recovered. No persons were arrested. The search warrant was a

part of an ongoing investigation regarding serious criminal acts".

Fletcher stated, "This investigation pertains to actions of the RNC

Welcoming Committee. The 'Welcoming Committee' is a criminal enterprise

made up of 35 self-described anarchists who are intent on committing

criminal acts before and during the Republican National Convention. These

acts include tactics to blockade and disable delegate buses, breaching

venue security and injuring police officers. They have recruited

assistance in their criminal conspiracy from other anarchists groups

throughout the country. Through their plans and actions they have

exhibited a blatant disregard for the law and the safety of others..

The Minnesota Independent reported that police searches turned up weapons

and devices to disrupt traffic, though the location of the seized articles

was not disclosed.

Article Tags: Both, Government, Public Safety


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 18:51:32 -0500

From: Richard Broderick <richb@lakecast.com>

Subject: For the PC

Here's something for your consideration. It went up this afternoon at

the Daily Planet.

It Can't Happen Here? It already has...

Rich Broderick

The Twin Cities Daily Planet

August 30, 2008

As I write this, the precise authority under which members of the Ramsey

County Sheriff's Department participated in raids of houses and private

buildings in St. Paul and Minneapolis this weekend is unclear to me. I

have heard from a very harried friend at the National Lawyers Guild that

the break-ins and arrests of RNC protestors took place under the auspices

of the Secret Service and Justice Department - apparently FBI members

participated in the raids.

But under whatever authority and in the name of whatever statutes - at

this point, the cause for detentions in Minneapolis has been given as

"conspiracy to commit riot," as flimsy and ad hoc a rationale as the

infinitely elastic "Homeland Security Offense" listed on a police report

to justify the detention in Minneapolis of independent journalists earlier

last week which resulted in the seizure of their equipment and personal

belongings - it should be obvious that concerns about this country turning

into a police state, a corporation- friendly fascist nation like Singapore

or the People's Republic of China, are greatly misplaced. There's no need

to worry about this happening in the United States.

It already has.

It should also be clear that both the wish list of expanded powers to spy

on, arrest, and detain "suspects" without charge that got dropped into the

Patriot Act and the whole War on Terror have as their ultimate objective

not to make life difficult for terrorists. No. Like the equally bogus War

on Drugs, they are designed to make it easier for law enforcement

personnel at every level - as always the chief line-of-defense of the

propertied classes - to terrorize American citizens. Citizens who should

perhaps henceforth more properly be referred to as "American subjects."

The erosion of civil liberties and constitutionally guaranteed rights in

this country - an erosion that, it cannot be emphasized enough, did not

begin with George W. Bush but has proceeded apace under a succession of

Administrations, both Democratic and Republican d-- makes all the eloquent

calls we heard from Denver for unity and restoring the American Dream

little more than hollow rhetoric. At the national level, both major

parties are knee deep in creating and nurturing the

military-industrial-congressional complex - the genesis of the national

security state - that Eisenhower warned more than 50 years ago posed the

gravest threat of all against democracy and the rule of law. I hate to say

it folks, but when it comes to curbing this beast, there isn't, to quote

George Corley Wallace, "a dime's bit of difference" between Barack Obama

or John McCain.

Right now, there is a power vacuum in this country - a power vacuum that

has made us easy pickins' for the fascists among us; political discourse

has given way to spectacle, as we have been conditioned by the mass media

to believe that "democracy" is just something that happens every four

years when we go to the polls.

At the local level, there are things we can and must do to address this

vacuum, this confusion of spectacle with politics. We can pressure the St.

Paul City Council to make sure that the security cameras that have been

placed all around downtown St. Paul come down just as soon as the RNC

circus vacates the Xcel Center. We can contact the Ramsey County

Commissioners and demand that they do what they should have done a long

time ago: rein in their Sheriff's Department. We can pressure both city

councils in Minneapolis and St. Paul into passing resolutions authorizing

the arrest of Bush Administration officials complicit in any of dozens of

flagrant assaults on our civil liberties should they ever set foot in

either jurisdiction. We should vote out judges unable to recognize that

such resolutions certainly do fall within the jurisdiction of local

governments. We can also support the heroic efforts by non-partisan groups

like the National Lawyers Guild and the ACLU in their rearguard battles

against the national security state.

Above all we can all step up to the table and acknowledge that our

obligations as citizens do not consist solely in voting. We can begin to

volunteer to serve on the literally dozens of commissions, boards, and

other municipal, county and state organizations currently occupied, by and

large, by persons interested in maintaining the status quo. It's great to

rage against the machine. How much better to take over its controls, turn

it into an engine of progress and liberation rather than reaction and


For Barack Obama is right at least in this: change must come from below,

not from some savior descending from on high. As Woody Allen said, the

world is run by the people who show up. And it's high time we all started

turning off the television and showing up.

Otherwise, we might as well kiss whatever chance we have of reclaiming the

Constitution good-bye.


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 15:47:36 -0500 (CDT)

From: hare@tcfreenet.org

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

I have said many times that I trust the Saint Paul Police. I now want

them to save us from the Ramsey County Sheriff and this blatant attempt to

intimidate and violate rights.

There's not much point in having a convention to pick a presidential

nominee when we live in something like a dictatorship. The irony should

not be lost on anyone.

I offer my house for the purpose of organizing, 3 blocks from the Xcel,

should other places no longer be available. Please contact me if you need


Chief Harrington, I call on you to carry out your duty and protect the

citizens of Saint Paul.

Erik Hare

West End (Irvine Park), Saint Paul http://erikhare.wordpress.com

Info about Erik Hare: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/erikhare


From: Lydia Howell <lhowell@visi.com>

Subject: Permitted SEPT.1 March goes forward despite police pressure.

Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War

For Immediate Release: August 30, 2008

Contact: Katrina Plotz 651.769.4474

Steff Yorek 612-865-8234

Coalition to March Office: 379-3584

Police Actions Designed to Chill Free Speech of RNC Opponents. Permitted

March for September 1 goes forward despite police pressure.

The Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War condemns the police

raids and arrests being carried out against people associated with the RNC

Welcoming Committee. Jess Sundin, a spokesperson for the Coalition said,

"The raids and arrests are unacceptable and should be condemned by

everyone who stands for peace and justice."

