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Thugs with Badges: Crackdown in Minneapolis

By       Message Rady Ananda       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   11 comments

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This may be the first video release on the Twin Cities raids-against legitimate protest at the Republican National Convention.  Twin Cities author Jeremy Hubbell provides background info on this decade-long practice.  Included is a call to action, with an online petition, mayors' phone numbers, links and info on upcoming national actions.  OpEdNews has been covering the ongoing raids as reported by The Uptake, The Minnesota Independent, and others.  Our own Kathlyn Stone has been posting at the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

Video release by the National Lawyers Guild 

Late Tuesday night, at 2:00 a.m. on August 27th, Minneapolis police arrested members of the Glassbead Collective, and searched their rooms, as a pre-emptive measure against protest at the Republican National Convention.  Glassbead is a New York City group that documents police misconduct and First Amendment activity around the United States.

Vlad Teichberg, a journalist from Glassbead, reports being detained at 2 am in Minneapolis on August 27th.  Notes, computers, cameras, cell phones, clothing, and money were confiscated by police. 

NLG attorney Bruce Nestor reports the media group was originally told they were being investigated for recent car burglaries in the neighborhood. They were then questioned about their travel plans.  All of the detainees declined consent to a search of their property, but the cops searched those belongings anyway.  Later, Nestor was told that he and others were detained for trespassing on railroad property.  

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Some of the material illegally seized by Minneapolis police last week in "an intelligence operation" contained information regarding other protest groups, including organizers' names and phone numbers, as well as their schedules and meeting and protest locations.  Nestor correctly predicted that the police would use such information to conduct future raids, and further prevent Constitutionally protected protest over the next week. 

This August 27th video may be the first video release on the Twin Cities use of Gestapo tactics to subvert First Amendment protest at the RNC.


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Teichberg condemns police thuggery, noting there is:

"a systematic system where police are manufacturing accusations. This particular problem can undermine the very essence of our democracy.  It is fundamentally un-American and threatens the very fabric of our existence, because if the people who are told to enforce the laws are free to violate those laws, there can be no rule of law. And what do we have?  We have a society run by a bunch of thugs with badges."

Author Jeremy Hubbell on the Minneapolis police

Jeremy Hubbell, who is working on a book about the Twin Cities, advises that the Minneapolis police have been mobilized for just such actions since the late 90's:

"The behavior of the Minneapolis police was predictable.  Since the EarthFirst!, AIM, Medota Dakota, and neighborhood groups used aggressive nonviolence (treesits and lockdowns in buildings scheduled for demolition) to block construction of Hwy 55 through south Minneapolis (mid-1990s to climactic event in Dec 99, Operation Coldsnap), the city rapidly caught up with other metro police forces and their 'counter-terrorism' type policing.  They got a little too zealous from that point on.  In the summer of 2000, e.g., the U of MN hosted the International Society of Animal Genetics conference--and police pre-emptively raided homes of known anti-gmo activists.  Incidents have occurred since of this nature.  Pre-emptive raids are old hat. Just fyi that this is not 'new' in our 'hasn't been a free society for a long time nation.' Not even new in "Nice" Minnesota.

"I should also note: the St. Paul site for the RNC is perfect for controlling protest.  If you haven't seen it or can't quite appreciate the maps of the site.  The Xcel center (the power distributor of the Twin Cities, formerly NSP - Northern States Power) has a moat on three sides due to freeway construction. To get there, you either exit the freeway, or walk downhill from the Cathedral or state capitol.  On the east is downtown St. Paul and the Mississippi.  Directly east, in fact, is the center of upper class St. Paul - the St. Paul Hotel, Rice Park, and The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra - the most secure section of the city.  On the one hand, the geography should allow for an orderly separation of-protesters-from their object without arrest (just have them walk circles on the capitol mall.  On the other hand, due to the control, it will be quite easy to make arrests - even easier than it was in NY." 

Online Petition to Halt Police Violence

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Via Fernwoods, an on-line petition to protest and halt the violence by police (with frequent updates on the site as well):

Police are suppressing the coverage of events by seizing people's video cameras.  People's cameras were smashed to the ground and broken. These are not isolated incidents, they represent a pattern of targeting people.  We need everyone to video-the activities of the police Department.  When we no longer have the freedom of the press, we no longer live in a democracy.

Urgent! Defend Freedom of Speech and Assembly at the RNC!Stand Against Police Repression!

Sign the online petition to send a message to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Police, Bush, Cheney, McCain, RNC, the Minneapolis and St. Paul City Councils, the Minnesota Gov., Congressional Leaders and the media to end the police violence against RNC protesters IMMEDIATELY!

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In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.

Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.

She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.

All material offered here is the property of Rady Ananda, copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Permission is granted to repost, with proper attribution including the original link.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Tell the truth anyway.

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