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.
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.
Teichberg condemns police thuggery, noting there is:
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
Via Fernwoods, an on-line petition to protest and halt the violence by police (with frequent updates on the site as well):
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!