Steff Yorek said, "The actions by the St. Paul Police are an attempt make

people afraid to take a stand against the war and the Republican agenda.

We denounce authorities' attempts to suppress free speech and remind

everyone that the March on September 1, 11am at the State Capitol is a

permitted rally and march. People from all walks of life should feel

confident that the March is a safe place to protest the war."

The office of the Coalition to March on the RNC at 1313 5th St. SE, Suite

112 C, Minneapolis, MN will be open until 4:30 today for photo

opportunities. Media spokespeople will be available


From: hare@tcfreenet.org

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

Another thing I'd really like to know:

Fletcher got warrants for these raids, as we can expect. Which judge

signed off on them? I think that's where the pressure has to be put.

Bob is just being what we would expect, and we're not going to change his

gestapo tactics in a few days. But we might be able to get a judge to

realize how perilous this is.


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 16:14:50 -0500

From: Cristy A. DeLaCruz <cristy.delacruz@gmail.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

I would like to know why the Ramsey County Sheriff has jurisdiction over

these arrests rather than the Saint Paul Police. I don't like how this is

playing out.

And I second the motion that anyone who needs a place to organize is

welcome at our house in Irvine Park. It's a bit dusty with our office

construction still in process, but we do have the space on private



Irvine Park, near the fenced barricades on Chestnut Avenue


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 17:17:22 -0500

From: Margaret Beegle <beegle@louberts.com>

Subject: Progressive Calendar Correction

There is an error in the Coldsnap Legal Hotline phone number on the last


The correct number is (651) 356-8635.


Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 11:00:04 +1200 (NZST)

From: Michael Wood <mwood42092@yahoo.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

Gees, Lenin once said that: "the bourgeoisie looks backward in fear of

democratic rights which threaten to strengthen the proletariat." (Lenin,

Two Tactics...)

Are we in the Gus Hall Action Club going to be rounded up and/or

mistreated, too, because we advocate the science of Marxism-Leninism and

have initiated a picketline demanding nationalization and public ownership

of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant on Wednesday, Sept. 3 @

3:00-6:00 pm at the Ford Plant?

Michael Wood

Longfellow, Minneapolis

Info about Michael Wood: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/michaelwood


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 18:14:06 -0500 (CDT)

From: kmeland@bitstream.net

To: David E Shove <shove001@tc.umn.edu>

Subject: Ramsey County Sheriff's Conduct

It sounds as though Sheriff Fletcher has become the Ramsey County

equivalent of Maricopa County AZ sheriff Joe Arpaio. A joke if there ever

was one. The legislature should investigate this type of overreaching and

so should the Ramsey County commissioners. Keith Meland, Gold Canyon, AZ


From: Lydia Howell <lhowell@visi.com>

Subject: STRIB: Police raids on protesters homes


By Abby Simons, Heron Marquez Estrada and Bill McAuliffe, Star Tribune


PHOTO:Paul police officers attempt to gain entrance to house on Iglehart

that was raided Saturday afternoon. Raids were executed at numerous sites

of alleged anarchist groups in the Twin Cities in preparation for the

start of the RNC. Sara Coffey, with, with the National Lawyers Guild was

stopped outside the house, handcuffed and detained and helped police

negotitate with those inside. A total of ten persons were eventually

handcuffed and detained.


By Abby Simons, Heron Marquez Estrada and Bill McAuliffe, Star Tribune

Last update: August 30, 2008 - 5:58 PM

Ramsey County authorities conducted raids across Minneapolis and St.

Paul Friday and Saturday as a pre-emptive strike against disruptive

protests of the Republican National Convention.

Five people were arrested and more than 100 were handcuffed, questioned

and released by scores of deputies and police officers, according to

police and elected officials familiar with the raids.

In a statement Saturday morning, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said

the St. Paul raid targeted the RNC Welcoming Committee, a group he

described as "a criminal enterprise made up of 35 self-described

anarchists...intent on committing criminal acts before and during the

Republican National Convention."

"These acts include tactics to blockade and disable delegate buses,

breaching venue security and injuring police officers," Fletcher said.

Deputies seized a variety of items that they believed were tools of

civil disobedience: a gas mask, bolt cutters, axes, slingshots, homemade

"caltrops" for disabling buses, even buckets of urine.

But the raids drew immediate condemnation from activists and St. Paul

City Councilman Dave Thune, whose district includes the former theater

at 627 Smith Avenue South, which was rented by activists as a gathering


"This is not the way to start things off," Thune said Saturday morning.

"This is sending the wrong message. Regardless of how you feel about

these people...they had a right to be there."

On Saturday afternoon, law agents surrounded 951 Iglehart Av. in St.

Paul where members of I-Witness Video, a New York-based group that

monitors police conduct during protests, were staying. They were

detained and handcuffed but eventually freed without charges.

At a news conference Saturday, Cheri Honkala of the Poor People's

Economic Human Rights Campaign, one of the protest groups, described the

Friday raid and an earlier one Thursday that evicted a demonstrators'

camp on Harriet Island as "terrorism" intended to divert attention from

issues the protest groups are raising and cast the news as police versus


"We will not be intimidated," Honkala said.

Thune was especially critical of Fletcher for taking action within St.

Paul city limits.

"I'm really ticked off...the city is perfectly capable of taking care of

things," Thune said. "If they had found anything that could have been

used to commit a crime they would have arrested somebody."

Said Thune: "Unless they come up with anthrax or weapons of mass

destruction, I think they came up short."

Later Saturday, Fletcher described in a news release the items seized

during the raids, which included a variety of "edged weapons"; glass

bottles, rags and flammable liquids; "Old tires (for burning)," a gas

mask and "Empty plastic buckets cut and made into shields."

The RNC Welcoming Committee denied criminal intent and described the

police actions as "violence" that is a sign of more extreme police

measures to come.

Three people were arrested and detained for probable cause conspiracy to

commit a riot following a raid at 3240 17th Ave. S. in Minneapolis.

Ten other people in the house were processed and released after about 90

minutes, said Bruce Nestor of the National Lawyers Guild.

Nestor said the warrant used to search the home was identical to two

others for searches at homes at 3500 Harriet Av. S. and 2301 23rd Av. S.

in Minneapolis. One man was arrested at the 23rd Avenue S. house, and a

fifth arrested at an "undisclosed location," according to the Ramsey

sheriff's office.

