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Police State In Republican Convention City

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Don't bother looking for this story on the front pages of the NY Times, Washington Post, Guardian or Wall Street Journal. Gestapo police state tactics apparently don't interest them.

For months, people most would describe as tinfoil hat wearers have been predicting the cancellation of the November 4th election. And gun ownership supporters have been fighting for their right to bear arms to protect themselves from a police state. Are they crazy?

There's something coming down in Minneapolis-St. Paul that looks very menacing-- real "Can't Happen Here" fascist, gestapo tactics that look they are coordinated from on high-- with FBI and Homeland Security participation.

Preventive strike forces by police have invaded homes of people planning protests, or even planning to protect protesters by video-taping police. The victims of these raids have been forced to lie face down on the floor, have been handcuffed, and then their computers, records and some money has been taken from them. This frightening abuse of constitutional rights has been done using vague claims that the police are preventing riots. Here's what Glen Greenwald report s:

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff's department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than "fire code violations," and early this morning, the Sheriff's department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.

Jane Hamsher and I were at two of those homes this morning -- one which had just been raided and one which was in the process of being raided. Each of the raided houses is known by neighbors as a "hippie house," where 5-10 college-aged individuals live in a communal setting, and everyone we spoke with said that there had never been any problems of any kind in those houses, that they were filled with "peaceful kids" who are politically active but entirely unthreatening and friendly.

 

In the house that had just been raided, those inside described how a team of roughly 25 officers had barged into their homes with masks and black swat gear, holding large semi-automatic rifles, and ordered them to lie on the floor, where they were handcuffed and ordered not to move. The officers refused to state why they were there and, until the very end, refused to show whether they had a search warrant. They were forced to remain on the floor for 45 minutes while the officers took away the laptops, computers, individual journals, and political materials kept in the house. One of the individuals renting the house, an 18-year-old woman, was extremely shaken as she and others described how the officers were deliberately making intimidating statements such as "Do you have Terminator ready?" as they lay on the floor in handcuffs. The 10 or so individuals in the house all said that though they found the experience very jarring, they still intended to protest against the GOP Convention, and several said that being subjected to raids of that sort made them more emboldened than ever to do so.

Several of those who were arrested are being represented by Bruce Nestor, the President of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers' Guild. Nestor said that last night's raid involved a meeting of a group calling itself the "RNC Welcoming Committee", and that this morning's raids appeared to target members of "Food Not Bombs," which he described as an anti-war, anti-authoritarian protest group. There was not a single act of violence or illegality that has taken place, Nestor said. Instead, the raids were purely anticipatory in nature, and clearly designed to frighten people contemplating taking part in any unauthorized protests.

Nestor indicated that only 2 or 3 of the 50 individuals who were handcuffed this morning at the 2 houses were actually arrested and charged with a crime, and the crime they were charged with is "conspiracy to commit riot."
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Greenwald updates his report, describing what a Democracy Now reported:
...she was present at a meeting of a group called "I-Witness" -- which videotaped police behavior at the 2004 GOP Convention in New York and helped get charges dismissed against hundreds of protesters who were arrested. The police surrounded the St. Paul house where they were meeting even though they had no warrant, told them that anyone who exited the house would be arrested, and then -- even though they finally, after several hours, obtained a warrant only for the house next door -- basically broke into the house, pointed weapons at everyone inside, handcuffed them, searched the house, and then left.

Here is the press report released by a victim of the police gestapo tactics:
i-witness video emergency press statement from the RNC

Live from the I-Witness Video Residence

This is Eileen Clancy, one of the founders of I-Witness Video, a NYC-based video collective that's in St. Paul to document the policing of the protests around this week's Republican National Convention.

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The house where I-Witness Video is staying in St. Paul has been surrounded by police. We have locked all the doors. We have been told that if we leave we will be detained. One of our people who was caught outside is being detained in handcuffs in front of the house. The police say that they are waiting to get a search warrant. More than a dozen police are wielding firearms, including one St. Paul officer with a long gun, which someone told me is an M-16.

We are suffering a preemptive video arrest. For those that don't know, I-Witness Video was remarkably successful in exposing police misconduct and outright perjury by police during the 2004 RNC. Out of 1800 arrests, at least 400 were overturned based solely on video evidence which contradicted sworn statements which were fabricated by police officers. It seems that the house arrest we are now under and the possible threat of the seizure of our computers and video cameras is a result of the 2004 success.

We are asking the public to contact the office of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman at 651-266-8510 to stop this house arrest, this gross intimidation by police officers, and the detention of media activists and reporters.

That report was followed by this one:

Some Released: Some Detained

Live from the I-Witness Video Residence

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)
 

