At a Press Conference Thursday, November 13th, at the Capitol Building in St Paul, Minnesota activists involved in the protests during the Republican National Convention, raised the issue of abuses of power by the local police. This includes the horrifying allegation of police actually torturing protesters in the Ramsey County Jail in St Paul. Also included was allegations and stories of systemic abuse of police power and authority from activists, street medics and others, in the streets of St Paul and Minneapolis before, during and after the 2008 Republican National Convention.
Of course, you would be remiss if you have just found this information out. In a free and open democratic society, with a free and independent press, allegations of this nature, actual torture of peaceful, non violent dissenters, practicing their First Amendment Rights of Free Speech, Free Assembly and to Peacefully Petition the Government of Our Grievances, should, I repeat should make headlines, demanding an immediate investigation into these substantiated allegations. Likewise, the reports of governmental abuses of power, targeting peaceful dissenters under the Patriot Act.
This has happened, with some of those so charged are in fact Quakers. Let me repeat that for emphasis, Quakers are being charged with terrorism under the Patriot Act. This is now the case with the now dubbed RNC 8.
All of these facts should be making news, screaming from headlines, if we indeed lived in an open, democratic society, with a free and independent press. At the Press Conference was representatives from local ABC affiliate KSTP, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio, St Paul Pioneer Press and the Twin Citied Daily Planet (a local on line citizen driven source).
However, we live in the United States Of America so we do not have a free and open democratic society and we most certainly do not have a Free and Independent Press, or at least not in the corporate media.
Of all the media present, only the Twin Cities Daily Planet made a halfway decent coverage of the story. The Star Tribune had a small story, hidden away in the middle of the local section, with no reference to police torture or other serious allegations. The St Paul Pioneer Press, Minnesota Public Radio and KSTP the ABC affiliate had no mention of the story at all. Obviously the Associated Press, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News have not covered the story either.
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Fortunately, we do have a growing, ever critical independent media, such as Op Ed News which has become critical to inform the public of events in our world today.
So now the dubbed RNC 8, who are eight young activists charged with conspiracy to felony riot, in the furtherance of terrorism, under the Minnesota Patriot Act face a possible 7 and 1/2 years in prison. As stated earlier, two of these young people are in fact Quakers. Quakers are noted for their twin devotion to the principles of non-violence and opposition to all forms of oppression. they now need our help. Please spread the word, far and wide about their case. Donate to their cause. They are currently holding yard sales to raise money. They deserve better support than that. You can obtain for information on their case and donate by visiting their website http://rnc8.org/
or you can contact Communities United Against Police Brutality at http://www.cuapb.org/HomePage.asp
To obtain some of the information on just some of the documented abuses of police power during the RNC there is now a documentary movie, called Terrorizing Dissent. Visit the website where you can watch the movie and even download it to DVDs. The makers of the movie have made no money on it and in fact have made it public domain, so that people can spread the word. The site is http://www.terrorizingdissent.org/
It must be noted that this testimony was arranged by St Paul City Councilman David Thune.
Councilman Thune has been virtually alone in standing up in the St Paul and Minneapolis City Councils and making an actual racket demanding that those brutalized be given a voice. The "progressive" Democrat Mayors RT Ryback of Minneapolis, Mayor Coleman in St Paul and the entire "progressive" City Councils in Minneapolis and St Paul gave the police full authority to do what they did during the Republican National Convention.
Consider this a clarion call, much as Paul Revere did in crying "The British are coming, the British are coming." This is not a call to talk, debate or ponder. It is a call to action. First by simply donating money to the RNC 8 and then by watching the documentary Terrorizing Dissent, making copies, showing friends and families.
In other words, it is a call to wake up and wake up others, before it is too late.
It is your clarion call. Time to act on it.
Michael Cavlan , RN, was an Official Green Party Observer for the 2004 Ohio Re-Count.
He was the Green Party Candidate for US Senate 2006. A long time dissident peace, justice and media activist, he is committed to creating a truly open and (more...