Nestor said the the warrant used to search the 17th Avenue house also

matches the one used to raid the former theater in St. Paul that is the

organizing site of the RNC Welcoming Committee.

Nestor said he has not seen documents that support a reason for

searching any of the locations, but that the warrant, signed by a judge

on Friday, seeks multiple items, including electronics and MP3 players,

rags, jars, Molotov cocktails, communication between RNC Welcoming

Committee members, urine and feces.

Those arrested could be held through the weekend, Nestor said. A judge

will review their case within 48 hours. Nestor said the conspiracy to

commit a riot charges are vague.

"This is a charge that police use for preventive detention," he said.

"It requires that no actual criminal act be committed and borders on

criminalizing political advocacy."

Nestor did not know whether the three were members of the RNC Welcoming


Meanwhile, the group decried the Friday night raid on their organizing

site as unwarranted, as evidenced by the lack of arrests after at least

50 people were detained. The group decried law enforcement's tactics,

particularly because children and the elderly were present while the

group was watching films and sharing food before the doors were broken down.

"The police may claim that the raid was executed according to protocol -

however, the violence inherent in this action may only be a hint of the

violence to be expected on Monday and beyond, and is only a hint at the

violence perpetrated daily by the police," the group's statement read.

"(By) Looking for items found in any twin cities house like jars, paint,

and rags, this attempt to portray us as criminals and destroy our

credibility has already backfired as evidenced by the masses who have

come to support us." the RNC Welcoming Committee said in a statement

late Friday.

An attorney for protesters said Ramsey County sheriff's deputies and St.

Paul police officers handcuffed at least 50 people and made them lie on

the ground for an extended period. The raid happened Friday night around

9 p.m. at the former Smith Theater on St. Paul's west side.

Thune estimates that about 100 people were in the theater and detained.

He said deputies knocked down the door using a police battering ram and

then deputies went in with guns drawn, forcing people to the ground.

The group says they are now accused of a fire code violation and the

theater was boarded shut on orders of Fletcher. This last action also

upset Thune, who said the sheriff had no authority to order city staff

to keep people out of a building.

Thune said he would be working with city officials today to re-open the

building. Demonstrators said later Saturday that the building was being


Abby Simons - 612-673-4921


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 14:36:07 -0500

From: Pam Ellison <pamellison@isp.com>

Subject: Re: Hauling away protesters in advance - Are we all a threat? Paint,

jars and rags?

Andy et al:

We are now living in "Minority Report" the movie Tom Cruise made a few years

ago where they arrest people on suspicion they will commit a crime.

I agree wholeheartedly with you Andy, this IS OUTRAGEOUS!! What REAL

proof do we have that these people were a threat? Why is the Sheriff of

Ramsey County acting in this way in the City of St. Paul? Did Chief

Harrington the Sheriff's assistance? Where is the line between City and

County law enforcement?

Who do we know that does not have paint in their home or gasoline for

their lawnmower, or a jar of pickles? Does this mean we are all potential

threats? So if we protest do we need to dispose of all potential tools,

containers, paint, fertilizer, rags, ........?

More and more people tell me of instances where law enforcement is out of

control, this proves it in black and white. Our country and specifically

Minnesota in this case is out of control when these supposed criminal

searches are sanctioned by those in power.

State Fair goers that I talked with at the Minnesota Independence Party

booth had several chilling tales from all over the state of Minnesota of

so-called sanctioned, over-zealous actions enacted with chilling effects

by law enforcement, no doubt sanctioned and enshrined in the Patriot Act.

Many more people contact me on a regular basis and state stories that are


I personally am one of those "crazy people" that would rather take the

risk of dying at the hands of an unknown terrorist than lose my freedom

and be detained, molested and tortured by my own country's legal system

that can heavy-handedly arrest, detain, molest and trample me and my just

and thoughtful constitutional rights. I will take Freedom over Terror of

the political kind any day of the week.

What you read in today's paper is just the tip of the iceberg.

SEND A STRONG MESSAGE to elected officials NOW by exercising your VOTE

accordingly. We need Criminal Justice and Judicial Reform now! How much

power does the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office have? The question begs an

answer, and certainly after the actions of last night and today, the

question probably is even more poignant. Lets wake up people!!!! At some

point we will all find ourselves at the mercy of Sheriff Fletcher or

someone else like him if we don't stand on the constitutional standards

that built this great nation. Your rights and mine of freedom of speech,

freedom of assembly and right to privacy are trampled on every time an

action of this nature is taken. These tenets of the constitutional

supercede partisan issues, they supercede ethnic issues, the SHOULD

supercede ALL issues where justice is concerned.

I would hereby call that all the fine citizens of Ramsey County petition

the Ramsey County Commission to change the office of Sheriff to an

appointed position, rather than an elected one. We need the office of

Sheriff to respect the freedom of speech and rights of our citizens to

protest within reasons. If the position were appointed, those acting as

Sheriff can be fired rather than waiting for an asleep electorate to wake

up to these types of actions chronicled in the morning paper, in time to

elect the person out!

These detainments and arrests were clearly out of line when those detained

and arrested were freed within two hours of their detainments.

This is not the direction we need to go in our state or nation.

I would encourage the media to track anyone who has made a dissenting

opinions about this matter, to make certain they are not arrested or

disappear for their dissent, and widely report it if they are!!!

Because quite frankly, we ARE at that point in Minnesota and across the

nation. Amnesty International stated in a recent mailing to me that they

have identified over 50,000 people in American jails that remain

imprisoned and tortured without cause. This is our America!!!!! Are you

willing to take a stand against these actions or will you ignore it until

you are in prison?

Pamela I. Ellison

"The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first,

the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second,

the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it."

- Edward Dowling, Editor and Priest, Chicago Daily News, 28 July, 1941


From: Andy Driscoll <andy@driscollgroup.com>

Subject: [stPaulGP] Hauling away protesters in advance - Are we all a

threat? Paint, jars and rags?

Thank you, Pam.