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Don't look for the authoritarian tyrants runni... by Sherwood Ross on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 8:00:28 AM
Yo Robby, Here's a link http://open.... by Rama Demetrius Dyushambee, DD on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 8:57:27 AM
Hell, I was threatened with prosecution by a "... by John Olsen on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 9:57:18 AM
to hear about Your mom.  I sometimes think it... by john riggs on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 5:17:42 PM
I appreciate that.  John O.... by John Olsen on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 10:14:37 PM
Sorry to hear about your mom. As for the call, I&#... by Alice Lillie on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 10:08:24 AM
It was not a crank call.  He had left a messa... by John Olsen on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 9:43:01 PM
Thank you too. John O... by John Olsen on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 9:44:05 PM
The KEY to ABSOLUTE DICTATORIAL RULE and a FULL FL... by Lance Ciepiela on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 10:02:20 AM
...we'll see. There were knock-downs and bull... by waldopaper on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 10:08:27 AM
whatever that user's handle is .............Wa... by Tony Forest on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 12:16:42 PM
...will I write me Congressdork and Senateperps...... by waldopaper on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 1:13:44 PM
Lotsa Rontrons will be in the Twin Cities for the ... by C.Bid on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 1:19:00 AM
Well there were police state tactics used at the d... by jersey girl on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 10:15:11 AM
Well there were police state tactics used at the d... by jersey girl on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 10:15:17 AM
These raids show exactly why you can't empower... by Darren Wolfe on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 10:32:32 AM
Leave it to Darren to come up with some convoluted... by Mac McKinney on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 11:28:05 AM
..."liberals" are for "big governme... by waldopaper on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 11:34:11 AM
If the jackboot fits goosestep in it.... by Darren Wolfe on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 10:21:48 PM
Looks like the Republicans learned a few things ab... by DC Rapier on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 10:47:06 AM
All these gestapo raid techniques have been e... by Mac McKinney on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 11:31:31 AM
...and a bit more bacon frying. ... by waldopaper on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 12:56:31 PM
Good to see you all here. Wonderful quote, Mr. Wol... by martinweiss on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 11:55:16 AM
I think that all these incidents need to be vigoro... by Steve Windisch (jibbguy) on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 12:08:04 PM
Didn't the cops go crazy with security at the ... by shielah jones on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 12:22:38 PM
That makes it all OK, doesn't it?That is the S... by JC Garrett on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 12:44:53 PM
Comment from Ratings:   Thanks for posti... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 1:09:03 PM
Mr. Senate-candidate liberal Democrat AL FRANKEN .... by meremark on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 1:39:03 PM
The police chief of St. Paul, or was it Minneapoli... by John Lorenz on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 2:05:09 PM
But we have not inventoried them so we do not yet ... by Paul Kruger on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 2:15:03 PM
... by martinweiss on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 2:46:46 PM
Because the frog water is 200 degrees instead of t... by richard on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 3:12:31 PM
...nobody's been shot yet (that we know of)...... by waldopaper on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 3:14:31 PM
My goodness.  You'd think that the street... by Alan Williams on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 3:50:56 PM
No, Alan.I don't speak for anyone but myself, ... by JC Garrett on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 4:19:02 PM
Nobody said anything about "though crimes&quo... by Alan Williams on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 10:55:42 PM
Whose jumping to conclusions? THE POLICE.Alan, wha... by Drew Terry on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 11:26:42 PM
But surely you don't think that law-enforcemen... by JC Garrett on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 1:25:31 AM
It's not just in Minneapolis, police are putti... by Bob Gormley on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 6:56:48 PM
Alan wrote:  The police were merely acti... by Drew Terry on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 11:12:03 PM
"Police really are largely concerned with YOU... by waldopaper on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 4:28:38 PM
I have learned via numerous court rulings that pol... by John Olsen on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 9:54:31 PM
I agree with your comment about cops doing it for ... by John Olsen on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 9:57:27 PM
but this is VERY VERY BAD NEWS. The militarized po... by john riggs on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 5:13:18 PM
That is what I SAW the Denver cops wearing and hol... by shirley reese on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 5:31:24 PM
It takes a certain personality to be a cop.Most us... by Bob Gormley on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 7:00:06 PM
here in Illinois only have Drew Peterson and his m... by John Olsen on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 9:59:58 PM
We here in Illinois only have to refer to Drew Pet... by John Olsen on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 10:01:48 PM
when shi* like this happens--you get more people-w... by TRADESMAN on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 6:15:45 PM
...was GONE at least 5 years ago.  NOW all we... by waldopaper on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 6:35:57 PM
Evidently...discernment, freedom and constitutiona... by boomerang on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 7:16:49 PM
At least they got a search warrant.Why would the R... by pft on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 7:23:02 PM
I apologize if this has already been posted elsewh... by Mark E. Smith on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 8:12:35 PM
we really don't have to worry about a thing. T... by robert braunstein on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 8:14:23 PM
They will use whatever force they deem appropriate... by waldopaper on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 8:33:03 PM
Who else but a terrorist would go for a raid on so... by JC Garrett on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 10:50:26 PM
Now you may have a better idea why I wrote my chal... by R. A. Louis on Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 at 11:58:52 PM
Or hears about it.Or gets to read about it.Even th... by C.Bid on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 1:48:57 AM
WHO VOTED THESE PEOPLE IN TO OFFICE,FOLLOW THE VOT... by rich racer on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 1:49:15 AM
America, the constitution and the bill of rights h... by Michael Morris on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 7:42:09 AM
What's with the  anti-war movement?&... by don bybee on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 6:48:59 PM
Don, what makes you think the riots were real?Sorr... by Drew Terry on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 9:38:29 PM
I want to know why Obama hasn't commented on t... by John Olsen on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 10:05:42 PM
Just got word earlier that Amy Goodman was arreste... by shirley reese on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 9:21:16 PM
I just flipped on the TV and CNN was having a brie... by shirley reese on Monday, Sep 1, 2008 at 10:45:30 PM
I have been called a "chicken little" fo... by linda jordan on Tuesday, Sep 2, 2008 at 1:10:17 PM
In Chicago, if police spotted me carrying a gun th... by Frank Silbermann on Friday, Sep 12, 2008 at 7:49:08 AM