I've just returned from taping an RNC Welcoming Committee news conference

outside the same old West Side St. Paul building Fletcher's boys raided

last night, kicking in doors, weapons drawn, forcing everyone - including

children ­ facedown to the floor where they were handcuffed with large,

sharp-edged, plastic straps, searched, then released, one-by-one. Officers

confiscated several computers, maps, programs and some money according to

Lisa Fithian, who conducted the news conference. More on the news

conference itself later, but...

Several teams of sheriff's deputies and other police have raided three or

four private residences in Minneapolis and stopped several bicycle riders

at gunpoint around both towns, arresting and jailing several of them on

"conspiracy" charges, mostly young men and women connected to the protest


Defense attorneys say these cross-jurisdictional raids are authorized and

coordinated by Homeland Security and encompass all police and sheriffs'

departments, the FBI and the Secret Service. The St. Paul Police were

supposed to be "in charge" of any security outside the Secret Service "red

zone" around the Xcel Center, but it's quite clear every police department

in the Metro is under the coordination and direction of a larger entity.

Gena Berglund, a National Lawyers Guild (NLG) attorney coordinating legal

observers and recorders calls this Homeland Security operation the Fusion

Center, a likely name for granting law enforcement powers across all


Fithian insisted that, in her 35 years of working in dozens of local and

regional venues "for radical change in this country," she had never seen

anything the likes of which is occurring this weekend across the Cities.

Apparently, twelve to fifteen people have been detained without charges

filed and they can be held for up to 36 hours - not counting weekends and

holidays - meaning that they could be held through Tuesday unless their

release is forced by a court, according to NLG lawyer Jordan Kushner, who

spoke at the news conference.

Among the other speakers were:

Michael McPhearson of US Veterans for Peace, which is holding its annual

convention in a Bloomington hotel/motel. Police officers from several

jurisdictions appeared at that gathering as well, claiming to be scouting

the facility for a their own use when, in fact, the VFP group had reserved

the entire space for the same period of time. McPhearson was certain this

was little more than police intimidation in much the same manner as he and

his fellow soldiers used their uniforms and weaponry as intimidation of

Iraq and Kuwaiti civilians during the Gulf War I and the current Iraq War.

Dave Bicking, Green Party activist and father of one of the arrested

people in this morning's Minneapolis raids, Monica Bicking.

Coleen Rowley, former FBI agent and whistleblower and organizer of next

Thursday's Peace Island Picnic.

Ann Wright, former US Army colonel who said she has served in nearly every

US-led military theater from Grenada to Iraq and has never seen such an

operation as this weekend's preemptory police actions.

All the speakers spoke of the profound curtailment of civil, human and

Constitutional rights the police raids represent, and that every citizen's

right to dissent and petition their government is being illegally quashed.

What came quite clear to me is that law enforcement must knowingly be

provoking the violence they warned city officials about in advance of the

protest marches to come Monday and Tuesday mornings by the anti-war and

anti-poverty group sponsors. What may be aimed at pre-convention

intimidation and preemptory arrests of protest leaders to quell

protesters' announced intentions to disrupt the convention has only fired

up the very people police expected to put down.

A cynic might wonder if this is all leading up to justification for a

brutal confrontation between well-armed and armored police officers and

unarmed and generally harmless marchers and dissenters.

Where the two major city mayors, the city councils and county boards are

throughout this extraordinary breach of Constitutional rights is a matter

for citizens to challenge - and the disgrace this is bringing to the

otherwise reasonable Twin Cities and Minnesota cultural heritage is beyond


It would seem that, with little resistance, the elected officials of our

cities have given governance over to a police state, however temporary,

and to the paranoia that accompanies such an inbred culture as law

enforcement, itself undeterred by the rule of law in keeping the peace and

protecting the Constitution.

The ripple effect in this community will last for years beyond the coming

week - and the political and personal lives of citizens and our

representatives will have taken a severe turn for the worse. Was it worth

all of this grief for the money you all insisted was coming to our fair

city's and business coffers to sully the very climate that made us so

attractive in the first place?

I think not.

Andy Driscoll, Producer/Host

Lynnell Mickelsen, Co-host

Truth to Tell & CivicMedia/Minnesota

KFAI Radio, 90.3 Minneapolis/106.7 St. Paul/Streamed@ KFAI.org

651-293-9039 / Fax: (same, call ahead) / Cell: 651-492-2221

email: andy@driscollgroup.com



TRUTH TO TELL meets the Republicans coming to St. Paul¹s Xcel, talks with

the groups protesting them, and watching the cops confronting everyone.

Listen as TTT and KFAI present special coverage of the events inside and

outside the convention arena. Our ³reporters² from all walks will provide

stories and interviews from marches, counter-conferences, rallies and

insiders throughout the week.


* MONDAY, Sept 1- PM Hourly: News and field reports on the anti-war March

Against the RNC and others

* TUESDAY, Sept 2 ­ PM Hourly: News and field reports on the Poor People¹s

march, Peace Island conference

* WEDNESDAY, Sept 3 ­ 11AM: TRUTH TO TELL ­ Live from the Convention Center.


* THURSDAY: Sept 4 ­ 6-10PM: LIVE COVERAGE ­ Discussion and Analysis from

KFAI and Xcel

KFAI Radio, 90.3 Minneapolis /106.7 St. Paul / Streamed@KFAI.org

A CivicMedia/Minnesota production

Podcasts are available for all Truth to Tell shows:



Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 17:44:02 -0500

From: Steff Yorek <yosteff@gmail.com>

Subject: Sunday news conference will give final update on preparations for

Monday anti-war protest

Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War


August 30, 2008

For more information contact:

Jess Sundin 612-379-3584; 612-272-2209

Katrina Plotz 651-769-4474

Mick Kelly 612-715-3280

States Jess Sundin, a spokesperson for the Coalition, "The phones in the

coalition office are ringing off the hook as people are calling in for

details of the protest and to report what they are doing to bring their

family members, friends and neighbors out to say no to the war and

occupation of Iraq."

The Monday protest, called by the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop

the War, is being held under the calls of: U.S. Out of Iraq Now! - Money

for human needs, not for war. - Say no to the Republican Agenda. - Demand

peace, justice and equality.

The Monday protest will start with a rally at the Minnesota State Capital

building at 11 am followed by a march that will go past the Xcel Energy

Center, site of the RNC convention, and returning to the capital for a

closing rally. Tens of thousands are expected at the march and rally.


Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 11:03:03 +1200 (NZST)

From: Jay Wilkinson <balthazarw@yahoo.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

Me and my white hair (under yellow helmet) and quasi-cruiser bike, cycled

down summit past cathedral and into dntn by St Jos early this afternoon.

Went around the park by central library, over steel blockades (down at the

time), through gates, etc. Lots of fencing, lots of St Paul and MN State

police, some workers and a few delegate types and a few curious folks like

myself. I wonder if I would have been so free if i were 25, skinny, in a

black tshirt?

I attended the press conference at the convergence ctr on smith. It sure

was a scary place inside - dangerous looking things like computers,

newsletters, first aid, food, event schedules postings , etc. And a

litter of plastic handcuffs at the front door.

Speakers included Colleen Rowley, a former US diplomat, the dad of woman

arrested yesterday, Pete Seeger's grandson, a vet for peace (or similar

org.). Quite a few media people recording.

In addition to the raids in St. Paul and Mpls., cyclists and motorists are

being stopped for intimidation and questioning throughout the metro area.

I saw commandante Fletcher on news a few minutes ago showing off the

products of the raids. He made it clear that there have been infiltrators

involved in the anti- war planners group for more than a year. If history

is a guide to the present, there is a very good chance that the

infiltrators were at the radical edge of the groups and their finger

prints will be on the buckets of urine (you gotta be kidding....) and many

other items featured in the press conference. It will be 4 years and a

milllion $ in attorneys fees before the fog of war is dispelled from our


Here is the likely worst of what the cops are looking to prevent: Some of

the protesters will block traffic and inconvenience the operations of the

convention. Some will get in the face of delegates and police, if they

get a chance. If it gets as bad as Seattle, some windows will be broken,

trash cans burned.

I'll be grumpy if my transit to work and home is delayed. Some guests

(most of whom support US use of extreme violence throughout the world)

will be angry that their party is disrupted.

I'll be OK with Bob Fletcher arresting people who actually bring a pickup

and park it to stop traffic or who really chain themselves to the St. Paul

Hotel bathroom stalls or can be witnessed painting the anarchist symbol on

every billboard in the county (well, maybe I'm not ok with arrests for


That would be troublesome. But what should we sacrifice to avoid such

troubles? The police tactics we are seeing yesterday and today are

something else again.

If 15,000 people are intimidated and silenced and dare not come to

anti-convention events this week and 100 people are arrested and jailed,

and our community as a whole is turned into a "no-speech zone" - the

democratic values purported to be common to republicans and democrats will

be shown to be a tissue of lies.

City Council - County Board - I think special meetings are in order to

consider whether to continue local support of the police-state conspiracy

to intimidate and stop people from gathering and expressing their views.

I urge everyone to come to the Capitol at 11 on Monday for the main march

and then - if you can find your way around the barricades, head over to

Harriet Island for the SEIU sponsored concerts.

Ditto to Eric's comment on the barricades....

Jay Wilkinson Macalester Groveland, St Paul Info about Jay Wilkinson:



Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 11:36:02 +1200 (NZST)

From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood@hotmail.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

A early evening (6:30 p.m.) update:

I am just back from the press conference at the newly re-opened

Convergence Center at 627 Smith Avenue. I got there just a few minutes

late, but in time to hear Dave Bicking describing the arrest of his

daughter; Dave is a friend of mine and I will simply say that he is

worried. The chances are huge that his daughter Monica will be released

without charges as soon as everyone is properly intimidated and the

convention is nearly over. (The police have 36 hours to charge someone

AFTER the start of business on Tuesday morning.) The more long-term

danger is that Sheriff Fletcher has made some very wild accusations that

carry the possibility of felony charges and possible decades in prison.

There was a lot about Ramsey County Sheriff's office being involved well

beyond their jurisdiction. It turns out that this morning's raids in

Minneapolis also involved the Ramsey County office, even though Powderhorn

is quite clearly across the Mississippi River in Hennepin County. A

fellow from the Veterans for Peace, which is now holding its convention at

the Ramada Mall of America in Bloomington, mentioned that there have been

quite a few uniformed and sometimes plainclothes officers from quite a few

jurisdictions who were swaggering (his expression) through the meetings.

The whole jurisdictional limitation seems to have disappeared, as far as I

can tell.

A number of officers have not had any identifying patches at all, either

as to their jurisdictions or even as to their names. Someone said that

this is not legally required of on-duty police officers. If this is true,

it is a strange situation, since Minnesota recently made it illegal to

bring charges against an officer unless you could prove conclusively that

the officer individually acted illegally. The punishment for such

accusations is quite severe. So the victim of police malfeasance is

required to identify the officer, but the officer is not required to

identify him/herself (if I understand the law).

The house on 17th Avenue is having the boards taken down and is being

occupied. It was originally boarded up because the police knocked down

the doors this morning and the law provides that it must be boarded if it

cannot be secured by the owner (even though they had locked Monica up).

During the press conference on Smith, the organizers received two calls of

others being detained or arrested or of police searching houses. One

address on Iglehardt, another on Marshall. And a stop on Lake Street in

Minneapolis. A new raid is occurring about every 15 minutes, according to


As I mentioned, the Convergence Center is now open again. I toured it and

saw the kicked-in doors. The entryway was littered with the remnants of

those plastic handcuffs, which had eventually been cut off last night.

>From what I understand, Dave Thune deserves great thanks at getting to

the bottom of this illegal raid. There were no bomb-making supplied at

the location. There were no arrests. Dave Thune apparently got

personally in touch with the city inspector, who determined that there

were no fire violations either, so the city inspector ordered the building


This next part is my opinion, not mere reporting. It seems to me that

Sheriff Fletcher is sticking his neck out quite a bit here. His is not

only trampling on St Paul's regulatory and police functions, but he has

sent his troops into Minneapolis (and perhaps Bloomington) as well. I

cannot imagine that Mayor Coleman is happy with Fletcher's cowboy

approach. If Matt Bostom keeps his promise, he will soon be offering his

resignation, since it seems pretty clear that quite a few civil liberties

have been trampled since last night. City council members from both St

Paul and Minneapolis must already have a few regrets about inviting this

particular convention to town, and they must also regret their naive

belief that they could maintain control of their own law-enforcing during

such a high-profile event.

My personal hope is that Sheriff Fletcher loses his job over his

outrageous excess. His actions serve neither public safety nor democracy.

Last question: Which judge DID sign those warrants? And what was that

judge thinking of? And how will that judge feel about future requests

that come from Fletcher's office?


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 18:59:19 -0500

From: Andy Driscoll <andy@driscollgroup.com>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

As a follow-up to Charley (whom I wish I had met while there) -

The judge's name: Mark Wernick. The irony: Mark Wernick once represented

thousands of arrested and jailed Vietnam War and Powerline protesters, and

was once considered in the same vein as progressive (NLG founding) lawyers

Larry Leventhal, Ken Tilsen and Peter Erlinder.


From ricardo@northlandposter.com Sat Aug 30 21:48:25 2008

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 19:06:36 -0500

From: Ricardo Levins Morales <ricardo@northlandposter.com>

To: David Shove <shove001@tc.umn.edu>

Subject: raids

A brief comment on the question of who is calling the shots:

I spoke today with Minneapolis city council member Gary Schiff after the

raids in Mpls. He said that Minneapolis had signed an agreement giving the

Secret Service overriding authority on matters related to the RNC,

including any actions by the Mpls Police. Previously when he had tried to

secure the return of confiscated video footage from the supposed "railroad

yard" incident, the Police would not give any information, even though it

was their officers involved, saying that it was in the hands of the Feds.


Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 14:15:02 +1200 (NZST)

From: Jan Carr <jan@carrcreatives.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

I just spoke to one of the NLG lawyers, and she counsels the best thing to

do right now is plain old political pressure - calls, emails, and faxes

to all our elected officials.

Fletcher answers only to himself, but if we start communicating to our

elected representatives, maybe that will embolden them to stand with Dave

Thune and speak out against these abhorrent police state tactics.

I made up a list of most of the people involved:

Mayor Chris Coleman Chris.Coleman@ci.stpaul.mn.us

Phone: (651) 266-8510 Fax: (651) 266-8513

Ward 1: Melvin Carter: Melvin.Carter@ci.stpaul.mn.us

Ph: (651) 266-8610 Fx: (651) 266-8574

Ward 2: Dave Thune: Dave.Thune@ci.stpaul.mn.us

Ph: (651) 266-8620 Fx: (651) 266-8574

Ward 3: Pat Harris: Pat.Harris@ci.stpaul.mn.us

Ph: (651) 266-8630 Fx: (651) 266-8574

Ward 4: Russ Stark: Russ.Stark@ci.stpaul.mn.us

Ph: (651) 266-8640 Fx: (651) 266-8574

Ward 5: Lee Helgen: Lee.Helgen@ci.stpaul.mn.us

Ph: (651) 266-8650 Fx: (651) 266-8574

Ward 6: Dan Bostrom: Dan.Bostrom@ci.stpaul.mn.us

Ph: (651) 266-8660 Fx: (651) 266-8574

Ward 7: Kathy Lantry: Kathy.Lantry@ci.stpaul.mn.us

Ph: (651) 266-8670 Fx: (651) 266-8574

Sheriff Bob Fletcher: 651-266-9333

It's no surprise that Sheriff Fletcher does not publicize his email

address: but you can write to any of these Ramsey County Commissioners:



(651) 224-9191â^À¨ FAX (651) 224-3056

Send email: http://tinyurl.com/6e9pbt


612-522-1212 Fax:â^À¨612-522-9915

Send email: http://tinyurl.com/67z9d9

Jan Carr

Summit U, St. Paul

Info about Jan Carr: http://forums.e-democracy.org/p/jancarr


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 21:19:02 -0500

From: Neala Schleuning <schleuning@comcast.net>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

Dave Thune is looking pretty good through all of this. . . whether you're

on the left or the right.


Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 14:42:04 +1200 (NZST)

From: Michael Wood <mwood42092@yahoo.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

Brothers and Sisters,

I warmly believe that we shouldn't allow this repression to intimidate us

from attending the Sept. 1 anti-war protest sponsored by the Coalition to

March on the RNC and Stop the War @ 11:00 a.m. at the State Capital in St.

Paul, Minnesota, the Sept. 3 picketline for nationalization of the St.

Paul Ford Plant sponsored by the Gus Hall Action Club, the Poor Peoples

Economic Human Rights March on Sept. 2 or any other event.

Gus Hall, the former Marxist-Leninist leader of the Communist Party USA,

once said that "the war hawks always dominate U.S. government policy when

the people are silent." (Gus Hall, Basics) And Hall also pointed out that

we shouldn't be silent when our democratic rights are attacked.


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 22:35:12 -0400

From: Alan Muller <amuller@dca.net>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

(1) Do people think the enhanced apparatus of repression ($50 million

worth?) will FULLY go away after the current Republican festivities wind


(2) Suppose people were to come to their collective senses and desire to

kick the Republican convention out of Minnesota--to minimize further

damage to the community and begin repair.... Who--if anyone--has the

authority to do that? Could the Mayor of St. Paul do it?


Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 16:18:03 +1200 (NZST)

From: Charley Underwood <charleyunderwood@hotmail.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

I had a fairly long telephone conversation late this afternoon with a

young friend. She was driving along Lake Street at 11th Avenue when she

was stopped by Minneapolis police, made to like face-down with her hands

cuffed behind her back. She has been living and studying in other state,

but is back in the Twin Cities visiting her parents. She kept telling me

how "nice" the Minneapolis police were. When she asked why they had

stopped her, they answered pleasantly that they didn't actually know.

(Apparently law enforcement from another jurisdiction was also present and

calling the shots, but she couldn't identify where they were from, just

noted another black SUV with tinted windows.)

Life presents little ironies. While handcuffed on the ground, she asked

if she were being detained and was told "no." She then asked if she was

arrested, but received no answer from the "nice" policeman.

Eventually, she was released. No charges. No ticket. No arrest. Nothing

taken. Just released. It may have something to do with the crowd of

around 30 people who gathered around them and began asking questions like

if she was charged with anything.

As far as I know, she hasn't even been in town long enough to have met

with anyone from the RNC Welcoming Committee. She has been studying out

of state, as I said. I should mention that she is one of the nicest young

people I know, but that she is 19 and she does dress "goth."

Later this evening, I met with an older friend, a pacifist who has been

working with some members of the RNC Welcoming Committee. She has

requested and received sanctuary from her religious community. Following

the events of the day, she is completely convinced that Sheriff Fletcher's

office is arresting every single member of the Welcoming Committee that

they can find. She knows that the police might raid her religious

community as well, but she is hoping to get at least one night's sleep in

safety, surrounded by her community of faith. I wish her well.

The above are events I know about and will recount. The pattern is there

for all to see. Sheriff Fletcher is throwing around quite a few wild

charges and entering jurisdictions where his legal presence is as tenuous

as his understanding of basic citizen freedoms. It is clear that

Fletcher's purpose is to quash all protest by associating it with

extremism and danger. Yet Fletcher himself seems to be the most dangerous

and the most extreme.

It is time for this to stop. Mayor Coleman and the other members of the

St Paul City Council must join Dave Thune is reeling in the out-of-control

cowboy before something serious happens. This man Fletcher is doing some

serious long-term damage to any possible working relationship that the

police might hope to have with the citizens of St Paul. Sheriff Fletcher

is exposing the city of St Paul to criminal charges stemming from their

cooperation with him, and he is exposing the citizens to massive lawsuits

that no insurance company could possibly cover. Worse still, Sheriff

Fletcher shames the memory of so many who have fought and given their

lives for the freedoms he is now taking away.

Seriously, it is time for the mayor and city council to rein in this

fellow before he does any more harm. It is time for us as citizens to

reject the fear that go with Fletcher's intimidation and to march in large

numbers from the Capitol on Monday, united together against the war,

united together for our own protection.


Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 23:25:50 -0500

From: Tom Goldstein/EFQ <tom_goldstein@comcast.net>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

Let's keep in mind that whatever the Ramsey County Sheriff's Dept. claims

it confiscated at the building on the west side is automatically suspect

because of the pretext they've used for this raid and the manner in which

it was carried out. As someone else pointed out earlier on this list, many

of the things that might be capable of causing harm or damage to others

can be found in most houses throughout the metro area, whether it's gas

for the mower, paint thinner, etc. Using these heavy-handed, Gestapo-like

tactics, kicking in doors, etc., is clearly to intimidate and should be

repugnant to every citizen in the state.

As for John's earlier posting about what the RNC Welcoming Committee has

posted on its website, this is hardly a justification for the raids that

were carried out. In the 1950s and 1960s during the Civil Rights and

anti-war movements, many groups made it clear that their tactics would be

nonviolent sit-ins and other peaceful protests. Engaging in unauthorized

marches, occupying areas where one has been told not to be, blockading the

front of public buildings, etc., may all be things that cause annoyance to

others and occupy the police in ways they don't like, but this is exactly

the kind of protest that is supposed to be protected by our Constitution.

It doesn't mean that you won't be arrested or charged with some kind of

criminal offense for your conduct, but the idea that you can be prevented

from even waging that protest amounts to a prior restraint on speech,

which is not permissible.

Using Fletcher's logic, the fact that a police officer might injure his

back while having to lift a protestor who lies down on a sidewalk would be

a justification for engaging in this kind of raid. Similarly, it would

justify the police seizing table salt or paprika or kitchen knives or just

about anything you can think of under the pretext that these are going to

be used to cause violence and that some kind of conspiracy is afoot. Why

not seize the automobiles of protestors, because those can certainly be

used in weapons? In theory, if I'm part of a group that plans to march on

the RNC, refuse to obey any police commands to stay out of a particular

area, and has the goal of being arrested, then under the "Fletcher rules"

I could be detained as being a part of a "conspiracy" to break the law.

This involves a kind of mental gymnastics that even those who believe law

enforcement never crosses the line would have trouble attempting.

I also find reprehensible the kind of tactics employed here. Breaking down

doors and making mass arrests to seize literature and computers and

related paraphernalia? This is exactly the kind of rogue behavior that

gives all cops a bad name. What would have stopped the Sheriff's

Department from simply knocking and entering the unlocked entrances and

executing their search warrants in a more humane way? Kicking down

citizens' doors, whether they're avowed protestors intent on disrupting a

political convention or average citizens wishing to be free of

unreasonable search and seizures is a draconian response that is

completely unnecessary--and a black eye on all St. Paul law enforcement. I

would hope that Chief Harrington would denounce this raid, and instruct

his officers to not cooperate with Ramsey County in carrying out any

further suspect activities such as these, but I doubt that will happen. As

much as we may respect SPPD, no cops like dealing with protestors.

When I first read postings and reports raising all these alarms about what

was going to happen in St. Paul during the RNC, I have to admit that I

thought several people were overreacting. But I never considered the goon

tactics that somebody like Fletcher would utilize. Maybe everybody was

asleep on that one, because the RC Sheriff's office has not been

considered a key player in any of this, nor have they been present at the

briefings I've attended regarding the RNC. It's time for the Commissioners

to rein him in immediately, even if voting to restrict the funding of his

department is the only way they can do so.

Jay Wilkinson has it right: "City Council - County Board - I think special

meetings are in order to consider whether to continue local support of the

police-state conspiracy to intimidate and stop people from gathering and

expressing their views." I'll go a step further: the chief judge of Ramsey

County should immediately authorize expedited hearings for all protestors

arrested, even if it means convening court on Sunday or Labor Day. After

all, why should Fletcher's tactics be allowed to escape the scrutiny of

the judicial system while people are locked up or intimidated in the days

leading up to the RNC?

We've heard a lot of talk about how St. Paul should be hospitable to the

Republicans who are coming to town for the convention even though we in

St. Paul may strenuously disagree with their views, and civility is always

a good virtue to follow. But the real test of our city is whether we have

the courage to allow those who wish to engage in demonstrations or

nonviolent protest the ability to do so, even if those individuals have

every intention of getting arrested and/or trying to disrupt a political

convention. Democracy is a messy business, but if we're prepared to

tolerate the kind of tactics employed by one of our police agencies, then

we do a disservice to everyone.

No man can be an island unto himself, so expecting Dave Thune to shoulder

all the heavy lifting on this matter is not realistic. Contact your city

council member, the mayor, your county commissioner, and your friends. But

don't wait until Tuesday when the convention will be half-over. Cal them

at home, drop by their houses, let them know you're pissed at this kind of

behavior in your city.

Tom Goldstein



From: Chuckrepke@aol.com

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Buckets of urine, slingshots,

anti-bus weapons seized in raid on a...

I went and read the article there is NOTHING in the article that says that

any of those things were found at the Smith Street location. If that is

true than every thing the Fletcher is showing came from private homes. I

would encourage Bob to raid John K's home and see if he has any sledge

hammers, or nails or bolt cutters in his garage or basement. Got a lawn

mower John and a can of gas? Sounds like a trip to the workhouse for you.


Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 16:39:09 +1200 (NZST)

From: Jay Wilkinson <balthazarw@yahoo.com>

To: St. Paul Issues Forum <stpaul-issues@forums.e-democracy.org>

Subject: Re: [sPIF] Hauling away protesters in advance

My message to City Council, Mayor and Cty Board members

Mayor Coleman:

It appears that law enforcement has adopted a policy of preventive

detention and intimidation aimed at scaring people away from RNC protest


Sheriff Fletcher's media statement included reference to more than a

year's worth of infiltration of alleged criminals by informants. History

has shown that informants are often those who incite the hardest lines and

supply the danger that they are paid to uncover.

I fear St. Paul will learn this too late after the 1st Amendment is

crushed against steel barricades and we have 3 years of litigation. You,

the City Council and County Board should act now to uphold the


My friend Michael Whalen, whose house was broken into today by st. paul

police (causing more property damage than the anarchists have done so

far....) might have said:

"all Freemen ... have a Right publickly to remonstrate the Abuses of

Power, in the strongest Terms, to put their Neighbours upon their Guard,

against the Craft or open Violence of Men in Authority, and to assert with

Courage the Sense they have of the Blessings of Liberty"

but it was Andrew Hamilton, from his 1735 defense of John Peter Zenger, in

a landmark trial which helped to establish the principle of freedom of the

press in America.


- David Shove shove001@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

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This is outrageous:


September 4, 2008

= = = = = = = = =

UPDATE Action Alert: DN! Journalists Facing Charges for Reporting on the

Republican National Convention

- Charges against Amy Goodman still hold; Nicole Salazar and Sharif

Abdel Kouddous could still be charged with FELONY RIOT

- Please take immediate action to have the charges dropped



Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner

janet.hafner@co.ramsey.mn.us and


(cc: dropthecharges at democracynow.org)


Susan Gaertner for Governor

info at susangaertner.com (cc: dropthecharges at democracynow.org)

(612) 978-8625


St. Paul Mayor Christopher B. Coleman




(cc: dropthecharges at democracynow.org)

Make your voice heard in the Ramsey County Attorney and St. Paul Mayor's

offices. Demand that they drop all pending and current charges against

journalists arrested while reporting on protests outside the Republican

National Conventions.

The Ramsey County Attorney's office is in the process of deciding

whether or not to press felony P.C. (probable cause) riot charges

against Democracy Now! Producers Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole

Salazar. Please contact Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner by all

means possible to demand that her office not press charges against

Kouddous and Salazar.

The St. Paul City Attorney's office has already charged Amy Goodman with

misdemeanor obstruction of a legal process and interference with a peace

officer. Contact St. Paul Mayor Christopher Coleman by all means

possible to demand that the charges against Goodman be dropped immediately.

Goodman was arrested while questioning police about the unlawful

detention of Kouddous and Salazar who were arrested while they carried

out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the

Republican National Convention.

During the demonstration in which the Democracy Now! team was arrested,

law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion

grenades and excessive force against protesters and journalists. Several

dozen demonstrators were also arrested during this action, as was a

photographer for the Associated Press.


Be sure to cc: dropthecharges@democracynow.org on all emails so that our

team can deliver print outs of your messages to the St. Paul City

Attorney, the Mayor and Ramsey County Attorney offices.

= = = = = = = = =

* Read Amy Goodman's latest column *

"Why We Were Falsely Arrested"


Consider writing your local newspaper and asking for them to carry the column, distributed by King Features. Many papers across the US have done so already.

If you see the column in your paper, please mail us a copy of the full page, to:

Democracy Now!

100 Lafayette St

New York, NY 10013

Thank you!

= = = = = = = = =

* Jobs at DN! *

Democracy Now! is hiring for the following positions:

Systems Administrator

Manager for Spanish Programming & Outreach

For more information visit http://www.democracynow.org/about/jobs

= = = = = = = = =


* Eight Members of RNC Activist Group Lodged with Terrorism Charges *

Ramsey County prosecutors have formally charged eight members of a prominent activist group with conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism. The eight members of the RNC Welcoming Committee are believed to be the first persons ever charged under the 2002 Minnesota version of the federal PATRIOT Act. The activists face up to seven-and-a-half years in prison. We speak with the father of one of those charged and the president of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.



* I-Witness Video Collective Forced Out of Living Space After Second Raid by St. Paul Police in Five Days *

Police in St. Paul are being accused of continuing to intimidate a group of video makers that traveled to the Twin Cities to document police misconduct during the Republican National Convention. On Saturday, police raided a home where members of the I-Witness Video collective were staying. Members of the group were detained for over two hours. The building's landlord forced the group to move out yesterday after police armed with batons and a battering ram entered their living space for a second time.



* Voices of the Delegates: Jeremy Scahill Goes Inside the RNC *

Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill goes inside the RNC to take the pulse of what delegates think and how Sarah Palin has spiced up an otherwise sedated affair.



* Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin Accepts GOP Nomination *

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin accepted the Republican vice-presidential nomination last night in front of a roaring crowd at the Xcel Center. Many view McCain's selection of Palin as a nod to the evangelical right. We speak to Shannyn Moore, an Anchorage-based radio talk show host who closely follows Alaska politics.



* Amy Goodman Questions Ramsey County Prosecutors on Jailing, Charges of Journalists *

Two days after several journalists were arrested covering the RNC protests, including three staffers at Democracy Now!, county and city prosecutors held a press conference in St. Paul. Amy Goodman was there to question them about the crackdown on journalists.



* Hundreds of Jailed Protesters Held for 2+ Days Following Mass RNC Arrests *

The Ramsey County Court has begun to slowly process and release some of the nearly 300 people detained over the past few days. Democracy Now! producer Anjali Kamat reports.



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